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Review: The Rooster Bar by John Grisham

Title: The Rooster Bar
Author: John Grisham
Year Published: 2017

Genre: Adult fiction
Pages: 352
Rating: 4 out of 5

Location (my 2017 Google Reading map)USA (Washington, DC) and Senegal

FTC Disclosure: I bought this book with my own money

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): Mark, Todd, and Zola came to law school to change the world, to make it a better place. But now, as third0year students, these close friends realize that 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.... 

Pull up a stool, grab a cold one, and get ready to spend some time at The Rooster Bar.

Review: Good old Grisham: lawyers and drama. No one does it better. This one was fun and a bit different from may of his other novels though he continued with his digs at issues that are important, which he seems to have done in his most recent novels (think Grey Mountain).

I liked the three main characters and especially appreciate that one of them is female (rare for Grisham) and that she is African-American (very rare for Grisham). Yes, they are deceitful and break the law a whole bunch, but they are likable and one can sympathize with their situation of out of control debt ($200,000 or so each) at a crappy for-profit law school. 

Grisham definitely goes after the for-profit education world in this novel and that's great. I feel so bad for people who sign up for for-profit schools, take on huge amounts of debt, only to find that their diploma doesn't bring them the success they were promised. A second topic this novel deals with is people who are in the US without documentation. I liked that the character's family is from Senegal and not Mexico. It added an interesting direction for the story. This is so timely with many families in the US being split apart as undocumented parents are deported, leaving their US citizen children behind.

All in all if you enjoy Grisham novels then this one will be good for you. There's lawyers, law breaking, off-shore bank accounts, embezzlement, and good friendships.

Challenges for which this counts:

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