Monday, May 6, 2013

Review: Escape Theory by Margaux Froley

Title: Escape Theory
Series: Standalone 
Author: Margaux Froley
Published: March 12th 2013 by Soho Teen 
Format: Paperback
Source: Received a copy from the publisher in exhange for an honest review

Sixteen-year-old Devon Mackintosh has always felt like an outsider at Keaton, the prestigious California boarding school perched above the Pacific. As long as she’s not fitting in, Devon figures she might as well pad her application to Stanford’s psych program. So junior year, she decides to become a peer counselor, a de facto therapist for students in crisis. At first, it seems like it will be an easy fly-on-the-wall gig, but her expectations are turned upside down when Jason Hutchins (a.k.a. “Hutch”), one of the Keaton’s most popular students, commits suicide. 

Devon dives into her new role providing support for Hutch’s friends, but she’s haunted by her own attachment to him. The two shared an extraordinary night during their first week freshman year; it was the only time at Keaton when she felt like someone else really understood her. As the secrets and confessions pile up in her sessions, Devon comes to a startling conclusion: Hutch couldn't have taken his own life. Bound by her oath of confidentiality—and tortured by her unrequited love—Devon embarks on a solitary mission to get to the bottom of Hutch's death, and the stakes are higher than she ever could have imagined. 

 Read an excerpt of Escape Theory.

From the Hardcover edition.

My Thoughts

Jason Reed Hutchins a.k.a. HUTCH
A legacy student. Popular. Responsible. Intelligent. He once told Devon that there are two types of people in this world - the supposed-tos and the not-supposed-tos. Hutch is a not-supposed-to.

And I don't freaking know why a guy like Hutch will take his own life. And Devon will do anything to know why, and what happened.

There were a lot of issues discussed in this book. How the school administrators run Keaton School, where the students get drugs, the family problems of Hutch. I love the mystery that the story has and the continuous investigation of Devon regarding Hutch's death. It was also like reading a spy story.

Devon, being a peer counselor, is something that I admired about her. I think that doing counseling is a hard thing and it takes a lot of determination, perseverance and control for one to be an effective peer counselor. And it is definitely not easy to talk about the death of a friend with other people who were also close to Hutch. I think this is also one of the reasons why sometimes, Devon is overwhelmed because of her emotions, and so, the sessions with Isla and Matt were getting out of hand.

And then I met other characters such as Isla, Hutch's ex-girlfriend and Matt, his bestfriend. At first, I was doubtful about these characters and didn't like them. But just like any other teenager out there, they both have issues and dilemmas going on in their lives and I got to understand why they did things such as taking drugs.

Even though I admire Devon's determination, I was kind of annoyed with her at some points because there was a time where she keeps doubting all of her friends, even her best friend. And also, the pacing of the story was kind of slow for me at the beginning because it didn't give away any clues about why Hutch took his own life. 

I don't know why, but in some weird way, like Devon, I know that Hutch didn't take away his own life (I realized that after reading the first few pages of the book), but there were also times when I was doubtful and curious if he really did commit suicide. In short, I loved the unpredictability of this story. I definitely had the 'Oh-I-never-saw-that-coming' moments. :)

Even though Hutch only appeared in the story shortly, I was happy reading Devon's flashbacks. It was so real, so genuine and so sweet. I know they were only close for one night, but reading their encounter on that night, I really felt the connection between the two of them.

I just wish that I knew more about Hutch, and about his feelings for Devon. And for readers to also understand him more, and get to know him a little better. It would be so much better if there was a prologue of Hutch's POV where he can maybe talk about his life or his relationship with Devon before the incident happened. And also, a little humor will be good for this book because the theme is too heavy, sometimes, it'll be better if there are funny moments or snippets in between.

But despite that, I liked the unpredictability of the story and the sincerity of Devon and Hutch himself. And them being the not-supposed-tos. :) Even though Devon only got to know Hutch for a short period of time, in that one night, I'm really surprised at how much she knew about Hutch that Matt and Isla didn't even know about. The connection between the protagonists is really undeniable.

This is a recommended read for the mystery fans out there.

*I received a galley of this book from Soho Teen but it did not influence my review in any way.

My Rating


  1. I have yet to find a book where I can really get intrigued by the whole 'detective' aspect! I really don't like books with a slow start, there are only a few books to which I can appreciate that, but luckily your book had the unpredictability factor to it! I love being surprised and shocked throughout a story, haha!

    Florentine @ Readiculously Peachy

  2. This one sounds really interesting! I'm always a sucker for stories taking place at Boarding Schools. Plus this one has a realistic feel to it. I used to volunteer as a Peer Helper and I worked with first year students at university so I'm familiar with the struggles they go through. Great review :)

  3. I like the peer counselling element, sounds really interesting and not something I've seen covered much before in books. And add in the fact that it's unpredictable and it sounds just like my kind of book.

    BookishTrish @ Between the Lines

  4. I like the sound of the mystery element of this book. if i see it at the library i will definitely read it :)


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