Awaiting trial in the psychiatric Archway Young Offenders Institution, eighteen year-old Emily Koll is going to tell her side of the story for the first time. All we know is the newspapers says she’s evil. And she says she’s not sorry for what happened.
“China shop rules: Juliet: you break it, you pay for it, and you broke me. You got what you deserved.”
Heart-Shaped Bruise is a YA / crossover gritty psychological thriller told from Emily’s point-of-view in an abandoned journal. As Emily engages with her shrink, we slowly find out what she’s done – and why.
It’s unusual for a story to be told by essentially the villain but that’s why I loved it. We get to decide what we think of Emily – is she evil or not? Why did she do it? And ultimately, do we blame her? It’s not an easy journey – sometimes she’s really unlikeable, others an unreliable narrator but as she unravels, she pulls us along with her and being right inside her head is a challenging but ultimately rewarding experience.
Thought-provoking but pacy and entertaining, this book hooked me from the first page. I couldn’t put it down. I don’t want to say too much in case I give the story away and this is one that you want to discover for yourself but if you like realistic YA fiction, you shouldn’t miss this.
When I finished reading, I took to Twitter to give a one word review. That word was LOVED.