Vendetta by Catherine Doyle

Blood for Blood, book one
published on February 24th 2015 by Chicken House
young adult | contemporary | romance | thriller

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When it comes to revenge, love is a dangerous complication.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.

When five brothers move into the abandoned mansion in her neighbourhood, Sophie Gracewell’s life changes forever. Irresistibly drawn to bad boy Nicoli, Sophie finds herself falling into a criminal underworld governed by powerful families. As the boys’ dark secrets begin to come to light, Sophie is confronted with stinging truths about her own family, too. She must choose between two warring dynasties – the one she was born into, and the one she is falling in love with. When she does, blood will spill and hearts will break.


What would you do if you had to choose between the lives of your family and the lives of the crazy-ass strangers you met just weeks or months ago?

If you’re anything like the heroine in Vendetta and are seriously conflicted about this huge decision, then you’re probably living in a cheesy Mafia movie.

Vendetta had so much potential–I mean, who doesn’t want to read about a girl whose dad is in prison for murder? About a girl whose life is suddenly turned upside down as she uncovers each of her family’s secrets? But ultimately, I think this book just wound up being another “typical” YA love story.

What I Liked:

– Nic was a sweet love interest (finally–we don’t have enough of those). He was flirty in a cute way, and was in no way an arrogant prick! He was also protective about Sophie, which was really endearing.

– Sophie had an amazing friendship with her best friend, Millie. They were clearly caring towards each other, to the point that Millie gave up having a social life with more friends just so she could have Sophie’s back. They stuck with each other through thick and thin; they were like sisters in the most important sense.

– One of the main twists (highlight to view spoiler)–about Sophie’s dad being a drug pusher–was actually pretty surprising. I don’t know about everybody else, but I actually didn’t see it coming.

What I Disliked:

– Like I said earlier, this book was a bit too cheesy in general. We have the airhead who doesn’t listen to her elders, the new guys in town who’re totally hot and gorgeous, and the crazy family issues that the heroine is too busy in Cloud Nine to take notice of until the last few chapters of the book.

– Sophie was kind of an idiot, to put it frankly. She never listened to ANYONE’S advice about staying away from the family of hot strangers, because, of course, she’s drawn to them.

There’s a potential love triangle for future books. Yep, and the other guy is Nic’s aggressive and arrogant older brother, Luca. Yeah sure, this guy had good intentions but he’s such a prick and I just wanted to punch him most of the time.

– The other twists (highlight for spoilers)–about Valentino being the crazy-ass mastermind and about the boys being part of a Mafia family in general–were really predictable.


Even if it may have seemed like I did nothing but rant about this book, I definitely saw the potential and I’m still curious enough to pick up the sequels in this trilogy.

I would recommend this book to romance fans who are okay with reading about your typical YA tropes.


Thanks very much to Scholastic and Chicken House Books for the review copy!

Skulls 2.5

2.5 skulls


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About Aimee

Aimee loves being a little bookworm (okay–she doesn’t like being little). She also loves chocolates and sweets but is freaked out by the thought of possibly getting diabetes.

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25 thoughts on “Review: Vendetta by Catherine Doyle

  1. Sometimes typical YA tropes work if you’re in the mood for it but I haven’t been in the mood for in for awhile now so I’ll probably just pass this up. Maybe the story will develop more than a love story since this is a trilogy? I really hope so because from your review, it really does feel like it has potential Aimee! Hopefully, the next book will be better. Lovely review! :)


    1. I get you, Amir! If the book’s really entertaining, I normally won’t mind the cliche-ness of it at all. I seriously do hope the next books will be less romance-centered as well!


  2. I kind of saw the cheesy romance coming just from the synopsis alone, but as you said there’s potential in this book so I’m definitely going to read it next! Hopefully I don’t get too bothered by the heroine’s love dilemmas because I really want to dive into this mafia-like setting. :)


    1. Same here, Miguel! I was hoping that it wasn’t the case since I’ve been seeing mostly positive reviews for this one. I hope you end up enjoying this more than I did. :)


  3. Too bad on this one Aimee! I’m sometimes all for cheese in my books (particularly cute, fluffy romances), but in stories like this cheesy is definitely not what I’m looking for. And why must there always be another possible love interest waiting in the wings? Romance can be interesting and exciting between two people, no third necessary:) Thanks for your thoughts!


    1. Sometimes the cheesiness works, but it depends on the book. Definitely game for it in fluffy contemporary romances. :)

      Yes, exactly! I’m already seeing a few people pick the other guy’s “team” already. :/


  4. The premise really caught my attentions, I love warring families mafia style. Too bad it wasn’t handle so well with the heroine being too wishy-washy. Sounds like an enjoyable escape though.
    Great review, Aimee!

    Thanks for stopping by Book Swoon :)


  5. Yikes, this sounds pretty bad. I hate it when there’s such a cool premise, but the book’s direction is all about the love story that we couldn’t care less about. And seriously, the heroine would make me bald, because the frustration I’d have with her around would be monumental. I’m glad I don’t have to read this one O.O

    Faye at The Social Potato


  6. Looks like we felt exactly the same about Vendetta regarding romance outweighing the actual mystery. Hahaha. I seriously hope the sequel will pick up more on the mystery front and again veiled simply through Sophie’s blatant ignorance of readily available information that later are used as (failed) plot twists.


  7. URGH, I hate when really interested and promising stories get completely muddled. This one sounded so promising by the synopsis alone. I’m sorry it just didn’t deliver. The MC sounds like the type of character I definitely would not get along with. Hopefully your next read is more enjoyable!


  8. Wow I actually want to read the book based on the synopsis alone but I don’t think I’m the mood for this typical YA trope right now and of course, we have exams. Anyway, i’ll add this to my tbr because I was definitely intrigued! :)


  9. Ugh, no! I was excited for this one, but I did kind of see the potential for cheesiness, so I am sad to find out that it was there. And the idiotic character is not fun either. I don’t necessarily mind the love triangle thing though (depending on how it’s done, I guess) and I do like that there was a good twist! Maybe I will still give this one a shot someday, but I won’t be rushing to read it. Great review :)


  10. i really think you should get your facts about romantic novels right! you didn’t even realise that the book is much more than a “YA love story” , focus on intensity and not the realism, that’s what we call fiction. also after reading the second part you would definitely be desperate to read the next. and you luca has more brains, nic is a jerk…you will know


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