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Author: Ellen Allen
"Brilliant, unsettling, original thriller for teens…"
The Sham opens with a shocking, unpredictable, bullying scene, and it's the total originality of the scene that makes the book so real. These mean girls do something to their victim you would never imagine anyone doing, and it makes them ring horribly true and sets the book up with a sense that anything could happen. Again, with the main characters, Emily and her boyfriend Jack, it's their individuality that makes them come intensely alive - there's a moment early on when Jack tells Emily she needs to drink camomile or peppermint tea, and it felt so absolutely authentic I really felt I knew him. The juxtaposition of the settings, the town itself, a jam factory, a greengrocer's and Shakespeare's burial place, is unexpected and expertly utilised to add to the sense of unpredictability.