Book Reviews

Mini Reviews: These Violent Delights, Kingdom of the Wicked, The Hating Game & More!

Hello everyone and happy 2021!! We are finally in the new year and I am excited to start this new year of reading. I was totally going to write a post on some of my 2021 anticipated releases, but it ended up being a lot of researching work, so I’m going to push that off to either next week or the week after (I’m the worst procrastinator). Sooo, I thought it would be fun to share a few of my mini reviews for some of recent reads.

I don’t even know what was going on with me, but I speeded through so many books in the last week of December. For comparison, I had only read one book in the first three weeks, but then immediately read a book a day out of nowhere. I mean I’m happy with where my reading is at right now, but wow, where were you speed-reader Allison, when I was looking to get out of my year long slump. Anyways, the books I finished up over the past week were These Violent Delights, Kingdom of the Wicked, The Hating Game, and Boyfriend Material. So, let’s get started with all of my mini reviews!

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These Violent Delights surprised me SO MUCH and was a lot more than the Romeo and Juliet retelling that I thought it would be! While it takes certain elements like the “dueling families” and the “forbidden love,” from it, it offers up enough different elements that it becomes its own story. The historical Chinese setting was especially intriguing and I appreciated its presence, since I feel like there aren’t enough Asian settings in YA. Plus, I remember its writing style being pretty sophisticated, especially for a debut novel, and it made the story so much more complex and real. Though, I had been reading a lot of contemporary novels with much more casual language, so that shift could have been contributing to it.

I really enjoyed the lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers relationship trope, and it was definitely something similar, but also new compared to the overwhelming amount of enemies-to-lovers novels. I thought that Roma and Juliette’s (the two MCs) shared past heightened their romantic tension, which made them even more interesting to read about. I do wish that the side characters had a greater importance in the novel though. Especially considering the fact that this was a multiple perspective novel, I just wish they were less forgettable.

Also, the pacing was a little on the slower side. Especially when it came to the middle chunk, I felt like things could have been easily quickened and that things were too drawn out. However, things picked up a lot at the last third of the book, so things definitely got more interesting. There were a lot of reveals at the last few chapters especially, with many plot-points tying up at the same time. I appreciated the faster pacing, but it felt a little abrupt, considering the rest of the novel.

Anyways, it was a very fun read, and I am definitely keeping my eye out for the sequel! I’d recommend it if you’re looking for an entertaining, debut fantasy read. 

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Kingdom of the Wicked has the most perfect witchy vibes, with unique worldbuilding. It features an Italian setting with myths and tales of witches and demons that make it an exciting fantasy read. The murder mystery plot made the book so much more appealing, and it made me want to read more to see what would happen!

However, there are a few aspects about it that weren’t exactly my favorite. I can’t really explain it too well, but there was just a lot of confusion. While the relationship between Emilia and Wrath reminded me of Feyre/Rhysand (who I LOVE), there wasn’t enough hate for it to really make sense! I mean, after sharing a few snarky comments, it’s like they’re best friends already. I don’t get it! Wrath is literally a demon. I just wanted more emphasis on the “hate” part if that makes sense.

The ending is also incredibly abrupt. It was so sudden, and I was left wondering what even happened. I was even rereading it to see if my accidental skimreading had accidently brushed passed an important part of the novel. I felt like the ending was slapped on just for the sake of having a cliffhanger. I mean yeah, I’m totally excited to see what happens next (it’s a cliffhanger!), but I wanted more buildup to that moment.

Anyways, I enjoyed the book regardless. I’ll definitely be looking for the sequel, and I’m glad I decided to pick this up.

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The Hating Game wasn’t necessarily bad, but I think that my expectations were so high, that I was bound to be disappointed. I mean, I feel like this book is EVERYWHERE, and it’s one of the first books that come to my head when you mention the genre romance.

Anyways, for the good stuff, this book was totally cheesy, light, fluffy, and horribly predictable, but I think we all need a book like that sometimes. I cannot even begin to tell you how obsessed I am with the hate-to-love trope, so it’s presence just warmed my heart haha. The banter was extremely fun to read through, and I really enjoyed the dynamic between Lucy and Josh.

However, I felt like this book dragged on for way too long. I genuinely thought the book was going to finish soon when I was about 50% through. It wasn’t because the book was unbearable in any way, but I think that there is a lot of unnecessary filler. The characters and their relationship definitely made up the entire book, so it didn’t leave much room for actual plot to happen. Also, I just wanted to throw this in there, but I found Lucy’s adoration towards Josh in the beginning to be a little uncomfortable. Her obsession was a little overboard me for, especially in the beginning of the book.

I did think that it was a cute read though, and I’m glad that I’ve finally gotten a chance to read it!

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Boyfriend Material was my very first read of 2021 and I expected it to be a cute little segue into the new year, but it disappointed me so bad! I was actually really upset that I didn’t like this one, because the reviews and synopsis told me that it should have been the perfect read for me.

My main problem with the book lies within one of the main characters, Luc. While I appreciate faults in characters to make them more realistic, he just had WAY too many! He became so unlikable, and I was shaking my head a lot at what could have been. Especially towards the middle of the book, there are so many plot points that focus around his rudeness as a result of his self-esteem issues, that it doesn’t become fun to read about anymore. However, I actually really liked the other main character, Oliver. While he shares some similar anxieties to Luc, I thought that they were a little more controlled. He came across as a really shy, but sweet and authentic character that I could root for.

There’s also another character in this, Alex, who I can’t not talk about. I don’t know if it’s for comedic effect, but he’s played up to be a really dumb character. He never understands any of Luc’s obvious jokes/punchlines, and sometimes even reminded me of an actual five year old. I could have totally missed something, but anyways, his existence made me want to yell at the book.

I also didn’t understand why the two MCs began dating in the first place. They went on a horrible first date, and afterwards, Luc asks Oliver to begin fake-dating him for publicity. And as a quick reminder, Luc has a horrible reputation in the media. For some unknown reason, Oliver agrees? He claims that he’d like a partner to come to his friend’s wedding (or something else, I don’t remember), but I don’t see any reason why he would want to align himself with someone he was clearly incompatible with on their first date. There’s no reason why he should have, making the entire foundation of the book overly confusing.

Overall, I can definitely see its appeal to a different audience, but it was not for me. The book was too drawn out, and the characters disappointed.

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Anyways, that concludes this post! I was watching Bridgerton this morning and I almost actually forgot to post today since I wrote this one over the weekend haha. I have the worst knowledge about “trending” Netflix shows, so I was so surprised to see that one EVERYWHERE on my book-related Instagram. Soo, I’m hopefully going to see what all the hype is about. On another unrelated note, I also got approved for a You Have a Match ARC on Netgalley (yeah, yeah, it releases in one week so I could have totally just waited the seven days) so I’m hopefully going to start that one later today.

I know that was a lot of random information just thrown in there, but I just wanted to awkwardly talk about some things that are happening in my life! I hope you all have a great Tuesday!

Happy reading!

-Allison

11 thoughts on “Mini Reviews: These Violent Delights, Kingdom of the Wicked, The Hating Game & More!”

  1. Glad to hear you enjoyed These Violent Delights, and that it was more than just a Romeo and Juliet retelling. That’s one I’ve been curious about but unsure if I’d enjoy. This gives me a little more confidence I might. I hope you keep enjoying your reading!

  2. Allison!! Ahh I’m so happy to hear about These Violent Delights… I’m currently reading it, and do agree especially on the setting in Shanghai, it’s really unique and vividly described! Ahhh as of where I am, Roma and Juliette have not interacted much so I am super curious and looking forward to finding out about their past! Thank you for your other reviews too, I’m delighted to hear about the world building in Kingdom of the Wicked! Lovely post! πŸ’•

  3. allison!! i’m going to start reading these violent delights soon, and i just can’t wait because I’ve heard ONLY good things about it!! i also ave a copy of kingdom of the wicked, and once school gives me a break, i will DEFINITELY get to that!! the hating game is also really hyped, and i haven’t read it yet, but from what you’ve described, i feel like i should read it, but not go in with expectations as high to avoid being disappointed. i’m so so sorry boyfriend material wasn’t for you 😭 i’ve heard so many amazing things about it, and though i haven’t read it yet, its’s nice to see another view and other opinions!! i also ADORED all the characters and tropes in you have a match – so i hope you enjoy that!! i loved all these reviews!! πŸ’–πŸ’–

    1. I hope you enjoy These Violent Delights and Kingdom of the Wicked!! You Have a Match ended up being such a cute, thoughtful read, and I really loved the family aspect of it too. Thank you!!

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