Author: Ellen Allen
Genre: young adult, contemporary, mystery, thriller, romance
Published: September 7, 2014
Publisher: Book Baby
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!
* * *
I read The Sham because of that intriguing premise. It's always that for me, you know? Premises that gives off that mysterious and intriguing feeling really makes me want to read a book no matter what it contains. The Sham initially confused me. When I was reading the first few words of the first chapter, I was really wondering what the heck was going on. Who are these people? Where is the story heading? But really first chapters or first words won't sum up the experience.
I read through the first chapter and I suddenly find myself unable to stop. It just has this really great writing that would make you want to read more to know more. I think that what keeps me going (aside from mentioning Jack) is that Emily's way of analyzing things and keeping things really interesting made Jack a really intriguing character. A character so mysterious, Emily has to point out everything you have to take note about him. She takes note of everything but it doesn't bother me. It doesn't ruin the experience of really thinking over Jack as the story's biggest mystery. And when things started getting even better (around ch3, I think). Things started going even faster. More thrill. Missing people. Murder even. And how these things were presented really would make you want to know more.
Emily is a very great voice. Sometimes when things are pointed out right at your face, you just get annoyed. But that's not the case with Emily. With Emily, it's as if you're solving something. She's no detective but she certainly gives off that nice feeling. The way she tries to talk to Jack and at the same time the way she slowly falls for me really make this a really beautiful read.
The author's note is definitely not something to set aside. Let me tell you this, when an author tells you that this will be disturbing. It will really be disturbing. The first chapter truly proved it. It was really that WTH-are-they-doing? moment for me. But reading further really unravels an unputdownable thriller.
* * *
What I Like: (1) the mystery surrounding Jack, (2) the progression of the story, (3) the great combination of mystery and suspense, (4) Emily! and her thoughts, (5) kept me thinking and thinking and thinking
What I Didn't Like: (1) the initial confusion I had at the beginning
|a mystery that will keep you thinking + a story that will make you want more + characters you won't forget = MUST READ!|
ABOUT ELLEN ALLEN
website | goodreads | twitter | facebook
Book Tour Organized by