Book Review: The Deviants (C. J. Skuse)

* I have been given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *

Publisher: Mira Ink

Pages: 320

Release Date: September 22nd 2016

Summary (from Goodreads):

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?

Review:

Ugh where to start with this one?! It left my head reeling and my heart stinging for days after.

As always, I’m committed to a spoiler free review but man it’s going to be hard not to just gush everything out about this. The book is brilliantly written with such life like characters I felt like they were real – like people I’d known at school with a full history. They’re easily some of the best I’ve read this year/ever.

Ella and Max are living true loves young dream, only everything is not what it seems. A series of events leads them to be united with their childhood friends, Corey who’s being bullied by an old friend and Fallon whose life is about to change. As the friends are reunited old secrets bubble to the surface and nothing will be the same for them again.

The characters were all brilliantly fleshed out and I couldn’t help but love them all, even the bullying Zane. You know a character is well written when they do something awful but you still love them – he wasn’t your normal big bad bully and the flashes of the friends when they were younger really helped to show a different side to him, as well as everyone else. I adored Fallon too: she was a little kooky and 100% adorable and I hope she gets a happily ever after.

It’s hard to say too much about this book without spoiling it so I’m going to keep this brief. The story is dark and full of twists which I didn’t see coming. One was a definite sucker punch that left me reeling. There’s one line that just grabbed my heart and twisted it and I really could have cried. This is a dark story with a lot of complex themes which really sums up YA to me: it’s not just fluffy reads for teens (though there’s nothing wrong with those books) but can deal with important issues that young adults can read and relate to.

In short, just read this book. It was really bloody fantastic and I want to read everything else by C. J. Skuse after reading this. If you pick up one book this year, make it this one.

Copy of an art exhibit