"A children's story which is enjoyed only by children is a bad children's story. The good ones last." --C.S. Lewis
This reminds me of a mix of Massie (and the privileged Hamptons outlook) and a prolonged fight between Blair and Serena from Gossip Girl (from the t.v. show, as I have not yet read the books). As Massie played with passive-aggressive privileged white girls and social satire, so did this book in the varying forms of petty schemes dealt by these girls and the karma that comes back to haunt them along with the urge for revenge.
I liked that this book was very upfront and matched with what you're told about it. If you were a fan of the series I mentioned above, you may well be a fan of this book. It tells you what Gemma did from the very beginning so that you'll understand the context behind how she and Hallie interact rather than keeping that secret for prolonged tension. The fun comes from the various schemes and trying to predict what each girl would do next. How one would get out of a situation and the other would plan it. Some of these plans? Man. These girls are thorough. Caught in the middle of the passive aggressive sort-of-fight is Hallie's brother Josh and the adorable romance that forms between Gemma and him. I'm rooting for you, Josh. You're probably the most morally guided one of the lot and maybe the least fun except for your dorky jock-ness, but hey, you're adorable and I'm wondering what role you'll play in the next books...
This is a contemporary series and I can't help but admire the way Katie Finn has set up the series. There were a lot of hints in this novel of things to come and I'm interested in seeing how the consequences play out. I like how the titles match and give you a clue of what to expect from Gemma. I'm glad she fought back in her own way in this novel, at least trying somewhat to make things right after doing something horrible, and I'm curious to see what she'll be like when she's no longer eleven-year-old Gemma but a much older version, more elaborate in her revenge. You definitely get to see the good, the bad, and the ugly in these characters. Definitely different from most YA contemporary out now and a fun beach read.