The Cruelty | Book Review

Author: Scott Bergstorm

Rating: 2/5 Stars

Publication Date: February 7, 2017

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends


When her diplomat father is kidnapped and the U.S. Government is unable to help, 17 year-old Gwendolyn Bloom sets off across the sordid underbelly of Europe to rescue him. Following the only lead she has—the name of a Palestinian informer living in France—she plunges into a brutal world of arms smuggling and human trafficking. As she journeys from the slums of Paris, to the nightclubs of Berlin, to the heart of the most feared crime family in Prague, Gwendolyn discovers that to survive in this new world she must become every bit as cruel as the men she’s hunting.


Thank you so much to the publisher for sending me this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

When I had first read the synopsis of this book, it sounded amazing. A teenage spy that has to save the world. I mean, we always need more teen spy books in the world, right? Now, I really try to stay away from having to post negative reviews of books, mostly because the books that I choose I make sure that I am really going to like them before I contact the publisher or end up purchasing the book. But, there will always be the one exception for this.

Much like I do with all the other books I review, I refer to Goodreads for an author rating and to see how other people enjoyed this book. This did not end very well. You are free to look it up on your own time, but besides this, I still went forth in reading the book because that is what I am. An unbiased and honest book reviewer.

Now, the book started off a bit rough. By this, I mean there are many rude stereotypes that the author makes towards the main character, Gwendolyn, which is a female. This is 2017, and I believe that with everything going on in the world, we could have at least made it past gender stereotypes in YA books. Like this:

“Guys on the sidewalk in front of the shops’ whistle and catcall after me. They love this-the school uniform, the flash of seventeen-year-old legs.”

As this occurred early on in the book, I really did not have high hope for the rest of the story. To go along with the strange teenage girl spy, she has a strange (romantic?) relationship with some guy that is now pulled into everything. I feel like he was just added in just to appeal to a romance aspect. The book could do without it and it could still make sence.

Without going into to much detail, I was, unfortunately, unable to finish this book. I always try my hardest to finish a book, even if I absolutely hate it, but with this one, I was unable to.

I feel that if the main character was a bit older and possibly male that it would have suited the storyline and plot better. Being a teenage girl and also a spy, there have to be specific traits to follow in order to make your book, not sound cliche and different from the rest.

With this being said, I always recommend books to my followers. As I stated before, always do your research BEFORE you get a book. Whether it be Goodreads or Amazon, knowing some background behind the author and the making of the story makes all the difference.



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