Reviews tagging 'Toxic friendship'

A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee

74 reviews

klpage's review

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adventurous 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? It's complicated

4.5

Such a good read for autumn and spooky season! This is the kind of dark academia I like! Witchy, dark magic, a bit of a psychological twist thrown in with the characters too. 

Loved it! Definitely recommend. 

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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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ettegoom's review

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dark mysterious 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

This book did everything that Plain Bad Heroines completely failed to achieve.  The characters and their means of dealing with the situations in which they found themselves were sufficiently mysterious and stressful to keep me engaged.  The twist wasn't unexpected, but was still enjoyable, and the conflict between the main character's own delusions and anxieties and the reality of the situation was quite engaging. 
I did find Felicity a little annoying at times, but in the main, I enjoyed the book and wanted the best for her. 

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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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dragonwriter's review

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dark emotional 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

4.75

Felicity has returned to Godwin House, hoping to face the ghosts that chased her into a sanitarium. The death of her secret girlfriend, Alex, weighs heavily on her, and in the mind of the other students, who all suspect that Alex’s death wasn’t as accidental as she claims. The only one who doesn’t look at her with suspicion is Ellis, a new student who is already legendary. Ellis is a prodigy author, formerly homeschooled, but coming to Godwin House to immerse herself in the legend of the Dalloway Five, girls who were accused of witchcraft and died after the Salem Witch Trials. Also obsessed with the Dalloway Five, Felicity allows herself to be woven into Ellis’s web, debating whether or not magic is real, and how, if it’s not, the girls were murdered. But Ellis’s methods hit too close to the trauma of Alex’s death, forcing her to face the truth of what happened that awful night.

I should have liked Ellis. She’s a homeschooled writer, but there was always something off about her. She kept pushing Felicity too far, kept forcing her to confront Alex’s death—even going as far as to suggest they dig up her coffin. Her behavior is fairly well explained by her sibling, Quinn, who tells a macabre story of Ellis’s childhood, but I was quite pleased when my suspicions proved correct 😈

CW: smoking, drinking, sex, witchcraft, parental neglect

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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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