The beginning of this story is much more interesting than the beginning of Nancy Drew Diaries #13, The Ghost of Grey Fox Inn. I was intrigued from the first page.
This book has lots of great humor. I laughed out loud a number of times throughout the book. I did not laugh at all during the Nancy Drew Diaries book. I was just bored and annoyed during that book.
One chapter is titled "Hack Attack." This caught my attention, since one Hardy Boys Digest book features a game titled "Hack Attack." Furthermore, this story reminds me a lot of several Hardy Boys Digest books which have plots centered at Bayport High School. I tend to like those books. For these reasons, I suspect that this book was written by one of the Hardy Boys Digest authors.
On page 89, Joe compares the situation to a "totally dystopian society." Some parts of this series are like a dystopian society.
The following passage is narrated by Frank on page 97.
"And the people who made it through the hazing," I added, "have convinced themselves it was worth the struggle. It's a psychological phenomenon called 'cognitive dissonance.'"That's how Frank is in this series, and I find it very funny.
A brief shadow passed across Principal Gerther's face, like he had just remembered I was annoying.
The boys use Facebook to contact another boy in an attempt to gain information. Technology is used well in this series, and Frank and Joe often use the Internet to help them solve cases. That's how it should be in a modern book set in 2016.
The promotional material for the Nancy Drew Diaries series indicates that Nancy Drew solves her cases without technology. That sounds okay, except that Nancy doesn't understand the Internet in the second book, and... never mind. I'll control myself. Nothing is wrong with using technology in modern books so long as it is used correctly and not in a fashion that makes the primary character look inept. The Hardy Boys Adventures series uses modern technology effectively in a suspenseful setting.
This is an excellent book from beginning to end.