Reviews tagging Vomit

A Lesson in Vengeance, by Victoria Lee

10 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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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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kaseybereading's review against another edition

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

3.0


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linnea's review against another edition

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

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wet_towlette'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? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0


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cassie12_21's review against another edition

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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 against another edition

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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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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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bookbabereads's review against another edition

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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? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

Dark Academia is a genre I’m always fascinated with but don’t read enough of. Out of most LGBT ones I have read recently, this one was authentic in its queer characters and allowed them to exist with their identity without it becoming cliche or just a footnote representation. With a hint of meta self-awareness, A Lesson In Vengeance is a study of an unreliable narrator, that in turn causes the reader to question the realities of fact, manipulation, or teenage pranks. 
 
Mental health is represented here as complex and nuanced, building off the meta self-awareness of Felicity’s own thesis of how women’s “hysteria” and mental health is represented in the horror literature. I enjoyed the atmosphere of the Dalloway School and how feminist literature played a big role in the character's personalities and interests. I enjoyed this one, but the ending left me wanting a little bit more or a better explanation. There were a few questions unanswered and the motivation of some of the character's actions left me unsatisfied. 
 
This is a twisty, thriller for fans of Dark Academia who want to see LGBT representation and touch on the stigma of mental health (though, this could have been explored a little more in-depth). 

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