Friday, June 27

Tanya Byrne - Heart-Shaped Bruise

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.

Heart-Shaped Bruise is a compulsive and moving novel about infamy, identity and how far a person might go to seek revenge.

I've just finished reading Heart-Shaped Bruise and I am truly amazed at how intriguing it was. Little more than a year ago I found this novel on Goodreads and added it to my to-read shelf even if I wasn't into this genre at that time. I completely forgot about the existence of it until a few weeks ago when I saw it again and couldn't wait any longer to put my hands on it. Now here I am loving it even if it was frustrating and left me with more questions than I had in the beginning.

This is Emily Koll's story, she's the girl who was called evil and many other names by the media because of something she did, but here she is, telling the story from HER point of view without trying to make things lighter than they were. 

I thought this book will show us how Emily let go off the past and got better even if this wasn't mentioned in the blurb I was still waiting for this to happen, meanwhile it never did because the story's main concept wasn't this, no, the story was about exactly what is written in the blurb: the side of the story of the person who did the wrong thing.  

I would not call Emily's POV the truth and she didn't either because what really is the truth? Even an outsider would distort it. What I really liked in Emily was that she didn't want to push down on our throats her story she just simply told it in the only way she could, by writing it down. 

The biggest question of the story is what Emily did and why, which are both very well described but I still had so many questions, some of these are little some are big but I'll never get my answers, that's for sure. I could brag about how I hated the ending because it closed off the story in the wrong way but that wouldn't be true, because even if I do want to learn more about everything, I think the ending was perfect for the story and for Emily, too. 

Emily was really hard to like but what made me give in and accept her was that she never tried to force the reader to like her. She made some bad decisions and there were times when I wanted to slap her hard and beat some common sense into her but I can see where she was coming from. At first she didn't see things this way, but soon she developed a mental-illness which wasn't surprising at all in her case, and that was when things went down pretty fast. Even after finishing the story I can't say I liked her character but here's something I can say: I get her desire for revenge, it's in the nature of every single person we even have sayings about this like eye for an eye. 

I don't want to write much about the other characters because it would spoil the story but I couldn't really give a shit about Juliet/Nancy, she was just so unlikable and she was a very plain character. I can't make a proper opinion about Sid either, at some parts he seemed nice enough but there were parts where I wanted to punch him. Hard. And I still have tons of questions about him. 

I liked Emily's father and I feel sorry for him because it must have been hard, sitting in prison, thinking about all the mistakes you did, worse seeing what your choices made your daughter into. See this is the problem with greatly written characters, I like him but dislike Juliet even knowing that he was a murderer and she didn't do anything wrong (besides being this annoying b*tch).

Favorite character: - 
Least favorite: Juliet/Nancy, Mike 

The story idea: 4/5
The realization of the story: 4/5
The characters: 4/5
The cover: 4/5


  1. Woah, this actually sounds like such a dark, emotional read about Emily developing a mental illness. Thanks for sharing, it reminds me a lot of Dangerous Girls which I loved. I have added to my TBR.

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

    1. It's mood is a bit like Dangerous Girls but unlike in Dangerous Girls, in Heart-Shaped Bruise, Emily's mental illness is very seeable, it's very frustrating because she doesn't see her way of thinking like we do, so she has a very strange opinion about everything.


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