Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Sham

Released: 09-03-14
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Author: Ellen Allen
Format: eBook, Paperback
Pages: 248


 Book Bits:

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.


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.

My So-Called Review:

Wow, how do I even begin my review for this book? This is one that I had to sit on for a few days before I could even attempt to gather my thoughts together and make sense of them, there was so much going on in my mind about this book! I will tell you that I absolutely LOVED The Sham, it totally blew me away!!! This was such an obsessive read for me and I couldn’t tear myself away once I started it.

Now, as much as I loved this book I suspect that some will absolutely hate it! The Sham opens with an extremely disturbing scene in its first chapter that to some, will go too far. I suspect many readers will never make it past this point which is a shame really, because it’s absolutely brilliant (but ya, you’ll need a strong stomach!!) A group of 4 really nasty, cliquey girls (think Heathers circa 1988) bully a young kid in some of the most horrific ways possible! Eighteen year old Emily finds herself stuck, watching on in horror at what these girls are doing but not really knowing how to stop the situation. Finally, along comes our knight in shining armor, the mysterious Jack, who forces these girls to stop, much to Emily’s relief. But who is he? Where did he come from? And why is he suddenly having some sort of seizure on the ground? Once I was able to catch my breath I was left wondering “what kind of fucked up world did I just walk into?”

There are two mysteries going on here; the first, whose killing off these nasty girls (they totally deserve it) and second, who the heck is Jack? Emily is immediately drawn to him; regardless of his strange behavior & vague answers, and the two form an unbreakable bond. Both plot-lines are equally fascinating which I think says a lot for the author. Usually when I read a book that is driven by multiple mysteries I find that I’m drawn into one much more than the other. Not here, both plot-lines and the mysteries surrounding them were equally engaging and twisted. The stylistic and almost dreamlike writing leaves you constantly questioning what’s really going on. Beware, this book is very clever……….clever, clever, clever :)

As I read further I became obsessed with trying to figure it all out. Who was the murderer? Why were these girls being targeted specifically? Was there more to the motive beyond each of them being a horrendous bitch? Who’s next, Emily? Who’s painting all those weird symbols all over town and what do they mean? Who is Jack and where does he come from? Why does he seem so uncomfortable in his own skin? Why can’t he go longer than an hour without eating? And why does he seem to have super strength and super brains yet not know some of the simplest information? Is he the murderer or somehow connected? Ugh, I drove myself mad trying to figure it all out!! And this is what Emily is trying to figure out as well. She’s falling for Jack, hard, but can she trust him? Should she trust him?

I can honestly say that the ending to this blew me away! After all of my theories and suspicions, the late nights trying to decipher what was really going on………. I didn’t have a clue, not even close! But OMG it made sense; such perfect, brilliant sense! I can’t believe I didn’t even suspect…………

The Sham is weird, twisted, bizarre, & wholly crap it rocked!!!!!

If you do choose to read The Sham – if you’re willing to open yourself up to this bizarre world and are ready to have your own reality rocked; then please, please once you’ve read it – come back here & find me. I’m dying to hear your thoughts!


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