The Sham - Ellen Allen

This book was challenging for me to get through due to what I felt was the unnecessary graphicness of scenes in the initial chapter. Because of these, I had a negative image of the town that made me wonder why police hadn't stepped in and how members of the community became the way they were. The book was also very fast paced, which worked for the plot, but also made it hard to follow at points. I found myself having to go back to certain chapters as I'd miss details that had been planted.

Our main character, Emily, was very relatable and felt like someone I'd be friends with in real life. This made the story easier to read as I really cared about her and wanted her to eventually be happy. Her relationship with our male star, however, was strange and at times felt very forced. While this eventually made sense, it did keep drawing me out of the book as I read it.
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The plot was intriguing, but is more of a take on the typical plotline of bullies being bullied. I'm not a squeamish person, but there were scenes that just felt unnecessary and alienating that I'd skim over as I knew I wasn't going to enjoy animals and small children being hurt. Because of this, I didn't really get emotionally invested in this book and I felt a little like an outsider reading someone else's personal narrative.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.