Zombie, post-apocalyptic and dystopian books are like shoes - you can never have enough.
When Archway Young Offenders Institution is closed down, a notebook is found - the notebook of Emily Koll, one of the most notorious inmates, who was all over the news for the offence that landed her in prison - but what exactly is Emily's secret?
I was drawn to this book by the darkness of the synopsis, and also the mystery element. Being set in a young offenders institution, there is a cast of characters with dark and sad pasts, but the majority of the story is Emily's interaction with her psychiatrist. During the course of her sessions, her past emerges but Emily really isn't as evil as she seems - her life has thrown her a whole bunch of curve-balls that contributed to her current situation, and for that I felt sympathy for her, as well as a morbid fascination in finding out exactly why she is incarcerated.
Heart-Shaped Bruise is a quick, but compelling read and as Emily's story emerged, I couldn't help but be sucked right into the story and want to know exactly what had happened to her. There isn't a huge amount of interaction with other characters apart from Emily and her doctor, which is a little bit of a shame as I wanted to know more about the other girls, but in the end it really wasn't a deal-breaker.
As always with mysteries, it's hard not to say too much without giving away the ending, but although it didn't completely take me by surprise because there are a few clues dropped along the way, it was quite eye-opening. And although part of the story is told in flash-backs, they are pretty seamlessly blended, so it didn't feel like I was being jerked back and forth between story-lines.
Although it wasn't as shocking as I hoped it would be, Heart-Shaped Bruise was a worthwhile read, and I'll definitely be checking out more of Tanya Byrne's work.
Read more of my reviews at The Aussie Zombie