This gripping tale of seven girls’ revenge-porn nightmare is a startling realisation into the dangers of trading nudes in an age of revenge, jealousy and social media. I don’t know what I was expected when I first picked up Revenge of the Sluts. The synopsis seemed simple enough, and given the book was coming from Wattpad, I wasn’t sure whether the novel was going to live up to my expectations. Safe to admit that I was pretty wrong. It exceeded them.
title ♡ revenge of the sluts
author ♡ natalie walton
genre ♡ young adult; contemporary; mysery; realistic
pages ♡ 328
publisher ♡ wattpad books; penguin
release date ♡ 2 february, 2021 (wattpad books); 4 february, 2021 (penguin)
goodreads ♡ amazon
As a lead reporter for The Warrior Weekly, Eden has covered her fair share of stories at St. Joseph’s High School. And when intimate pictures of seven female students are anonymously emailed to the entire school, Eden is determined to get to the bottom of it.
In tracking down leads, Eden is shocked to discover not everyone agrees the students are victims. Some people feel the girls “brought it on themselves.” Even worse, the school’s administration seems more concerned about protecting its reputation than its students.
With the anonymous sender threatening more emails, Eden finds an unlikely ally: the seven young women themselves. Banding together to find the perpetrator, the tables are about to be turned. The Slut Squad is fighting back!
Let’s kick this review off by admitting that I was hooked from the beginning. The first chapter had me questioning who would want to send out an email containing seven nudes of high-school students. It’s a very intriguing premise – a mysterious email is issued to the entire student-body of St Joe’s containing a nude of seven Senior students. From the mystery surrounding their sender ‘Eros’ to the promise of further emails, the plot is pretty well thought out. It was a perfect school mystery, told from a detective-like perspective of one of the school’s journalists, Eden.
But, on the other [hand], female students could only go so far before they were deemed a slut. The line was thin and the rules weren’t clear.Eden, Revenge of the Sluts
The above quote highlights the theme of the book exactly, and is one of my absolute favourites to come from the story. There is a double standard that has existed for as long as I can remember: men can be intimate with whoever they want (or how many people they want) and be celebrated for it, while women who do the same are labelled a ‘slut’ or ‘loose’. In this case, young teen girls who succumb to the social pressure from friends and love interests to prove they’re not ‘frigid’ fall into the vulnerable category should their pictures be exposed. On the parallel, young girls who embraced their sexuality and grow comfortable with themselves fall victim to the same labels. I love how Revenge of the Sluts sticks up for these girls – girls who vary in reasons for sending their nudes out – girls who had their trust breached. We live in a society of vicious victim blaming; where instead of teaching people to respect each other, we question and demonise the girls who have their lives ruined by the release of their intimate photography.
The book makes leaps and bounds in showcasing the effects of revenge porn and non-consensual pornography once it is made public. Each of the seven girls points out how miserable the email has made them and the way in which it has affected their lives. As well as the embarrassment that arising from what seems like the entire world seeing your intimate photos, there is a lot of misery that arises from the taunting and teasing that comes from people (in both real life and virtually). Revenge of the Sluts shows that not everybody has a supportive family and each person has a different way of dealing with the issues which arise from Eros’ email.
Characterisation throughout the novel is notably diverse through-out the novel. Eden is of Korean descent; Ronnie was noted as “one of four black girls in the school” and Jeremy is openly and proudly gay. It’s refreshing to see that young adult fiction is evolving to represent a cross-section of society. Further to this, it allowed the author to shine a light on the inequalities still present within society. For example, the school the characters attend is incredibly conservative on their opinions. Considering the school only has four black students and LGBT couples are discouraged from attending functions together, the book shows that divisions in society are still very much alive.
Eden was a character I liked, though she was overshadowed by some of the secondary characters. While she sometimes allowed her bias to show, I appreciated the moments she empathised with the victims of the email. It was good to see a protagonist who actively gets along with her parents
because I see way too much of the opposite in young adult sometimes. Despite this though, there were moments where she was a little bit too ‘good girl’. Ronnie was such a powerful character to accompany Eden on her journey however. I loved how passionate and intellectual she was, even when she was being pretty straight-to-the-point. The overall favourite character of the book, and it seems to be quite a popular opinion, is Sloane. Her strength and ‘I don’t care’ attitude made the story as important as it is. Seeing her take a stand for what she believed in was bold, brave and bloody brilliant!
There were certain moments when I genuinely believed that I had the story sussed out. I was making my own little notes
(thank you Goodreads) and at very distinctive points, I was pointing out just who seemed suspicious. I’ll admit that I got it wrong a lot, but while I didn’t correctly guess the identity of Eros, it kinda went in the direction it expected it to. At no point of the story was I bored. It was quite gripping to find out who it was at the end, and their motive behind the whole ordeal. The story progressed quite naturally and while I would have expected Eros to strike again a little bit sooner in the story, I wasn’t entirely mad. I understand why certain events had to happen first.
“You don’t have to be sorry. I did this to myself, right? Just a slut getting what she deserves,” she said.
“You didn’t deserve this,” I said. “No one did.”
To give Revenge of the Sluts any rating smaller than a five would be an absolute crime. This book is such an important read for young girls to be reading. There are so many powerful and positive messages that arise from the story that I know this will be a very memorable read for people once its released in 2021.
Remember that not everybody will have the same opinion! Something that worked for me might not work for you, and visa versa. The whole internet has an opinion, so check out a few others before you decide to dish or ditch this book!
Brinley from Goodreads says “Revenge of the Sluts is truly one of those books that sticks with you.”
Alex from Goodreads says “This book kind of felt as if it was trying to reach some arbitrary would count.”
Ashley from Goodreads says “I really wanted to love this book but it just didn’t happen for me.”
While researching the book, I noticed that the cover for Revenge of the Sluts does have a few slight alterations based on where you receive it from. Though I’m not sure whether these will appear different in publishing (as can happen based on differing publishing houses and locations), I wanted to comment on how much I really like the cover. The first one is probably my favourite, due to the contrast of the blue to cross out their faces. Let me know what you think in the comments below!
Natalie Walton has been writing since she was seven, often keeping her stories a secret from friends and family while posting them publicly online for strangers to read. She wrote her debut novel, REVENGE OF THE SLUTS, while working toward her degree in sociology and criminal justice. It will be in bookstores February 2, 2021.
You can find Natalie on Twitter and Instagram under the username nataliexwalton.
Another book down, another review uploaded! Can you name a book you want to know more about but can’t find on my blog? Something stuck on your TBR list? Leave me a comment below and let me know what you think. All read requests are acknowledged and appreciated! Until next time guys,
NB: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review by the publisher through NetGalley. This has in no way altered my opinions. All thoughts and feelings are my own.
One response to “Book Review ♡ Revenge of the Sluts by Natalie Walton”
ooh, i love the cover, and i cant wait till it’s released!! this was a great review ❤