A Lesson in Vengeance

Listening Library. Aug. 2021. 1,016p. $63. ISBN 9780593399545.
Gr 7 Up–Two girls are alive when this story begins; one isn’t—or is she? Felicity has returned to Dalloway School after a stint in a psychiatric facility, precipitated by the death of her girlfriend, Alex. Was it an accident? Murder? Or something else altogether? Then there’s the school itself, founded long ago, where five girls were accused of witchcraft; they weren’t convicted, but all died not long afterward under varied horrific or mysterious circumstances. As Felicity tries reintegrating into school and Godwin House, where she and Alex lived before the tragedy, she becomes obsessed with the belief that one of the original witches has returned and is manipulating her and the environment around her. New student Ellis Haley is a writing prodigy, trying to finish another book. As the story progresses, her life and secrets become ever more enmeshed with Felicity’s, leading in and out of what can best be described as a tenuous reality based on either truth, lies, or a blend of both that’s a challenge for listeners to decode.
VERDICT Larger libraries where creepy young adult fiction is popular might consider this, but the plot is nebulous and it’s hard to get a decent read on the two main characters, which detracts from the story quite a bit.

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