Vanessa Murphy doesn’t do relationships.
With a father who doesn’t notice her, it’s easy for her to sneak around with her latest fling, Harrison Boyd. But when an explicit video of Vanessa hooking up with Harrison is leaked the morning after she ends things with him, her life is thrown into chaos.
And Vanessa wants payback. Enter Kai. With his own vendetta against Harrison, Kai proposes revenge, and the two pair up to ruin Harrison Boyd’s life. At first, they are nothing more than an illicit partnership. Teammates working towards the same mission.
But – between late-night stakeouts and crime committing – Vanessa is drawn into Kai’s life. And, as the two grow closer, she finds herself letting Kai into hers.
Firstly I would like to say a big thank you to Dark Room Tours, Ink Road Publishers, and the author Estelle Maskame for sending me an advanced copy of this book and allowing me to take part on the bookstagram blog tour! All views and opinions shared here are my own.
I’ve seen this book around on #bookstagram and so when offered the opportunity to take part on the blog tour I couldn’t resist! It isn’t necessarily my normal genre that i’d go for, but I thought it sounded quite interesting and so wanted to give it a go. What really appealed to me was the main topics explored within this book; that of dealing with grief but also revenge porn, and how society views male and female actions in completely different ways.
Vanessa is a not your typical teenage girl; her mother died abruptly from a brain aneurysm and ever since Vanessa has tried to keep herself as far away from love as possible, because opening yourself up to love only opens you up to heartbreak. So to keep herself from this she has a series of casual relationships with guys that know the score. But when she ends her “relationship” with Harrison, he doesn’t take it lightly and shares an intimate video of her with his friends, and subsequently the entire school. Vanessa decides that she isn’t going to take this lying down, and with the help of new boy Kai, who has his own issues with Harrison, she vows to take revenge.
Feminism to me, is about women having the opportunity to make their own decisions; Vanessa’s best friend doesn’t agree with her attitude towards relationships, but she doesn’t try and stop Vanessa, merely offer her love and support. I love that this book is not only about dealing with grief and the serious topic of revenge porn, but also promotes and shows strong female friendships and the importance of looking out for those who you love.
I also enjoy the journey that Vanessa undergoes throughout the story; initially she wants revenge on Harrison for what he’s put her through, and honestly that is completely understandable. He’s betrayed her in one of the most awful ways; taking something that was private and intimate, and spreading it around the school for revenge. You can utterly understand Vanessa’s rage and frustration throughout the story and honestly you cannot blame her for that. I do enjoy the journey that she goes on; at each action that they take she begins to think that maybe it wasn’t the right action and by the end she realises that revenge isn’t going to make her feel better. And that ultimately it makes her no better than Harrison.
My only real drawback of this book is that sometimes it does seem a bit overly tropey even for a YA book and at times aspects felt quite cliche. I would definitely be intrigued to look at Maskame’s other stories, and would say that most teenage girls should pick up this book so they can understand the dangers of taking photos of themselves/allowing someone else to take photos of themselves.
Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour!