Saturday, 12 July 2014

"Heart-Shaped Bruise" by Tanya Byrne | Review

SOURCE: Bought
TYPE: Paperback

TITLE: Heart-Shaped Bruise
AUTHOR: Tanya Byrne
PAGES: 336




When Archway Young Offenders Institution is closed down a notebook is found in one of the rooms. 
I have to start by saying that this isn't an apology. I'm not sorry. I'm not.
This is that notebook.
They say I'm evil and everyone believes it. Including you. 
But you don't know,
Its pages reveal the dark and trouble mind of Emily Koll, Archway's most notorious inmate.
Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever shake off my mistakes or if I'll just carry them around with me forever like a bunch of red balloons.


I bought this book on a bit of whim, as it was included in a deal (in The Works I think?). I was super intrigued by the cover and thought it was really beautiful, but went into the story with pretty much no idea about what it was about or what to expect from it. I've not heard many people mention this book before, either, so it was nice to be able to read and discover every aspect of this book completely by myself. I even made a point of not reading the blurb after I'd finished so that I could get a proper taste for the book without having any preconceived ideas about what was going to happen.


The opening of this novel is exceptionally strong. The opening page starts: "Last year, the psychiatric unit of Archway Young Offenders Institution was closed. A notebook was found in one of the rooms. The contents are as follows..." which I felt was an exceptionally interesting opening statement. It definitely intrigued me and made me want to keep reading which I really liked about it. 


The characters in this novel are exceptionally exciting. The protagonist, Emily, is in a very different situation to most characters I've read about previously and it's nice that the author decided to position her as being somewhere that the majority of people have no experience with. It was so exciting to read all about her life, because you do wonder from the start how she came to be in a Young Offenders Institution, and this is not revealed until the end of the book. 
The other characters in this book were crafted in such a way that I had a feeling about every one of them, be it positive or negative. 


Given that the book is set in a Young Offenders Institution, it was incredibly interesting to read, as I have no experience of the environment myself. The use of description in the novel was not too heavy, but was enough that I could imagine the scenarios with ease which enabled the novel to be more enjoyable and capturing. 


I gave this novel 4/5 stars because it was so cleverly crafted. I was gathering information throughout the whole novel and found that I was constantly wanting to find out what happened next. I was pretty pleased with the way that the novel ended, and felt that it was actually quite beautiful, and I also like the fact that on the surface, everything I needed to know was answered. 

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