City of Saints & Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson

Review:

Fast-paced and an action-packed read. I love a good revenge story any day. This young adult, mystery thriller is a really good read, filled with action and plot twists. The main character Tina is courageous and tenacious in her pursuit to avenge her mother’s death, which included joining the local gang and becoming a master thief. It’s a really great exploration of choices, identity, and doing the right thing. I think what I liked most about this book is that the story incorporated real and current issues regarding human rights in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The storytelling does not feel preachy. After learning more about the context of this book, it makes me feel sad that human slavery and rape still happens across the world today. I highly recommend this read for fans of mystery or those who like a plot-driven story that is inspired by real-life issues.

– NJ

Book Blurb:

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo meets Gone Girl in this enthralling YA murder mystery set in Kenya.

In the shadows of Sangui City, there lives a girl who doesn’t exist. After fleeing the Congo as refugees, Tina and her mother arrived in Kenya looking for the chance to build a new life and home. Her mother quickly found work as a maid for a prominent family, headed by Roland Greyhill, one of the city’s most respected business leaders. But Tina soon learns that the Greyhill fortune was made from a life of corruption and crime. So when her mother is found shot to death in Mr. Greyhill’s personal study, she knows exactly who’s behind it.

With revenge always on her mind, Tina spends the next four years surviving on the streets alone, working as a master thief for the Goondas, Sangui City’s local gang. It’s a job for the Goondas that finally brings Tina back to the Greyhill estate, giving her the chance for vengeance she’s been waiting for. But as soon as she steps inside the lavish home, she’s overtaken by the pain of old wounds and the pull of past friendships, setting into motion a dangerous cascade of events that could, at any moment, cost Tina her life. But finally uncovering the incredible truth about who killed her mother—and why—keeps her holding on in this fast-paced nail-biting thriller.

 

Special thanks to Penguin Random House Publishers for sending me a review copy in exchange for my honest review.

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Vigilante by Kady Cross

Intense, confronting, a page-turner!

Vigilante is a story about girl power or to put it more accurately, it’s about empowering females. It’s an action-packed, easy to read and unputdownable read. The story can be quite confronting and disturbing as it involved detailed sexual assault and dealing with suicide. Our protagonist, Hadley is like any normal high school girl looking forward to senior year but when her best friend Magda committed suicide after being raped by multiple boys at a party, Hadley was distraught by the gravity of what happened. Since the legal system was unable to deliver the appropriate justice against Magda’s attackers, Hadley decided to dish out her own brand of justice on each of Magda’s attackers, she began masking herself as the anonymous Pink Vigilante. Vigilante promotes self-protection and defense against sexual assault. At a deeper level, Vigilante warns of the consequences of taking justice into your own hands. The story touches upon the use of social media for bullying, illustrates the power of women when they support one another, and advocates the importance of correcting societal biases and assumptions against women. I recommend this book for those who wants to read about girl power, “victor not victim” storyline and for those who enjoys a good revenge story. It is a satisfying story as the villains definitely got what they deserved. After reading this book, I was seriously considering taking self-defence classes!

 

– NJ