Author: c. j. skuse
Publisher: MIRA Ink
Source: ARC from publisher
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Buy the Book • 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?
Big thank you to Mira Ink for sending me this for review! This in no way affects my review.
This year I have been reading a lot of books from the fantasy genre, so when offered the opportunity to read The Deviants, I thought I’d take a break from my comfort genre and go and explore a contemporary read. This was no fluffy contemporary book though. Instead it was a fast paced, dark story that I really enjoyed that I actually read within a day. Having never read anything by C. J. Skuse before, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect but I am glad I took the chance to give this a go.
Set in a seaside town in England, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this book. It sounded interesting from what little I had heard and that’s why I decided to give it a go. I was not disappointed, apart from a few issues with the ending, which I will get onto a bit later. First of all though, I want to talk about the plot without giving too much away. From the blurb, it mentions that our main character, Ella, is hiding things. Now reading a few more lines of the blurb, I had already kind of guessed what these things were so when reading the book, I found I was right. I did feel as though at first you’re kept in the dark as a reader and that not much about Ella is revealed, as in you know things about her, but it’s almost like she doesn’t want to let the reader know. The characters in this book are interesting and complex, just like real people, and there are secrets between the characters.
The format of the book is a little strange. Each chapter ended with a question, which the next chapter would begin to answer. I say strange, but I mean it in a good way. Having never read a book like this, whenever a question came up, it was almost like the main character was sort of in a therapy session, and that the actual chapters were almost like memories that she was reciting which I definitely thought was an interesting way to go about this book. This book definitely deals with sensitive topics, which I think some people should be aware of before they read this book, but this book handles it quite well and in a way that comes across very raw and real. There are secrets, anger and hate in this book, but also love, friendship and happiness in other parts.
I felt like the ending was slightly disappointing for me personally. I really wanted Ella and the Fearless Five to live happily ever after, however as this is a contemporary book which means it should be a little like real life, where fairy tales do not happen, I understood. But the ending did make me sad, and I kind of have just recreated my own ending to fit what I wanted. Other than that, I did actually quite enjoy this book and I am glad that I was offered the opportunity to read and review it. I would recommend this book to anybody who wants to read a contemporary book that is dark, raw but also includes friendship and love.