Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Vigilante by Kady Cross- GIRL POWER on steroids... but not all that realistic


Hadley's best friend Magda killed herself after being gang-raped, publicly humiliated and shamed.  Now, Hadley wants revenge on the guys who got away with it-- guys she sees everyday at school, smiling down from their popular pedestal.

Hadley puts on a pink ski mask and starts out small-- but quickly the situation escalates into something dark and dangerous.  Will Hadley get caught before she can get to the ringleader of the rape? 

I could have a lot to say about this book.  I really and truly wish everything that I'm going to say about it is positive and good, but sadly this book gave me COMPLICATED feelings.

In the beginning, it's about Magda's best friend Hadley and her brother Gabriel and how they were grieving for their friend/sister.  I fucking LOVED that beginning part. They were devastated and angry.  Devastated that Magda was gone and angry at a system that allowed the boys who gang raped her to go free.  I was disgusted by society for blaming Magda for her own rape and letting the boys go about their lives as if nothing had happened.

All that beginning stuff hit me right in the feels.  I was PISSED.  I was SAD.

But then-- well, Hadley goes on this revenge quest to get back at the 4 boys who hurt and violated her friend.  I was on board with that.  I thought her revenge plot was going to be something like what she did to the first guy.  He's passed out in a bedroom and she writes RAPIST on him in lipstick and posts pictures of it on his social media accounts.  That to me was good revenge.  Hit them where it hurts-- in their social standings.  Expose them for what they are.

But that is not how the revenge continues.  After that, the revenge episodes escalate into all-out violent attacks by Hadley.  Just, really??  I'm not saying they didn't deserve it, but I just don't think that's helpful in any way.  It takes the attention off of what they did, and puts it on what YOU did now.

Also, I really didn't think it was all that believable.  Hadley starts this "Pink Vigilante" movement, and her crew of followers get themselves into all kinds of dangerous fight situations with men.  It felt good to read about at times because GIRL POWER, but some of these girls have taken only a few self-defense classes.  I don't think that qualifies them to go beating up groups of grown men.

I want to say this really cautiously-- Here's the thing:  Are there bad guys out there?  Yes.  Should we as women be conscious of that fact, learn to protect ourselves, and look out for each other?  Of course.  But this book made it seem like there's a rapist lurking on every corner.  Every party, every bar, every college campus lawn.  Basically every guy in this book is a rapist except for Magda's brother and one other guy that was friendly with the girls.  I don't think we need to walk around as fearful as this book felt like it was suggesting.  There's a difference between cautious & aware and paranoid.

Guys, every man is not a rapist. MOST guys are not rapists!!  There are some, yes.  But I find it extremely far-fetched that this girl encountered so many rapists in the act.  Every time she walked somewhere, she ended up seeing a woman about to be raped in an alley.

The problem was, this took all the focus off of Magda and I wanted this book to be about HER.  Yes, she was dead.  But what can we do to deal with that besides kicking the crap out of everybody??

The ending didn't help.  I liked that it ended with this dark notion that things are never going to be okay, but the final revenge act felt like a cop-out.  I wanted PUNISHMENT.

OVERALL: I gave it 3 stars because I like the IDEA.  I don't usually give stars for ideas, but I'm making an exception for this.  I love the Girl Power sentiment, but I feel like this book went way too far into a fantasy land of girl ninja warriors and rapists ready to pounce.  I like my realistic fiction to be REALISTIC.

Date Published: 3/28/2017
How I got this book: Thanks to Harlequin Teen for providing me with a copy to read and honestly review!
Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Add it to your To-Read List!!

My Rating: 3/5

Character: Hadley White
Book: Love You Hate You Miss You by Elizabeth Scott

  • Because while getting revenge probably felt good, I think Hadley needs to learn to deal with the actual loss of Magda apart from her attackers.  This book deals with friendship loss in a very real and honest way.

 photo signature_zpsbfa41d62.png

No comments:

Post a Comment