‘VIGILANTE’ – Kady Cross

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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?

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Thanks to Harlequin Teen for sending me a copy to review.

Is this book perfect? No. But does it cover important issues that need to be talked about a log more in YA? Yes!

I don’t think I’ve ever read a YA book that goes into so much about rape and the situations that occur not only to the “victim” but also to their family and loved ones as well. I also didn’t know that this book was going to go into so much detail and I also didn’t know that it was going to affect me in the way that it did. Like I said before, the book isn’t perfectly written and I think that there are a lot of things that could be better about it, but I think that everyone should, especially young girls, should read it.

Hadley is in a dark spot in the beginning of the book. Her best friend has just killed herself and she has no choice but to face her rapists every day at school. Throughout the book, Hadley constantly goes back and forth with her feelings and guilt towards what happened to Magda as she constantly blames herself for what happened. But Hadley begins to come to terms with what happened to Magda and how it wasn’t her fault. Maybe she could’ve done more and perhaps she could’ve been there for her more than she was. But that doesn’t mean that it was her fault and it was refreshing to see Hadley realise this as she grew not only physically stronger, but mentally as well.

What I love most about this book is how it teaches readers more about the social contexts of rape and the gender stigmas involved. A really important message that Cross mentioned was that girls are always being taught how not to get raped, but boys aren’t told to no rape. It was heartbreaking to hear multiple characters question why Magda was raped in the first place; “What was she wearing? Why did she go off with those boys? What did she expect?” Every time someone in the book said something like this, it made me want to scream! I kept telling myself that surely people still didn’t think this way and say things like this in modern society, but I’m sure there are people out there that would blame the victim.

The girls are so kick ass in this book, and I loved that. Hadley starts the Pink Vigilante to get back at the boys who ruined not only her best friends life, but everyone who loved her. But by the end of the book, the Pink Vigilante becomes so much more than that. It is no longer a person, but a symbol to show that we can’t just get away with our wrong doings and we need to stand up for what is right. No one deserves to go through what these characters went through; Magda, Hadley, Gabe and so many more. But there are so many people out in the world do go through this and so much more and it’s disgusting.

So please, read this book and get everyone you know to read it too! It left me sad, angry, annoyed and disgusted, but it is such an important story. If you can recommend any more books that talk about this issue, please comment them down below because I would love to read more about it. I want to keep this review short and not talk too much about the story because I don’t want to spoil anything, but READ THIS BOOK!!!!!

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