Friday, September 16, 2011

Utopia Destroyed

The Shattering
Written by: Karen Healey
Released: September 5th 2011 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Summary: Seventeen-year-old Keri likes to plan for every possibility. She knows what to do if you break an arm, or get caught in an earthquake or fire. But she wasn't prepared for her brother's suicide, and his death has left her shattered with grief. When her childhood friend Janna tells her it was murder, not suicide, Keri wants to believe her. After all, Janna's brother died under similar circumstances years ago, and Janna insists a visiting tourist, Sione, who also lost a brother to apparent suicide that year, has helped her find some answers.

As the three dig deeper, disturbing facts begin to pile up: one boy killed every year; all older brothers; all had spent New Year's Eve in the idyllic town of Summerton. But when their search for the serial killer takes an unexpected turn, suspicion is cast on those they trust the most.

As secrets shatter around them, can they save the next victim? Or will they become victims themselves?

I didn’t know what to expect when I went into reading this novel. I was thinking that it would be more of a mystery/thriller and that was it. What I got, instead, was something slightly unexpected – which I have to admit made me read the pages as fast as I could.

The chapters in this novel alternated between Keri, Janna and Sione and offered a different perspective each chapter with each having their own idea as to what was happening pertaining to the murders. Usually this is something I don’t enjoy with a novel but it really worked with this one. It was nice to see the different voices each time and get to really know the characters.
I have to admit that Janna was the main character that I disliked the most. I found her flighty and annoying at times and even though she came through at the end hers were the chapters that I liked the least. Sione fell a little flat, but I loved Keri. She was one of those characters who really grew as the story went along. I felt more for her with her brother dying than I did the other two, though maybe that’s just because hers was a more recent tragedy.
This was a novel that kept me wondering right until the last few chapters and, even though there were a few parts that I think didn’t work that well, it was a really enjoyable novel. Plus, it was great to read a novel based in New Zealand for a change.
If the summary is something that interests you (and you are able to keep a relatively open mind for the path it takes) I would suggest you try this novel out. 7.5/10.

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