Reviews tagging Toxic friendship

A Lesson in Vengeance, by Victoria Lee

14 reviews

bookliz_fr's review against another edition

Go to review page

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

4.0

I had a great time reading this book. However, there is something that bothers me a little, but I don't what. That's why this book is a low four stars for me.

We are following two students, Felicity and Ellis, at Dalloway School. A school that has witchcraft woven in its history with the famous Dalloway Five, and Felicity and Ellis decided to research about them and unravel the mystery surrounding those five girls. 

Like most story sets in a boarding school, we have this spooky and dark atmosphere. The ambiance is also created by the explanations of the history of the school, various descriptions of the school and its surrounding. Moreover, the different characters help a lot with this atmosphere as you don't trust them a hundred percent. It's a lot of details and how they are interlinked that create this beautiful dark academia ambiance. I didn't want to stop reading the book and stay in this mood.

Another important thing is that the story is character-driven. We are following one point of view, Felicity's one, which makes the story a lot more interesting to read. She has a psychotic depression double up with anxiety and triples up with grief, making her a complex character. Sometimes you don't know if she imagines things or if it's the reality; the difference is hard to make. Also, she makes some characters real even if they aren't here. 
Ellis, on her side, is a character that I didn't trust from the beginning. She has something that helps her have many followers who don't question anything, but there is something off with her like she has an idea and will do anything to achieve it, even if it means doing a bad thing. 

However, as it's a character-driven story, the plot isn't at the forefront, so sometimes I was a little lost as I sometimes forgot it. That makes the ending a little complex to understand for me. In the beginning, I didn't catch it, but then I understood, and I liked it a lot. So for me, the ending was surprising but, at the same time, a good conclusion for those characters.

Expand filter menu Content Warnings

ladylivs's review against another edition

Go to review page

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

5.0


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

linnea's review

Go to review page

I just didn't care for the characters for the plot.

Expand filter menu Content Warnings

fayesreads_'s review

Go to review page

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

5.0

🍃 positives:
- I adored the sapphic yearning dear God
- The actual academia portion of the dark academia vibes I adored as an English major myself! all the thesis statements I found so fun!! Also the literary references were 10/10, & the method book writing was awesome
- also the dark academia vibes in general lol 
- the focuses on sexism, gender, white privilege, & sexuality I loved
- I loved the “unreliable narrator” vibes throughout the story & was constantly unsure of who the “bad guy” was.
- I am so obsessed with Ellis’s character and how interesting she is  
- the psyche of both Felicity and Ellis were just so interesting to dive into on top of the connection they had & their own personal ✨issues✨ 
- the Lesbian MC & love interest rep, & non binary side character rep :)) <3
-the witchy vibes were so fricken good

🍃negatives:
- there were definitely some aspects of the plot/character that were predictable/cheesy and it wasn’t a perfect book; however, I adored it so much that any “issue” was so minor to me that it didn’t make a difference to how I felt overall


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

kelseydaffodil's review

Go to review page

adventurous challenging dark mysterious tense fast-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

5.0


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

laurenleigh's review

Go to review page

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!

Expand filter menu Content Warnings

luxvestravitae's review

Go to review page

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


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

cassie12_21's review

Go to review page

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


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

gondorgirl's review

Go to review page

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

3.75


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

bibookworm's review

Go to review page

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. 

Expand filter menu Content Warnings