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Heart-shaped Bruise Paperback – 27 Sep 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Headline (27 Sept. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755396065
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755396061
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.1 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 403,136 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Intriguing and compelling - a very accomplished debut (Sophie Hannah, bestselling crime fiction author)

'Byrne is a talented writer with attitude and a fresh, original voice' ( Daily Mail )

'It's compelling and clever. We loved' ( Company )

'Reminiscent of The Catcher in the Rye, this psychological jigsaw of a novel will appeal to your dark side' ( Glamour )

Book Description

A compelling, brutal and heart-breaking story about identity, infamy and how far a person might go to seek revenge, from debut author Tanya Byrne. Shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger 2012

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Curiosity Killed The Bookworm TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 11 May 2012
Format: Hardcover
"You all think you know who I am. But the one thing Google will never tell you is who I used to be... who I might have become if she hadn't stabbed my father."

The night that her father was stabbed was the night that Emily learned her whole life had been a lie. He was just dad to her and she was just another teenage girl. In reality he was a gangster and their life-style funded by organised crime. Heart-Shaped Bruise is told in the form of a journal that was found in the psychiatric unit of Archway Young Offenders Institution. A journal that Emily chose to tell her story in.

Emily is not the sort of character you're going to fall in love with. She's non-compliant with her therapist and she is unforgiving. The newspapers have made her notorious although she is reluctant to tell the reader what happened to put her behind bars. Yet told from her point of view, you can see how a young woman's life has fallen apart overnight. She is angry and confused so she funnels her negative emotions into seeking revenge against Juliet, the girl who gave testimony against her father and in her eyes the reason her life is ruined. You can empathise with her even if you don't come to like her in the end.

It's gripping and emotional and I read in one sitting. There's a desire for everything to work out for Emily but her location at the start of the book doesn't bode well and Tanya Byrne is nothing if not realistic. It's a fantastic piece of young adult writing that will appeal to young and old.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Prof TBun on 19 July 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Tanya Byrne's writing is interesting and compelling, unfortunately though her character ideas have not been adequately researched. I found her naive description of mental health problems disappointing and some will find it offensive.

The lead character Emily Koll is spoiled romantic. She studies the world in detail, is rebellious but weak. This nature is very well written. The plot is slowly uncovered and with Emily being so unstable, you are never sure what will happen next.

I was pleased at the elements of humour in this novel. Any writer that can surprise you with a laugh will go far.

The chapters are very short which will appeal to young readers and others that read in short intervals.

Overall this is a book which will appeal much more to a younger readership than to mature readers. Tanya Byrne is clearly a writer with a lot of potential but for me this debut novel is a marginal miss.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By KBTCZ&S on 26 July 2012
Format: Hardcover
I don't normally read this genre but I decided to read this after it was recommended to me. This book is absolutley fantastic. Written from the view point of Emily Koll, this book makes you feel what Emily feels. You should feel sorry for Juliet and everything she has lost at the hands of Emilys father but you end up being on Emily's side and feeling for Emily. This book left me wanting more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By storyaddict on 26 July 2013
Format: Paperback
Holy crap, holy crap, holy crap, holy crap. Way to start a review, right? Can I just say this book is perfection? Utter, spotless, beautiful perfection. It's just...I don't even want to say anything bad about it. Not that I can't, but there isn't anything at all. It's a story of revenge. Beautiful, sweet revenge. And as you may be familiar, revenge usually stems either from sheer stupidity or madness. This was definitely madness, but beautiful madness. Reading this novel was like eating a delicious, rich cake. Every word was just perfection. The novel is written in a documentary-style journal, but you'd never actually think it unless the character told you, and it flows seamlessly.

Emily is awaiting trial at a juvenile jail for the mentally unstable. I guess that's the easiest way to describe it. She goes through a set of therapy sessions with her psychiatrist and recalls everything that's led up to this point while also moving past it and discovering herself. Basically, she wanted to get back at a girl who stabbed her father, Juliet, and therefore unraveled his secret life as a gangster. It flipped her world upside down, and because she let it, Emily hates Juliet because she goes on living life as if everything is okay.

There is so much depth and meaning in this that I can't even put it into words, and yet the author somehow managed to do so. I am now and forever an eternal fan. What an amazing perspective--a "villain's" perspective--and I wouldn't have it any other way. Five stars, baby! And if I could give it more, I would.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JK TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 Jun. 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Heart Shaped Bruise is a story taken from the journal of Emily, a resident in the psychiatric unit of a Young Offenders Institution. We learn that her father was brutally murdered and how a character called Juliet has destroyed her life and broken her but; because the case has been to trial, and both Emily and the murder are well known, she never actually tells you what she was sentenced for and assumes you already know. That's a wonderful mechanism to draw you in because it allows Emily to keep so much from you you're constantly wondering what happened and the suspense and tension builds throghout. There's a lot of introspection due to the psychological setting. You're getting to know Emily through counselling sessions and her memories rather than through a vast array of action sequences. She has a terrible relationship with most people and Emily is all at once hard to like but impossible to ignore. Tanya Byrne has a stong narrative voice and develops the character of Emily with a great deal of confidence; she's easy to believe in. I don't want to tell you much more about the plot. I'd rather you read Heart Shaped Bruise for yourself and discovered Emily for yourself.

Do I have a negative? Of course. We'd all write a book differently if we'd been the author and, in my own personal opinion, the scenes inside the institution weren't as good as those outside. Maybe a psychiatric unit is too small, too insular, to carry the development of so many themes and characters.

Heart Shaped Bruise is hard hitting, thought provoking and unique.
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