Reviews tagging Animal cruelty

A Lesson in Vengeance, by Victoria Lee

10 reviews

beesbeesbeez's review

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

3.5

I genuinely don't know if I liked this book, but I know I will be thinking about it forever. 

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amandalynnnb's review

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

3.0

 
A Lesson in Vengeance follows Felicity Morrow as she’s returns to the Dalloway School for her senior year. She’s been gone for a year after the death of her girlfriend, Alex. She’s been to the appropriate mental health professionals and is on a new medication to help her. When she starts back at Dalloway, she’s in the same dorm house as she was before, but everything is different. Most notably is her new roommate, Ellis. Ellis is an author and befriends Felicity because of Felicity’s knowledge of the Dalloway Five. 
The Dalloway School has a supernatural history. There are rumors that five previous Dalloway girls haunt the Godwin House (where Felicity and Ellis dorm). Witchcraft and the supernatural are a part of the school’s history, but it’s not one the school really liked to acknowledge despite their large collection of books and documentation they keep in their library. I liked the setting of the school. I think a fancy boarding school in the middle of the woods is one of my favorite settings. I didn’t really love how pretentious all the girls were. There were two that weren’t horrible, and it’s because while they were rich, they were also the only two characters of color. 
Felicity, while I felt bad for the things she’s been through, purposefully flushed her medication down the toilet and acted proud of it. She also suggested that another one of her dormmates do the same with her medication. None of that sat right with me. Then there’s Ellis, who was basically just nuts. She really could have benefited from some therapy. 
Overall, I really wanted to like this book. But I spent most of it confused, and then when the confusion cleared, I was mad. I didn’t like the big twist or how the ending was. I had high hopes for this book, but I didn’t like it. It had so many things that usually work for me, but they didn’t work together in this particular story. 

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sylvestra's review

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

5.0


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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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bibookworm's review

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dark emotional mysterious tense fast-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

5.0

5/5 Stars ⭐️: A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee is a bone chilling YA Horror/Thriller that will leave you speechless. This Sapphic Dark Academic story will have you up all night until you devour every single page only for you to be left yearning for more of Victoria Lee’s incredible writing. This spooky story weaves together murder mysteries with historic witches and dangerous occult knowledge. I highly recommend this for anyone who needs a good scare! This book is perfect for fans of Ninth House, The Haunting of Hill House, and The Witch. This haunting atmospheric read will have you looking for ghosts over your shoulder every time you turn the page. 

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pannonianbookworm's review against another edition

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

4.25


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craftshley's review

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

3.0

 
Felicity is returning to Dalloway School for a second chance at her senior year. After her best friend and girlfriend, Alex, dies in mysterious circumstances, Felicity blames herself. The story unravels and so does the darkness that surrounds Alex’s death. With the arrival of Ellis Haley, famous young author, Felicity begins to question everything she knows about Alex’s death and even her own sanity. She feels like she’s being haunted by her own past as well as the past of the school, the famous Godwin murders that happened on the grounds of Felicity’s own dormitory. She’s drawn to darkness, to magic and death, finding omens and signs of haunting everywhere she goes. She is drawn to Ellis and Ellis is drawn to her. This attraction becomes all the more sinister as the story moves on.

The characters are high on the list of why this book is so good. They are human and change so much over the course of the book, Felicity in particular. They are incredibly unreliable and new twists and turns are introduced with every chapter. Sometimes, I wasn’t too sure what was happening, if Felicity was dreaming or otherwise impaired in such a way that what she was seeing or experiencing. I had to keep reading to figure out what the heck was going on. Did Felicity kill Alex? Is Ellis messing with Felicity, making her see things that aren’t there? The characters are very snobby, forgoing technology for the most part, even phones and computers, which comes up as a plot device later. 

On this end of it all, after finishing the book, I’m not entirely sure what happened to Alex. The inclusion of Felicity’s various memories as regarding what happened to Alex changes over time. There are new memories and expanded memories included over time, throwaway recollections with little reaction from Felicity about their significance. I was thrown by her lack of reaction several times but maybe that’s the mental illness coming through. I also wish there had been more horror, more magic. Felicity uses tarot cards and magical protections, and the girls of Godwin House form a coven of sorts. Felicity sees ghosts and feels the presence of ‘other’ everywhere she goes. The horror is more factual than I expected, less creepy than anticipated. I was hoping the haunting would have been played up. I needed more creep factor, another visit with an ouija board, more communication from beyond the veil. I expected Samhain to be a big event but it passed in the space of a page. There’s going against expectations and then there’s ignoring great opportunities to further plot.

I also expected more from Ellis. She was researching the Dalloway Five so she could recreate their deaths and write them into her new book. Her obsession with the murders made her motivations obvious almost from the start and it kind of ruined the vibe early on.

In retrospect, I’m wondering why this book was set in modern times. With many of the central characters eschewing technology, I didn’t see much point in it being set when it was. The girls of Godwin House are far too mature at times, with how they speak, how they interact with each other, their likes and dislikes. The other girls of Dalloway seem to act more their age, as we see in the snapshots of a few parties that happen on campus. The setting is appropriately dark and mysterious, the campus dark and creepy. There is little school and class attending to be seen, school taking the back burner in favor of Felicity’s obsessions, but the vibes of a boarding school are still there. It feels more college-like than a high school. 

Elements are shared with Kate Brian’s Private series, as well as Pretty Little Liars and the Sweep series by Cate Tiernan. I would have liked the book more if the witchy vibes had been played up a little more, if there had been a little more horror or creep factor. The slow burn romance and intriguing characters in the form of Ellis and Felicity saved the story for me, as did the mystery surrounding Alex’s death. 

 

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themixedpages's review

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dark mysterious reflective medium-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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