Today it is my pleasure to be part of the Blog-tour for The Deviants by C.J. Skuse. It is a story which will make you root for the merry band of misfits, and I think it will change the way you perceive the word deviant. As per usual Skuse doesn’t disappoint.
About the author
C.J. Skuse was born in 1980 in Westonsuper-Mare, England. She has First Class degrees in Creative Writing and Writing for Children and, aside from writing novels, works as a freelance children’s fiction consultant and lectures in Writing for Children at Bath Spa University. C.J. loves Masterchef,
Gummy Bears and murder sites. Before she dies, she would like to go to Japan, try clay-pigeon shooting and have Ryan Gosling present her with the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.
Follow CJ on Facebook
About the book
Growing up in the sleepy English seaside town of Brynston, the fearless five – Ella, Max, Corey, Fallon and Zane – were always inseparable. Living up to their nickname, they were the adventurous, rowdy kids who lived for ghost stories and exploring the nearby islands off the coast. But when Max’s beloved older sister Jessica is killed, the friendship seems to die with her.
Now years later, only Max and Ella are in touch; still best friends and a couple since they were thirteen. Their lives are so intertwined Max’s dad even sponsors Ella’s training for the Commonwealth Games. But Ella is hiding things. Like why she hates going to Max’s house for Sunday dinner, and flinches whenever his family are near. Or the real reason she’s afraid to take their relationship to the next level.
When underdog Corey is bullied, the fearless five are brought back together again, teaming up to wreak havoc and revenge on those who have wronged them. But when the secrets they are keeping can no longer be kept quiet, will their fearlessness be enough to save them from themselves?
This book wasn’t at all what I expected. It was a whole lot more. The topics are hard-hitting tough ones and Skuse doesn’t take any prisoners or make it into a candy floss YA event. I have to admit that the story seemed to be steering towards a predictable ending, but the author pulled a rabbit out of a hat and delivered a spectacular twist. The kind of twist you just don’t see coming.
Ella appears to have it all. She is a successful athlete with ambitious goals, and has a happy home and love life. It’s only when you look a little closer and scratch a little off the top of the golden girl’s shiny surface that the slow decay becomes apparent.
She has a growing inner anger, which has started to slip through her usual pleasant facade. She is finding it increasingly difficult to keep the hounds of rage at bay. Her odd behaviour seems to lead all the way back to the accidental death of her boyfriend’s sister.
There is a particular emphasis on the small group of close friends Ella has. The dynamics, loyalties and often dysfunctional relationships between the five of them, and the now missing sixth member of their odd group, are pivotal to the plot. Frenemies, freaks and friendships bind them together.
It’s quite common for certain behaviour patterns to be perceived as nothing more than troublesome teenage years, black sheep emerging in the family or simply a rebellious nature. How many of us would turn around and consider a more nefarious reason for behaviour, which is at first out of character and then suddenly the norm?
It is a good read, albeit a dark and quite serious one. It isn’t filled with sugar canes and puppy dogs tails. Instead it is a tale of insidious betrayal and the fatal repercussions resulting from this perfidy. For me the word deviant will never conjure up the same images again.