Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Review for The Deviants by C.J. Skuse

The Deviants by C.J. Skuse 
Publisher: Mira Ink
Release: 22nd September 2016
Genre: UKYA, Thriller
Source: Copy received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

"When you set out for revenge, dig two graves

Growing up in the sleepy English seaside town of Brynston, the fearless five – Ella, Max, Corey, Fallon and Zane – were always inseparable. Living up to their nickname, they were the adventurous, rowdy kids who lived for ghost stories and exploring the nearby islands off the coast. But when Max’s beloved older sister Jessica is killed, the friendship seems to die with her.

Now years later, only Max and Ella are in touch; still best friends and a couple since they were thirteen. Their lives are so intertwined Max’s dad even sponsors Ella’s training for the Commonwealth Games. But Ella is hiding things. Like why she hates going to Max’s house for Sunday dinner, and flinches whenever his family are near. Or the real reason she’s afraid to take their relationship to the next level.

When underdog Corey is bullied, the fearless five are brought back together again, teaming up to wreak havoc and revenge on those who have wronged them. But when the secrets they are keeping can no longer be kept quiet, will their fearlessness be enough to save them from themselves?"

C.J. Skuse is one of my favourite authors and every time she has a new book out I wonder how she can possibly top the last, but she does! Every. Single. Time. The Deviants is CJ’s most accomplished book yet and I gobbled it up greedily in a single sitting – it was that good!

Ella, Max, Corey, Fallon and Zane used to be best friends. As children they would spend their days having adventures in their sleepy seaside town, and at night would beg Max’s big sister Jess to tell them one of her legendary scary stories, until the day a very real kind of horror finds them when Jess is killed in an accident, changing their lives forever.

Years later and all that remains of their group is Max and Ella who have grown to be more than friends, but when a series of events bring the five back into each other’s lives, they find that secrets of the past never stay buried for long, and that there may be more to Jess’s death than they first thought all those years ago...

The Deviants is a book that doesn’t give up all its secrets at once. I started this book thinking it was one thing, only for CJ to add twists and turns throughout so that by the end, the book is something else entirely. I loved the direction that this book went in and found the bombshells that are dropped so casually throughout the book impossible to predict.

The area where C.J. Skuse really shines in all of her books is with her characters. CJ really gets teenagers and gives them voices and personalities that feel so authentic to read. Ella as a main character is so flawed and complex, I really appreciated not having the traditionally likeable heroine here and thought that it worked particularly well for this story.

When I started this book I never could have predicted the incredible ending, it absolutely blew me away! I’ve been purposefully vague in this review because this is a book that you want to go into knowing as little as possible so that you can experience the full impact, but I will just say that the ending of this book left me with my mouth hanging open!

The Deviants is a thriller with heart. With its clever twists, skilled plotting and heart-breaking finale it’s easily one of my favourite reads of 2016 – don’t miss it!

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