The Cruelty by Scott Bergstrom
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.
Let me start by saying wow. I was given an audio copy of The Cruelty by Macmillan Audio in exchange for a honest review and that is exactly what you're about to get!! With the criticism that Bergstrom got last year because of an interview and a sample of one of his chapters, I would say to that, don't let that stop you from reading a really good story. A good story with good and developed characters and a shocking reality that Bergstrom captures expertly.
I'm not going to sugar coat this s*** for you guys, because neither did The Cruelty sugar coat anything for me. This book was hard core. It was tough, full of action, and sickening situations that you wouldn't want to even imagine your pretty little self in. I read that this book is great for fans of Taken and let me say that statement is 100% accurate! I couldn't get enough of it. I was listening in my car, listening at home and I even took the CD into work with me!
Gwendolyn Bloom is no joke. With the perfect background of her childhood, being dragged all over the world due to her father's political career, she was born for this role of kicking some ass. She starts off in the book a little timid and though it seemed perfectly real, it pissed me off! The author definitely makes you feel things while reading this. Well done, Bergstrom.
I imagine that if I liked my father as much as Gwen does, I'd put myself in the dangerous and life threatening situations that Gwen did too, haha
There are disturbing situations spotlighted in this book, and I don't just mean break-ups, or kidnappings, or people just being mean, I mean sex trafficking, real criminals from other countries, and murder scenes, this YA is a hard kick in the face to open your eyes to reality, fiction but with real life scenarios thrown in. This is my kind of book though. Full of corruption, lies, and desire to uncover the truth. I love how Bergstrom made this fiction feel real, and I'm sure that is exactly why it was picked up for movie rights by Jerry Bruckheimer.
I think with some authors, pushing their female leads into roles of power, strength, and sometimes vengeful, now is a perfect time for Bergstrom's character Gwen to hit the ground running. I loved this fast pace, girl kicking a** novel, and I think other fans of action, contemporary and young adult novels will to.