I received this book for free from the TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.These Vengeful Hearts by Katherine Laurin
Published by Inkyard Press on September 8, 2020
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary, Mystery and Suspense, Peer Pressure, Young Adult
Source: TLC Book Tours
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Anyone can ask the Red Court for a favor...but every request comes at a cost. And once the deed is done, you're forever in their debt.
Whenever something scandalous happens at Heller High, the Red Court is the name on everyone's lips. Its members--the most elite female students in the school--deal out social ruin and favors in equal measure, their true identities a secret known only to their ruthless leader: the Queen of Hearts.
Sixteen-year-old Ember Williams has seen firsthand the damage the Red Court can do. Two years ago, they caused the accident that left her older sister paralyzed. Now, Ember is determined to hold them accountable...by taking the Red Court down from the inside.
But crossing enemy lines will mean crossing moral boundaries, too--ones Ember may never be able to come back from. She always knew taking on the Red Court would come at a price, but will the cost of revenge be more than she's willing to sacrifice?
The cover of These Vengeful Hearts drew me in at first, and the blurb held promise of a dangerous secret society that ran a high school with an iron fist, handing out favors but only to those who give something up of themselves at a later date or pay the price later. Sixteen-year-old Ember Williams knows the price someone can pay because her older sister had to pay it and is now paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair, and ever since April’s accident, Ember has vowed to infiltrate the Red Court and take them down.
But Ember doesn’t know that belonging to the secretive group just might destroy the lives of her best friend and those closest to her, as well as her own reputation and sense of morality. After being asked to join after throwing her card into the ring, Ember is paired with a girl who keeps her cards very close to her vest, mostly communicating with Ember via burner cell phone. The Red Court doesn’t talk amongst themselves or know who other members are except for their partner, so Ember’s campaign to take them all down proves very difficult.
Written from Ember’s point of view, I really enjoyed following her journey from straight-A student, athlete, and overall good person to sliding down the slippery slope of morally gray areas where the Red Court would ask her to manipulate and manufacture situations as people have asked to help out their ideas. Her best friend Gideon was a breath of fresh air both supporting Ember and trying to keep her from going off the deep end. Ember’s character really goes through a lot in this book, and her growth was nice to see, along with another character that Ember befriends
I give These Vengeful Hearts a five out of five. As Ember grows more deeply embedded into the Red Court, she’s in danger of losing herself and her goal–and that’s when the book becomes so much more devious and enjoyable. The overly emotional and drama-filled halls of this high school reminded me of why I’m happy to be very far removed from those years. I found myself wanting to keep reading when I needed to stop to do other things. The novel wrapped up things pretty nicely with a little glimmer there for a sequel, and I for one would love to see another book in this series.
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About Katherine Laurin
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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