Reviews tagging Panic attacks/disorders

A Lesson in Vengeance, by Victoria Lee

20 reviews

luisereads's review against another edition

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challenging dark emotional mysterious sad tense slow-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

3.5


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oliverreeds's review against another edition

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dark mysterious tense slow-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

4.25

good. it’s just that it got slow sometimes. it could be repetitive but the set up was great and the characters were very compelling. the ending wasn’t predictable but it was hinted at and i liked it

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gm_vak's review against another edition

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

3.5


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albireotales's review

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

4.0


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hannahlberg's review against another edition

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adventurous dark funny mysterious sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

This book was really easy to get lost in. I wish I had read it closer to halloween! Spooky and dramatic 

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ariheishichou's review against another edition

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adventurous 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

3.5


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sarahmreads's review against another edition

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dark mysterious sad 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

3.5

Booktok has raved about this book as a high stakes lesbian dark academia all year long, and it's been pretty high up on my TBR for October. However, I hate to say that this story fell flat for me.

Felicity Morrow is back at the Dalloway School after coping with the death of her girlfriend Alex one year ago. She wants to put the past, both Alex and the mysteries of the Dalloway Five behind her. Enter Ellis Haley, a young published author with a thirst to write her next novel about the Dalloway Five, and she needs Felicity's help.

I'm gonna start with the positives. I like how this story doesn't make you trust yourself. There is always this seed of doubt, from the story being in Felicity's perspective to Ellis' own goals for her writing project. You don't know who to trust, or even if the "magic" associated with the Dalloway Five even exists. You're left completely in the dark at the end, although it kind of insinuates one thing over the other. It adds to the thriller factor of this story.

I also moderately liked the worldbuilding of the story. I couldn't always keep exactly straight who had died in what way, but I liked the dark and pompous air around Dalloway and the school.

Now let's talk characters. I was extremely torn about Felicity. She is an extremely unreliable narrator who already has a habit of lying to herself to forget things, like Alex's death. She's easily persuaded one way or another, like when it comes to the magic spell books inside the library. She even keeps telling herself she'll stop drinking like her mother but fails at that. She's surrounded by tragedy and failure, so how can we even trust her as readers? I didn't like her in that regard. I'm surprised she was not put off by Ellis earlier in the story but I digress.

ELLIS HALEY. I am SO TORN on her. She is the dark academia I wish to embody, straight down to the outfit and the writer aspects. I thought she was fine until halfway through and immediately realized how dark of a path this story was going down. I felt like more could have been done with her character besides what was planned out for her. I just wanted a happy sapphic love story and that was NOT what was given to me.

I will say I liked the LGBTQ+ rep in the story. Why Felicity felt the need to come out even though her and Alex were openly a couple (I thought?) but hey, still proud of her. Also I wish there was a bit more nonbinary rep for a story that was praised for having no male-identifying individuals. Only one character used they/them pronouns and they were a minor character.

The ending also felt kind of deserved but also... not really? I'm still super torn on the ending and how it turned out. Guess that solidifies the fact that this is a stand alone.

A Lesson in Vengeance is a good scary dark academia book for October. Will I be reading it again? Probably not. 

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starccato's review against another edition

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

2.75


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emmyb's review against another edition

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

3.75

This book DELIVERED on the dark, spooky, atmospheric vibes, though heavy on the dark and very light on the "academia." It definitely had the aesthetic down, but for being set in a school there were barely any school scenes taking place besides the library and social events resembling college sorority parties. For being labeled as a dark academia, this story felt very isolated to the Godwin house dorm. Most of the book was spent in one-on-one time between Ellis and Felicity, with occasional appearances from the three other girls in the dorm.

There were some things that kept me from enjoying this book more:
- The stakes felt low for most of the book, without much tension or urgency
- I didn't feel much chemistry between Ellis and Felicity for the romance to feel believable and deep
- I was expecting actual witches, but it was really just suspicions and doing witchy things as an act
- The relationships between Felicity and the other Godwin girls went from cold to hot without any development. One second they were shunning her, and then five pages later they were BFFs.

The best part of the book was the last 80 pages. It was pretty predictable
SpoilerI knew early on Ellis' desire to recreate the killings would end in her actually committing murder.
but I still found it intriguing. The epilogue, however, left me unsatisfied.
SpoilerSo she's committed TWO murders and just walks free, no consequences, no guilt on her part? She just goes on with her life?
I couldn't tell if we were supposed to be on you-know-who's side or not, but it felt unresolved.

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bookliz_fr's review

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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.

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