League of Strays

Title: League of Strays

Author: L.B. Schulman

Release Date: Available

League of Strays is a highly interesting book, centered around bullying and the dangerous powers of revenge. Set mostly at a public high school, the book is about a girl, Charlotte Brody, who receives a mysterious note one day inviting her to join the League of Strays. Led by the handsome and mysterious Kade Harlin, the League of Strays is a friendship club whose main purpose, as Charlotte finds out, is to take revenge on teachers and students who have wronged the members of the club. Charlotte is intrigued and interested by this opportunity, but as the pranks become more and more dangerous, Charlotte starts to wonder about Kade’s motives.

In many stories, when a character makes a choice that they later regret, I catch myself thinking that the character must not be very bright and I would never have made that mistake. It’s  usually easy to look at someone else’s life (whether fictional or not) and see what they’re doing wrong and exactly how to fix it. Until you’ve actually walked around in someone else’s shoes, it’s just plain wrong to criticize someone for their actions. Over years of reading, I have built up the skill of trying to understand characters’ points of views, trying to look at their motives from inside the story, not as an objective witness.

League of Strays challenged this ability throughout the entire book. Schulman drops clue after clue that Kade is not someone to be trusted, and that he is leading the members of the League down a dangerous path. And as Charlotte continues to blindly trust him with only the slightest hint of misgivings, I was ready to scream with frustration. This frustration, as counterintuitive as it sounds, actually brought me closer to the story. I paid close attention to every encounter with Kade, willing Charlotte to realize she was being manipulated. As I watched her finally begin to lose trust, I breathed a sigh of relief. League of Strays forced me to wonder what I would have done in Charlotte’s position. At times she seemed like a wimp for not speaking her mind and standing up to Kade. But when you really think about it, how many people would have the strength to do so? I’d like to think I would, but there’s really no way to find out for sure.

Review by Tess

Order League of Strays from Book Passage

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