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Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valor #2

Winterborne Home for Mayhem and Mystery

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Join April and her ragtag group of friends as they unravel family secrets, creepy legends, and mysterious identities in this sequel to Ally Carter's blockbuster middle grade debut that Stuart Gibbs called “a fast-paced thrill ride of a book.”

April thought she’d saved the day.

With Gabriel declared guardian of the orphans at Winterborne House, everything should have been perfect. But with Izzy and Smithers away and social services snooping around, things are not quite right at Winterborne House. Gabriel isn’t exactly the father figure the kids were hoping for and, when it seems like the long-lost heir might be lost (maybe purposefully) yet again, the kids realize there might be others lurking in the shadows ready to take his place. April will have to decide how hard she’s willing to fight to hold onto the found family she’s finally formed when everyone seems determined to tear them apart.

339 pages, Paperback

First published March 2, 2021

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About the author

Ally Carter

48 books15.1k followers
Ally Carter writes books about sneaky people and movies about Christmas. She is the New York Times Best-selling author of the Gallagher Girls, Heist Society, and Embassy Row series for teens as well as WINTERBORNE HOME FOR VENGEANCE AND VALOR for younger readers. Her books have been published all over the world, in over twenty languages.

She encourages you to visit her online at allycarter.com and embassyrowbooks.com.

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5 stars
528 (41%)
4 stars
526 (41%)
3 stars
186 (14%)
2 stars
21 (1%)
1 star
2 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 208 reviews
Profile Image for Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls).
1,514 reviews3,358 followers
July 20, 2021
What is it about spies and dangerous mysteries that gets my heart pumping? (It's called suspense, Lindsey) Once I refreshed myself on the characters and plot from the prior book, I felt like I was on the edge of my seat the entire time reading this sequel. I’m very much looking forward to the next book.

As far as content and recommend ages goes, I stand by my comments from the first book: As far as content goes, I don’t think I would let a sensitive 12year old read it, but I found all the content to be fine for those a bit older or those used to reading secular fiction.

But I’d also like to add that this may be a hard story for adoptees or those in foster care to read. April really, really, really struggles with the thoughts that everyone leaves her (or will leave her without looking back) and frankly, the thoughts that she doesn’t matter. It was heartbreaking to read her distress over this. The reunion she’s always hoped for was completely *not* what she’s been anticipating and the only adult she’s cared about is MIA. I see why she’s upset and bitter, because it can be a common feeling for those in similar situations to April’s, but it might be too much (or triggering) for those who are/have been in those same situations. It depends on the child/teen/adult, though, of course.

A few mentions of prayers/praying; A few mentions of ghosts and supernatural legends; A mention of thanking the good Lord every day.
Minor cussing (such as 'blasted', 'bloody', 'heck', 'geez', 'oh my gosh', 'screwup, 'shut up', and 'stupid') are all said; Mentions of adults cussing (never written out, though one is cut off ("[someone] covering their...rear ends"); Eye rolling & sarcasm; Being chased by bad guys, injuries, & pain; Being drugged; Many mentions of injuries, being shot at/gunfire, being stabbed, blood/bleeding, etc. (up to semi-detailed); Many mentions of murders & killing (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of fires; Mentions of lies/lying; A few mentions of Girl Scouts.
A couple mentions of testosterone; A couple mentions of butts.
April 1, 2021
Wow! This was even better than the 1st book! I absolutely loved this! I can’t say much since it’s the 2nd book, but it had everything I loved about the 1st book plus so much more. The friendship dynamic is even stronger than ever w/this amazing found family. These characters have my heart. Colin & Gabriel especially. Gabriel w/his growling, tough exterior & broken heart. Colin w/his witty banter & calling girls “love”. Sadie is pretty hilarious herself lol When she brought Schrödinger's cat into a conversation, I laughed so hard-I thought The Big Bang Theory would be the only place I ever heard about that!😆 April very much has my heart too of course. She’s such a firecracker. I’m always rooting for her. There was so much danger & adventure in this. So fast paced w/all the action & suspense. & so many twists! I loved every moment of this book, & read it so fast. These are not only full of danger & suspense, but of family & friendship..they leave you w/the most heartwarming feelings. The big scene at the end was AMAZING! Some of the best lines! The ending was perfect. I don’t know if there will be more, but I really hope so. The ending is great & no cliffhangers, but there are still some unanswered questions & some loose ends that need tied up..plus I just WANT more lol Highly recommend! Absolutely beautiful covers by Flavia Sorrentino too!💜
Profile Image for charlotte,.
3,000 reviews796 followers
April 16, 2021
On my blog.

Rep: Black character

CWs: mentions of past child abuse

Galley provided by publisher

I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to call Ally Carter’s Winterborne Home series probably my favourite series of hers ever. I mean, I’ve enjoyed every one of her books that I’ve read, sure, but none of them have quite hit from the very first book like this series has.

And Winterborne Home for Mayhem and Mystery is no different.

The first book introduced us to the characters as they came to live at the Winterborne Home. And then followed it up with the mystery of the whereabouts of Gabriel Winterborne. The second book twists the mysteries deeper. The kids and Gabriel are on their own — Mr Smithers is on holiday and Izzy has… gone somewhere none of them know. But then all sorts of happenings start, from a break-in, to the arrival of child protection services, and the disappearance of Gabriel (again).

Obviously, central to the plot is the found family relationship, and that’s probably why I love this whole series so much. It is, at heart, about finding a family that may not be blood family, and finding love. And, yeah, the plots are great too, but they’re almost secondary to that theme of love (in the best way possible, of course).

But this book does also move things along, plotwise. As much as I say the best part is the love, I would struggle if there wasn’t a plot to carry that. And the plot here does, as Ally Carter so often manages, drive the story along and open up new questions as you go.

All of which to say, I cannot wait for the third book in this series.
Profile Image for rachel, x.
1,670 reviews853 followers
July 14, 2022
#1) Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valour ★★★★★

nothing makes me sob like a middle grade about found family ✌️

Trigger warnings for .

Representation: Sadie (sc) is Black.

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Profile Image for Patience.
173 reviews3 followers
February 25, 2022
This book has all the feels. Stress being the foremost. I realize it's a thriller, but pulling out CPS in chapter one is over the top in my book. Maybe CPS isn't super scary for the target audience, but as a parent reading this it was slightly terrifying. The plot is full if twists and heartwarming family moments. I just about cried at one point. I look forward to the continuation of this series.
Profile Image for Sunny (Gilbert’s Version).
115 reviews7 followers
December 23, 2022
Well, that was…absolutely fantastic and I’m kind of upset I didn’t read this sooner.

First off, what is it with grumpy old men that feel the need to protect the main characters that make me just absolutely love the book?

Anyway, that was an amazing book and I wish I hadn’t read this at midnight so I could comprehend it better. Man, I really need to start reading more middle grade because this was just amazing.
Profile Image for rylanne burdette.
396 reviews48 followers
July 27, 2021
In the sequel to Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valor, April is finally getting used to having people she loves and can rely on. The peace doesn’t last long before April and her friends are thrown back into a dangerous world, trying to find Gabriel Winterborne, who has once again gone missing, and finding out the truth about April’s parents.

After quickly making my way through the first book in this series and really enjoying it, I knew I needed to read this one as soon as possible! I loved getting to see April, her friends, and Gabriel during all of their adventures again. They stumbled into new mysteries that needed to be solved; their was never a dull moment with this group. I am not sure if there are plans to continue the series, but I am crossing my fingers that we get to see a third book announced soon because there is so much we still need to find out!

A huge thank you to NetGalley and Clarion Books for the ARC of Winterborne Home for Mayhem and Mystery by Ally Carter!
Profile Image for Megan.
380 reviews6 followers
June 2, 2021
Action-packed story that was hard to put down. I really enjoyed it despite being over two decades past the target audience. Looking forward to seeing where the series heads.
Profile Image for ★Kait Plus Books★.
229 reviews42 followers
October 27, 2021
The first book was great, but this one was AMAZING! I felt like it had a lot more Gallagher Girls/ Embassy Row vibes, and I absolutely LOVED all the twists and turns and intertwining plots. I am so excited to find out what happens next and also WHAT IS THE INSTITUTE IS IT ZACH'S SCHOOL I NEED TO KNOW IF THIS IS VICE PRESIDENT MCHENRY VERSE ALLY?!!?!?!????

Full review to be published closer to the publication date on kaitplusbooks.com!

5/5 stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

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Profile Image for Annika Ringnalda.
162 reviews4 followers
March 6, 2021
Ally Carter strikes again!!!!! UGH!!!! What is it with this series!?!?! Is it April, or Tim, or Violet, or Sadie? Or how about the absolute amazing ness that is Colin? I don’t wanna say I like these books more than Gallagher Girls but... I like these books more than Gallagher Girls. They are heartwarming, impossible to put down, and overall just SO GOOD! From a person who tends to like YA more than middle grade, these books are really something. Leave it to this book to pull me out of my reading slump, and suck me into reading it in one day. I’m just hoping and praying there’s a 3rd one, because while there’s no cliffhanger (😅), there are a couple loose ends and things in need of closure. Even if there isn’t going, this book was just too incredible to give anything less than five stars to.
Profile Image for Aly.
2,466 reviews
March 22, 2021
So much fun!
I so enjoyed reading this, it had plenty of action, humor, and emotion. The kids are sweet and smart and have formed a great familial bond with each other and their guardian Gabriel. As much as the kids can sometimes act older than their ages, there are also times where they become children again and just need someone to love them.

The pacing of this is well done and there's always a mystery to solve. I liked finding out more of April's parents and her connection to the Winterbornes. April has changed over these books and instead of wanting a parent she doesn't remember to come for her, she's realized that she has family in the other kids. The found family aspect made me so happy and I liked seeing everyone work together.

I hope there will be another book since not everything is resolved in the end. I'll be (somewhat) patiently waiting for news!

I voluntarily read and reviewed this book. Thank you to NetGalley and HMH Books for Young Readers for the copy.
Profile Image for Eule Luftschloss.
1,557 reviews50 followers
November 30, 2020
trigger warning

Friends and guardians Mr. Smithers and Izzy are away, and only Gabriel is left of the adults of the Winterborne Home - will that be enough?

I was not aware that this is the second installment of a series as I requested this, however, I was able to get into the plot and I liked characters, setting and events so much I'll make sure to look up book one of the series.

Found family stories are fun, and this is a twist on superhero and spy novels which I like. We have a group of children who all have their own abilities and need to work together to save the day. Fast and easy and fun.

The arc was provided by the publisher.
Profile Image for Emmalynn.
847 reviews12 followers
August 8, 2022
This was excellent. Loved it as much as the first book. The relationships between the kids are stronger than ever as they mesh into a family unit despite Gabriel’s surliness and overall lack of parenting. There are so many revelations, surprised, thrills, action, danger, on land and by sea, that it’s wonder the pages ever stopped moving. April, steadfast Tim, Violet, the amazing Sadie, the hilarious Colin, are such wonderful characters as they bond not only with each other but with Gabriel. After years in the system, they’ve finally found a home, unconventional though it may be, it’s home and they are family.
Profile Image for Autumn.
59 reviews
April 17, 2021
4 out of 5 stars.

This book was a massive sob-fest. April's stories from the foster system and inner thoughts about how she just wanted to be wanted absolutely BROKE me.

I don't know if there's supposed to further installations in this series, but if so, I'm holding out hope for a time jump in the next book.
February 2, 2022
I think this one was better than the first one! I didn't expect a kids book to give me all the feels and keep me on the edge of my seat, but wow! This was a winner! :)
Profile Image for Ames.
389 reviews9 followers
July 4, 2022
Loved this! Can't wait to see if Ally Carter actually finishes this series....

Laura Knight Keating did a fine job narrating too. I wish she'd brush up on the accents though or just not do them.
Profile Image for TrixieB.
407 reviews3 followers
February 24, 2021
CW: child endangerment, CPS

This is an excellent book! But you should read it with/before your child.

The adventure parts are not scary, but CPS is. So talk about it with your children to make sure they know they are safe.
Profile Image for Rachel.
99 reviews2 followers
May 15, 2021
If there won’t be more books in this series, I genuinely don’t know what I’ll do. SO. GOOD. As always, of course.
Profile Image for Lillian.
113 reviews
August 5, 2021
3.75 stars. It was a nice easy read and I enjoyed the suspense near the end. It's just not my favorite of Ally Carter's books.

The first thing that put me off about this book was the beginning. We jumped straight into action with little time to catch up with the characters. There were also many sentences that sounded a little too forced, too enthusiastic. For example within the first few pages we read this scene (which I will cover with a spoiler for those who haven't read the first book.)

This whole part just kind of felt kind of cringy. Because if you read the book before this one, then everything Sadie was saying should feel very obvious, and you might wonder why she just brings it up out of the blue like that.

Anyway. April is also just not my favorite heroine. She's not very consistent in character, and I don't know why, but she just rubs me wrong.

My one other chagrin is Colin. I like his character, I really do (well, not more than Tim. Tim is definitely my favorite.), but his accent drives me nuts. I know this is mainly my brain's fault. Colin is supposed to be British, but every time he calls someone "Love" I can't help but hear it in a southern drawl. My sister thinks I'm crazy, because to her that's part of what makes him so British in the book, but my brain won't turn off the southern accent.

Overall, I would recommend it if you read the previous book and are looking for a quick, easy read with some good suspense.
Profile Image for Em (Diversify Your Shelf).
109 reviews28 followers
March 2, 2021
TW: CPS (child protection services), kids being taken away from guardians, abusive parents, PTSD

I WAS SO THRILLED TO GET THIS ON NETGALLEY! I absolutely adored the first book in this series and have been anxiously awaiting this one. It did not disappoint. This is a book about secrets, found family, and just general fun with a hint of mystery. I've seen some other reviewers denounce its status as 'Middle Grade' but this is an incredibly well-written book. The writing is clear but not condescending and the characters all have unique voices.

I zoomed through this book needing to know what happened but also knowing the sequel will likely not be out until next year.

The story surrounds April and her fellow foster kids and their guardian Gabriel (who is doing his best to take care of them but is both on his own and suffering from serious PTSD). It is a mix of adventure and mystery and is incredibly enchanting. It was such a pleasure to be with these characters again and seeing Sadie invent, Colin con, and April just generally get into trouble. There is no infighting between the kids: they all love each-other and respect that each of them have different skills and interests.

Gabriel wrestling with parenting alone is something that I imagine is quite topical for parents right now and shows that parents can mess up when under pressure and that the title 'parent' is based on actions and not bloodlines.

Truly a remarkable read.
Profile Image for Andrea.
247 reviews
July 12, 2021
These two Winterborne books are...interesting. I enjoyed them, sure, but they are declared to be middle level grades. 7-9 grades or so. Wow. Really?? We have creepy bag guys, smooth,charming devils, dubious heroes, and children who have lead various states of horrific lives. We are to believe our heroine is 12. I know she grew up fast,but wow. We have some pretty adult themes in these books. No sex and drugs..well, one gets knocked out with a doctored water...but really take like that, but it is full of damaged people not always making the best choices.

So, do I object to that? Nope. Made the characters more interesting. I liked it, but just know it has some dark moments not usually found in a kid's book.
Profile Image for Bailie Smith-Hunter.
19 reviews31 followers
March 1, 2021
Okay y'all this book is 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏.
Ally Carter has been my favorite author since I was about 10 years old and I read the first Gallagher girl book. I'm almost 25 now and even her MG books are some of the best I've read recently.

April has been living at the Winterborne house for months now and its the closest she's ever come to a family. But with Smithers and Izzy gone, Gabriel Winterborne has taken over caring for April and the gang and its not going "well." Throughout the book, April learns more about her own biological family but realizes she has found people who love her in her friends and Gabriel and its *chef's kiss* cute. Love the found family vibes so much.

There is so much action and mayhem and mystery in this book so it definitely never gets boring. Its honestly pretty complicated and intense and I wouldn't be surprised if the actual audience for this book might get a little confused. Its still so good though! I was thinking how almost all of Ally's book contain a plot twist involving secret families or family secrets, and even with knowing that, I still didn't quite see all of the twists in this book coming, which is why I love her so much!

All in all, read this book. Whether you are a fifth grader or a teenager or adult, I highly recommend. Its just good writing and good plot twists and good fun. Thank you to Netgalley and HMH for the ARC!
Profile Image for Esther.
28 reviews
September 29, 2021
I love that my daughter is a teacher librarian as I get to read lots of books that she recommends. Sometimes they are books written for children nearly sixty years younger than me but often they are exactly what an older person needs most: eminently readable, full of action and loveable but imperfect characters and a plot that twists and turns so you can’t put the book down. Book 2 of this series does exactly that, where’s the next book daughter of mine? How long will I have to wait?
Profile Image for LibraryLaur.
1,392 reviews43 followers
April 5, 2021
This second installment in Ally Carter's first series for middle-graders is another fun caper with all of the hallmarks of her YA novels. Tweens will love this, and look forward to a sequel.

*Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for providing an e-galley in exchange for an honest review.

Profile Image for Almira.
544 reviews2 followers
May 14, 2021
Further adventures of April and her 4 friends/siblings at Winterborne Home.

Life is far from normal, or safe, all the goings on at Winterborne home are gearing up, taking the 5 on a most mysterious and dangerous mission to discover the secret(s) of Winterborne, April's heritage, and the necklace........
Profile Image for Savanna Ammons.
9 reviews8 followers
November 7, 2022
3.5 stars. I really liked the story, but the number of “snapped” and “growled” dialogue tags kinda irked me. It felt like every other line someone was snapping. But otherwise, it was a really good book.
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