Sunday, 7 June 2015

The Sham by Ellen Allen

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Ellen Allen and NetGalley.

Blurb (from Goodreads):
When love leads to death, be careful who you trust… Eighteen-year-old Emily Heath would love to leave her dead-end town, known locally as "The Sham", with her boyfriend, Jack, but he's very, very sick; his body is failing and his brain is shutting down. He's also in hiding, under suspicion of murder. Six months' ago, strange signs were painted across town in a dialect no one has spoken for decades and one of Emily's classmates washed up in the local floods. Emily has never trusted her instincts and now they're pulling her towards Jack, who the police think is a sham himself, someone else entirely. As the town wakes to discover new signs plastered across its walls, Emily must decide who and what she trusts, and fast: local vigilantes are hunting Jack; the floods, the police, and her parents are blocking her path; and the town doesn’t need another dead body. WARNING: THIS BOOK IS UNSUITABLE FOR YOUNGER TEENAGE READERS. IT DEPICTS ADULT SITUATIONS, MURDER SCENES, CONVERSATIONS ABOUT SEX AND PROFANITY. NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The idea for this book came to me in a nightmare... It was so vivid that I imagined I was 17 again, at school, in the same group of 4 friends that I used to hang around with. We were involved in a murder and cover-up. I started writing partly as a way to get it out of my head and then the characters turned into real people... and Emily and Jack were born. As some of the early reviewers have stated, it is quite extreme in chapter one, and necessarily so. This is the incident that sets up the whole book; something awful happens that sets off a train of events for the characters. This book is a mystery in two ways in that we're: 1) trying to find out who killed Emily's classmate; and 2) trying to work out who Jack is. I hope you enjoy it!

The ShamThe Sham by Ellen Allen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Ellen Allen and NetGalley.)

“Because I can do things other people can’t. Extraordinary things.”

This story was weird; crazy weird.

I didn’t really understand the characters in this book, they were all certifiably crazy. There were the insane girls who bullied literally everyone in the most disgusting ways possible (highlight to view spoiler - asking a 9-year-old boy to bite the head off a bird, and then rubbing a used tampon on his face ), Jack, who was very strange, and liked to eat food raw out of a bin – such as raw eggs and raw potatoes, and Emily, who came across as a little bit strange herself.

“I’m normal. You’re anything but.” My joke is half-hearted because it’s only half understood. I can list fifteen, twenty ways that Jack isn’t normal.

The storyline in this was about the strange goings on in the town of ‘Sham’, including the arrival of Jack (Query escaped mental patient?), and a rash of girls disappearing/turning up dead (Query murdered?). I have to say that this book was so darn weird though, and I just kept frowning and wrinkling up my nose as I was reading it. That is, it wasn’t pleasantly crazy, it was annoying crazy.

“-Get it’s head in your mouth before I pecks you to hell -”
“-When you’ve ripped its head off then you get to go home.”

There was some romance, but I have to say that I really struggled to see what Emily saw in Jack.

“He was collecting food in a basket, sniffing a satsuma, shaking a pear.”

The ending to this was weird (not surprising really), and the explanation regarding the murders was also pretty darn bonkers. I am pretty sure that this is one of the strangest books I have ever read.
6 out of 10

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