The Scam List

Young Adult - General
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 05/29/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Scam List is a work of fiction in the contemporary drama and comedic sub-genres and was written for young adult audiences by author Kurt Dinan. In this laugh a minute drama which also contains some truly heartfelt moments, we meet protagonist Boone McReedy – an unlikely hero and teenage conman extraordinaire. But when Boone gets caught in a con of his own and loses $15,000 of his mom’s money, the stakes are suddenly high and the family business is in jeopardy. Boone will have to turn to his ex-girlfriend, the fierce and vivacious Darby West, in order to con his way back to normal life, and that’s if he and Darby can survive one another’s company.

Author Kurt Dinan takes the contemporary teen drama in a really exciting new direction with this realistic and comedic slice of life. One of the things which impressed me the most during the reading experience is the presentation of dialogue, which felt distinctly teenage but not comically overdone. Boone is a ready-to-go hero with the gift of the gab, but his youth and naivety still trip him up here and there, making him an accessible and relatable protagonist from whom we can learn a lot about resourcefulness and humility. Darby makes for a feisty partner in crime with a lot of empowering skills to offer, and their pairing delivers wit and humor throughout the well-paced plot. Overall, I would highly recommend The Scam List to both young adult and adult readers alike for fast-paced fun and high stakes humor.

Lesley Jones

In The Scam List by Kurt Dinan, Boone McReedy comes from a long line of con-men. His father, now a guest at the Perrysburg Correctional Facility, taught him all he knows. Boone lives for the adrenalin rush of conning only those who deserve it. Boone, after all, has some morals, not like his father. Life is good for Boone, keeping everyone at a distance, mastering his art of deceit, and working at his mother's park, Golden (Garbage) Mountain. Then one night, Boone discovers someone has scammed him. He has lost $15,000 of his mother's money and if he doesn't find it soon, she will lose Golden Mountain. Boone with the help of the tough fighting force and ex-girlfriend Darby West has to use every con they know to get the money back. Desperate measures are needed, so Boone pulls out the McReedy family Bible of cons, The Scam List. One by one the scams are executed but Boone realizes fast that to succeed in his quest, innocent people may have to be conned too.

From the first page where Boone describes the origins of his cons, I was laughing. The characters are exceptionally created and their dialogue is fast, witty, and matches their personalities perfectly. The plot moves forward continually, making this a compelling and engaging read. The exploits of Boone and his partner, the fabulous Darby, were very comical. I felt as if I knew each character so well and I loved how each one interacted with one another. There were also very interesting sub-plots, including the distant relationships between Boone and his parents. This gave The Scam List by Kurt Dinan some depth and another layer of interest. I loved how Boone's character developed as he looked inwardly at his behavior and realized some hard-hitting truths about himself and the relationships he forms. Although this book is well-written and will have your sides hurting with laughter, there is much more to this story. The storyline looks at family dynamics, resolving painful memories, and learning to trust others again. The ending was a spectacular finish. I would love there to be a follow-on book to discover what the future has in store for Boone and Darby.

Foluso Falaye

It's no surprise that Boone McReedy likes to pull cons and bar bets since his father has been jailed for the very same thing. The 17-year-old boy, who sees himself as "handsome and charming", falls victim to another scammer and loses $15,000, which belongs to his mom and the boothers at the flea market she owns. Boone has to do what he does best to save his mom's business while risking fully becoming like his ruthless father. For this challenging conquest, he needs to recruit none other than Darby West, his ex who is immune to his charms and wouldn't hesitate to kick his butt as she's a skilled fighter. Kurt Dinan spins an impressive tale of rivalry, con artists, and youthful exuberance in The Scam List.

Join Boone and his partners in crime in a brain-taxing, jaw-dropping quest to trick well deserving (at least as originally planned) victims out of their money. If you like experiencing the rush and thrill of wild and dangerous things you would never try from the safety of a book, The Scam List is a perfect recommendation. But expect to see some curse words, a little violence, and a few remarks that may be offensive to theists, especially Christians. The Scam List is very well written, with Kurt Dinan employing a first-person narrative and having Boone speak to, trick, and tease the audience with witty and strategically placed lines that had me laughing out loud. I was glued to the end as the plot is both unpredictable and enthralling. The Scam List is indeed a fantastic read, the kind you must put in the favorite section of your bookshelf/app.