Book Review: The Violence

THE VIOLENCE | Delilah S. Dawson
02.01.2022 | Del Rey Books
Rating: 4/5 stars


Chelsea Martin appears to be the perfect housewife: married to her high school sweetheart, the mother of two daughters, keeper of an immaculate home. But Chelsea’s husband has turned their home into a prison where he has been abusing her for years and cutting off her connections to the outside world. She has nowhere to turn. Chelsea is worried that her daughters will be trapped the same way she is – until a mysterious illness sweeps the nation. Known as The Violence, this illness causes the infected to experience sudden, explosive bouts of animalistic rage and attack anyone in their path. This new illness might just be the cure to Chelsea’s situation.

THE VIOLENCE is a new take on the theme of a plague ravaging a nation and how that illness impacts not only our characters, but those living around the world. I loved that Dawson gave readers the chance to meet our three main characters and narrators through alternating chapters pre-Violence, in addition to watching how they deal with living with this illness. The interconnectedness of the narrators never truly fades, even as they experience different events on their own. Some of these events are a bit hard to believe, but I thought Dawson’s overall take was entertaining and interesting to read about. I was pleasantly surprised that a cast of characters I wasn’t particularly connected with in the beginning morphed into a family I needed to follow around. My main issue with this book was the pacing ebbing and flowing between slow and medium. It should be noted that I picked this book up during a busy time, so that might not be the same for all readers.

🎧: I switched to the audio about halfway through the story because of time constraints and I actually think I enjoyed this part of the experience more! The narration worked perfectly to keep my attention and have me listening for longer.

This book is available to buy from: Amazon | Book Depository

A huge thank you to Random House and Del Rey Books for my gifted copy!

Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.

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