Reviewed by Jaglvr for TeensReadToo.com
Karl Petrofsky keeps a low profile as the brightest guy in his class. He has a group of misfit friends that are definitely NOT part of the popular crowd. But one day in class, he thinks he catches Blaine Shore, one of the "It" kids, cheating on a test.
Later, Blaine approaches Karl, and invites him to the local hang out for lunch with fellow "It" kids. There, Blaine presents Karl with the option of joining their little "Confederacy" of cheaters. Blaine explains to him that, unlike Karl who is blessed with being smart, the rest of them are simply lazy. They have at their disposal the latest gadgets to assist them in all manners of cheating. Karl is dumbstruck at their proposal, but is adamant in his refusal to help.
But the next day, the assistant principal is on a crusade to ferret out cheaters, and has made an example of a student. Anyone caught cheating will from then on have a permanent mark placed in their record for all future colleges to see. Karl is disgruntled and, lured by the gorgeous Cara, agrees to join Blaine and his band of cheaters.
It doesn't take long for Karl to regret his decision. Cara is caught and is expelled from school. Karl wants out, but is being blackmailed from many sides and the walls are slowly closing in. Karl is alone and unable to go to his parents for help. His former friends have deserted him, ashamed that he's joined the cheaters. The cheaters don't want to let him go, needing his smarts to keep their grades up.
Mr. Laser writes a fast-paced story that is fascinating to read. The technology that is used to create new ways to cheat just boggles the mind -- though is probably a reality. This is a convincing story of a boy caught up in the thrill of being popular, for even a small moment in time. The consequences make for an intriguing story of how Karl deals with all the twists and turns that come from cheating and how he tries to come out on top.