12 February 2012

The Shattering by Karen Healey

Seventeen-year-old Keri likes to plan for every possibility. She knows what to do if you break an arm, or get caught in an earthquake or fire. But she wasn't prepared for her brother's suicide, and his death has left her shattered with grief. When her childhood friend Janna tells her it was murder, not suicide, Keri wants to believe her. After all, Janna's brother died under similar circumstances years ago, and Janna insists a visiting tourist, Sione, who also lost a brother to apparent suicide that year, has helped her find some answers. 

As the three dig deeper, disturbing facts begin to pile up: one boy killed every year; all older brothers; all had spent New Year's Eve in the idyllic town of Summerton. But when their search for the serial killer takes an unexpected turn, suspicion is cast on those they trust the most. 

As secrets shatter around them, can they save the next victim? Or will they become victims themselves?

My first impression, before ever having opened the book, was that it was gonna flop.  I just figured that with a plot like that told from the points of view of three different characters...something said it wouldn't work.

Well.  That's what I get for losing faith in Australian/New Zealand authors.  Because The Shattering was an excellent book with rich characters, an impressive storyline and a haunting setting.  Not to mention hilarious humor.

I was in love from the first chapter.  Keri's character really set the tone and my interest was piqued from the blunt way she told her story.  I knew right away that this wasn't going to be some summer story with crappy romances and cheap inner battles.  Karen Healey was not fooling around with this book.

At first, I thought it would be a contemporary, because that's the impression I got from the summary.  It's not, however.  It's actually an urban fantasy and I think it worked out great.  The story fit with the genre, and carried a lot of depth.

I loved the myth and culture involved.  By the end of the story, I felt as if I were coming home from vacation--that's how well Karen Healey represented the setting of Summerton.  It was creepy, but compelling, which made it even creepier.  I was spooked but couldn't get out by that point.

The dynamic between the three main characters--Keri, Janna and Sione--was fascinating.  Karen Healey didn't shy away from anything.  The three had a lot of complications.  They weren't instant buddies, which I thought was fitting.  Cookie cutter friendships have been becoming more common lately and their unique natures made me fall in love with them right away.

Karen Healey was a breath of fresh air.  I can't wait to get my hands on more of her books.

Book Info:

  • pages - hardcover, 305
  • published - September 2011
  • publisher - Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • genre - paranormal
  • received via - library :)
  • rating - 5/5