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The Sham by Ellen Allen - Review

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I received a free ecopy of The Sham from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Emily would love to leave her town, called The Sham by locals, with her mysterious new boyfriend named Jack. However, Jack is very sick and he seems to shutting down, both physically and mentally. He is also on the run and under suspicion of murder. Lately, both have noticed mysterious graffiti all over town written in a dialect no one has spoken in over 100 years and some of Emily's classmates have gone missing and turned up dead. And Jack, for a variety of reasons, is high on the suspect list. Emily really wants to trust Jack, even though the whole town is warning her away from him. Who can she really trust, what really happened to those girls, and who exactly is Jack?

Fair warning right from the beginning: This story is not for the faint of heart or squeamish. It's definitely for older teens.

I was very intrigued by this story and I read through it pretty quickly. It's definitely engrossing and it hooked me from the start. I felt a pretty wide range of emotions while reading from anger, happiness, sadness, disgust, fear, etc. The characters for the most part well-defined. I can't say they were all likeable characters because some do some pretty despicable things. I liked both Jack and Emily, but I did have some major issues with their characters. Mainly, I can't understand exactly why Emily trusts Jack so much...I mean, he simply throws up too many red flags throughout the entire story. This is very difficult to review without spoilers, but by the end I couldn't believe the actual truth of what happened. Truly terrifying - I didn't see that coming.

Main issues: disappointed with the reveal about Jack, confusion over characters (why did two of the four bullies have to have such similar names?), and the many typos in the Kindle edition I received.

Overall, it's a very good mystery that will keep you guessing until the end!

Note: for some reason I kept imagining Emily's mother as Jackie Tyler from Doctor Who.

I read this book from October 12 - 22, 2014 and my review is also on Goodreads.


  1. This sounds good. I have been looking for a good YA mystery/thriller style book.

  2. Good review! Yes, I definitely think Emily was too trusting!

    1. Thanks for checking it out! It's has quite a hook doesn't it! :)


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