20 November 2014

Review #82: The Sham by Ellen Allen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After reading The Sham by Ellen Allen, I can't stop myself from quoting Arthur Conan Doyle’s remarkable words:

“The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.”

Ellen Allen, an indie YA author, who has woven a spectacular story in her debut book, The Sham about simple unexplained mysteries surrounding us, and which will force you to stop and think before trusting anyone so blindly.

Eighteen-year-old Emily Heath would love to leave her dead-end town, known locally as "The Sham", with her boyfriend, Jack, but he's very, very sick; his body is failing and his brain is shutting down. He's also in hiding, under suspicion of murder. Six months' ago, strange signs were painted across town in a dialect no one has spoken for decades and one of Emily's classmates washed up in the local floods.
Emily has never trusted her instincts and now they're pulling her towards Jack, who the police think is a sham himself, someone else entirely. As the town wakes to discover new signs plastered across its walls, Emily must decide who and what she trusts, and fast: local vigilantes are hunting Jack; the floods, the police, and her parents are blocking her path; and the town doesn’t need another dead body.

Don't worry, it's not only the blurb that sounds so fantastic and all so alluring, but the whole book is one hell of an intriguing ride! Trust me; it's not every day that you come across something so extraordinarily and so very real, that it'll give you Goosebumps simply by reading the book.

Hats off to the author for that mind-blowing opening chapter! It completely captured me when and peaked my interest when a mysterious guy stands up to stop bullying a little kid from some mean-and-bitchy chicks in a school. The scene might not sound so riveting, but the way Ellen has represented and delivered this whole scene will completely capture your both mind and soul into this very story, and will bound to leave you with a sickening feeling at the pit of your stomach! But it also leaves you with a feeling of curiosity as to know who is mysterious guy is? What is want? Among that group of bitchy girls, there's a sweet, determined and loyal girl, named Emily, who too tries to stop the bullying act and she too like us is filled with a mist of curiosity about the identity of this strange guy.

Turn the page, and here we are seeing that Emily's town is turning mysterious with each passing day and this all started happening with the arrival of that strange guy, named, Jack. But when one of Emily's classmates and one of that bitchy girl’s body wash up ashore on the beach, police and the locals point fingers towards Jack and since Emily can't stop listening to her heart, she gets very involved with Jack, before it gets too late.

I know ask the author Ellen, how did you hold back all your mysteries and did not leave us even with a single clue? I mean often in mystery novels we can find at least one or two clue while putting the pieces together. But in The Sham there's no such scope, moreover, it demands lots of attention from the readers to understand the story properly. The author completely possessed our mind and did not let us make any decisions, the way she wanted and way when she wanted she delivered her twists, but those twists are present to help us understand the story better.

Enough about the mystery and the twists!! Now the writing! What can I say! With such a flawless and clever prose, it only means one thing that the book is a completely page turner from the very first page. Her characters are very, very intricately developed with sheer vividness. And that surprise that Ellen has left at the end of the book will completely throw you off the edge and it'll only make you feel why I didn’t see that coming!
Ellen you're a genius since only a genius like you can spun such a gruesomely twisted and unnerving plot!

Verdict: It should be the YA novel of the year 2014! So guys please, please read this book and it's not only for the YA lovers, this book can be devoured by everyone whoever loves a tight and compact mystery!

Courtesy: Thank you so much Ellen for the review copy! 

Author Info:
Ellen Allen have loved reading ever since she was tiny and discovered Enid Blyton in a corner of her classroom - The Magic Faraway Tree, anyone?  
She is an author of indie YA novel The Sham, an avid reader, a wild swimmer, and collector of writing titbits and all things bookish.  She lives in the south of France with her small daughter and would, one day, like to be able to master the French subjunctive. 
Visit her here

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