Review: Vigilante by Kady Cross

***This was sent for review by Harlequin Teen Australia***

At first I was like eh, and then I was like hmmmmmm, and then I was like OMG I need to know more. Kady Cross braves the world where personal opinions have never been stronger, and writes a novel about an important but somewhat unknown topic of rape.


And cause I’ve gotten super lazy, I’m just going to copy and paste Goodread’s synopsis. Good enough, right?

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?

Rape is such an important, but also somewhat taboo subject. A lot of people don’t want to admit that rape is a thing. It’s an ugly word for an ugly incident. And for such an important issue which happens a lot more than we realise, there’s not too many books out there, particularly for young adults about it. Kady Cross wasn’t afraid to branch out into such a dark topic with her novel, Vigilante.

There’s been talks about whether books are censoring too much or not enough. In my opinion, I think we hide too much. But Cross has broken these trends and chased the rape topic. It’s good to bring up these topics that people ignore. Rape is out there whether we like to admit it or not, and its something we need to pay more attention to. So *craps hands* to Kady Cross.

But anyway, onto my thoughts regarding plot.

The main character could be a bit annoying, and while I shipped the couple which came out at the end, I had expected a different outcome (an outcome I won’t say cause spoilers). While the main character was strong, strong enough to defend girls in trouble, she was also very weak (for reasons which are completely understandable). But I found myself wanting something in between, where she could maybe hold her tears back more often or put on more of a brave face when she wasn’t face to face with danger.

The prose is simple which usually isn’t a lovable quality. However. The book explores such a hard topic where it could be easy to upset somebody. So I think the simplicity of the prose fits the story well, particularly for young readers.

It was interesting to read a novel which has swear words that aren’t concealed. It’s been a slow process where we’ve gone from books that just pretend like those words don’t exist, to Illuminae (a novel by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff) where the swear words are bleeped out, to Vigilante where they’re just out in the open. However, she hasn’t gone over the top and just placed them wherever. She’s just put a few in where they fit the situation. And if somebody was about to attack me, I’d probably swear too. Let’s be honest, I wouldn’t be saying ‘son of a dog’ or ‘ship’. So why do we pretend like teenagers in books are going to say that?

Vigilante by Kady Cross was an enjoyable read that I would highly recommend. I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Thank you Harlequin Teen Australia for sending me it!

Are you excited??
You can purchase and read Vigilante on March 28




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