Don't Get Caught By: Kurt Dinan Alaina Hopkinson

This book is characterized as realistic fiction.

About The Author

Kurt Dinan, according to his blog, is quite the jokester. In my opinion, Dinan is the grown-up social equivalent of a Tumblr-obsessed, pun-loving teenager.

He is a high school English teacher and has been for over twenty-one years. He once almost got arrested in college for littering the campus with fliers for a made-up concert.

Dinan resides in Cincinnati, Ohio alongside his wife and four children (commonly referred to by Dinan himself as "the Crime Spree"). Don't Get Caught is his first novel.


This book takes place right now, as you're reading. It opens with the narrator, Max Cobb, slipping out of his bedroom window into the darkness, to go meet up with what he thinks is the Chaos Club, a club generally accredited with outrageous pranks pulled throughout the school year. More often than not, the big events take place at the high school in which Max attends.

Brief summary

Max Cobb acquires an invite from the notorious Chaos Club asking him to meet them at the water tower. Max, thinking back on all the spy movies he's watched, knows he should be suspicious. But it's his only chance to break the chain of ordinary-ness that he’s been stuck in.

Descriptions of Characters

(Characters listed in order of appearance)

  • Max Cobb: No social life, low GPA, literally anything but extraordinary.
  • Ellie Wick: Daughter of the minister at the local Baptist church who also happens to be on the school board, obviously one of those stereotypical overly-sheltered preacher's daughter types desperate for attention. (STEREOTYPICAL GOOD GIRL)
  • Dave Wheeler: Careless, "Bad influence", determined to graduate "dead last", notorious H8box member (Maybe the equivalent of iFunny?).
  • Kate Malone: Very good at art, is known for leaked nudes. (Poor girl.) Tends to wear jeans she has drawn on, short hair.
  • Tim (Dim) Adleta: Starting varsity lacrosse since freshman year, very muscular, aka the brute. Not considered to be very smart.
  • Officer Hale: Not a major role, but an important one. Mostly "arrests" the kids, but not really a REAL cop.
  • Vice Principal Stranko: Constantly accusing students and getting them in trouble. Very suspicious of everything.
  • Chaos Club: Group of unidentified students committing random pranks at random times, known for outrageous pranks such as cows on the roof.
Primary Conflict

Max, Malone, Ellie, Wheeler, and Adleta find themselves in a sticky* situation when they're caught on the newly spray-painted water tower. Believing it was the work of the Chaos Club, they seek revenge.

*Sticky because of the spray paint. (Puns are great, I think Dinan would be proud.)


The theme of this story is that revenge does not always pay off. People suffer as a result, and the outcome is never as you planned it to be.

  1. Ellie's right--we need a plan. It's Heist Rule #7: Always get payback. (37)
  2. "You know what p*sses me off?"Malone asks. "Knowing the Chaos club is probably down there laughing at us."... "I'm going to find 'em and kill 'em," Adleta growls. (43)

The first quote establishes a purpose. The purpose being the Water Tower Five getting payback from the Chaos Club.

The second quote highlights the Water Tower Five's attitudes about getting payback. The attitude carries throughout the novel, up until the end. It gives them a reason for everything they do, and allows them to maintain their goal of getting revenge. It also shows the personalities of two characters, which is significant to the theme of the book.

  • Uberserious: slang for especially serious, or overly serious.
  • Scowl: an angry or unpleased expression
  • Deserted: empty
  • Inducing: to bring upon
  • Skepticism: a doubt of something
  • Inconvenience: trouble, or difficulty, or in the way of

Overall, Don't Get Caught by Kurt Dinan was successful in providing a good laugh, as well as fulfilling my teenage girl need for romance (although the romance didn't play a big role. Unfortunately it was a bit more action packed. :/ ). The ending, while completely being a surprise, was well thought out, and planned.

I would recommend this book to anyone who reads. It's not a hard read, and it's certainly not boring. The hint of romance adds more to the storyline, and gives a more accurate illustration of what it's like to be a teenager...and rejected.

Three word description

Very accurately portrayed*.

*Besides the pranks. Those may be too elaborate.

Why those three words? The book is narrated by a teenage boy in high school, so you'd expect to relate to some of his problems, but the author is an adult and a teacher, which is a double-whammy of misunderstanding-ness of teenage issues. Regardless of his age and occupation, Dinan writes as though he himself is a teenager in today's society. His responses to various topics are almost identical to ones I would have made. Almost as if (gasp) he himself was once a teenager.

Created By
Alaina Hopkinson


Created with images by Wokandapix - "lockers school education" • jill111 - "stack of books vintage books book" • cogdogblog - "No Tears for the Puns" • Aoife city womanchile - "Wanted for Weirdness" • Daisyree Bakker - "Cows" • paurian - "The Detective" • Matsen75 - "P1070370" • sr_verde - "youth work spray can tennis ball" • conner395 - "Orlando Police FL USA - Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor" • condesign - "book book pages read" • empracht - "Statue of the Turul bird"

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