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Angry God by L. J. Shen (Book Review – Updated with Spoilers)

⭐⭐⭐ (3 Stars)

(Previously 5 Stars)

Well, this is embarrassing. I’ve been rereading a few ”favorites” lately and without all the excitement clouding my judgment… I didn’t enjoy this as much. I’m a very anxious person and AG was a book that I waited for a very long time. I read it in one sitting, and as you can see by my original review below I thought this was the best thing since sliced bread.

Months later, after picking this up again, I saw many flaws that I pretty much just ignored the first time around. I mentioned that this was an homage to Vicious, but actually and truly it’s the exact same formula. Many parts were overdramatic and/or gratuitous. Also, I don’t know why All Saints High portrayed our favorite characters from Sinners of Saints as parents that continually fail their kids. I did enjoy Vicious and Emilia’s cameo in AG, but it’s so sad that he couldn’t be the protector he always thought he could be…

“If you want to look at your fiercest protector, at the one person you can always count on, take a good look in the mirror.”
― L.J. Shen, Angry God

Anyway, as a second read through this was certainly disappointing.
Also, this book needs so many trigger warnings… Scroll down if you want to see them.


Original Review – First Read

Well… I guess that I woke up today and decided that I needed to have my heart ripped out of my chest.

“I’d never met a god who bled so often.”

― L.J. Shen, Angry God

Angry God is an emotional read. A book that starts like your classic bully high school romance, but that becomes something so much bigger is nothing short of epic. Truly a monumental conclusion to the Sinners of Saint/All Saints High Series, but also an intense ride of anger, fear, revenge, love, and redemption.

I swear that this should come with a health warning because I’m pretty sure my heart rate was over 130 bpm since the first chapter. Leigh Shen paces this story with mastery, leaving enough mysteries to keep you interested from beginning to end. Throw in a few red herrings and plot twists and Angry God becomes a book that is very difficult to put down.

The conflict of this book is very serious and truly heartbreaking. It’s not for the faint of heart. I’m not an emotional reader, but I had silent tears streaming down my face in later chapters, especially when we get pov’s from Emilia and Vicious. I wished I could dive into the pages and change the events that hurt these characters.

I honestly don’t even want to talk too much about this conflict because it angered me and broke me… I’ll put some trigger warnings below as spoilers… but, it’s important to understand that AG is dark and not for everyone.

But you do get a story about overcoming your ghosts. About family, friendship, and healing. About being more than what the tragedies of your life dictate you to be. About being bigger than your bullies and things that destroy you.

“There is so much beauty in the darkness. It’s just harder to find”

― L.J. Shen, Angry God

And ultimately this means for Vaughn and Lenny a romance rooted in so much empathy. Two broken dark people that feel comfortable in sharing their ugly truths and scars with each other. Their love is so strong they have 1001 different emotions running through them, but most importantly it’s based on adoration and trust.

“Before everything, there was you,” he whispered into my hair. “You came before art. Before life. Definitely before hate.”

― L.J. Shen, Angry God

It’s impossible not to compare Angry God it with Vicious to a certain extent, because after all, we did come back full circle, but it’s in a way that AG is an homage not a copy. The perfect finale to such a complex series. It’s going to be hard to say goodbye to Todos Santos, but it definitely was one hell of a ride.

Find the book here

Trigger warnings (beware of spoilers below)

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there are clear mentions of child abuse, if this is a trigger for you I don’t recommend reading this book. It’s truly an awful subject, and it left me really emotional, angry and disgusted. There are also sub-themes of bullying, alcohol and drug consumption.

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