Synopsis from Good Reads:
Blood Will Spill, Hearts Will Break: With a fierce rivalry raging between two warring families, falling in love is the deadliest thing Sophie could do. An epic debut set outside modern-day Chicago.
For Sophie, it feels like another slow, hot summer in Cedar Hill, waitressing at her family’s diner and hanging out with her best friend Millie. But then someone moves into the long-abandoned mansion up the block–a family of five Italian brothers, each one hotter than the last. Unable to resist caramel-eyed Nicoli, Sophie finds herself falling for him — and willfully ignoring the warning signs. Why are Nic’s knuckles cut and bruised? Why does he carry an engraved switchblade? And why does his arrogant and infuriating older brother, Luca, refuse to let her see him? As the boys’ dark secrets begin to come to light, Sophie is confronted with stinging truths about her own family, too. Suddenly, she’s torn between two warring dynasties: the one she’s related to and the one she’s now in love with. She’ll have to choose between loyalty and passione. When she does, blood will spill, hearts will break. Because in this twisted underworld, dishonor can be the difference between life and death.
I wasn’t going to review this book because I had few positive reactions about it, but after a couple of days I’m still annoyed by it, so I thought I’d just rant it out. My original “review” posted on Good Reads was just this, “2 Generous Stars. This book was ridiculous.”
I’m just going to go the list route here.
-In the beginning of the book the writing seemed on the younger side of the YA spectrum. I don’t really have a problem with that, but as the book went on the content became much older YA and the writing didn’t really change.
-Sophie’s best friend, Millie, had potential to be a funny, entertaining side character with her over-the-top theatrics, but she just came off spoiled and annoying. And I didn’t get the point of her being British. She didn’t really use any British specific phrases and I don’t think it was ever mentioned why her family moved to this little, boring town.
***EVERYTHING FROM HERE ON OUT CONTAINS SPOILERS***
Ok, a little more plot explanation. Sophie’s dad is in prison for murder. He thought he was going to be attacked and ended up shooting an unarmed man. We will later find out that this unarmed man was a well-known mob boss. Sophie’s dad still goes to jail for awhile, though. Her uncle is acting all sketchy and leaves town to do “business” that Sophie isn’t real clear on.
When an Italian family with 5 sons move into a local gothic mansion, Sophie immediately falls for Nic. This is a good example on why “insta-love” doesn’t work. The boy who was so nice and courteous and gorgeous is a PSYCHOPATH. Seriously. And obviously Sophie will wind up with his older brother, Luca, who isn’t a great guy either, but he’s obviously not as crazy. I’m not sure I can stomach another installment of these characters to find out for sure, though.
So anyways, everyone tells Sophie to stay away from the boys, but they won’t tell her why so she doesn’t listen. She goes all puppy-love on Nic and things are good until he finds out who her father is. She thinks he’s just upset because her father killed a man by accident, but what she later finds out is that the man he killed is Nic’s father. Neither one of them particularly cares about that, though. Sophie becomes slightly concerned when Nic tells her his family are mob assassins and at 17 he’s already a “career assassin”, but they’re noble and only take out people who deserve it, so no big deal, right?
Sophie was not a well-developed character. She was whiney and naïve for most of the book, then she was knocking a mob enforcer unconscious and cursing at adolescent psychopaths. She was morally disgusted at the right times, but then all of a sudden she didn’t care because Nic’s eyes were so dreamy. She was hard to like.
So it turns out that there was a good reason everyone told Sophie to stay away from the brothers because they are out to kill her uncle who is a drug dealer and they are owed a “blood debt” because of their father being killed – and that’s where Sophie comes in! She’s kidnapped to lure in her uncle and we find out the new mob boss isn’t the boys’ uncle like we are led to believe, but the oldest son, who is Luca’s twin. Luca ends up letting Sophie go because he’s not really the douche Sophie thought he was, but instead of running to safety, she goes to the warehouse where they were going to take her anyways. A couple people are killed and her uncle shoots Luca and Nic shoots her uncle. They all live, though, to see another ill-advised sequel.
Overall, Vendetta had potential, but the uneven writing and characters and over the top plot made it sound more ridiculous than anything else.