Mar 20, 2017

ARC Review--Vigilante by Kady Cross

A brutally honest, uncompromising story about a teen girl who decides to take matters into her own hands.

It's senior year, and Hadley and her best friend, Magda, should be starting the year together. Instead, Magda is dead and Hadley is alone. Raped at a party the year before and humiliated, Magda was driven to take her own life and Hadley is forced to see her friend's attackers in the classroom every day. Devastated, enraged and needing an outlet for her grief, Hadley decides to get a little justice of her own.

Donning a pink ski mask and fueled by anger, Hadley goes after each of the guys one by one, planning to strip them of their dignity and social status the way they did to Magda. As the legend of the pink-masked Vigilante begins to take on a life of its own, Hadley's revenge takes a turn for the dangerous. Could her need for vengeance lead her down a path she can't turn back from?

I received this ARC from the publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for a voluntary and honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Kady Cross has been a favorite author of mine for ages! I’ve read many of her books under her many pseudonyms and enjoyed every one of them! Vigilante is a YA thriller of sorts, but instead of a heroine trying to solve a murder, we have a teenage girl trying to find justice for her friend who was raped and then killed herself because of it all. Vigilante deals with a very sensitive topic, but I felt like Kady wrote it very well indeed.
Hadley and Magda were best friends, then one night at a party, Magda was raped by four boys after she was drugged. When charges were pressed every single one of them got off scot free.  And soon it became too much for Magda and she committed suicide. She had had it rough ever since the incident and Hadley feels the tremendous guilt over her death. And having to see the four boys every day at school living it up, she starts to get very vengeful and dark thoughts.
By happenstance, Hadley is able to exact revenge over one of the boys and outing him as a rapist. And slowly a plan starts to form. Soon she decides she wants to humiliate and shame all four of these boys and get the justice that Magda deserves.
I have to say, I quite liked Hadley’s plan. Maybe I have a touch of a dark side or whatever you want to call it, but I find revenge stories to be quite enjoyable! The Count of Monte Cristo, anyone? And in a way, Hadley takes on a bit of Edmund’s role. She doesn’t want to kill these guys, she wants them to suffer.
The book explores a very sensitive topic; rape. I felt like Kady handles it very well and realistically. I personally have not nor do I know anyone who has experience such a horrific thing, so I can’t really say how much realism it has, but I felt like she did a very good job with discussing it.
Hadley ends up making new friends in her quest for justice and I have to say I enjoyed that too. I was afraid she might be all Batman like and want to take on everyone herself. While in some ways that is still true, her newfound friends help her through stuff more than she could ever hope for.
And then of course there’s Gabriel, who was Magda’s older brother and who Hadley had been crushing on for a while. I found their budding romance to be sweet and helped to bring some light into the otherwise dark topic.
Hadley’s life really spins out of control as the boys she’s after are aware that someone is out to get them. Some things that happen are quite sickening. And it makes me even more happier to be out of high school. But then a few other little things actually took me by surprise.
Needless to say that this book was both dark but coupled with those little moments that were light-hearted and surprising. It was quite the read! The ending was pretty shocking too. Some things really made my stomach turn sour in this one, the things that these boys got away with, how they were basically boys with powerful parents who could own the town was nauseating. But never once did I feel like quitting, mostly because I was riding on Hadley’s need for revenge and wanted to see these boys shamed.
Vigilante didn’t disappoint either. It was engaging and enticing as I had to see how things would turn out for Hadley. And I must say I was quite surprised by the final ending, but happy as well. Just hoping those unspoken things turn out for the better and are not ones that will haunt Hadley later on.
This book reads very much as a standalone. Things are completely resolved and are left in a way that we get a satisfying conclusion and yet feel like these characters will still go on to live their lives.
I’m not sure I’ve ever read a book that was so emotional before. And it’s not quite your typical emotions either. I think that’s what appealed to me about this story, and of course Kady Cross’s name on the cover. I feel like this was a very empowering book, as the girls in it, are coming together and fighting for one another. It almost makes me wonder what town they live in, as to avoid it due to all the sexual harassment that goes on and is left unpunished, but I digress! This was a very powerful read and it pretty much cements my belief that I will read just about any of Kady’s books too!

Overall Rating 5/5 stars

Vigilante releases March 28, 2017 


  1. The concept of this book sounds like a less dark version of The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis! Have you read that book? I think you'd enjoy it! Awesome review :)

    Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles

  2. As far as I know it I've never read any books by Kady.. with pseudonyms and all - who knows though! I'm glad that with such a dark story, Kady was able to slip in some hope and light. It sounds like this book was well balanced. Rape and suicide are too extremely touchy subjects so I'm also glad that Kady was able to express the emotions without crossing any lines.

    Great review! :)

  3. I haven't read any books by this author, but this one will be the first one i do read. I love emotional books and from your review, the subjects dealt with are handled well. Thanks for your excellent review today and for finding another great book for me to read.


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