The Sham

The Sham

by Ellen Allen

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781483531953
Publisher: BookBaby
Publication date: 06/30/2014
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 248
File size: 657 KB
Age Range: 13 Years

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The Sham 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
neznanka More than 1 year ago
I received the eBook free as a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review*** This book is not suitable for young teenage readers. There adult situations, murder scenes, conversations about sex, and profanity, soooo please just beware of that before reading. Weird, mysteries, lots of blood , sometimes disturbing(chapter 1), I honestly had no clue what was going to the end , it's different and I kinda like it. You wont't regret reading this, but..... It's Not For Everyone.....
BuriedUnderBooks More than 1 year ago
3.5 stars WARNING: THIS BOOK IS UNSUITABLE FOR YOUNGER TEENAGE READERS. IT DEPICTS ADULT SITUATIONS, MURDER SCENES, CONVERSATIONS ABOUT SEX AND PROFANITY. Take those words to heart as they’re not written lightly. The first section of this book is harsh but it’s the second section, specifically the first chapter, that will either make you toss the book down and never pick it up again or read on in a kind of need to find out what precisely is going on and how will it all end. Quite frankly, I almost put the book down and I did have to take breathers because it’s possibly the most stomach-churning chapter I’ve ever read. My mind was crying out the whole time, “Is it really possible that teens can be this vicious and uncaring?” The answer, unfortunately, is “yes” as we’ve all seen in recent years. Still, this was a difficult chapter to read. The rest of the story is also difficult to read but for entirely different reasons. The author keeps the reader guessing at all times, especially about Jack and who—or what—he is and whether he has anything to do with the deaths happening in town. It’s interesting that the name of the book, which is the shorthand version of the town’s name, can also be seen as a metaphor for the story because so much of it appears to be, in fact, a sham. The style reflects the dream referenced below by the author and is quite choppy and disjointed, much in the way one might recall a dream. At the end, I was completely surprised by the truth that came out regarding the deaths but I was even more surprised by the decision Emily made. I couldn’t help thinking “she’s gone round the bend” and I still think so. I wonder if Ms. Allen will let us know later how that decision pans out. I, for one, would be interested to know.
Cat2002116 More than 1 year ago
(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review). (This review may contain spoilers). This is a book I'm truly wavering between three and four stars for. In the end, I've given it three stars - for the simple reason that Emily (and Jack, to a certain extent) was the only character who was likable in this book. The other characters were well-written... but really unlikable. Stevie was one I would have liked to see a bit more of. It seemed to me that he got a bit of a raw deal throughout. This book does pretty much delve into a scene of horror right away and doesn't actually let up. The four girls in the book who Emily interacts with first are clearly quite despicable individuals. It's good that they don't fit neatly into any kind of stereotypes... but at the same time, I couldn't see anything that was remotely redeeming about them. I did find myself really quite intrigued by Jack and the mystery that was going on with him. The murder mystery... didn't actually strike me as realistic. There were a lot of scenes I read and found myself thinking, 'I'm pretty sure police can't actually get away with doing that/giving this kind of information out'. I think I would have liked the relationship between Emily and Jack a bit more if I'd felt it was going somewhere. I felt the author did take the time to develop it, but it didn't really seem like real love - more of a crush. Which could also have been because of what Jack was going through in the book. There were some scenes in this book that seemed almost a bit dreamlike, especially towards the end. There wasn't really much that was unexpected and I was a bit lost about the explanation by the end of the book. I understood it to an extent... but I was confused about why. I would have liked to see a bit more of Emily's relationship with Lily, as well as with her mother and Stevie. I was a bit confused about why apparently none of them left the house. I did like the fact that Emily tried to stand up for Charlie at the beginning of the book. I did notice quite a few errors in the writing, particularly a few instances where present tense was slipped into. The book was still readable, though, and I read it really fast. I probably would read other books by this author in the future.
Adelynne More than 1 year ago
3.5 Stars The Sham has a completely unique writing style. It's bizarre and emotional, but it can be very confusing. Even though I liked the writing style, it just felt a bit too overwhelming and mixed up. The whole story is dark and puzzling; and kept me guessing throughout the entire thing.  In the note from the author in the summary, she mentions how this book arose from a nightmare, and I can completely see how it did. Some scenes are terrifying and crazy, but well-crafted. The plot is definitely different, and keeps a highly-charged feel throughout the entire book. There is no time to take a breather- The Sham throws everything at you without mercy.  I really liked the dialogue between the characters. It was realistic and didn't feel forced.  However, I felt like only Emily and Jack were well-developed characters, everyone else seemed like cardboard cut-outs.  In the end, I really liked this mystery/thriller, and although a lot of things were really confusing, it ended on nice, clear note. 
Autumn2 More than 1 year ago
I received this book via NetGalley to give an honest review. I don't even know what to think about this book. I read the blurb and was thinking this was going to be a great book to read. Boy was I wrong. I literally was completely confused from the get-go. Mostly what I got from it was there is a group of girls that like to pick and bully on people and they end up dying and there is a guy who is on the list of suspects.  There is a young guy named Jack who is new in town and he is weird and everyone thinks he is committing the crimes, he also has feelings for Emily. Then there is Emily who finds herself in the middle of it all and she doesn't know who to believe. But she really likes Jack.  Now when I first started reading this I thought okay this will have to be at least decent, but the talking that was going on between characters in the story line I just found it to be confusing and not what I was hoping for. With that being said I also had some problems with some scenes, I felt that they just seemed to unreal. Such as the boy that is bullied has a broken bone in his neck area but then he can run? I think if it was me I would have been laying on the ground withering in pain.  I truly never even got who Jack really was until the end and then it was like okay that could make sense. Just the way he acted seemed way off from the diagnostic that was given in the story. His body is breaking down, to me that sounds like he has a disease or something. But we got more in depth with who Jack was through out the whole story. It is like we got bits and pieces then BAM! At the end it all comes together on who he is. Emily just seemed very weird I could not relate to her in any way. She was befriended by Jack only to be lied to and put into the middle of a police investigation. But I didn't get to really know who Emily was. There was no depth to her like there was with Jack. So the story starts off with a gruesome scene one that will make people cringe, Emily's reaction didn't seem real. If I saw someone bullying someone else I would probably go crazy she didn't hardly do anything just started talking about math things.  After the first opening part the whole thing seems to go down hill. There is no growth to the story, no character building. The only mystery is who killed the girls? And when we find out who that was it was like oh snap didn't even see that coming.  The author gets a point for a cool cover, and another point for the gruesome scene in the beginning that had me cringing. 
UndercoverBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Wasn't sure what to expect when I started this book.. But...let's just say this one blew me away! This book will take you like you won't believe. You WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PUT IT DOWN! This author took an idea, and made it a well thought out story plot! I strongly recommend that you pick a copy up! *Received for an honest review*
donniedarkogirl More than 1 year ago
The Sham will pull you in and won't let go until the very end. A tautly written mystery thriller, this novel kept me guessing until I didn't know which way was up and which was down. I wanted to know who Jack really was, who the murderer was, how many girls were going to end up dead before the killer was found, and how Emily was going to deal with all of it. Needless to say, this novel had me in knots with anticipation for the ending.  I'm completely stunned as to how this novel is Allen's debut - she writes with a fresh new voice and took on what I believe to be a difficult genre to write in. The story is dream-like where sometimes I wasn't sure if things were really happening or if there was another explanation. It's difficult to describe this book without giving anything away - the plot is so intricately woven that I have no idea if something that seems small and insignificant can actually turn out to be a key piece of evidence in the long run.  That's the beauty of this novel - I didn't know if clues being dropped in front of me were obvious answers to putting the puzzle together. The characters were described in a way to where I felt like while I knew them, I also didn't REALLY know them. I don't know what I would have done if faced with the same situation Emily found herself in the beginning - the situation that is the starting point for everything that comes after. While I wished she had done more, I can understand why she didn't.  The ending. Wow. I never saw it coming - completely shocking and it isn't often I can say that. While there are parts of The Sham that will definitely make you uneasy, this is a thriller that will have you breathless to find out what happens next. You really can't afford to miss out on this crazy ride of a reading experience.   I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  
lauralovesreviewingLT More than 1 year ago
The story starts near the end and then flashes back to the beginning, six months prior. When the killings first began Many of you may want to stop reading when you get to the second part. The past six months. The argument or How “Muzzling a Sparrow” can kill a friendship. What happens in the park when four teenage girls gang up on a small boy defies comprehension. They are brutal to the extreme, hardly human. And one girl, Emily(Em for short), is no match for them. If it weren’t for a stranger, Jack, she couldn’t have stopped them. Don’t let this stop you from continuing. I won’t tell you there isn’t more blood shed. There is a serial killer preying on the teenagers. And one by one they disappear, later to be found dead. The small town of Clevesham in southern England is in an uproar. All fear to be out at night. And no one knows who will be next. Surreal is a good word to describe how I felt while reading The Sham. Most of the time I felt like Emily was trying to describe a dream. You know how hard that is. No matter what you try, words can’t describe the disjointed, out of body, out of mind, feel of a dream. I pictured the town as nestled in a hollow, dreary and dank, as it’s winter. Kind of sets the mood for what happens next. One by one the people in the park that night turn up dead. Dogs howl in the dark. Strange words are written all over town. As their numbers dwindle, I have no clue who will be next. I was hoping Emily would be a survivor. That she’d make it to graduation and hightail it out of there. With or without Jack. Where to begin about Jack. He had no memories before arriving in The Sham. He seemed to have to eat constantly to refuel. He appeared to feel what others are feeling. And he spoke in half sentences, his mind jumping all over the place. I figured he was either nuts, a liar, or something else. Maybe something not human. I don’t think I’ve read a more disquieting story. I felt ill at ease through most of it. Like I stepped out of ordinary into strange, lacking need to know information. When I finally got my answers I was floored. Not once, but twice. I finally knew who was doing the killing. And I finally knew what was up with Jack. Looking back, there are a couple of clues I missed. I didn’t pick up on them because of how distorted the story was. The author did an excellent job of camouflaging them. I’m left wondering where the story goes from here. I’d sure like to know. I received this book for my honest review.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Cheryl Schopen for Readers' Favorite In The Sham by Ellen Allen, eighteen-year-old Emily just wants to get out of her town that they call “The Sham.” She repeats quantum equations out loud when she feels nervous or is in uncomfortable situations, which makes her seem a bit odd. She meets Jack, the mysterious new boy in town who has his own secrets, and they witness something horrible being done to someone, which has an impact on several people throughout the book. Ellen and Jack become closer, but his past still haunts him. Plus, the police suspect him when the body of one of Emily’s classmates is discovered. Who is Jack really? What is he hiding? And who killed Emily’s classmate?  Ellen Allen has such a unique writing style. I absolutely loved the metaphors and how things are compared and described; it created very vivid and sometimes disturbing but necessary images in my head. Throughout the story, I was curious and determined to find out about who Jack and who is committing these crimes around town. I have to say, when the truth was revealed at the end, my jaw practically dropped to the floor. Because the story was written so well, I was shocked, which made it so satisfying. Emily and Jack were interestingly different characters, which took some getting used to, but they fit together well. Having a plot with a surprising twist at the end and excellent writing, The Sham is a must-read. I hope to see more from this fantastic author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Sham is the first book released by Ellen Allen. What a start! Most YA books are so very predictable. Not the Sham. The first chapter caught me off guard. This was not what I was expecting. The story follows Emily and her boyfriend, Jack. He randomly came into town with some travelers. Saved her and a little boy from 4 ruthless teenage girls. Talk about monsters,  I couldn't believe what I was reading. After being saved, Emily had to know Jack. It was obvious from the start that he was not normal. As she was trying to get a wedge into his personal life, one of the 4 bullies was found dead. Who else was to blame? The new weird kid in town. You're not sure what to think. I thought I had it all figured out a few times. I was not even close. Was he guilty? Was he crazy? Even When everything was unveiled I was completely shocked. Not the ending I was expecting. This murder mystery is something else! A great first book, I can't wait to read more of her stuff!  **WARNING: This book is unsuitable for younger readers. It depicts adult situations, murder scenes, conversations about sex and profanity.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
3.5 Stars The author gave me this book in exchange for an honest review. I liked this book, I went into it not knowing anything about it, and I think it made it so much better. I was left guessing up until the very last chapter. Usually, I can figure these things out at least partially. But, not this one. Both main characters- Jake & Emily- were believable, and not annoying at all. Which is a huge plus for me because, I find characters annoying a lot. You get drawn into the story, and the ending blew me away, I was very surprised. And, I ended up feeling so sorry for someone in this book. I'm not giving anything away. Either the author is from the UK, or she did her research really really well. I still have no clue what a wellie is. Shoes? I'm going to google it.
TrinityJo More than 1 year ago
This was confusing to me. It started off 6 months prior to the main story line so, at first, I was okay with it not making complete sense. Then, it went to a bullying part and I almost stopped reading (I did put it down to take a breath a time or two). Then it went about its way again, yet...I still had a hard time piecing together what was going on and what the author was trying to convey. Once I reached the end, it did somewhat come together but everything leading up to it...had a question mark above my head during that time. The idea was good but I personally just wasn't crazy about the execution. Also, there is profanity in here, mainly the F word and no sexual content (it's talked about but that's about it). I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.