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Don't Get Caught
Cover of Don't Get Caught
Don't Get Caught
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10:00 tonight at the water tower. Tell no one. —Chaos ClubWhen Max receives a mysterious invite from the untraceable, epic prank-pulling Chaos Club, he has to ask: why him? After all, he's Mr....
10:00 tonight at the water tower. Tell no one. —Chaos ClubWhen Max receives a mysterious invite from the untraceable, epic prank-pulling Chaos Club, he has to ask: why him? After all, he's Mr....
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  • 10:00 tonight at the water tower. Tell no one. —Chaos Club

    When Max receives a mysterious invite from the untraceable, epic prank-pulling Chaos Club, he has to ask: why him? After all, he's Mr. 2.5 GPA, Mr. No Social Life. He's Just Max. And his favorite heist movies have taught him this situation calls for Rule #4: Be suspicious. But it's also his one shot to leave Just Max in the dust...

    Yeah, not so much. Max and four fellow students—who also received invites—are standing on the newly defaced water tower when campus security "catches" them. Definitely a setup. And this time, Max has had enough. It's time for Rule #7: Always get payback.

    Let the prank war begin.

    Oceans 11 meets The Breakfast Club in this entertaining, fast-paced debut filled with pranks and cons that will keep readers on their toes, never sure who's pulling the strings or what's coming next.




  • From the book

    Chapter 1

    Rule #1 in any quality heist film is Don't get caught.

    So I'm quiet as I slip out my bedroom window, cross the roof in the cool darkness, and drop from the garage onto the wet grass. Overhead, my parents' lights may be off for the night, but this is a terrible idea any way you look at it. It's stupid, irresponsible, and borderline suicidal. But I'm going anyway.

    Blame every movie hero I idolize, blame Tami Cantor, blame Mr. Watson's stupid classroom banner. Blame whomever and whatever you want. This is poor decision making at its finest. But I'm still going.

    I stay to the sidewalks because lurking in shadows would only make me look suspicious. In the shadows, I'm a potential burglar, but on the sidewalk, I'm just another sixteen-year-old kid out for a walk-"on my way to a friend's house, Officer" if I get stopped by the cops.

    It's Heist Rule #2: Be cool.

    Like, bank vault combination changed at the last minute? Be cool.

    Someone on your crew double-crosses you? Be cool.

    Security guards show up unexpectedly? Be cool.

    It works for Vin Diesel stealing cars in The Fast and the Furious. It works for George Clooney robbing casinos in Ocean's Eleven. It works for Timothy Hutton on Leverage. Even John Travolta, back before he got all bloated, played it cool when the Russian mob wanted him dead in a movie called-wait for it-Be Cool.

    So if it works for them, it has to work for me, right? You might as well just go ahead and add me to the list-Vin Diesel, George Clooney, Timothy Hutton, prebloat John Travolta, and Max Cobb: cool personified.

    The only problem is "cool" and "Max Cobb" go together about as well as sharp knives and dull minds.

    It's more like, three-day weekend coming up? Sit at home watching movies with my parents.

    Score in the forty-ninth percentile on the ACT three times running? Scream into my pillow until I'm hoarse.

    Be best known for passing out in front of the class in ninth grade? Contemplate fashioning the bedsheet into a Snoopy-themed noose.

    Screw those people who say, "Be yourself." Being myself has only gotten me a stupid, boring life. So for once, I'm doing the opposite. Tonight, there's no Max Cobb or, as Tami Cantor called me, Just Max. As in "Oh, don't worry about him, that's just Max."

    No, tonight I'm Not Max, which means keeping cool. I refuse to play it safe and turn back like Just Max begs me to. Instead, Not Max keeps a steady pace, forcing himself not to flinch at every passing car, his heart quickening when the lights of Asheville High School appear in the distance.

    AHS is an ancient building that was constructed about the time Pangaea split to form the continents. If it weren't for the soccer, baseball, and football fields nearby, you'd think you were looking at a decaying mental institution, which I suppose all schools are in a way. My destination's the water tower sitting on the edge of school property. With its massive rusting legs stretching into the night sky, the tower's Asheville High-Home of the Golden Eagles can be seen by the entire town. I'm halfway across the soccer field, walking in the weird gray light of the full moon, when I catch movement out of the corner of my eye.


    My heart almost explodes through my chest. It's a girl's voice, but I can't see whose.

    "Max? Is that you?"

    She's coming toward me now.

    Screw Be cool.

    I sprint away, running with no clear destination. I need...


  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 28, 2016
    For decades, the Chaos Club has pulled pranks at Max Cobb's high school, but when they frame Max and four other students for one of their escapades, he and the rest of the so-called Water Tower Five vow revenge. With heist-movie-obsessed Max as mastermind, the group embarks on a no-holds-barred game against an invisible enemy as they attempt to take down the Chaos Club and pull some epic pranks of their own. No pep rally or homecoming event is safe, no mascot or trophy off limits. Genre-savvy, clever, and full of "Heist Rules" like "If questioned, be evasive" and "Play to your crew's strengths," this twisty tale is funny, fast-paced, and full of surprises. Newcomer Dinan brings in numerous classic heist elements, including sleight-of-hand, code names, flashback sequences (to show what really happened along the way), and elaborate schemes, leading to one revelation after another. Fans of Ocean's 11 or Leverage—properties Max himself holds dear in his personal playbook—will find a great deal to enjoy in Dinan's debut. Ages 14–up. Agent: Kerry Sparks, Levine Greenberg Literary Agency.

  • Kirkus

    February 15, 2016
    In Dinan's debut novel, Max Cobb and four other Asheville High School students are out for revenge after being caught on the vandalized town water tower, a setup by the school's notorious Chaos Club. Enough is enough. Max is tired of being Just-Max, a nobody stuck in "a stupid, boring life"--"Mr. 2.5 GPA, Mr. No Social Life, Mr. I'm So Lame the Career Interest Survey Recommended 'Worker' As My Future Profession." Now he and the Water Tower Five are on a mission to take down the Chaos Club after falling victim to a humiliating prank. Planning to fight Chaos with chaos, Max, Ellie, Malone, Wheeler, and Adleta, step up. "The pin's pulled and the grenade heaved," says his new alter ego, Not-Max. Fake business cards, a fake Chaos Club website, plenty of high school humor involving puke, boners, a naked and anatomically correct mannequin, an ever expanding list of heist rules, self-consciously pompous code names, and a satisfyingly complex and unpredictable plot will keep readers involved and amused. And just when the tale threatens to wilt under the accumulation of so many sleazy machinations, it turns out that Max has developed a conscience and the strength to stand up to the devil herself. "Game on," the story ends, hinting at a possible sequel. The cast is not notably diverse. This caper comedy about an Ocean's 11-style group of high school masterminds will keep readers guessing. (Fiction. 12-16)

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    April 1, 2016

    Gr 8 Up-Max Cobb flies under the radar-until a prank sets him and several classmates up to take the fall for the high school's legendary Chaos Club. In a quest to prove he's more than ordinary, Max, with his motley crew, decides to take down the club and the school's disliked disciplinarian. But when their slippery slope of vengeance and insensitive pranking enters illegal territory with little to no thought of the consequences, Max is forced to consider that his crew might be worse than their perceived rivals. Crude humor, insecurities, and family expectations ring true in this realistic tale. Actions by the school's administration and teachers strain credulity for the sake of plot. The obvious but not incorrect message that people are more than what they're pigeonholed as is ironically promoted among a cast of archetypes-the exception being fallible yet empathetic and likable Max, whom readers will root for. A baddie's vaguely cartoonish reveal in the final twist may not surprise readers. VERDICT Pop culture references, short chapters, and laugh-out-loud narrative moments make this an additional purchase for reluctant readers or fans of films like The Perfect Score.-Danielle Serra, Cliffside Park Public Library, NJ

    Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • DOGO Books llama77 - This book was amazing, first of all I could not put the book down I was reading through every moment of the book. The book is a great combination of funny and sophistication, along with the suprise twist at the end. Over it was a great book and I would read it again anytime!!

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