Michael Laser’s Cheater is, of course, about cheating.  Karl Petrofsky is your typical awkward genius.  He doesn’t have to study, he aces everything, he’s incredibly shy, he invents stuff in his garage, and his three friends are as weird as he is.  Karl’s life dramatically changes, however, when Blaine, one of the school’s most popular guys, asks Karl to help him and his cronies, known as the Confederacy, to cheat.  This group already has a vast cheating network in place, but they want Karl to help them step up their game.

At first, Karl is horrified by what he is asked to do.  He later changes his mind, though, when the school’s dictator…I mean assistant principal…decides to make an example of a kid who gets caught cheating.  (We’re talking immediate expulsion and a big mark on the permanent record–a mark that will definitely be seen by people reviewing college applications.)  Karl decides that Assistant Principal Klimchock has gone too far, and Karl agrees to help Blaine and his friends cheat.

Karl soon realizes that he is in over his head, but he’s in too deep to pull himself out without help.  What will he do?  Will he be caught?  Will he stop cheating?  Read Cheater by Michael Laser to find out!

On a side note, it took me a while to get into this book.  Honestly, I don’t really like the message it sends, but I think this is a book that young adults may enjoy and even relate to.  (Some may read it just to get ideas on how to get away with cheating.)  I think a good companion to this book would be Joyce McDonald’s Shades of Simon Gray.  Each book offers a different perspective on the perils of cheating.

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