The Shattering by Karen Healey
Release Date: September 5th, 2011
Hachette, 311 Pages
Source: Advance Reader Copy
Age Group: Young Adult
Seventeen-year-old Keri likes to plan for every possibility. She knows what to do if you break an arm, or get caught in an earthquake or fire. But she wasn’t prepared for her brother’s suicide, and his death has left her shattered with grief. When her childhood friend Janna tells her it was murder, not suicide, Keri wants to believe her. After all, Janna’s brother died under similar circumstances years ago, and Janna insists a visiting tourist, Sione, who also lost a brother to apparent suicide that year, has helped her find some answers.
As the three dig deeper, disturbing facts begin to pile up: one boy killed every year; all older brothers; all had spent New Year’s Eve in the idyllic town of Summerton. But when their search for the serial killer takes an unexpected turn, suspicion is cast on those they trust the most.
As secrets shatter around them, can they save the next victim? Or will they become victims themselves?
Hm. This book was a bit of a conundrum. Did I like it? Did I not like it? Is this a murder mystery or a paranormal? The answer is yes to all of the above.
The Shattering is told from three perspectives (Keri, Janna, and Sione) but I found myself liking Keri the most. She was funny and a little bit more reserved; that’s more my style.
Let’s talk good/positive things:
I really like that this book started out with a bang. It gave the book a purpose – Keri’s brother has died and within the first few pages, she suspects that it might be murder instead of a suicide. Because of this, I was intermediately enraptured with the book. The writing style was also something that I really enjoyed; I’m not quite sure what exactly I liked but it was such an easy read and that is always a good thing. And of course, that darn twist at the end. I didn’t even see that coming and I thought I had figured everything out. I was blindsided – and it felt good! Also hello, writing a story start to finish in 300 some pages and still having it feel complete, that is a feat!
Now on to the thing that I wasn’t too..um..thrilled? about:
I thought this was going to be a murder mystery and that’s why I was initially so excited. Something refreshing for YA! (view spoiler) I was so disappointed. I know – it seems so small but I saw where it was headed and I just thought, “No!”.
Overall, I think this was a very solid book and a good, quick, fun, summer read!
I would definitely recommend it for older teens as I think the importance/significance of the “colonialism, racism, and land rights” (pg. 78) might be lost on the younger teens.
ps – I LOVED the unique setting and am always happy to see other Pacific Islanders get some book love!