Heart-Shaped Bruise is definitely the best book I’ve read this year. It's about a girl called Emily who has recorded her time in a Young Offenders Institution in a diary, which is how we learn all about her story and what sent her to the institution after her dad was stabbed.
I'm not usually a fan of thrillers, but Heart-Shaped Bruise is one of a kind. It's written so well. It gives us pieces of Emily's story bit by bit, until we can piece everything together like we're on a Jury ourselves. Everything is unveiled in a way that surprises us, but at the same time draws us into the story even more.
At the same time, Tanya Byrne writes the protagonist of Emily really well. She writes her with an unbiased eye, so that we understand her and her actions by the end of the novel - while not at all excusing her actions, but at the same time not thinking she's completely evil.
Tanya Byrne writes her characters with such a complexity that we're completely invested in the story and it's characters from the start, because they're so realistic.
The ending will definitely give you a shock too - it's the perfect final twist to the most captivating story. I definitely didn't expect it to happen and it makes the book even better.
It's thanks to Tanya Byrnes' intriguing characters, original story and fantastic writing style makes Heart-Shaped Bruise a book I'd recommend to anyone. It might've been a great Halloween read for me, but I also think that it's a perfect book to add to your Christmas lists!