Release: September 5th 2013
Genre: UKYA, Contemporary
Source: Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
"Why? is the burning question on everyone’s lips. Why would a guy like Mathéo Walsh want to die? At seventeen, he is Britain’s most promising diving champion. He is a heartthrob, a straight A student and lives in one of the wealthiest areas of London. He has great mates and is the envy of everyone around him. And most importantly of all, he is deeply in love with his girlfriend, Lola. He has always been a stable, well-adjusted guy...
Until one weekend. A weekend he cannot seem to remember. All he knows is that he has come back a changed person. One who no longer knows how to have fun, no longer wants to spend time with his friends, no longer enjoys diving. Something terrible happened that weekend – something violent and bloody and twisted. He no longer knows who he is. He no longer trusts himself around people: he only wants to hurt, wound and destroy. Slowly, he begins to piece back the buried, fragmented memories, and finds himself staring at the reflection of a monster.
Tormented, Mathéo suddenly finds himself faced with the most devastating choice of his life. Keep his secret, and put those closest to him in terrible danger. Or confess, and lose Lola forever..."
Hurt documents the downfall of Mathéo Walsh a boy with the world at his feet with a bright future in Olympic diving, an expensive education, good friends, and a beautiful girlfriend. Mathéo is on top of the world, which of course only means that he has that much further to fall. After one weekend so traumatic that Mathéo’s memory has literally blocked it out Mathéo awakens with the gut wrenching certainty that something earth shattering has happened, something that has broken and changed him. As Mathéo spirals into a sea of confusion and madness he needs to remember what happened that weekend - no matter how horrific - in order to pick up the pieces and begin to deal with the consequences.
Hurt begins with us getting a glimpse into Mathéo’s life leading up to that catastrophic weekend and I loved getting to see his life before and who he was for a comparison to his life afterward. I don’t want to go into certain details of this book because I don’t want to give anything away. Unravelling the tragedy of Mathéo is the real joy of this novel so please forgive me if this review seems a bit vague.
This book certainly kept me on my toes trying to figure out Mathéo’s secret. I suspected lots of different situations and different people and I thought I’d figured it all out by the end but I was completely surprised! My jaw literally dropped! I also felt uneasy liking Mathéo as you’re never quite sure whether he was the one who did something terrible, whether he was the victim, a witness or an accomplice. I also felt uneasy with the secondary characters in this book but the two shining lights in Mathéo’s life are his little brother and his girlfriend Lola who were two characters who I couldn’t help but love too.
After the absolute gem that was Forbidden Tabitha Suzuma’s next novel would always have a lot to live up to and whilst Forbidden is still my favourite Hurt was excellent in its own right and offers another emotionally compelling story that I’m still turning over in my head. Like Forbidden I was completely shocked by the ending. Hurt made me cry in a way that a book hasn’t in a long time. Beautiful, heart-breaking and tragic Hurt is a masterfully plotted story that has confirmed Tabitha Suzuma as one of the best UK YA authors for young adults.