Reviews tagging Gun violence

A Lesson in Vengeance, by Victoria Lee

9 reviews

isnotacrayon's review

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dark mysterious medium-paced
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.25


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laurenleigh's review

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dark emotional mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

A haunted girl’s boarding school in upstate New York that was founded by daughters of Salem witches? Sapphic plot lines and murder mysteries? SO into it. This was definitely a fun quick palette cleanser that was much needed after a lot of intense reads. Not that this also isn’t intense in its own dark way, but in a faster-paced YA manner. If you liked A Secret History, Plain Bad Heroines, and If We Were Villains, you gotta check this out. It really had elements of all three novels, blended together nicely. It really got me in the mood for Fall, even though that season doesn’t really exist here for another two months, if at all. My English major brain ate it up when they talked about their thesis topics and research. I totally want to live at Godwin House, just maybe with different girls that aren’t so twisted lol. I also loved the casual inclusion of a non-binary character. Representation is so majorly important, but it’s especially important when done in this way, highlighting how normal it is to identify outside of the binary. I believe the author identifies as queer and trans. I’m happy to see that the dark academia trend is still going strong. I’m so here for it!

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luxvestravitae's review

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dark emotional mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.75


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cassie12_21's review

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dark emotional mysterious sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0


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bookcrushin's review

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dark mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

This book will mess with your head a bit especially with the unreliable narrator. I loved it and I expect to see it on all your fall dark gothic lists!

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sofiarodriguez's review

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challenging dark emotional mysterious reflective sad tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


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allisonwonderlandreads's review

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dark sad slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

2.0

In this ya thriller, Felicity arrives at Dalloway, a private girls' boarding school with a dark history, for a second chance at her senior year. She returns from her mental sabbatical to her same room, but all her friends have graduated and her girlfriend is dead. As she faces the rumor mill and her own fears from the night Alex died, she falls into orbit around a prodigy writer, Ellis.

This thriller just wasn't a good fit for me. First, the relationships are sapped of any altruism. Felicity has an absent, rich mother, a cruel, dead girlfriend, and faces manipulation, gaslighting, and fear of being outed as a lesbian while grappling with her psychotic depression. Everything is toxic.

In terms of characters, Ellis especially pissed me off from almost the start. She uses her semi-celebrity status and charisma to pressure everyone around her into getting her way, even when the others push back or bubble over with doubts. While much of my energy was devoted to the anti-Ellis train, I didn't develop equally strong positive connections with the other characters, even the protagonist. Felicity's motivations were always murky to me, and while I think this was a tactic to keep her secrets safely hidden until the right moment, it left me detached from her in the (lengthy) interim.

It's also one of those thrillers where I spent the whole time asking: but WHY would you do that? Also, please don't do that. It lacked the spookiness of supernatural thrillers and the visceral tension caused by more human threats, though the story plays with elements of both. It's a very slow build. By the time things kicked off right at the end, I was hanging on out of a need to know the outcome for a fully informed review, not any sense of excitement.

So what might someone else like about this book? Mental health and queer representation are central to the story, although both feature difficult journeys and toxic situations. If you like a literary intelligentsia or witchy vibe, I think you will enjoy the atmosphere and references here.

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melaniereadsbooks's review against another edition

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challenging dark mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.75

Thank you to Delacorte Press and Netgalley for an e-arc of this book!

When Felicity comes back to Dalloway School after a stay in a mental hospital following her girlfriend's death, she is meant to focus on her studies and stay away from witchcraft. But Ellis Haley is in her dorm, and all of the girls are drawn to her, including Felicity.  Ellis decides to teach Felicity that witchcraft isn't real by...making them dabble in witchcraft. All the while, Felicity is sure she is being haunted by her ex-girlfriend's ghost...or at least by the ghost of the founders of Dalloway school.

This book! Oh my goodness it was amazing. So so dark and mysterious and everything I wanted it to be.  Felicity is such an unreliable narrator and that makes it so you never truly know what will be revealed. I was on the edge of my seat through the whole thing and couldn't wait to see what happened next. I couldn't believe how this story ended, but I loved every minute I spent reading it!

Pub date: August 3, 2021


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caseythereader's review

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dark emotional mysterious sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

Thanks to Delacorte Press for the free advance copy of this book.

- Lesbian. Dark. Academia. Need I say more?
- Okay okay, I'll say a little more. I loved falling into the history and mythology of Dalloway with Felicity. A LESSON IN VENGEANCE had me second guessing myself, mistrusting everyone, and watching helplessly as the train jumped the tracks.
- I have some minor quibbles with the pacing, but when things get going, they REALLY get going. There are a couple points where new information is dropped and my jaw dropped along with it. 

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