Reviews tagging Murder

A Lesson in Vengeance, by Victoria Lee

93 reviews

jesshart8's review against another edition

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

2.75


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aqulia's review against another edition

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dark mysterious reflective
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes

3.75

For my first dark academia book, I was not disappointed.  The characters in it are great.  Felicity and Ellis are wonderfully complex, and I liked the side characters to.  The twists are very well done.  I also liked the setting, and the overall vibe.  This book goes into darker places than I was expecting, even from reading Story graph's general trigger warnings.  One big thing I disliked about the book was the repetitiveness of the plot.  Felicity and Ellis go on secret spooky hangouts with each other too many times.  The pacing also suffered towards the end.  All in all, this is a great book.

Who do I recommend this to? People who like dark academia, people who like unreliable narrators, and people who like complex relationships between characters
Who should skip this? People who don't want to read about a very toxic relationship, people who like lighthearted books, and people who dislike a repetitive plot.
Will I read more by Victoria Lee? Maybe.  This book was pretty good, but I wasn't super thrilled by it.

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littlebookaddict's review against another edition

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

4.5

I’m not usually into mystery, seeing as I don’t like not knowing things, but this was a dark academia ghostly book about academies and witches. I just had to read it. It was so much more than a mystery it was a dark reflection of passion and the need to create something perfect, the hunger to strive for true excellence in your work. I sort of saw the plot twist coming but the realization of my thoughts becoming truth was invigorating. Some part of me hoped that it wasn’t true, but I’m honestly glad the way Lee took the story to twist it into an even darker book. I love the way this book portrayed emotional disturbance, mental illness, and the stress of modern day. While also portraying the complex relationships and betrayals of the characters. A lesson in vengeance is the perfect title for this book because it summarizes the book in 4 words. I was encapsulated by this book and recommend people who are fans of dark fiction to read this! And also was super thrilled to finally read a dark academia book where the main character was lesbian and the side characters sibling was non-binary. We need more LGBTQ+ dark academia novels in society today.

I will say though while there was a good diversity of sexuality’s and gender expression the solely black character that was included was only used as an interpretation of the “wrongness” of the academy to use a woman of color to their benefit, while basically using this said woman of color to heighten a white woman’s experience. They glanced over important topics of the civil rights movement and barely explored Leonie except to say she was a black woman. I definitely think Lee could’ve used her for more than that not just further a white woman’s experience with racism and it’s history. 

Nevertheless, my perception of the novel is one that is eerily creepy yet beautifully haunting and will love reading this again and again and recommending to my friends to see their reactions.

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theboywithallthekeys's review against another edition

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dark mysterious reflective tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • 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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alouette's review against another edition

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dark mysterious relaxing fast-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

3.0

in the end, i don't think this book was my cup of tea, even though i love some of the author's other works. the purple prose was a slog a lot of the time, the twist was obvious, and the entire setup just felt sad. basically, a girl with many mental health issues gets manipulated by another girl with mental health issues, they treat each other poorly, things spiral into darkness, and in the end it doesn't seem like either of them got the help they needed.
SpoilerFelicity's highly paid therapist doesn't even call her once!


it's layered with stories of witches/ghosts/the occult that don't serve any purpose except to make things fit a certain aesthetic, which feels very contrived. a lot of plot points, like the "cult" happenings, had no payoff, especially not for the side characters, who were very flat. i did appreciate the bits that dealt with Felicity's past and her previous girlfriend, though, and i enjoyed the ending!
Spoilergotta appreciate a girl who just kills off the person who's manipulated her and is blackmailing her instead of beating around the bush!

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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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flyingryndeer's review against another edition

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

4.0


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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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justmereadinghere's review against another edition

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

4.0

 // Content Warning: Alcohol / Animal death / Death (graphic) / Murder/ Toxic relationship //

The plot is very easy to follow, despite it being... bloody. Literally, so much blood. In the most basic sense, A Lesson in Vengeance follows a girl named Felicity (who is very very gay I must add) through her last year at this school which is falling apart in all possible ways (like Jesus, at least paint the fucking walls). Blah blah blah, friends died oh my god there's a mad writer who stalks her trying to get the hot tea. Girl, five of her friends just died, leave her alone. 

That being said, I absolutely adore the aesthetic around old buildings. HOLY FUDGE NUGGETS YOU GUYS WE GET A MAP!! HOW COOL IS THAT?

The ending? a) WHAT WHEN WHY HOW? b) I did not expect any of that oh my god just when everything was turning out to be fine. EVERY FUCKING THEORY I HAD CAREFULLY CONSTRUCTED AND GONE OVER A BAJILLION TIMES WENT CRASH BOOM BANG LIKE A WRECKING BALL MY VERY LITTLE BRAIN CELLS ARE RUNNING LIKE THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE I AM NOT OKAY. 

*Exhales loudly*

Felicity Morrow is the equivalent of Dorian from The Picture of Dorian Gray and James from If We Were Villains. For those who don't speak book lingo, it means that she's the gay best friend turned main character with an eccentric style and an obsession with witchcraft (sort of). While I do love love love the mysterious brooding character, she was downright intolerable (for me at least). And let's be honest, the dead girls had more personality than whatever she turned out to be. 

Elis, on the other hand, was the real-life Henry Winter. Man, she had it all: mad writer with a murder kink and possessed more knowledge than the entirety of Wikipedia (but not like Hermione Granger from Harry Potter). The only thing she had which Henry lacked was the gayness (except I am convinced that Henry is secretly gay and was simply in the closet). Their character arcs were in perfect sync and it's really hard to tell them apart. The descent into madness? it's all coming back. 

I expected the romance to be sizzling or on fire or whatever but unfortunately, it was just there. Where's the flavour? Where's the sexual tension between these gays? Where's the chemistry? My inner Gordon Ramsey is fuming at the lack of spices in this dish. 

4/5 stars 


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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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