BOOK REVIEW: These Vengeful Hearts by Katherine Laurin

Title: These Vengeful Hearts
Author: Katherine Laurin
Publication: September 8, 2020
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Genre: YA Fiction
Pages: 368

SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)

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?


**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

I must admit, the first thing that caught my eye on this book was the cover. It’s absolutely stunning. Then the description had me hooked. Secret societies? Forever debts? Sounded like the perfect read to get my mind off regular life and keep me interested. It did not disappoint.

Katherine Laurin’s These Vengeful Hearts seems like its going to be about just another high school secret society, but its so much more. The way Laurin designed this elaborate club that some wanted in to protect themselves, some wanted favors, and some were just… well, vengeful. I loved the characters the most. Ember’s personality was much like myself in high school. I related to her fervor to want good grades and I was on the debate team. Her drive was appreciated. Her best friend Gideon was that sarcastic best friend that I think every girl should have. We knew a little about the back stories of many of the main and side characters, but in this instance, not much back story didn’t leave the story lagging, it made it more intriguing.

The mystery to be solved here was who is the Red Court and how do we dismantle them? I can honestly say I was guessing wrong the entire book. It wasn’t until the end when Ember had her big aha! moment that I also had my aha! moment. Every time she suspected someone, I wanted to know more. I love when an author can keep me guessing.

Another perk is how the main plot line of this story didn’t completely block out real life for a teenage girl in high school. There were plenty of aspects that kept the reality flowing and wasn’t like other stories that just brush over the fact that these kids are in school and have responsibilities. She had boy interests, which caused her much stress. She had grades that struggled when she was juggling too many things, like real kids do. The reality of Ember’s life was well thought out and plotted to make this story incredibly believable. Now all I need to know is what schools really have secret societies? Or are they just fancy names for bullies? You will have to read to find out.

It doesn’t matter if you are an adult or teenager, this book is a fantastic read for anyone who wants some series mystery drama with one of my favorite set of characters in a book I’ve read in a long time. Pick it up. Check it out. Then let’s all beg Laurin to write us more. This will be going in my top ten books of 2020. A must read!


Pick up your copy of These Vengeful Hearts by Katherine Laurin now on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and check your local bookstore. Also make sure to add it to your To Reads list on Goodreads and leave feedback for the author when you are finished. You can check out more from author Katherine Laurin on her website HERE.

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