Published by Sourcebooks Fire on April 1, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Humor
Format: ARC, Kindle Edition
Source: Review Copy
10:00 tonight at the water tower. Tell no one. -Chaos Club
When Max receives a mysterious invite from the untraceable, epic prank-pulling Chaos Club, he has to ask: why him? After all, he's Mr. 2.5 GPA, Mr. No Social Life. He's Just Max. And his favorite heist movies have taught him this situation calls for Rule #4: Be suspicious. But it's also his one shot to leave Just Max in the dust...
Yeah, not so much. Max and four fellow students-who also received invites-are standing on the newly defaced water tower when campus security "catches" them. Definitely a setup. And this time, Max has had enough. It's time for Rule #7: Always get payback.
Let the prank war begin.
Don’t Get Caught by Kurt Dinan was a novel I couldn’t wait to start reading, and it turned out to be one of my favorite books of 2016 thus far. Prank wars, pop culture references, and life lessons fill the pages of this incredibly fun read, and I can’t wait to share with you all of the reasons why this is a novel you need to pick up.
Don’t Get Caught is a first-person narrative told through the eyes of Max Cobb, an average student with an average life and average expectations. But then he, along with four other students, get set up by The Chaos Club, and it’s game on. Thus, The Water Tower 5 is born.
One huge plus for Dinan’s novel was its pacing. Right from the very beginning of Don’t Get Caught, I was completely wrapped up in the story, intrigued by what was going to happen and totally rooting for Max all the way. I enjoyed that everything action flowed into one another smoothly and effortlessly, and I never had to stop and ask “How is that even possible?” Mix that in with Dinan’s ability to constantly surprise me as a reader, and I knew Don’t Get Caught was going to be a winner. Seriously, I never saw the ending coming. And I loved all of the heist rules that were thrown into the narrative, not only because they added a little extra depth and color to the story, but because I’m a huge Leverage fan.
But not only does Dinan have a great talent for storytelling in general, but he’s also incredibly gifted with comedic timing. There were so many moments in this novel where I caught myself laughing out loud, whether it was at Max’s sarcastic sense of humor or one of Wheeler’s many dirty jokes. Dinan’s writing was just so engaging that each of the character’s jumped off the page and came to life with what felt like very little effort (although I’m sure Dinan would probably disagree).
If you’re looking for a romance novel, however, Don’t Get Caught might leave you a bit disappointed. There is, of course, a few sparks between Matt and one of his team members, but their love story is shoved onto the back burner in favor of developing Max as a person, as well as fleshing out friendships within The Water Tower 5. After all, knowing your crew is the most important part when pulling of a heist of any kind. Romance wasn’t necessary to fuel the plot.
Overall, Don’t Get Caught was a super fun and amusing read, and it made me wish I’d been a little braver in high school. It was the perfect blend of The Breakfast Club and Leverage, and it leaves just enough open at the end to make you beg for me. Trust me.