Review: “The Deviants”

The Deviants - CJ SkuseThe Deviants
CJ Skuse

Rating: 4/5

When you set out for revenge, dig two graves

Growing up in the sleepy English seaside town of Brynston, the fearless five – Ella, Max, Corey, Fallon and Zane – were always inseparable. Living up to their nickname, they were the adventurous, rowdy kids who lived for ghost stories and exploring the nearby islands off the coast. But when Max’s beloved older sister Jessica is killed, the friendship seems to die with her.

Now years later, only Max and Ella are in touch; still best friends and a couple since they were thirteen. Their lives are so intertwined Max’s dad even sponsors Ella’s training for the Commonwealth Games. But Ella is hiding things. Like why she hates going to Max’s house for Sunday dinner, and flinches whenever his family are near. Or the real reason she’s afraid to take their relationship to the next level.

When underdog Corey is bullied, the fearless five are brought back together again, teaming up to wreak havoc and revenge on those who have wronged them. But when the secrets they are keeping can no longer be kept quiet, will their fearlessness be enough to save them from themselves?

You know a book is good when you read the entire thing in one sitting without realising.  It was dark and gritty, dealing with themes you don’t always find in YA books.

Last year I read Monster by CJ Skuse and it was a rollercoaster of fear. The Deviants was similar in the sense that it started out fairly civil but then, a “thing” happened and before you know it you’re sucked into this twisted maze of tension.

Ella was the perfect main character for this story. She’d been through far too much hurt in her life and it made her jaded and slightly twisted herself. You rooted for her even though she wasn’t perfect and did some horrible things to other people.

The format was unexpected: each chapter ends with an unknown character asking Ella a question. I kept guessing as to who it was Ella was speaking to until the very end (that plot twist!).

CJ Skuse has a fantastic talent at creating terrifying, real villains. The type of people who most certainly exist in this world — and that’s what makes them even scarier. The Deviants wasn’t an easy book to read. It was raw and real with some fairly graphic scenes, and the characters go through so much (it’s a bit hard to say what without spoilers).

CJ Skuse will now be my go-to author for YA suspense! I’m (im)patiently awaiting her next book.

Thank you so much HQ Young Adult for sending over an advanced reading copy!
(Book Depository / Amazon UK)




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