Heart-Shaped Bruise by Tanya Byrne

chrissi&lunacompare1This time: Heart-Shaped Bruise by Tanya Byrne

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.

Thoughts before you started reading Heart-Shaped Bruise?

CHRISSI: Well, Luna has picked this book for us to compare. It must be awesome. (Luna: I rock!)

LUNA: Well I read HSB last year but it’s our Book Club read this month so I’m re-reading. I already know it’s brilliant.
Thinking back to last year… I’d stumbled across it on Goodreads and thought it sounded really good and then I meet Tanya Byrne at a book-launch and she is many kinds of awesome – that pretty much sold me.

What did you think of Emily?

CHRISSI: Emily is one of the best narrators in a book that I’ve read in a long time. She’s just so raw. I know she’s not the easiest character to love and her actions aren’t excusable, but you begin to understand why she did it.

LUNA: I love Emily, which given she does might sound a bit odd – as Emily says: “My normal and everyone else’s normal isn’t the same anymore” – but she makes sense. The thing that is so brilliant is how Emily is utterly convinced by her actions and the more you read, the more you understand it why.
It doesn’t matter if you like or agree with her, that’s not the point of the book. I don’t have to like Emily to want to read her story. She’s an intelligent and engaging narrator who doesn’t hold back.

Best bit?

CHRISSI: I hate to give an answer like ‘everything!’ but in my opinion, the book really is fabulous. It’s engaging, it’s well paced and the writing is just fantastic.

LUNA: Opening letter, it sets everything up brilliantly. The writing, pacing, etc. also the ending which wasn’t what I expected and made the book all the better for it.

Worst bit?

CHRISSI: There’s not a worst bit. I truly believe that!

LUNA: Can I say ‘nothing’?

Favourite character / moment?

CHRISSI: Emily is the best character in this story. She’s so intriguing.

LUNA: HSB is really Emily’s story so I’d say she is my favourite but her sessions with Doctor Gilyard make for really good reading. I loved how their relationship changed and progressed.

Was Heart-Shaped Bruise what you expected?

CHRISSI: Oh it was so much more than I expected… and I expected awesome.

LUNA: Yes. Both times.

Would you recommend it?

CHRISSI: Oh yes!


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