Tag: John Cleaver

Heart Shaped Bruise by Tanya Byrne

Posted April 7, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Young Adult / 0 Comments

Heart Shaped Bruise by Tanya ByrneTitle: Heart Shaped Bruise (Goodreads)
Author: Tanya Byrne
Published: Headline, 2012
Pages: 336
Genres: Young Adult
My Copy: Personal Copy

Buy: AmazonBook Depository (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

Emily Koll is awaiting trial at the Archway Young Offenders Institution, and she is going to tell her side of the story. They say she’s evil, they always thought there was something wrong with her, but  she is just broken. Heart Shaped Bruise is Emily Koll finally telling people what really was going through her mind.

This novel is told like a diary, which explores her life in the institution with the other girls and her sessions with her therapist. Slowly you begin to uncover just what happened to Emily Koll and why she constantly considers herself broken. You know from the beginning that she found out her father was a notorious gangster at the same time she found out that he had broken in and stabbed a police officer. Her father was then stabbed by Juliet but he didn’t die and is now in prison. Emily blames Juliet for breaking her and taking everything away from her, but you don’t know how she took out her revenge.

My main problem with this novel was that everything felt so superficial, she hated Juliet and wanted revenge but that was the extent of it. The book could have gone into the psychological aspects of Emily but it just skimmed the surface all the way through. There was the physiologist that could have helped explore this more but she was so annoying and only talked in questions. Nothing really happened in the form of recovery and nothing interesting happened.

I didn’t really care what she did, knowing that she got her revenge was all I needed and by the time this is revealed I’m left thinking “Is that it?”. I wasted two nights reading this book and I could have reread Crime and Punishment and enjoyed how it should be done. I could even read something like the Dexter series, since even that knows how to explore the interesting elements of being a sociopath.

This might be considered a New Adult novel since the protagonist is 18 at the time, but if you want to read a YA series that plays with the idea of a young sociopath and does it a hell of all more better, try Dan Wells’ John Cleaver series. The first book is called I Am Not A Serial Killer and the series explores a teenage boy with a very dark side.

Heart Shaped Bruise sounds like my type of book and I was hoping for something like the Dan Wells series minus the paranormal elements but I was sadly disappointed with it. It could have done so much with the story but ended up doing nothing interesting at all. I still live in hopes of a great YA novel with a teenage sociopath that doesn’t turn into a paranormal novel, but I’m losing hope fast. Skip this book, read something else, I don’t think it’s worth the effort.