Posted in Fashionably Late Reviews :)

Review: Vendetta by Catherine Doyle

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Vendetta by Catherine Doyle (2014, Chicken House) borrowed from the library, also own eBook

Look at that cover. Just look at it. So pretty. *strokes screen*

When it comes to revenge, love is a dangerous complication.With a fierce rivalry raging between two warring families, falling in love is the deadliest thing Sophie could do. An epic debut set outside modern-day Chicago.

Yes, I liked the premise. You get the sense that this has a Godfather-esque feel to it and it certainly doesn’t disappoint in that respect.

When five brothers move into the abandoned mansion in her neighbourhood, Sophie Gracewell’s life changes forever. Irresistibly drawn to bad boy Nicoli, Sophie finds herself falling into a criminal underworld governed by powerful families.

Ah yeah. It’s a little cliche. But it’s also so easy to read, so easy to get swept up by this initial blossoming romance that I didn’t care. To be fair, I wouldn’t call Nicoli the ‘bad boy’. That’s all Luca.

As the boys’ dark secrets begin to come to light…

Oh. Yeah. About that. Nicoli might actually be a ‘bad boy’ in the more conventional sense in that he’s done bad things. Ha ha! The five brothers were well characterised. I really liked Gino and Valentino… until all is revealed at the end and then there was only one brother for me. Oh brother. *kneels in prayer* Luca, Luca, Luca.

Sophie is confronted with stinging truths about her own family, too. She must choose between two warring dynasties – the one she was born into, and the one she is falling in love with. When she does, blood will spill and hearts will break.

But whose heart? We still don’t know. Not really.

Characters – As I’ve mentioned, Luca is the shining star of this book. I think he has the most progression as a character, you can see his change, plot his arc. I suppose you could say Sophie ‘toughens up’ but I think that grit and inner strength has always been part of her, it’s not a new development. The five boys are quite fascinating. I loved how they interacted with each other. For me, it was Nicoli with whom I struggled with the most. When it’s revealed at the end (don’t worry, not really a spoiler, you can see this coming a mile away) that he’s done some horrible things, it doesn’t really match up to the person on the page. If that makes sense? Sure you can have a conflicted character, but he wasn’t even that. His actions throughout the book, even the more violent scenes, weren’t enough to back up his ‘true self’.

Writing – It’s so, so easy to get swept up in this story. Simple, smooth writing. It’s not going to break your heart, or make you cry, but it carries you along for the entire book without a hiccup.

Gossip Girl – I couldn’t help but make this comparison. There is something slightly XOXO about this. I think it’s Nicoli. He was effectively Nate. Don’t be put off by that, it’s just something that popped in my head, an observation I made while reading it and I wanted to share. 🙂

All in all I really enjoyed this book. It just suited me, you know? The mafia thing is fun, and the characterisation of the brothers is on point. There were some nice touches to the story, smaller details that make difference. I love careful embellishment. An addictive read.

Concept – 4/5

Plot – 3.5/5

Ending or Twist – 3.5/5

Character(s) 5/5

Overall – 4/5
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YA writer. Epic reader. Professional procrastinator.

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