*Thank you to Estelle, Netgalley and Ink Road for the free copy of this book*
Vanessa is a seventeen-year-old girl who has dealt with enough trauma with the loss of a family member and is now about to deal with some more, after a high school boy, Harrison, disrespectfully leaks a provocative video of her, pushing her peers to lose their respect for her. I absolutely admired Vanessa’s confidence with herself and her body. Although this confidence comes from a lot of pain, she has a lot of respect for herself and her body, which makes it absolutely heartbreaking when such a private moment is put in to the hands of a lot of people. Not only have her peers neglected her, but her father also doesn’t seem to want to pay her any attention, which leads her to act out even more.
In comes the charming Kai, who immediately stole my heart. Kai was also looking to seek revenge on Harrison for his own reasons, so after finding out what he had done to Vanessa, the two came to an agreement that they would get their revenge in many thrilling ways. The revenge they get on Harrison is enough to leave them both satisfied, however, Vanessa started to have doubts and began to feel guilty for what she was doing to Harrison, slightly showing that she wants to become the bigger and better person. Although, no matter the guilt she was feeling, she continued on with the scheme, in order to spend more time with Kai – her guard slowly coming down and her heart slowly opening up. I absolutely adored the friendship between Vanessa and Kai, it started off as two people wanting revenge, to two people who never wanted to leave each other’s side. The connection they formed well and truly was meant to be, from the second the two of them met at the party for the very first time and I have to say, Kai is my most favourite male character out of all Estelle’s books.
The Wrong Side of Kai is extremely fast paced, making this a quick and light-hearted read. Whilst the story of Vanessa and Kai had a fun element to it, Estelle also focused on much deeper issues such as grief, sexism, online bullying, slut-shaming, etc. and I think it was a great way to shine light on these subjects, as these are still serious issues today, making Vanessa a very relatable character for all young people. Although revenge isn’t always the answer, this book helps spread the message that the way Vanessa was treated is not okay and it isn’t for anybody. Consequences need to be made and no one should ever have to go through a situation where they are exposed and vulnerable… Always be careful when figuring out who you should trust and shouldn’t trust – people are so easily turned and Harrison proved that within seconds.
I have read every single one of Estelle’s book and this one continued to have me hooked from start to finish, just like the others. I absolutely adored the DIMILY series, but this one is definitely going to the top of my list of favourite books from Estelle. Outstanding.