The Wrong Side of Kai

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Member Reviews

The Wrong Side of Kai explored grief and how different people cope with it and carry on with their lives. Vanessa’s Dad is struggling immensely with a recent loss in the family and while he is physically around, Vanessa feels that mentally he has checked out. Because of this, Vanessa feels like she hasn’t had time to deal with her own grief, craving more structure as she rebels against her father.

As well as grief, this book also looked at sex, relationships and sexism. After a video of Vanessa and Harrison is circulated around the school, Vanessa is the student that is singled out and ‘slut shamed’ by the rest of the school. Does anyone even bat an eyelid at Harrison, even though he was clearly there? No. Double standards is something that Estelle addresses in the book and I was happy to see. At the same time it was refreshing to read a book with a positive view of sex in terms of how the main character views herself and her sex life.

One of the first things that struck me about this book was the inclusion of strong and positive female friendships. The relationship between Vanessa and Chyna was so just so wholesome! They made such a great team, with Chyna not being afraid to tell Vanessa that she doesn’t agree with her actions whilst still showing how much she loves and cares for her.

This story featured a very realistic portrayal of teenage relationships, in my opinion, with a slow burn and believable romance that felt very appropriate alongside the narrative. I really enjoyed Kai as both a character and a love interest. He was cheeky and playful, but caring and serious at the same time. Both traits were balanced perfectly and I found him to be a great partner for Vanessa, both in seeking revenge and in love!

There is no explicit smut, though obviously there are nods to sex, and it is definitely a suitable young adult novel (NA being classed as YA is a whole other discussion but isn’t the case here).

Despite this being a ‘revenge novel’, I definitely appreciated how Vanessa realised that revenge is not always the answer. She recognises their mistakes, and there are consequences to their actions which is something we don’t always see.

The Wrong Side of Kai is fast paced and I raced through the story over three days. However, this doesn’t mean that it is a light read. As I mentioned, Estelle’s latest novel deals with grief, sexism, revenge porn and bullying both online and in person with a strong thread of feminism running through it.

With a more mature writing style than her previous novels, Estelle is going from strength to strength with her works. The Wrong Side of Kai by Estelle Maskame was just the book for me in the moment I picked it up; it swept me out of my reading slump and made me excited to read again! The perfect YA contemporary read. 4/5 stars.
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“Captain Washington and Nessie versus the world.” The story of Kai and Vanessa beautifully summed up in one sentence. 

I adored this book from start to finish! When Vanessa has a fling with one of the schools most popular jocks, she would never have thought the unthinkable would happen and that he would share a private video around the whole school. She is heartbroken, and what’s the best way to react? Get revenge. Vanessa recruits new student Kai Washington to help her get back at her ex. 

This story is filled with the trials and tribulations that all teenage girls would unfortunately be familiar with in the school environment. Breakups, fights and boy drama. These are all integrated into the novel really well and are explored in quite a brutal but realistic way. The relationships between Vanessa and her friends/family are explored and you watch them grow throughout which is great to read as the character development in this is SO IMPORTANT!

I’m so glad that I read this book and it’s really opened my eyes to how people would possibly react to being put in an inescapable position. A wonderfully written book.
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The Wrong Side Of Kai is a book I was excited to start reading. It is about a girl called Vanessa who after breaking up with a boy before it got too serious, ends up seeking revenge on him after he leaks a private video. 

I liked the sound of this book and it sounded unlike anything I had read previously but I found it quite hard to get into. I found the character of Vanessa is one I wanted to like and be on her side but I didn't really care much for the character at the start as I didn't really get to know her or why she's was the way she is in a lot of detail. 

As the book went on and Kai came into the story I did warm to the character and start to enjoy  what I was reading. I liked how Kai and Vanessa acted together, although sometimes Kai did confuse me, but it worked out well in the book in the end. I found a lot of the time the revenge was unnecessary and a bit too much and I think I'd rather have read more about Vanessa's life at home or relationships with her loved ones as at times the book just seemed to be one after another of revenge and very little in between. 

I did enjoy reading this book and whilst it had a fast moving plot I'd have liked to have had more of an insight into Vanessa as a character and more meaningful revenge. It was an easy and enjoyable read and I liked how the book ended but I would have liked to have got to read more about Vanessa and less revenge!
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Estelle Maskame has quickly become one of my favourite authors. The wrong side of Kai follows Vanessa who isn’t ready to be in a relationship with any boy but is happy having fun with certain ones of her choosing, when she makes the wrong choice and gets recorded by Harrison her lasted fling she predictably regrets it when the video gets sent out.

Kai Washington also has problems with Harrison because low and behold this not so decent guy thought it be ok to hook up with Kai’s girlfriend. So Vanessa and Kai team up to get revenge on Harrison. 

This book is fun and I am always amazed at how addicting Estelle’s writing is. The story line is a little immature but in the best way, the writing makes you care even if you aren’t in the mind set the characters are in and would make completely different choices the narrative makes you see their side and isn’t that the point of a good book to make you feel for the characters? 

It’s fun and fast pace following around these partners in crime. I do think that the whole video being leaked could have been made a bigger deal as this girls life could potentially be ruined because of this guys actions.  I understand her dad finally stands up for her and if she didn’t put that picture of Harrison up they definitely could have pressed charges but not for Harrison, Noah should have been the one who got that punishment. Harrison got his through the revenge Kai and Vanessa inflicted but Noah who shared it publicly for no consequences!

I’m glad Vanessa finally made her feeling clear to her father who since her mothers death has been absent in her life, not really acknowledging her or her sisters good or bad moments. It give you hope he will continue being there and not just in the physical being but mentally too. 


The characters are well developed, I really did feel for Vanessa and I adore Kai.
I will pick up all of Estelle’s work on the future.
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This was a lovely read! I found the storyline engaging, fun and morally really strong without becoming judgemental or preachy! It was funny, and emotional in equal measure dealing with difficult issues such as grief, sex tapes, revenge and bullying in a really accessible way. 
Vanessa is strong and complex. She's a relatable protagonist who I think really grows throughout the story. 
Kai is a beautiful example of positive masculinity, which is so rare in romantic novels. He supports her, doesn't judge and is honest with her throughout the story. Their relationship was a joy to read. 
I also really loved the relationship between Vanessa and Chyna, their unwavering support of each other, while also maintaining their own distinct identities is like a blue print for a positive friendship.
There are a few editing issues that need fixing but other than that I thought it was a solid read. 
In fact I already have a list of people I could recommend this book to!
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Thank you to Net Galley and Ink Road for this arc of The Wrong Side of Kai by Estelle Maskame.

Starring a girl, becoming a woman, so deeply affected by the loss of her mother that she does anything she can for attention - something that she realises later on the book. When this is cruelty exploited by one of the ‘cool boys’ at her school she chooses to take back control.

This book holds some important messages for the now, showing us how it is so easy to be unkind with one click of the button and possibly change the course of someone’s life in a similar manner.  And that revenge porn is absolutely never okay.

The author also highlights how having a support system is so important and whilst you can be a strong and empowered woman, having someone there for you never hurts.

Recommended to anyone that likes a good YA read that is also important for adults to remind them that teenagers don’t just sail through life.
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When Harrison Boyd puts a video up a sex tape of a girl he's having a fling with. He is going to regret it big time.

Understandably Vanessa is upset when she learns she is the talk of the school. However Vanessa does not do relationships and upset Harrison when he asked them to be more.

Sadly Vanessas Mum passed away suddenly. And Vanessa cannot get closer to anyone in case something happens. It would break her heart.

As Vanessa sets out for revenge on Harrison, she meets a boy who wants the same thing. Together they plan and scheme. But what would Harrison think? Would he fight back?

We;ve all done something stupid for a boy at one time and this is just one of many mistakes that Vanessa makes. However Harrison is just as bad.


A great YA novel.  The plot is easy to follow . And brilliant to read. It feels very teenagery, which is probably expected as a YA novel.
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It's been a few years since I read the whole DIMILY series and although I wasn't absolutely crazy about it, I do remember it being a really gripping story. I just had to read book after book! So with high hopes, I decided to read another one of Estelle Maskame's books.

'The Wrong Side of Kai' was a lot different to what I expected. It takes a while to pick up and get gripping but there's no denying that it does. At first, Vanessa's character is quite unlikable and I found it difficult to connect to her. The whole revenge idea seemed quite childish and the more spiteful it got, the more I was starting to question whether it was even justified at all. But we all make mistakes when we're young that we have to learn from (man, I sound like a grandma!) and as the old saying goes, 'you can't judge a book by its cover'. I think once we started to unmask all the layers and see what Vanessa really believed in, it's a great story. The ending really did it for me. Not because the obvious happened  but because it was very reflective and there's some lessons to be learnt there. Also her character development was pretty good. This book also touched upon some relevant topics which I thought was important.

Overall, I liked 'The Wrong Side of Kai' and I think the message it brings across is quite nice. It's a cutesy YA fic and I enjoyed it.
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REVIEW TAKEN FROM MY BOOK INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT- When Harrison Boyd leaks a video of him and Vanessa together she is determined to get revenge on him. Lucky for her, new boy Kai also has a score to settle with Harrison so the two of them team up and try and get even. But getting even doesn’t really solve the problem it just kinda makes it worse. So Vanessa and Kai have to decide if risking it all is worth it for revenge. I really enjoyed this book a lot, I thought the story was so interesting and I’d never read a book that covered topics like this whilst having a main character like Vanessa. She is so strong and really unashamed of herself, her body and her actions which I just thought was so crazy refreshing. I loved the way the author wrote it and carved the story out! I think the issues spoke about in the book are really important and I liked the way they were covered but I also love the relationship element with Kai and Vanessa too. A really fun read that makes super important points.

https://www.instagram.com/theresalwaysanemma/
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This book is light and fluffy, easy to read and deals with teens in a believable way. The characters are fanstastic and if Kai isn't your favourite, I think you need to read this book again.

I did have a few issues with this title though, for the first half of the book, it was so petty. The revenge, the friendships, the motivations, all petty. I understand being a teen and having poor impulse control is hard, but the levels these people went to was shocking. I also found the death of Vanessa's mum was a little underplayed. It seemed to only be important when there was not much going on the story at the time and that doesn't sit right with me.

Those things aside, I like that this book deals with sending videos of people in compromising situations to other people, or even taking nude selfies, the risks and what can happen if you trust the wrong people with your secrets. 

The characters are complex and have a feeling of realness, they are relateable and Kai is hilarious.
Well written, fast paced and something that is easy to sink your teeth into.
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Those of you who read this blog more often probably already know that I am partial to a YA romance. You could say that they are my guilty pleasure. And what's not to love? A complicated romance that moves at the speed of light and ends happily. With distractions along the way The Wrong Side of Kai definitely fits the bill. I raced through it in one sitting. Something else I love about YA is that you can consume a full story in a couple of hours, and be fully entertained throughout. 

I really enjoyed this book - the characters were pretty well developed and believable, I do wish that some of the supporting characters were more fully developed. This might be an option if the author decides to return to this story. 

The storyline was very contemporary with a stark warning about the consequences of nudes and sex tapes. There were some triggering incidents and adult themes although most of the detail was left out of them. 

I would recommend this book to lovers of YA romance. 

Thanks to the publisher and netgalley for an egalley in exchange for an honest review.
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I could leave this review with one short sentence: I read this book in one day. And it would be enough to know that this is an immediate must read, however, that also means I wouldn't be able to gush about this book as much as I would like to, so time for a lot of swooning!

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 Harrison - 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 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 you shouldn't - 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.
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I love a revenge plot. They’re something that fires you up, sucks you in and gets you well and truly involved – and Estelle Maskame nailed it in ‘The Wrong Side of Kai’.

Vanessa is a character that isn’t immediately easy to like, but I grew to love her more and more with each page. Watching her open up and begin to enjoy her adventures with Kai. There’s really nothing like a plot to destroy someone’s life to bond over.

Estelle’s books can always be relied on to deliver complex characters, an addictive romance and big issues, and I think some really important things were touched on in Vanessa and Kai’s story. Online bullying, slut shaming, and sexism are things that teen girls are having to deal with on a scarily regular basis and books like this help show that it’s not okay, that you don’t deserve to be treated in that way.

This is a really big deal for readers like Estelle’s and I’m so glad she tackled in, and in a way that didn’t feel overbearing or heavy handed.

The death of Vanessa’s mum is a big part of the novel and drives a lot of the conflict, but I did find the constant reiteration of her being dead was a little too much for me. But that could very easily just me my awareness of dead mums in YA and it didn’t take away how much I enjoyed ‘The Wrong Side of Kai’. I devoured it in only a couple of hours!

Estelle Maskame’s sixth novel is a story of love, revenge and friendship – it’s funny, charming and full of heart.
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The Wrong Side of Kai follows teenager Vanessa as she navigates high school and family life after the sudden death of her mother. So consumed with his own grief, her father has stopped being the father she wants and needs, Vanessa rebels against him, spending her time drinking and partying. During one such party, a compromising video is taken and is subsequently shared around the whole school! 

On the surface this looks like a book all about revenge and the lengths people go to to get it but it’s more than that. It shows the double standards between men and women, the right men think they have over women’s bodies, incredible friendships and the absolute devastation of a grieving family. 

I really enjoyed this book, in fact I read it in one sitting. I thought it was well written, with extremely likeable characters (for the most part). I have read other books by this author but I think this one might be my favourite so far. The only thing I don’t like about this book is the title, It could have been much better! I feel like it doesn’t do justice to the actual story.
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When I read this book, I had extremely high hopes due to the premise and also other reviews. However, upon finishing it I felt a bit deflated.

The Wrong Side of Kai focuses on Vanessa, a girl that hooks up with a boy, Harrison, only to be exposed in the most horrible way. A leaked video. In swoops Kai Washington, a hot new kid that conveniently has a motive to seek revenge against Harrison too. 

The back and forth "game" of revenge and pettiness made me feel so confused. Vanessa seemed like such an unlikable character to me, despite her whole dead mother and absent father sob-story. The couple bond over a period of a week and somehow instantly fall in love (which was inevitable).

I'm usually a sucker for stories like this. However, it honestly seemed so rushed (spoiler,, Nessie's dad miraculously changes in less than 24 hours, which I'm sure is plausible considering the insta-love). I did like Chyna and Maddie, they needed more screen time!!

Thanks Netgalley for letting my review this book honestly :p
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This was a great read, I loved how fast paced and addictive it was to read, the characters were so well written and the author deals with such important and relevant issues like online harassment, sexism , dealing with loss, I loved the fact the character learns along the journey she is on and looks at her life , it’s such a well written and thought out YA book, one of the best of its kind and I’ll definitely be reading more from the author 

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion
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When Vanessa's mum died her life fell apart as her dad was battling his grief and her and her sister were left to fend for themselves which made Vanessa acting out and sleeping with random guys easy to do with no one to stop her.



However after breaking off her latest fling with Harrison, she discovers he has leaked a recording of her to their whole school and her life starts to fall apart...



Until Kai transfers in from another school also with a grudge against Harrison and the pair team up to get revenge...



This book was fabulous, I loved the dynamic of a good duo teaming up to get revenge in YA and it was done really well and the twist at the end while being easy to predict was a great twist nonetheless and made me as a reader happy with the outcome of the book overall.
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I didn’t realise it before but I’ve actually read another of Estelle Maskame’s books & this was by far better.
The only word to describe it really is fun! Nice pacing, a little bit awkward in places (particularly towards the end) but overall just really fun. 
Loveable characters that are easy to get along with, funny in a lot of places & a well told modern story. The thing that put a bit of a downer on the book was the typical guy says saying stupid that comes out wrong & girl gets crazy upset & storms off, which is just so cliched but apart from that - I loved it 💕

Plus the whole graduation/where they are now thing was smart, I liked that 😂
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I loved this fast paced, important story. It touches on a lot of important topics including grief, sexism and cyber bullying but is also a really fun read that has lovely friendships in. Kai and Vanessa get together to get revenge on a horrible classmate/ex and have amazing banter and cute moments. 5 stars!
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This is young adult at some of its best. Vanessa was instantly an intriguing character. We find out her mum died and her father is seemingly uninterested in what she’s up to. She’s been seeing boys, the latest being Harrison who leaks a video of her naked to her school peers. She teams up with Kai to get her revenge on Kai. Along the way she is forced to take a look at herself and work through a few of her issues. 
This book was written very well and covers a range of topics appealing to YA readers.
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