Friday, June 17, 2011

The Shattering by Karen Healey

Keri's brother killed himself.  There was no warning and there was no note.  Keri and her family are devastated, but then Keri's childhood friend Janna tells her that her brother's death was murder, not suicide.  Janna and her friend Sione also lost a brother to suicide under similar circumstances, and Sione has noticed a pattern.  Every year, a boy dies.  He's always an older brother, and each boy spent New Year's in Summerton, Keri and Janna's home.  Keri, Janna and Sione begin to search for the killer, and doing so they discover the reason why things in Summerton always seem so perfect.

I liked lots of things about this one.  First off, it's set in New Zealand.  It was so nice to read something that wasn't in either the US or the UK.  It made me realize that's where almost every single YA book takes place.  It was refreshing and interesting to have a setting someplace I wasn't familiar with.  Someplace where it's summer on New Year's and things that are regular to the characters are new and exciting for me.  So that was really fun.

The book switched in perspective among the three main characters, which is some books is confusing and annoying but in this case worked very well.  Interestingly, Keri was the only one whose sections were in first person; the others were in third person.  That was a little jolting sometimes, but it emphasised that it was really her story, even though all three characters are dealing with the deaths of their bothers and trying to figure out what happened.

I also really liked that the book told me what happened after all the dramatic stuff was over.  And that things didn't magically fix themselves.  There were the everyday struggles that had to be gone through that come with loosing someone loved, and I'm glad that that was there.

It's hard to talk about anything else without ruining the book, so you've been warned.

I was not expecting the supernatural element.  I thought it was realistic fiction.  There was a serial killer on the loose or something.  When it turned out that there was supernatural reason for the deaths, I was totally taken aback.  Don't worry, no vampires or werewolves or anything.  Something completely different, and far more sinister in a way.  Actually, I don't think I'll say any more about it, I don't want to give too much away.

Suffice to say it was really good and you should get it when it comes out, which will be on September 5.

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