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review 2018-02-03 16:10
3.8 Out Of 5 Stars for this dark, twisted AF love story...
Our Kind of Cruelty: A Novel - Araminta Hall





Book Title:  Our Kind of Cruelty

Author:  Araminta Hall

Genre:  Psychological Thriller

Publisher:  Farrar, Straus, and Giroux

Source: I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.









~The Blurb (which is an excellent summarization for this book)~

This is a love story. Mike’s love story.

Mike Hayes fought his way out of a brutal childhood and into a quiet if lonely life before he met Verity Metcalf. V taught him about love, and in return, Mike has dedicated his life to making her happy. He’s found the perfect home, the perfect job, he’s sculpted himself into the physical ideal V has always wanted. He knows they’ll be blissfully happy together.

It doesn’t matter that she hasn’t been returning his emails or phone calls.

It doesn’t matter that she says she’s marrying Angus.

It’s all just part of the secret game they used to play. If Mike watches V closely, he’ll see the signs. If he keeps track of her every move he’ll know just when to come to her rescue…

A spellbinding, darkly twisted novel about desire and obsession, and the complicated lines between truth and perception, Our Kind of Cruelty introduces Araminta Hall, a chilling new voice in psychological suspense.







Plot~ 4/5

Main Characters~ 3.5/5

Secondary Characters~ 3.8/5

The Feels~ 5/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 5/5

Theme or Tone~4/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 3.8/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4/5

Originality~ 4.5/5

Ending~ 3.7/5  Cliffhanger~ …sort of open-ended.


Book Cover~ Okay, I guess…

Setting~ London, England





~My Thoughts~


A compelling, provocative, and utterly disturbing story about obsessive love…with a decidedly English feel (this is coming from an American, though) to it.  Being inside Mike's head is uncomfortable…I really despise stalkers, and he left me feeling positively icky.  It is odd though, that he made me doubt, like seriously doubt, everything.  In fact…I don't know if I truly understood the ending.  Maybe, that's what the Author wants???  But, overall, I was hooked while reading this and had to know where this was ultimately going.  Although, I was slightly mystified with the ending.


~Will I read more from this Author?~ I don't really know, honestly.


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text 2018-01-31 23:01
January Recap
Avenged (Ruined) - Amy Tintera
Shattered Minds - Laura Lam
Out of the Easy - Ruta Sepetys
The Dead List - Jennifer L. Armentrout
White Trash Zombie Gone Wild - Diana Rowland
Infinity + One - Amy Harmon
When I Am Through with You - Stephanie Kuehn
Our Kind of Cruelty: A Novel - Araminta Hall
Keep Her Safe: A Novel - K.A. Tucker,Roger Casey,Wendy Tremont King,Will Damron,Robin Eller,Simon & Schuster Audio
Cinder & Ella - Kelly Oram

A new year with new reads...and it's off to a good start.  Only one book under 3 stars and 1 DNF.  9 books rated 4☆ and above.  I changed up my review format this past month, I decided I wanted my process more simplified.  Who knows, maybe this one will stick.





(Audiobook) Avenged by Amy Tintera

Finish Date:  01/05

☆4.3☆Stars - Grade=A-


(Kindle eBook) Shattered Minds by Laura Lam

Finish Date:  01/09

☆4.2☆Stars - Grade=B+


(Audiobook) Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

Finish Date:  01/12

☆5☆Stars - Grade=A


(Kobo eBook) The Dead List by Jennifer L Armentrout

Finish Date:  01/14

☆4.5☆Stars - Grade=A-


(Audible Audiobook) White Trash Zombie Gone Wild by Diana Rowland

Finish Date:  01/19

☆4.5☆Stars - Grade=A-


(Kindle eBook & Audiobook) Infinity+ One by Amy Harmon

Finish Date:  01/21

☆4.8☆Stars - Grade=A


(Audiobook) When I Am Through With You by Stephanie Kuehn

Finish Date:  01/23

☆3.2☆Stars - Grade=C


(Netgalley eARC) Our Kind of Cruelty by Araminta Hall

Finish Date:  01/26

☆4☆Stars - Grade=B+


(Audiobook) Keep Her Safe by KA Tucker

Finish Date:  01/29

☆4.2☆Stars - Grade=B+


(Kindle eBook) Cinder + Ella by Kelly Oram

Finish Date:  01/31

 ☆4.3☆Stars - Grade=A-


Plus 1 DNF...

Renegades by Marissa Meyer - This just had too many characters to keep track of and I had no idea what was going on, so I gave up at 28%.


11 books total, 5 Audiobooks, 3 eBooks, 1 combo audio/eBook, 1 eARC, and 1 DNF'd Audiobook.

3,483 Pages (including Audios)



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review 2017-05-27 00:00
The Cruelty
The Cruelty - Scott Bergstrom Listened to audio & loved it -10* fave!
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-05-08 19:28
The Cruelty - Scott Bergstrom

Preis: € 14,99

Seitenzahl: 432



Erhältlich als:Paperbacke-Book


Zum Buch: https://www.rowohlt.de/suche/alle/Cruelty





Ab jetzt kämpfst du allein  Gwendolyn Bloom


Ein Buch wie ein Blockbuster: Scott Bergstroms erster Roman erscheint in 20 Ländern und wird in Hollywood verfilmt – von Kinohit-Produzent Jerry Bruckheimer («Fluch der Karibik», «Armageddon»).



Vor zehn Jahren wurde Gwens Mutter ermordet, nur ihren Vater hat sie noch. Doch kurz nachdem er zu einer Geschäftsreise nach Paris aufgebrochen ist, stehen zwei Unbekannte vor Gwens Tür und erzählen eine unglaubliche Geschichte: Ihr Vater ist eigentlich CIA-Agent – und bei einem Einsatz spurlos verschwunden. Wurde er entführt? Wollte er dem Geheimdienst den Rücken kehren? 


Als die Ermittlungen eingestellt werden, macht Gwen sich selbst auf die Suche. Eine gefährliche Reise über mehrere Kontinente beginnt, immer dem Zentrum der Gefahr entgegen. Und Gwen erkennt: Wenn man seine Gegner besiegen will, muss man mindestens so hart und grausam werden wie sie!


Meine Meinung:

Ich bin durch den coolen Buchschnitt und auch durch den Titel auf das Buch aufmerksam geworden. 


Der Einstieg in das Buch ist mir gut gelungen und ich fand die Geschichte anfangs auch sehr interessant und spannend. 


Es geht hier um Gwendolyn, deren Mutter vor einiger Zeit bei einem Attentat ums Leben gekommen ist und nun mit ihrem Vater alleine zusammen lebt. Dann wird ihr Vater entführt. Sie macht sich allein auf die Suche nach ihm. Sie gerät in ein Netz aus Menschenhändlern, Drogenbossen und auch Waffenhändlern.


Je weiter die Geschichte vorangeschritten ist, muss ich aber sagen, um so unrealistischer und absurder wurde sie für mich. Ich fand es z.B. sehr unrealistisch, dass sie, wie es der Zufall will, gleich die richtigen Leute trifft, die etwas mit der Entführung ihres Vaters zu tun haben und sie es auch mit ihnen aufnehmen kann. Für mich passte auch die plötzliche Umwandlung des Charakters vom braven Schulmädchen zur Verbrecherin so gar nicht. 


Positiv anmerken möchte ich, dass der Schreibstil sehr flüssig zu lesen war, es war auch recht actionreich, daher nicht langweilig. Aber hier wäre einfach weniger mehr gewesen. 


Alles in allem kann ich das Buch leider nur bedingt empfehlen. Mir persönlich hat es u.a. aufgrund der genannten Gründe nicht so gut gefallen. Daher bekommt es von mir leider nur 3 Sterne. 


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review 2016-09-17 00:00
The Cruelty
The Cruelty - Scott Bergstrom Full review with links to source articles on The Bent Bookworm!

This book has already had a lot of buzz, mainly because of the author’s condescending and inflammatory comments about YA in general. I have a LOT of thoughts on his comments and general attitude, but I tried – I really, really tried – to not let my view of the author color the book. I agreed to the review before knowing anything about all the drama, so I felt like that was only fair. Usually when I try a new author, debut or not, I don’t research a lot about the author. I like to let the book speak for itself. In the end, I feel like The Cruelty (Scott Bergstrom’s debut, releasing in February 2017) mostly did that. I ended up giving it 3/5 stars, in spite of feeling like the author himself probably deserves 2/5. Or maybe 1/5. Because really, sir, you are not special, your book is not going to revolutionize YA, and it’s definitely not going to dazzle long-time readers of the genre. Also, sidenote: even though you’ve already made enough money to be able to quit your advertising executive career, you might want to work more on networking with your fellow writers instead of alienating and insulting them. But enough about Scott Bergstrom. After all, a lot of creative people lack social skills and if their work is dazzling enough we excuse them for it, right? Anyway, that was how and why I approached reading this book. Sadly, overall I felt like Mr. Bergstrom is not genius enough to be excused for his behavior.

So, the positive: the pacing is really spot on. I whizzed through this in a single afternoon/evening. There’s none of the stream-of-consciousness dwelling that bogs down some YA books. Even though there were aspects of the writing and characters that bothered me, I was interested enough in the plot line to ignore everything else I had planned for the day and read it all in one go. Also, the ending left me with enough questions (while not being a true cliffhanger) that, had the sequel been available, I would have picked it up right away. That in itself added the extra half star to me. The suspense and anticipation is definitely the most well-written thing about this book.
The story takes place in several different countries. In my experience, you can almost always tell when an author is writing about a locale they’ve never personally seen or lived. It just rings false or like they’re ticking off a list, and having lived abroad myself I notice it more than I ever did before. Now, I haven’t been to all of the countries Gwen visits and don’t claim to be any kind of expert, but the descriptions feel very real. I think that Bergstrom has probably visited these countries or he researched very, very well.

Now for the negatives. I’m going to try not to rant on and on about these…but who am I kidding, I’m probably going to rant.

The book starts off REALLY rocky. I almost DNFed it at page 15. We start off with the special snowflake trope (OMG, she speaks French! even thinks in French and accidentally blurts it in class! oops!), followed by much angst. Sigh, page turn, and then –
I pull a book out of my backpack and lean against the door as the train shoots through the tunnel under the river toward Queens. It’s a novel with a teenage heroine set in a dystopian future. Which novel in particular doesn’t matter because they’re all the same. Poor teenage heroine, having to march off to war when all she really wants to do is run away with that beautiful boy and live off wild berries and love.

Let’s start off by throwing rocks at dystopian YA!! Yay!! Because we’re not writing almost the EXACT SAME type of book and calling it special, are we, Precious? *insert much eyerolling* I’m not even that much a fan of the dystopian type books! What I’m NOT a fan of, is generalization – and buddy, you just hit every student in the room with your spitwad. And this wasn’t even the point of the almost DNF.
Guys out on the sidewalk in front of the shops whistle and catcall after me. They love this – the school uniform, the flash of seventeen-year-old legs.

What the…? I mean…who even talks or thinks that way? It seems totally out of place in the current context and setting, and is just such a jolt of stupid and bad writing that I came *this close* to throwing the book across the room and doing something else with my afternoon. However, I continued. Mostly because I wanted to see if it could really be THAT bad. There were a few similar instances, like this one:
He uses as his tools reason and facts, a whole orchestra of them. But in the end, they bounce off the armor of my stubbornness.

Not quite on the same level as the seventeen-year-old legs quote, but close. Most of the female-specific points or themes in this book sound utterly redonkulous. Like a seventeen-year-old boy was trying to imagine how girls think. Big fat fail. The body image comments really grated on me…like somehow, when the book begins, we’re supposed to see Gwendolyn as overweight…I think? Only she’s an overweight gymnast, which totally makes sense. Also she doesn’t like being looked at but dyes her hair bright red…and then in the grand scheme of changing herself so she can go hunt for her father she has to dye her hair a more unnoticeable shade and become this lean, muscled, martial artist type. Well, I have news for you…that shit doesn’t happen overnight, and not even in the several weeks Gwendolyn has to work on it. If she’s indeed overweight/out of shape as it seems we’re supposed to believe. I don’t know. I’m confused as to what the perception there was supposed to be.

Then, the love interest is lame. A plot device. Gwendolyn needs an ally back home, one with smarts, money, and connections…and suddenly she’s all weak-kneed for this boy she’s barely even looked at before. There was no buildup, just suddenly she runs into him and starts shaking. Sorry, but I have no feels for this at all.
Actually, I pretty much have no feels at all for the entire story, which is really sad. I mostly feel annoyance. I wanted more from the characters. Characters are easily the biggest and most important part of a book, to me. Gwendolyn, her father, even the people that help her, just aren’t generally likable and while yes, Gwendolyn definitely changes through the book, I found the changes a bit far-fetched. She morphs rather quickly from a slightly bitter, spoiled high school girl to a lean, mean, killing machine. Really? But, ok. I’m willing to suspend disbelief a bit – after all, that’s what we do for any book, right? But it’s the author’s job to sell us on it. Sadly, the writing style is such that I couldn’t STAY suspended in my disbelief. I was repeatedly jarred out of it. But I still wanted to know what happened. How’s that for a quandary?
“Justice isn’t some abstract thing, Gwendolyn. What your did tonight, that’s what it looks like. Ugly and mean.”

Best line in the entire book, I swear. And it does get ugly, the longer it goes on. It’s like a train wreck you can’t stop watching, as Gwendolyn delves deeper and deeper into the criminal underworld in her search for her father. She develops an amazing poker face and some steel nerves, even in the face of a rising body count and discovering a sex trafficking ring – somehow she manages to stay cool. But at what cost? That’s the real question, and in the end, the question of what was saved and what was lost is still somewhat up in the air.

Many thanks to Feiwel & Friends for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review!
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