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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?
Title: These Vengeful Hearts
Author: Katherine Laurin
Publication Date: September 8, 2020
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Suspense, Contemporary
“When you’re made of fire, do you feel guilty watching other people burn?”
This book started out strong then seemed to ebb and flow throughout the rest of it. I liked that I was given an immediate look into the Red Court and what made it so secretive and terrifying for the students of Heller High.
One thing that didn’t sit right with me was Ember, the main character. It was hard for me to get a grip on her character. It felt like her personality was consistently shifting. She would go from this revenge-driven teenager intent on taking down the Court, to someone who was loving the power and privilege that came with it all.
I would have understood if Ember would have been having this complex later into the story, like is she losing herself to the Court or is she still dedicated to taking it down, but it seemed to exist the whole book. In fact, it did seem like Laurin was trying to give her this complex later into the story, but it didn’t feel natural to me. It mostly just felt like I was being told this was the problem without really seeing it for myself.
That being said, there were some really great aspects that I enjoyed in this book. I loved Ember’s romantic relationship. It wasn’t the main plotline, which was nice, but it was present enough to enjoy. I also really liked the few plot twists that happened at the end of the book. They shook things up and made things a little more exciting.
Overall, the book was okay, but not my favorite. I expected more of a dark thriller take on the story, but that’s okay. It all still wrapped up nicely.
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.