The Degenerates – Book Review

Author – J. Albert Mann

Genre – YA Historical Fiction

Publisher – Simon & Schuster

Year – 2020

Ratings – ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Synopsis –

The Massachusetts School is for moron and imbecile. Once you enter the school there is no escape as there is no cure for feeble minded people.

Maxine who despite knowing the reality dreams of having a beach house, being a singer and an escape from this institution along with Rose. Rose whom everyone thinks knows nothing, but she knows more than she lets on. Alice who is accustomed to institution routine and lifestyle says nothing and shows no emotion because showing emotions means letting your weaknesses known to another.

Maxine, Rose and Alice are not happy but they have accepted their faith and living their life with as much normalcy as possible. But everything turns upside down with the entry of London. She is determine to escape this place as soon as possible. But what will her freedom cost?


First and foremost if you are a sensitive reader you have to be careful of some explicit and some dark emotional scenes. Being a sensitive reader myself it affected me quite hard.

This book is gut wrenchingly emotional. The institution, their routine, the situations of the girls, their enmity, their hope, their dreams and their reality will shook you from your core.

The writing is impeccable. It hooks you from the first page itself and the ending just live you in tears. Characters are way different from each other but still they fit perfectly well with each other.

Author has not shy away from writing some hard hitting emotional scenes. She is unapologetic and raw and real. Among all the unpleasant scenario an unbreakable bond of sister and a pure love is like fresh air while drowning. It helps you survive from all the other heavy situations in the book.

The plot is meticulously woven and shown how each character survives in their own way. But some parts were quite not believable. Like the changing of the shifts and obtaining certain things.

The ending was definitely not what I was expecting. Though I felt it was quite rushed but it was shocking and part satisfying. Why only part satisfying? For that you have to read the book.

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