The Deviants by C.J. Skuse ~Goodreads~
Published by Mira Ink 2016
Paperback edition 320 pages ~Book Depository~
I was sent this book from Cara at HarperCollins for an honest review.
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?
I kept hearing about The Deviants on Twitter and through mutual blogger friends and to my delight Cara offered me an ARC of the book to read- so I had to start straight away to see what the fuss was about and I certainly wasn’t disappointed.
The Deviants follows fiver teenagers who at one point were all best friends until their friend Jessica died. Many years later the five of them find themselves together again and playing to their old ways and seeking revenge for what happened. Ella the narrator however is hiding something from the rest of the group, including her boyfriend Max. From the beginning it becomes clear that Ella knows a little more about Jess’s death than the rest of them, and it is right at the very end where we discover her devastating secret and its this that keeps the suspense in the book going.
The setting of the book reminded me so much of Broadchurch, a sleepy seaside town where normally not an awful lot happens and everyone knows everyone’s business. Despite there being a few skeleton’s in everyone’s cupboards all seems settled and not suspicious to begin with until it all comes spilling out of the cracks.
C.J Skuse deals with the normal teenage drama but then draws in the more serious issues of bullying, teenage pregnancy, and evil retaliation. I think if anything this book reminds me of how cruel kids can be, and yet how vulnerable they can be.
I loved the structure of this book, it wasn’t simply flashbacks a million times. At the end of each chapter there is a question that prompts Ella to carry on the story and asking the queries that us the reader has too.
Although I did feel it was a slow start to begin with, C.J. really knew how to build up the suspense and keep me interested throughout. The characters had depth to them and weren’t simply “stupid teenagers” they were believable and relatable.
If you love a read that gives you suspense and keeps you on the edge of your seat then The Deviants is a book you must read!
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