Apr 3, 2013

Book Review: Vengeance Bound by Justina Ireland

Book Cover: Vengeance Bound by Justina Ireland

Vengeance Bound by Justina Ireland

Genre: YA Paranormal

Format: Ebook, 320 pages
Published On: April 2, 2013 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Source: Requested via Edelweiss for review.

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First Sentence: "Annie shakes my arm frantically, startling me awake from a nightmare of blood and nameless terror."

With retelling of one of the less-used Greek myths about Furies, Vengeance Bound tells us a story about a girl possessed by these vengeful mythological beings. Amelie Ainsworth aka. Cory Graff is tortured by her own tragic past, running away from psychiatric hospital, fighting against unforgiving rightfulness of her possessors and desperately trying to save her integrity and a piece of her humanity.

Sounds like something awesome and original? Yes. Was it really? Weeeeeeeell... not so much. I don't know how but Vengeance Bound turned into a cliched young adult paranormal plot: new school, meeting group of good friends, insta-love with handsome moody and quiet boy who can (of course) save our heroine... Honestly, when I got up to that I thought about DNF-ing this book. I kept on reading just because MILA 2.0 started the same and then turned into action-packed page-turner. Sadly, Vengeance Bound did not stray from well known formula for young adult paranormal novels.

Young Adult Paranormal Novel Recipe For Success
Young Adult Paranormal Novel Recipe For Success. [recipe card template source]

I am not sure what was Justina Ireland's intention with Amelie/Cory. Should we feel sorry for her because of traumatic events during her childhood? Should we be impressed with her awesome powers and declare her our favorite kick-ass heroine? The more I got to know Amelie, the more unfortunate resemblance to possessed girl from movie The Exorcist came to my mind. Talking in altered voices, easily angered, has attacks when she can't control her actions and gets violent (occasionally murderous) tendencies toward other people, puking green slime if she tries fighting against the beings that possessed her...

As always when you get some idea stuck in your mind, I could not get rid of this vision of Amelie anymore. I didn't like her, I could not cheer for her, I didn't believe in her narration and descriptions because I did not trust her judgement... The way she told her story, every girl in school was either mentally deranged or a slut or both and all men were horny and amoral. I hoped that the ending is going to get me to at least respect Amelie for winning against her possessors, but it did not happened as I expected. The feeling that Amelie accomplished anything was not there because everything resolved without her influence, just a lucky coincidence...

As always when I do not like the book and write a negative review I feel like I was too harsh. I feel sorry for the writer who invested a lot of time into writing a book. Justina Ireland writing was easy to read, her descriptions were very vivid, I could sometimes almost feel the heat and wind when the Furies raged... And picking a topic about when pursuing justice and being righteous is overstepping the boundaries of humanity is great choice. I'm all for "Let He Who Is Without Sin Cast The First Stone" philosophy. Sadly, all that got lost in my dislike for heroine and cliched ya novel setting. But I am sure that there are a lot of people out there who are going to enjoy and love Vengeance Bound.

My Rating: 2 out of 5

I recommend this book to fans of: young adult paranormal novels; just-moved-to-town starting-new-school premise; heroines with tragic and traumatic past; insta-love romance; greek myth about furies; ...

Let's Talk:

Did you read Vengeance Bound? Did you like it?

Any other thoughts or comments?


  1. Bahahaha, yeah, I'm not surprised this wasn't good. I had a bad feeling about it, and that seems to have been borne out. I am so tired of all of the students who have moved. There were not that many transfer students into my classes.

    1. Yeah, well I usually do not read book summaries because they sometimes contain spoilers so I did not know anything about a book except that it's ya paranormal with mythology theme. I requested it because of mythology I even told them in my request how I adore those subjects, so now I feel bad that I gave it low grade. :/

      My generation had one transfer student in high school and two in college. As you said, not so much. But then I'm from little country in Europe. What do I know, maybe in USA people move around all the time. LOL

  2. All the things you listed under 'I recommend this book for' are things I absolutely dread. Some are even among my pet peeves.
    I always feel like I'm too harsh at first as wel, but after some time, I realize there was no other way to put it. Honesty above all. Thank you for the lovely review. :)

    1. Yeah those are some of my pet peeves too. Especially insta-love. :/ In the end, I'm going to stop reading ya paranormal genre completely.

      I skipped writing reviews for some books because I felt uncomfortable writing more negative than positive things about it. But I'm relaxing slowly. And as you said, the most important thing is to be honest.

  3. That's too bad :( Seems I'll have to skip this one, and it sounded so good, but I don't think I'll enjoy it. Thanks for the review!!!

    1. Don't rely only on me, I'm a picky reader for ya books. I didn't like some books that had a lot of hype. Like: Twilight for example. So better check some more sources before crossing it from your tbr. ;)

    2. Thanks, Dragana, but actually, I'm relying on your review & my experience with YA :) I haven't read Twilight (and never will, I know I won't like it), but some of the well-loved & praised YA books I've read, I didn't really like, or they were quite average reads for me, so I've learned to choose carefully what to buy &/or read. And this sounds that will be one of those reads, all those things you didn't like, I won't like, too, so that's why I'll probably pass.

    3. Well then rely on my review. :D I guess I'm a newbie blogger and still feel guilty when I say something negative about the book and people say they won't buy it - like I did something wrong to the author/writer. I should look at it from the brighter side: I saved someone from reading a book that he/she probably will not enjoy.

      I have also problems with reading ya books that are very popular and finding them average (or worse). Don't get me wrong, some of them I loved but some where just.... blah... meh... whatever...

    4. Yeah, I know what you mean, but in the end everyone decides for themselves, we just share our thoughts. Not every book is for everyone, so don't worry :)

      And I am a really choosy reader, I love & read all genres & for all ages, but I guess I have high demands ;) and I rarely give up on books, so I'm picky about what I'll start, and there are those I wish I haven't read, so I've also learned to follow my intuition (yeah, sometimes I get a feeling that I won't like a book, and when I haven't listened to it, and read that book because everybody loved it, I have made a mistake) - intuition about books - that's weird, right? ^_^

      Anyway, there are plenty of popular YA books I've loved, but yeah, there are those that just aren't that good, but the trick is how to choose what to read ;) And in the end I think it depends on our reading experience a.k.a the books we've read before :)

    5. My intuition for books is silenced with greedy bookworm instincts: I want to read them all! Uuuu shiny cover! etc. I used to read all the books until the end, but I started dnf-ing more since I got a Kindle. Life is too short to waste on bad books - and the next one is just a click away. :)
      I am so jealous that you have book intuition. Sounds great! :D

  4. I absolutely love your recipe card! Such a cute idea!

    I'm sorry you didn't enjoy this one more; it's such a shame when such promising sounding synopsis' fall victim to the YA cliches :(

    1. Thanks. When I was correcting spelling errors on my review and thinking about what illustration to add, the idea just popped into my mind. :)
      If you like the idea of book related recipes than you should check out Review-cipes by Carissa Taylor if you have not already seen them. They are so fun.

      Sometimes using ya cliches work, sometimes not so much. My main problem here was the heroine. I really didn't like her. The girl offends her and she thinks how she would like to rip-off her arm. WTF?

    2. Yeah, when you don't like the MCs or you can't connect to them, then that definitely influences our enjoyment of the story.


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