Reviews tagging 'Animal cruelty'

A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee

47 reviews

lynxpardinus's review against another edition

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dark emotional reflective tense

4.25


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

3.5

First off: I am not a big mystery/thriller reader. It's not really my thing, so this will colour my preception of the book.
I read this book in one night, in the midst of exam season, because I just had to know that I was right with my predictions and guesses. I liked it in general and I had a good time reading it.
I don't think the prose will be to everyone's taste. It's supposed to be dark academia, so the book is littered with literary references that occasionally are rewarding to understand, but often seem very piled on. I did appreciate some of the meta-level a few of those discussions had. The plot was quite predictable (even for a newbie like me) and I could guess the plot twist pretty early on. I didn't really mind the tropy-ness of the book but I've seen some other reviewers complain about. The ending seemed really rushed which was a bit disappointing because the build up of the tension was really good. I would have loved to spend more time on the aftermath of everything that happened. Instead, it feels like it was brushed off. The main character is 18 and this book being a mystery and Young Adult, I didn't mind her making a couple of stupid decisions - and in the grand scheme of things her decisions did make sense. The side characters sadly fell a bit flat. If the book had been 50, or even 100, pages longer, I think there would be the space to flesh out these characters as well as the ending more.
Whatever the technical issues with the book may be: I had a good time reading it. I would definitel recommend checking the content warnings before reading it - there's some pretty heavy things in here.

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kshertz's review

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

3.75

It was an interesting read. I did not go into it knowing very much. I really enjoyed the beginning in the premise that set up about unreliable narrators and trying to figure out what’s going on with these two girls. Also trying to figure out what happened with Alex. But it jumps around a lot which can make it hard to follow. There’s animal cruelty for seemingly no reason. I don’t fully connect with the characters and don’t really care what ended up happening to them so I can’t really recommend it. I’m not really loving that it seems to say killing people is so awesome. Some other review said “sorry, killing is not supposed to be a girl boss move” and that’s exactly how I feel too. It’s hard to get behind a message that feels like “lesbians are clearly all psychopaths”. I hope that’s not the intent. 

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takarakei's review against another edition

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dark mysterious 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

3.0

I wished this was more dark academia, which to me is a critique of academic institutions. I didn't really feel like this book critiqued boarding schools - it just talked about the dark history of this particular one. It's kinda hard to say a lot more about this book without spoilers because it's very mysterious. Definitely there's a lot of 'you don't know who to trust'. Sapphic. I think there was a lot of potential here, but it didn't quite hit it out of the park for me. I'm also not a thriller person so take that how you will, but I have read other YA thrillers that I liked more.

SpoilerIn the end there not being any magic was not where I wanted it to go. But I guess it's not fantasy tagged so maybe that was the giveaway? But 'witchcraft' is literally also used in the description, so...

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ada_rosales's review

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adventurous dark mysterious fast-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

2.75


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zoeelora's review

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dark mysterious tense medium-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

2.0


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darquedreamer's review

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dark tense 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

3.25

The story was not what I expected. It was like Mean Girls meets Riverdale meets The Craft. It lagged in some places, but still kept my interest. There was a little bit of predictability and some twists and turns I didn't see coming. It was worth a read, but I wish it had been a little more dark, exciting, and witchcraft fueled. 

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allisonmenck's review

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dark slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No

3.0


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cass_lit's review against another edition

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3.5

I loved the general plot and gothic atmosphere of this — it sucked me in right away. There were a few little things I didn’t love and I kind of wish the story had gone somewhere else right at the end, but overall I enjoyed my reading experience. 

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yeimyaileen's review against another edition

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

4.0

how did i pick this read after reading these violent delights by micah nemerever?? i dont know.
this book is very good.  super atmostpheric.  i audibly gasped a few times.  i felt like ellis was a bit less developed than i wanted, but in the end, i understand why.  i also liked the light commentary about the role of womens mental health in horror novels, and how their experiences are discredited despite their inclinations for the truth.  this book is peak gaslight gatekeep girlboss.
slight spoilers for these violent delights below, in conversation with a lesson in vengeance. 
Spoiler
- you dont understand how fortuitous it was for me to pick this up after these violent delights.  like gays going through violent things together and it ends up destroying them? 
- people keeping secrets from one another but also holding evidence against each other in sick and twisted ways?  when the romance is purely physical, and its hard for them to feel love, because love isnt what they see?  rather, they share violence and an inclination to controlling one another?
- i really like these novels about obsession, and the idea that one of the characters finds pleasure in the perverse, and thus feels shame, despite the other character accepting them for who they are
- and the book being dedicated to felicity?? as if she knew what was going to happen anyway?  just like the chess game with julian and paul?  
- and i really like how ambiguous the magic is in this book?  like was she really being haunted? did the magic actually exist?  my skewed answer is yes.  that doesnt mean she wasnt being gaslit so hard.  
- to end, this book has no men in it.  slay.

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