Mini Reviews: Heart-Shaped Girl Child

Sometimes I’ll read a book and forget to write the review for a while. Then, when I finally come to writing it I notice that the book has done the rounds and is a huge success. Which leaves me wondering whether to bother with a full review. This is where my mini reviews are going to come in useful from now on.

Heart Shaped Bruise by Tanya Byrne.

9780755393053For some reason I was initially put off from reading Tanya’s debut. It was causing so much chatter through the blogging community and then went on to be nominated for lots of wonderful awards, that I felt I didn’t need to read it. I did though, and the depth with which Byrne writes is brilliant. So many could pass over Heart Shaped Bruise due to its attachment to YA. If that is how you feel, then do take your head from that dark place and shove it into this book.

I picked up the novel from my shelf while cooking dinner. I started reading the first few pages, burnt something on the hob, ate dinner and then finished the book. Any book that is so arresting should be recommended and HSB is one that contains such a dark and twisted plot. Byrne captures a young adult voice so clearly and adds a dash of danger to the tone of the novel. As we read the story of Emily Kill the tension rises and though this character should be disliked she endears herself to the reader.

It’s an incredibly brave novel that tackles so very many topics. Each page contains masses of emotion that will conflict but ultimately envelope the audience.

Hawthorn and Child by Keith Ridgway.

9781847087416God, I wish I could articulate what I want to say about this book. Another novel championed through Twitter, I jumped on it during the Kindle sale. Hawthorn and Child is, in my mind, a book of short stories that all intertwine around the titular characters. Hawthorn and Child are police detectives and from the outset the reader is drawn into a world of questions rather than the expected answers of the police.

A couple of the stories left me feeling rather cold – I most likely missed the point of such tales – but on the whole I was dragged into this wonderfully muddled and surreal environment. What is entirely moving throughout is Ridgway’s writing and crafting of prose. Rather than ramble on further, I will touch upon one of his greatest moments and then point you to much better writers telling you about the book.

The passages that grabbed me and played with the way I read were the interplay between an orgy and a riot. Ridgway allows the scenes to seamlessly weave together leaving you playing catch up. Some of his descriptions can be related to both scenarios and this mechanic left me in awe of how a writer can capture a mind and shape it how they choose.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

9780297859383What’s to say that hasn’t already been said? Flynn has written such a darkly disturbing thriller that until certain moments of the book, the reader has no clue as to who they can trust or what they can believe. Each page has something deliciously awful within the text and by the end of the book your face could be in permanent ‘eye brow raise’ position.

There is no way that I would want even the smallest piece of the plot spoiled before reading the book. Each set piece is so meticulously thought out that the reader has to go in blind to feel the full brunt of Flynn’s ideas. All I will say is that Amy and Nick are due to celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary when Amy goes missing. Stuff happens, things *THIS SECTION OF THE REVIEW HAS BEEN REMOVED SO YOU CAN FULLY APPRECIATE AND ENJOY THE NOVEL. BECAUSE YOU ARE GOING TO READ IT!* and it all ends with a “wow”.

I gave each of these books…


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