The Cruelty by Scott Bergstrom

Reviewed by K. Yanna, March 2020

Gwendolyn Bloom embarks on a journey filled with assassins, spies, and cunning criminals when her father mysteriously vanishes. Racing around the world to find her father, Gwendolyn meets people who help her - and some who manipulate her. To find her father, and keep herself, alive, Gwendolyn must be as devious, imaginative, and resourceful as the people keeping her father captive.

I borrowed The Cruelty from a friend on a class trip, and read around 150 pages in - enough to be hooked. After the trip, I tried to find the book online (using keywords that I had remembered), but to no avail. Around a year later, I finally found the book and quickly finished it. Well worth the wait. Gwendolyn’s perilous journey has everything you would want in a book: a rebel dangerously fighting an evil with explosions, suspense, and romance in excess.

The Cruelty earns 5/5 stars. Not only is Gwendolyn a resilient and brave teenage girl, but she rivals some of the greatest strong female characters in fiction: Katniss Everdeen, Tris Prior, and Hermione Granger. In fact, Gwendolyn is the combination of Katniss, Tris, and Hermione into one person in a crime-based urban setting.