DNF: Vicious


by V.E. Schwab

started in August 2016

Goodreads status: DNF

spoiler-free review

(DNF @ page 120)

I started Vicious in August and haven’t picked it up since. I probably didn’t give it the chance it deserves, but I honestly have no desire to continue it.

When I started it, I had to study for my exams and work on my thesis. The flashbacks in Vicious are set in college and it gave me a lot of anxiety.

But the main reason why I couldn’t get into it, is Victor. Reading about an unlikeable protagonist is the number one way to make me dislike a book. I’m serious: the majority of the books I DNF’d or didn’t like, were because I did not like the main character. This is not an issue for most readers and I wish it wasn’t for me either, but I can’t help but get so annoyed at everything they say or do.

Victor was literally going to commit suicide because he did not want to be a sidekick. He was willing to die for that. He is so obsessed with power, which makes him self-centred. He was privileged, yet acted as if his life was so unfair.

I couldn’t continue it anymore after the thing that happened with Angie. He pretends as if she ‘friend-zoned’ (FYI: I hate that term) him, but he never even made a move. He says he had a crush on her, saved her and would have treated her better, but does absolutely no effort to help her. He doesn’t even feel guilty, but actually detached.

Like I’ve said: many readers aren’t bothered by this and are able to enjoy characters like Victor. I, unfortunately, can’t. I keep giving books with characters like him a chance, but it never works for me. It’s not like I want all characters to be absolutely perfect and good, but for some reason (which I can’t figure out), I can’t detach my personal feelings from anti-heroes or even villains.

I did not like the structure either. The abundance of flashbacks prevented me from finding out what happened in the present. Therefore, I didn’t care about what was happening. How am I supposed to be anxious and surprised if I already know what’s going on ten years later?!

One character had the ability of healing, the other of increasing and decreasing pain. There are so many possibilities here, yet the characters had such similar abilities. Naturally, I didn’t finish the book so don’t know how that was going to evolve, but I felt disappointed.

Finally, I noticed a character who was named Peter Mark. Am I the only one who thought of Peeta Melark when I read that? πŸ˜€

Conclusion: Many people love Vicious, but because I struggle reading about unlikeable characters, I couldn’t get into it.

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7 thoughts on “DNF: Vicious

  1. amber @ onlytruemagic says:

    It’s always a shame when we find books that don’t jive with us, but you clearly have some excellent reasons why this book was intolerable. Characters like that irk me to no extent as well. At least you’ve warned others to stay away!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jackie B @ Death by Tsundoku says:

    YES! I am soooooo happy to see a DNF review! I also do DNF reviews, but I feel like so few people do them I’m a bit of a reviewer outcast. I think it’s even more important that we review DNF books than the ones we love– we need to help people stay away from potential wastes of their time.

    Poor characterizations I really struggle with. It sounds like not only is Victor unlikable in your eyes, but he also isn’t well developed at all. That’s a shame. I haven’t read Vicious, but I’ll think twice now about picking it up. Great review! I love how clearly you articulate your reasoning. Something to aspire to. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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