The Sham, by Ellen Allen | [ARC] Book Review #264

Thank you to the Ellen Asher, via Netgalley for allowing me to read The Sham, in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review

22879003When love leads to death, be careful who you trust…

Eighteen-year-old Emily Heath would love to leave her dead-end town, known locally as “The Sham”, with her boyfriend, Jack, but he’s very, very sick; his body is failing and his brain is shutting down. He’s also in hiding, under suspicion of murder. Six months’ ago, strange signs were painted across town in a dialect no one has spoken for decades and one of Emily’s classmates washed up in the local floods.

Emily has never trusted her instincts and now they’re pulling her towards Jack, who the police think is a sham himself, someone else entirely. As the town wakes to discover new signs plastered across its walls, Emily must decide who and what she trusts, and fast: local vigilantes are hunting Jack; the floods, the police, and her parents are blocking her path; and the town doesn’t need another dead body.


NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The idea for this book came to me in a nightmare… It was so vivid that I imagined I was 17 again, at school, in the same group of 4 friends that I used to hang around with. We were involved in a murder and cover-up. I started writing partly as a way to get it out of my head and then the characters turned into real people… and Emily and Jack were born.

As some of the early reviewers have stated, it is quite extreme in chapter one, and necessarily so. This is the incident that sets up the whole book; something awful happens that sets off a train of events for the characters. This book is a mystery in two ways in that we’re: 1) trying to find out who killed Emily’s classmate; and 2) trying to work out who Jack is. I hope you enjoy it!

Trigger Warnings: Paranoia, Blood, Self Harm, Murder, Suicide

What drew me into the book was not only the cover, but the synopsis to The Sham as well. I only wished that the synopsis lived up to the story.

I was really interested in The Sham. ….And then I actually started reading the book.

Throughout most of the story I was left confused, and peeved. The plot of the story left me questioning everything, and not in a good way, either. There are so many things that could go wrong, and I feel like they did. I could honestly say that for the first 3/4 of the book I was angry at the story because nothing made sense. Once the last quarter of the book came into play, the story started looking up. In fact, the last quarter of the book is the only part of the book where the writing is clear and I actually made sense of what was happening.

I want to say that I liked the setting and the characters, but I didn’t. Nothing in this book is developed enough. I couldn’t imagine the town, and frankly, everything is just plain. I only managed to finish reading the book because I needed to know how the story ended. I mean, I couldn’t not finish The Sham after everything that I read in this book.

A good thing about this story is that The Sham is an insanely quick read.

I gave The Sham, 1 of 5 stars on Goodreads.

Happy Reading!

One thought on “The Sham, by Ellen Allen | [ARC] Book Review #264

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