The Deviants by C J Skuse
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Goodreads Summary: 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 novel intrigued me from the get go and despite letting me down in certain places it is still brilliant.
The plot itself was a bit hit and miss, although I enjoyed the different stories going on with each character and how they tied together I felt that for the most of the book they overshadowed the real story coming from Ella. However, the way everything tied together with the stories Jessica used to tell the children when they were younger was a really clever and unique way of writing.
The characters themselves were a real mix and I liked that, even if some of them did get on my nerves a lot and didn’t really act their age – despite some of the topics involved within the book.
I do feel that there was a lot more that could have been done with the backstories and Ella and Jessica’s situation and that it shouldn’t have been left till the end. I do however praise Skuse for the topics she does discuss in this novel as it isn’t the type of thing most young adult authors bring up.
The main reason why I gave this book three stars and not four was down to personal preference of the ending. They way Skuse ended the novel, although worked well, is just not something I enjoy happening to characters. I do think that the ending suited the novel but for me I just found it annoying – without trying to spoil it for anybody.
I do recommend this novel though to an older, young adult audience as topics of sex and sexual assault are very present and at times it could be disturbing to a younger audience. It is well worth a read but sadly not a favourite of mine.
Have you read anything by C J Skuse before? Let me know your thoughts on their novels.