Jackson Greene has gotten into a lot of trouble in the past for pulling cons. And he really should keep out of this whole school elections situation. But it's Keith Sinclair, who uses his dad's status and money to get whatever he wants. And it's Principal Kelsey who may be fixing the election to get a Sinclair "donation." And it's Gaby.... Jackson would do almost anything for Gaby, especially if it would get her to talk to him again.
I really enjoyed this book! The pop culture references (especially the Star Trek ones) were a lot of fun to me. I like the twists and turns of a con/heist story, and this one did not disappoint. I looked at some of the negative reviews on Goodreads - there were complaints about trying to keep all the characters straight (I did have to keep notes early on - the names come fast at the beginning but the character evolution comes over time), about plausibility (this is an adult issue/complaint. My students who like this sort of story won't care about plausibility), and about feeling like you were reading a sequel with hints at backstory either slowly doled out over time or hinted at only. I have to agree with this last complaint, but I didn't let it distract me. In some cases I thought it was well done because it came in bits throughout the story and didn't bog down the action. In other spots, it drew me to the next chapter hoping for more information.
4 out of 5 stars
This would be great for upper elementary/middle school. The book is getting a lot of attention for the diversity of the characters. The heist/con bits reminded me of Riley Mack and Other Known Troublemakers, although that book would skew a little younger for me than this one.
No AR reading level at the time of this writing.