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The Cruelty

(The Cruelty #1)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  2,253 ratings  ·  449 reviews
When Gwendolyn Bloom's father vanishes, she sets off on a journey she never bargained for. Traveling under a new identity in a world of assassins, spies, and criminal masterminds, she uncovers a disturbing truth. To bring her father back alive, she must become every bit as cruel as the men holding him captive.

Taken meets The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Bourne Ident
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published February 7th 2017 by Feiwel & Friends (first published 2014)
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Average rating 3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,253 ratings  ·  449 reviews

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Nov 25, 2015 marked it as no-thanks  ·  review of another edition

I'm pretty sure there are plenty morally complicated YA books for me to read, so I won't need this one. So thanks, but no thanks, sir. I suggest you actually try reading a few YA books before you make a statement such as this. I'd be happy to give you a list of morally complicated YA books.
Reader X
Apr 07, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This would be a good, solid book with a nice plot and character development, if it weren't about a teenaged girl.

There are no real plot spoilers below, though I do point at some specifics in this review.

It smacks of "first novel", overwritten in some parts (slow in the beginning around things and people that don't end up meaning much in my view, and weirdly descriptive about New York in negative ways that are curious) and jumping from one setting to another in a confusing way--how does the main
Ash Wednesday
Feb 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Taken and spy thrillers... or anything Jan De Bont made
The hardest part about not believing in God isn’t knowing there’s no heaven.
It’s knowing there’s no hell.

The thing with human trafficking is, it has been glamorized beyond recognition in contemporary romance it has started to sound like an appealing way to meet your one true pair. Such a horrible reality has been fluffed out by exceptionally attractive, kinky and ruthless alpha heroes with a heart of gold in fiction that it has started to become a selling point in books.

This is not th
Lady Entropy
Mar 07, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It lost me at the sexist bullshit. Also why can't we have a female protagonist who's "chubby" and does not accept the "patriarchy-imposed standards of beauty"? Why does she have to become standard-beautifully lean throughout her quest? Because god help us if less than perfectly thin women are portrayed as being athletic and physically strong (note: strongmen are all chubby and heavy set -- they're also the strongest humans on earth, because the "chub" serves to protect the inner organs. There is ...more
I would rather claw my own eyeballs out.
DNF at page 100

I was really excited to read this book. I thought the premise sounded interesting and author drama aside, I went into the book with an open mind. Sadly, this wasn't for me.

I couldn't connect with Gwendolyn. She's obviously way smarter than I am, but I am 100% on board with that. Annnnnd at the same time, I think that's where I started to lose interest. The story doesn't read like YA.

I constantly put it down and would take days between picking it back up. At one point, I went to l
Sean Peters
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 n
Jan 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comic-con-2016
After reading a whole slew of reviews about this book, I've learned two things.

One: bandwaggoners.
Two: Just because someone knocks a genre doesn't mean they don't still enjoy the genre.

Seriously though. The guy's allowed to say that YA is cookie cutter and always neatly walled up, because it is. He even took the opposite approach to this girl's physical appearance--all main character teenage girls in dystopian YA have the same characteristics and mannerisms. There's very few who stray away from
Brittany S.
Aug 25, 2016 marked it as did-not-finish
Marked as DNF 9/19/16: I agreed to read THE CRUELTY before I even knew about the author controversy when the publisher asked me if I would be interested! I truly had no idea what had happened with the author and agreed to read the book since an international mystery sounded right up my alley! Still not knowing the drama, I managed to read a few chapters before I got that rude awakening.

I have to say... Finding out that an author who wrote a YA book totally puts down YA books in general did not
Thibaut Nicodème
Ah yes, you are the chosen one who will elevate the YA genre. I mean it's not like your financial success could have anything with your background as an ad executive or anything. ...more
Lizzy (Bent Bookworm)
Full review with links to source articles on The Bent Bookworm!

This book has already had a lot of buzz, mainly because of the author’s condescending and inflammatory comments about YA in general. I have a LOT of thoughts on his comments and general attitude, but I tried – I really, really tried – to not let my view of the author color the book. I agreed to the review before knowing anything about all the drama, so I felt like that was only fair. Usually when I try a new author, debut or not, I d
I would like to thank the publishers for sending me The Cruelty in paperback to review. The story is a little heartbreaking. Gwendolyn Bloom's mother was killed the official cause of death was with fourteen stab wounds to chest and neck. After her mothers death she started gymnastics. When her diplomat father is kidnapped, Gwendolyn seems to be the only one with the will and determination to find him. I did find this book hard to get into. The book is designed well in a bright red cover and when ...more
Aug 02, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: review-copy
Hmm what to say about this book... I received it from the publisher in exchange for an honest review and I agreed to read it before I found out about all of the controversy surrounding this author and his comments about YA. When an author writes a YA novel and proceeds to throw the entire genre under the bus, it's hard to not take that personal as a reader who loves YA. Despite this, I tried to go in with an open mind. The premise sounded intriguing and reminded me of a reverse Taken. That being ...more
Trigger warnings: murder, human trafficking, attempted rape, violence. Lots and lots of violence.

This book was...not at all what I expected. I mean, it *WAS* what I expected in that it's about a teenage girl whose diplomat father is kidnapped and she runs off to Europe to try and find him.

What I *didn't* expect? How fucking dark this was going to be.

Like... This is a young adult book. And yet in it, the main character:
- Runs away to Europe
- Learns Krav Maga
- Stabs some people
- Murders a bunch
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
Have you seen the movie Taken with Liam Neeson? Because if you have, and you love it, then by all means, read this book. But if you have, and you hated it, then there’s no point in reading this book. The book is quite similar to the movie, only the roles are reversed with an angry daughter flying to Europe and taking on crime bosses, human trafficking and drug dealers to rescue her father. (Strangely enough, this is the third book that I have read in a month where the child goes to rescue their ...more
YA author opines on YA category without seemingly having ever read any YA.
2.5 stars

There are two types of 3 star ratings for me. One is "this was nearly brilliant, but had a few elements that dragged it down". The other is "this is ho-hum, might work for someone else, didn't really appeal to me." The Cruelty is definitely the second type.

It's…fine. There's no real mystery, so don't let the Dragon Tattoo comp fool you; this is Taken essentially, complete with ridiculous action sequences, villainous sex traffickers, and a Mary-Sue protagonist. Gwendolyn speaks five lang
Emmy Hermina Nathasia
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Another 'unputdownable' books! Love the plot and storyline. I love the way the author portrays the protagonists, not soppy or weak. I like that she is practical and strong, can adapt and survive. I love her tenacity and courage to do what needs to be done. Not as kick-ass as Angelina Jolie in Salt, but hey, this is a YA Thriller genre, not a full-fledged Fiction Thriller! I am a little bit crushed by the ending but hey, there's always Book 2. ...more
Jess (BookObsessedJess)
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audible, 4-stars
Hello, my name is Jess and I like stabby books.

The stabbier the better IMHO.

The Cruelty follows Gwendolyn Bloom after her father goes missing and the CIA stops their search for him, albeit prematurely. It begins as a girl just searching for her father and becomes a "I will destroy anyone who gets in my way" book. The people she encounters are scary people. Bad people. Horrible people. Justice is best served cold.

Gwen begins as a fairly timid girl, even allowing the school bully to humiliate her
Sep 12, 2016 marked it as kill-it-with-fire
There is an episode of Family Guy where Brian is annoyed that his first book hilariously and obviously flopped. In a fit of anger, after looking at The NY Times bestseller list, Brian starts to mock self help books. He calls out the entire genre, authors, and the "idiots" who read them. He does all of this and then, as a JOKE, decides to write a self help book. As a J-O-K-E he writes a book to prove that any idiot can write that kind of book, and any idiot will buy it. And do you know what happe ...more
Maya Myers
Apr 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read for a living, and I was hooked from the first paragraph. This is a remarkably well written book with a strong, unique, kickass heroine. Thrillers that successfully incorporate artful word choice and keen human observation are few and far between; this one masterfully incorporates both into a well-paced, compelling plot. You're never quite sure where Gwendolyn will go next, but you know you want to be there. ...more
Stephanie (Reading is Better With Cupcakes)
The Cruelty...

Oh what can I say about this book...

To be totally honest with you, I read this book months ago... And I have kept putting this review off.

Kind of one purpose.

Why? Because I have mixed feelings about this book.

On one hand, I did like it. On the other hand, I didn't.

The Cruelty is about a girl named Gwendolyn. Gwendolyn's father is a diplomat. He has worked for the U.S. Government for years. And he gets kidnapped. So, naturally, Gwendolyn sets off to go rescue her father.

And the road
Summer (buttermybooks)
Aug 02, 2016 rated it did not like it
wont be reading this, thanks.
Aug 03, 2016 rated it did not like it
I tried so hard to finish this book, but there was just so much wrong with it that I couldn't do it. ...more
Steph Cuthbert
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
When I started this book, I was into it. Gwendolyn seemed smart and although the beginning was a little clunky, I stuck it out. Unfortunately the book went downhill from here and it took me well over a week to struggle through it.
Gwendolyn is a 2D character. I felt as though the author started out thinking "oh, that's what teenage girls are like" but then quickly lost the thread. By the time I was halfway through the book, there wasn't even a shadow of a 17 year old girl there. Gwen spoke 7
Amy Eisener Dorman
I refuse to read this book for a couple reasons that others have explained. It takes serious balls to publish in a genre and simultaneously insult the existing work in that genre, as well as the genre itself. In doing so, you insult both the writers (your would-have-been colleagues) and the readers (you know--the ones you want to buy your book). Why bother writing YA if you think so little of YA writers and readers? Unfortunately for this author, he vastly underestimated the YA audience.
Jun 13, 2016 marked it as dnf-or-no-thank-you
I downloaded this from Edelweiss and read chapter 1 and nope. The writing is trying too hard and I found the main character utterly annoying. This may be for someone but that person is definitely not me.
Feb 12, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Didn't get past first chapter. Doesn't feel right almost like the author has written what he thinks a YA novel should be like without ever actually reading one and got it just wrong. ...more
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Cruelty is a sort of coming of age story. I say sort of because Gwendolyn Bloom is forced to grow up in a way that is so tragic and disturbing. When Gwen's father is apparently kidnapped and no one will help she feels compelled to find him herself. Scott Bergstrom has created a character the reader can believe capable of attempting this; if he failed in that crucial task it would not matter how good the rest of the book was. I won't tell you what happens, but I will tell you this is an excit ...more
Jan 22, 2017 marked it as will-never-read  ·  review of another edition
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