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About the Book

5 . . . 4 . . . 3 . . . 2 . . .

Eric Connelly is crumbling under the weight of his dad’s expectations. He can’t seem to live up to the “Connelly Man” standards—but when he meets the mysterious, free-spirited Jordan Grant, his dad’s rules seem so much less important than they used to.

Jordan and Eric—now “E”—join up with two of the most popular girls in school to combat their rich-kid boredom. But as Jordan seduces E further, the group starts to kill time in more nefarious ways. It’s Jordan who escalates the pack’s dares from mostly harmless jaunts like joyrides in boosted cars and Bling Ring–style luxury shoplifting sprees into more violent activities. Eric is intoxicated . . . swept up in the pack’s activities, even as Paige and Haley start to have reservations about what they’ve been doing. When Jordan starts talking bigger—what’s a little bomb building between friends?—E must decide if he’s just too far down the rabbit hole to back out.

From the author of How to Win at High School comes a wicked, irreverent story of rich kids gone amok that will leave readers at the edge of their seats.

Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise

“Matthews again takes on the Breaking Bad-like descent of a once-innocent, rule-following teen. [His] cheeky, third-person, prose-poem style fuels the surreal feel of this larger-than-life story... A wild ride.” —Publishers Weekly

“Teens will not put this one down. Reminiscent of John Green’s Paper Towns, this title has a much darker twist.” —School Library Journal

“The tone is sly and enjoyably cynical, drenched in world-weary hipster-speak and updated from Holden Caulfield... In the end, it offers a compelling caution for smart, angry teens to beware the charismatic psychopath who may look and sound just like them.” —Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“Riveting... A fast-moving tale of obsession and redemption.” —Kirkus

PRAISE FOR HOW TO WIN AT HIGH SCHOOL: “Slick, breezy... fast-moving and suspenseful.” —Kirkus

“The funny, unforgiving narration will have readers glued to this story.” —Publishers Weekly

“Matthews’s debut YA novel has a fast plot with gritty content and dialogue that will appeal to teens.” —School Library Journal

“Short, intense chapters, some of which read like poetry, capture snapshots that lend a visceral immediacy to the action.” —Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780062336897
  • ISBN 10: 0062336894
  • Imprint: HarperTeen
  • On Sale: 08/30/2016
  • Pages: 528
  • List Price: 21.99 CAD
  • BISAC1: YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Family / Siblings
  • BISAC2: YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Social Themes / Suicide
  • BISAC3: YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Social Themes / Peer Pressure

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