Monday, May 07, 2012

REVIEW: Heart-Shaped Bruise by Tanya Byrne

Title: Heart-Shaped Bruise by Tanya Byrne
Pages: 336
Publisher: Headline
Publication Date: 10th May, 2012
Format: Paperback ARC
Source: Publisher (for review)
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository

They say I'm evil. The police. The newspapers. The girls from school who shake their heads on the six o’clock news and say they always knew there was something not quite right about me. And everyone believes it. Including you. But you don't know. You don't know who I used to be.

Who I could have been.

Awaiting trial at Archway Young Offenders Institution, Emily Koll is going to tell her side of the story for the first time. 

 --Goodreads summary

Heart-Shaped Bruise tells the story of a 17-year-old girl called Emily Koll. Emily has been locked up in a psychiatric unit for young offenders because she has done something very bad...the novel follows a journal-style format that strips away the lies and reveals the truth about Emily Koll.

Tanya Byrne is the LOVELIEST on Twitter, and her debut novel sounded amazing, so obviously I *had* to beg Sam for a copy! And you know what? I am SO glad I did. Because Heart-Shaped Bruise was awesome and an extremely powerful read. Also, had I not known Tanya before or heard about her book, I would've assumed that she had written millions of successful books solely based on how much I loved this.

I like pretty much any book that features psychological ideas and murder and stuff like that (take from that what you want) and Heart-Shaped Bruise sounded exactly like something I would love. A story set in a psychiatric ward with teenage girl for a protagonist?! How could I EVER stay away?

I really connected with Emily, and I think that may have been because she reminded me of myself. Oh wait, what does that say about me then?! I thought Emily was tough and smart, but also very sweet (in a kind of twisted way), if you can believe it. She was written with such great skill and I highly applaud Byrne for creating such a gorgeously-written book with such a thought-provoking character. The journal part was another plus.

There's a lot of questioning family and if it is they that make us who we are or if it's the persona we build ourselves, and seriously? I ate it all up like chocolate cake because that's how enticing it was. What else did I eat up? Emily's session with her psychiatrist were really interesting and the dialogue between the two was thought-provoking AND humourous (YES, we've all picked up omn the fact that I'm a bit deranged, but WHATEVS).

Heart-Shaped Bruise is one of those books that you know that you really shouldn't enjoy, but you do. Like a crazy mix of Cat Clarke and Anne Cassidy and Byrne's own special touch. Refreshing too, with all the dystopia and vampires and light-hearted stuff (not that I don't like light-hearted stuff)! I really don't want to spoil anything so I'll stop now, but seriously, you NEED to read this book. It was gritty, raw, and so full of emotions you will be practically hyperventilating*.

*or maybe that was just me.

"As soon as I stepped inside, I smelt it - wood and old paper - and my heart was hysterical, as though I'd just bumped into an old boyfriend. A music shop."



  1. I'm getting a copy of this at the weekend! If this is anything to go by, I can tell it's the sort of book I'm going to love. Especially if it's anything like Cat Clarke's books. Awesome review!

  2. Really enjoyed this book.


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