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  • Review: The Conspiration of the Universe by Kenneth Olanday

Monday, May 14, 2012

ARC Review: Heart-Shaped Bruise by Tanya Byrne

There's a line in this book that had the most impact to me:

"Curiousity will break your heart."

I didn't believe it at first, but when I was at the last few pages, I realized it did. Because curiousity will make you want to know Emily Koll and what she has done. To herself, to her life, to Juliet. And you will wonder if she will ever get better. You will want to know her story, and that story will break your heart into a million pieces.

Title: Heart-Shaped Bruise by Tanya Byrne
Pages: 336
Release Date: May 10th 2012
Published by: Headline
Source: Publisher
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository


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.

Emily left a mark on my heart. She's broken. In a single moment, her world has shifted into something she doesn't recognize  and she had to make sense of what was left of her life. Figuring out if she was beyond repair was one of the most heartbreaking things I had to find out while reading this book, and it wasn't easy. Never have I ever read of so much broken people before, and hearing their side of the story was a different experience.

Is something wrong with Emily? Yes. I didn't like her at all when I first met her. A privileged kid who had the rug pulled out under her due to the consequences of her father's actions. But who could blame her for realizing her whole life was a lie? They say that people find out who their real friends are during the most trying time of their lives and Emily found out she had none when her life changed. Who would want to be friends with a bad seed? People can be so judgmental and Emily turned into someone she was not in the eyes of the world because of these people. Through the pages of her diary, I felt her anger. If only people realized she was also a victim. But something is definitely wrong with Emily. She let her anger destroy her, that incessant need for vengeance, that single minded purpose to get even. She could have been someone good, someone better. Instead she remade herself into someone unrecognizable, someone so far off she couldn't go back to who she was before. What was real and what was for revenge? Was it worth trying to get even if it meant destroying your own life?

Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. However cliche that might sound, Emily goes by that mantra because of Juliet. Her existence fueled Emily's need for revenge. She was the reason Emily's life unraveled, and what happened to her? She got a second chance at life, while Emily was ostracized, shunned by the people who once were a big part of her life. But Emily was like Juliet in some ways. All of it was done for their family. Emily's revenge was for her father, and Juliet did what she had to do for hers. What makes them so different? None. Even if Juliet had a fresh start, the darkness inside will continue to haunt her, like Emily.

Heart Shaped Bruise is a chilling tale of just how far one can go in order to exact revenge. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. A life for a life. How much of a coincidence is it that this book reminds me the tv series, Revenge? The appeal of this book comes from the emotions Emily is dealing with and the reasons she has done what she did. Family, that desire to get even, that desperate want to just feel right again. Venture on to the dark side of humanity where vengeance and anger can be the sole reasons for living, where lies are a necessity and breaking a person bit by bit gives someone happiness like no other. Tanya Byrne presents us with a chilling tale of a girl and the path she chose to take in her quest to punish those that wronged her. It's filled with ugly feelings and terrifying scenes that will eat away at your resolve and your belief of what is right and what is wrong.

Tanya Byrne will take you in an unforgettable journey with Heart-Shaped Bruise. This book will stay with you for a long time. Unexpectedly dark but undeniably, a great book. Try to keep your emotions at bay as Emily tells you all about her life. It's haunting and heavy, but I wouldn't trade even a minute I've spent reading this book. If you are looking for an edgy, darker form of YA novel, then give this book a try and you wouldn't be disappointed!

My rating:

Content (plot, story flow, character):
Definitely. I couldn't imagine how Tanya was able to write and expose such a dark side of a person through this book. It's up to the readers to think if what Emily did was right.

Stunning: Worthy of a Goddess' Praise!

Book Cover:

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


  1. That sounds really interesting! I really should add that to my tbr pile :)
    New follower here from the Philippines!
    X Ellie of

  2. OOoh, this sounds really good!! annd this is a great review! This book is officially going on my wishlist!
    Thanks so much!

    If you are looking for an edgy, darker form of YA novel, then give this book a try and you wouldn't be disappointed!

    Now that is what I'm talking about.

    I'm also, cheekily, going to recommend you go and read Black Heart Blue by Louisa Reid, it is also an incredible story <3

    Faye :)

  3. I've added it to my Goodreads, Kai. Sounds so, so good! I watched the first episode of Revenge and decided not to continue, but I'm glad you liked! I hope to see more of this around.

  4. A beautifully written narration from a damaged girl in prison who descriptive language draws you into her tale. I was enthralled by the images she paints with her words.


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