Review: The Shattering

The Shattering
The Shattering by Karen Healey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This gem of a book (really I give it 4 1/2 stars), is by a New Zealand author. It’s part teen coping with life, part teen coping with grieving the loss of a brother, and part mystery/paranormal. Told from the viewpoints of three teens who start off as either old friends, or new ones, who become fast friends by the end. All have older brothers who unexpectedly committed suicide, and one of them notices a pattern as he compares notes with one of the others, and the two of them bring the main character, Keri, on board. They discover that a number of first born sons with siblings have all committed suicide, under specific conditions within the past 10-12 years, and set out to discover who and why. A serial killer? What they find is far different from what they expected, but the book is charming, and has some good insights into personalities. I identified a few traits of myself in Keri, ones that I hadn’t really thought about before. I too try hard to think about and prepare for bad things to happen. It has a charming South Island NZ seaside town setting, with a Samoan, a Maori, and a white teen cast as the main characters – representative of NZ culture. But their cultural differences don’t really matter, and are there merely as colorful details. The book is slight, but draws you into it’s cleverly woven web of suspicions, spying and sleuthing. Sort of a modern day version of Nancy Drew, but with a Samoan computer spreadshhet genius boy, a cute male Japanese exchange student, a popular teen, and a girl who prepares for the worst, every day. Great characters, well drawn, add to this mystery. A nice, satisfying way to spend an evening.

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