Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Joe Schreiber
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Will Shea is a scholarship child from a tiny island who is lucky enough to be able to come to one of the nation’s most exclusive schools—at least that’s what he tells everyone. Will is actually a con artist. It’s not too long before he runs into Andrea Dufresne, another scholarship student with a similar background…and a con artist herself. The school isn’t big enough for the two of them, so they decide to start up a little wager. Whoever can con the mark out of fifty thousand dollars by Thanksgiving wins and can stay at the school. This school has a lot more secrets than it can hold and it’s only a matter of time before they start spilling out.
Con Academy actually has a lot more depth than may be expected. There are so many different plots and secrets going on at the same time that by the end readers may feel like the book is a detective show in the making, especially with the plot twist at the end. There are a couple of romantic interests, but they aren’t overplayed, and it’s refreshing that the main characters don’t end up together. There is no language, and the text instead focuses on the brilliantly complex story line. There is still a good theme about redemption and actually being a good person, even though the book is about being a con artist. And yes, perhaps things up a little too perfectly at the end, but overall this book is still satisfying.
*Contains mild violence, mild substance abuse, and mild sexual content.