September 14, 2020

Blog Tour Book Review: These Vengeful Hearts by Katherine Laurin

at 9/14/2020 01:00:00 AM

Mean Girls meets Siobhan Vivian’s The List in THESE VENGEFUL HEARTS, an utterly addictive standalone YA debut that follows 16-year-old Ember Williams as she seeks revenge against the Red Court, a secret organization of Heller High’s most elite female students that specializes in granting and requesting favors—and which is responsible for the accident that left her older sister paralyzed.

A thrilling novel about a secret society and the dangers that lie in wait for anyone brave enough to join—perfect for fans of Karen M. McManus, Kara Thomas, and Maureen Johnson.

Whenever something scandalous happens at Heller High, the Red Court is the name on everyone’s lips. Its members deal out social ruin and favors in equal measure, their true identities known only by their leader: the Queen of Hearts.

Ember Williams has seen firsthand the damage the Red Court can do. Now, she’s determined to hold the organization accountable by taking it down from the inside. But will the cost of revenge be more than she’s willing to sacrifice?


*DISCLAIMER: I received a review  copy in exchange for an honest review.*

TLDR: This book has a well-rounded, but flawed, main character. Who's the monster here? Reads like a vicious Pretty Little Liars book with Mean Girls on steroids. It was fantastic.

I normally stay away from psychological thrillers and that applies to Young Adults as well. But the cover and the blurb grabbed my attention from the get-go and I don't regret losing sleep in order to finish this book. First, you have a mysterious group called the Red Court that roams the halls of Heller High School. The Red Court is an anonymous group that wheels and deals in social humiliation and only the Queen of Hearts knows who's who. The main character, Ember Williams, is on a mission to get payback for her sister's accident. Going undercover to infiltrate the Red Court and get payback is the only thing on Ember's mind. Ember is determined, but I appreciated her struggle to come to terms with who she was becoming and how far she was willing to go to get revenge. 

Actions have consequences, but unfortunately, that wasn't something that was really fleshed out. Nothing was really resolved to a point where I was satisfied. While some of their past actions have had unforeseeable consequences, the Red Court is no more powerful or omniscient than the main character. The Red Court functions and acts based on the whims and desires of students. Moral ambiguity doesn't excuse what the Red Court has done, but it does change how Ember sees them. Ember does get her big confrontation, but as I've previously said, it wasn't as satisfying as I wanted it to be. The secondary cast members were decent, but I would have liked more character development for Gideon and Chase. Overall, it was a good read.
4 Stars

About the Author

Katherine Laurin lives in Colorado with her husband, two sons, and tiny dog. When she's not writing, Katherine enjoys reading, traveling, hiking, and listening to true crime podcasts. These Vengeful Hearts is her first young adult novel.

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