22nd September, MIRA Ink, 336 pages, Ebook, Review copy from NetGalley
Content: teen romance, rape, child abuse, tissues needed
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?
This will make you cry a lot!) Plus there are no zombies in it-I couldn't read CJ's previous novel due to brain loving fiends. Brains are important for Ella, who on occasion annoyed me for not finding inner strength sooner, but she gets there eventually. As horrors are slowly unravelled from her past which made this such a tough read, all I wanted to do was hug her. Personally I didn't like Max from the start as he didn't seem listen to or truly respect Ella's wishes. He was most of her world, but I enjoyed the unexpected friendship rekindling which Ella does with older friends, even more so when another bombshell is dropped that had me needing tissues.
The structure of the story, with an unseen other person at the start of chapters while Ella tells them what happened is clever and had me come up with an incorrect assumption about the end. Due to the nature of rape and child molestion it is a dark read, so make sure you have fluffy things to do after to take the edge off to these sadly real life crimes. I wish every girl could have a Fallon and Corey in their lives, as both help Ella out as well as eah other. I will reread this at sometime in the distant future!
Be sure to check out CJ's other books including the equally chilling Monster (Young Adult, 10E/10E)