Title: Vendetta by Catherine Doyle
Genre: Suspense, Romance YA
Publication Date: February 25, 2014
Synopsis: 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.
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. As the boys’ dark secrets begin to come to light, 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.
This was an impulse buy. Saw it in the store, knew nothing about the author, and picked it up just because I thought the story sounded interesting enough. I had buyers remorse directly afterwards. Did I really spend $20 on a book without reading reviews or doing any research? The only thing that kept me from returning it was I felt general excitement at the prospect of reading this story. So I kept it and a month later I finally read it. Throughout this whole experience I realized that as much as I love blogging and being part of the online book community, sometimes it effects what books I buy. I don’t go into the bookstore anymore just to browse around and make impulse purchases. Instead, I go in like a woman on a mission, grabbing the things on my list. I rely on a few trusted bloggers to color my opinions of certain books and I’m beginning to wonder if maybe I should take a break from reading other reviews. In part, I have Catherine Doyle and “Vendetta,” to thank for opening my eyes to the fact that it’s still okay to browse, and that’s how you sometimes find real gems. Enough about that though: on to the review!
What I liked: This book is full of positives. I mean really, really full of them. So full of them, I finished it in the span of two nights during my last week of finals teaching/tutoring. The story completely enraptured me from the first page. Doyle begins with a mystery and ends just as mysteriously. From the moment I opened the book she had me hooked as I was curious to know why our main character Sophie (or Persephone which is her much hated birth name) father is in prison. She seems like a normal enough girl, too normal to have a dad behind bars, and so I waited and waited for the mystery to be solved. When that was solved, another sprung into it’s place. Who were the mysterious and seriously hot boys who moved into town? These mysterious became interwoven, interlaced, and entangled, until I thought I would go crazy with anticipation if I didn’t uncover them soon. I’m a mystery lover and when it is done correctly it makes for a wonderful read. Catherine Doyle knows how to write a mystery. My second praise for this book was in the romance between Nic and Sophie. There weren’t a ton of scenes where the two interacted and somehow their relationship was not the central focus of the books, yet I was totally captured by their intensity. Nic is my perfect book boyfriend. Little bit of danger, little bit of the good guy, and lots of protective instinct. He can rescue me from the clutches of evil overlords any day of the week. The passion between Sophie and Nic is subtle but intense. Doyle spends a lot of time building little moments between the two into big moments.
What I didn’t like: Wasn’t crazy about the ending. I have so many questions and it just kind of cuts. I needed more. My biggest contention was that no one called the mafia thing from day one. Let’s get out our mafia check list and see if these boys fit. Italian (Check) Super Intense/Kind of Dangerous (Check) Carry knives (Check) Know how to break and enter (Check) Live in a Big Creepy Mansion (Check) DING DING we have winners. Come on town of Cedar Hill, get it together.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I’m so glad I trusted my instincts. It was a stellar read with a very intense plot. 4/5