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 is the third book by C.J. Skuse that I have read and reviewed (Dead Romantic and Monster); this is the first one not to have a link to classic horror films. This one is more the horror of people. A
thriller mystery sort of book as we don't know what the characters are hiding or why.
The format of this book is interesting. Its told from the point of the view of the Main Character Ella as she is being asked questions by someone at the end of each chapter. I liked this technique to move the story along as well as an interesting way to introduce each chapter's content. That being said, I felt the ending was a bit forced. It reminds of a book by Susie Day (which I won't say in case you have read it and don't want to be spoiled at all for this book), in both have cool ideas but trap themselves in the execution of the end. I get the ending and fit with the theme of the book; it just didn't feel like a natural concussion for me.
There are flashbacks within Flashbacks throughout this book, this worked well with the characters are dealing with the results of the past. Somehow, is only mildly confusing.
While related on the characters, this book is more plot heavy in that the characters don't feel like real people and more like archetypes; They have all have different backgrounds despite all living in the same area which is realistic. Ella herself is well defined but none of the supporting are more than support beams to the story, which is fine since they do support it and I'm at the point over-analysing.
The characters seem a bit old during the past events to be behaviouring the way they all do. They all 13 years old, but act more like eight years. 13 years old are childish but they start to get uppity about it at that age. I mean they already in Secondary School at this point. Living with thirteen year old, I just don't buy it at all.
Now it's time for the most pointless part of any review: Rachel Verna points out something odd. This novel takes place on a Wednesday, 4 August therefore happens in 2010 but couldn't have because 'Scream Eggs' are mentioned in a past section, a product not released until 2011. Probably just a mistake or in-attempt to be timeless, especially as the Commonwealth games are meant to be 2 years in the story. Funfact, the next 4th Wednesday is 2021. I'm not sad enough to figure out what the year must it be for all that to be true, just sad enough the notice the date is wrong and then to check if I was right.
An odd book for both my main disabilities to be name dropped (once you start having several you start ranking them, asthma is currently last). None have effect on the characters or the book's plot. Corey has minor cerebral palsy, doesn't come into the plot at all. It kinda tries at one point then walks out the door. During, the novel he's not really affected by it, but it does affect the way other characters see him. I don't know about enough about cerebral palsy to say whether it was a good portray or not. It seemed fine, but with the story not being told by him, it was obviously not a focus in a story with so much plot. Now, I'm going to stop the bit where I over-analysing the effort for diversity in a book.
Overall, I gave this four out of five stars for Carrie Reenactments. This book has clear moral about vengeance it tries to survey, but in my opinion kinda gets lost. CJ Skuse seems to be maturing as a author based off her last two books, definitely good improvement since Dead Romantic. Skuse continues to have interesting ideas and I'm excited for the next one.