The Rooster Bar [book review]

Mark, Todd, and Zola came to law school to change the world, to make it a better place. But now, as third-year students, these close friends realize they have been duped. They all borrowed heavily to attend a third-tier, for-profit law school so mediocre that its graduates rarely pass the bar exam, let alone get good jobs. And when they learn that their school is one of a chain owned by a shady New York hedge-fund operator who also happens to own a bank specializing in student loans, the three know they have been caught up in The Great Law School Scam.

But maybe there’s a way out. Maybe there’s a way to escape their crushing debt, expose the bank and the scam, and make a few bucks in the process. But to do so, they would first have to quit school. And leaving law school a few short months before graduation would be completely crazy, right? Well, yes and no . . .

Synopsis via Goodreads

This book was definitely a roller coaster for me.  As a student myself, I sympathized with the characters right away due to their debt situation, though I was thankful that mine is not nearly as high as theirs.  So when they find out about what their friend Gordy calls ‘The Great Law School Scam’ and drop out of school to try to expose the scam, I was all on board for it.  However, the book takes a different direction than I expected, and as the characters found themselves getting into a deeper hole, I still rooted for them despite the fact they were cheating the system as well.

I think it was that aspect of the book that I liked, that the three friends were sort of antiheroes.  In order to get back at the people who have cheated them into getting into an enormous amount of debt, they have to break some rules of their own.  Though they do at times hesitate or regret what they do, they realize there’s no turning back as their mess gets bigger, which I think is the reason I stayed hooked and was rooting for them to get through it.  It’s kind of like how I felt about watching Dexter – despite the fact he was a serial killer himself, I never wanted him to get caught because he was a vigilante killer rather than killing for kicks.

Overall I’d give The Rooster Bar 3.5 stars.  I did like it and enjoy reading it.  In fact, I thought about the characters at times when I wasn’t reading and wondered where the book would go next.  But I don’t think it’s a book I’d reread anytime soon.

I think what I enjoyed most about it was that it turned out to be that kind of book where there’s only 20 pages left and a lot of explaining to do, but it did wrap up pretty well at the end.

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