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Heart-Shaped Bruise

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  1,792 ratings  ·  258 reviews
They say I'm evil. The police. The newspapers. The girls from school who shake their heads on the six o’clock news and say they always knew there was something not quite right about me. And everyone believes it. Including you. But you don't know. You don't know who I used to be.

Who I could have been.

Awaiting trial at Archway Young Offenders Institution, Emily Koll is
336 pages
Published May 10th 2012 by Headline
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Amaya B. I think he is dead to be quite honest

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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  1,792 ratings  ·  258 reviews

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Jessica (Jess Hearts Books)
Apr 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
I adore teen thrillers particularly those that deal with mental health, a subject that is close to my heart, so I was really eager to read Heart-Shaped Bruise and had high expectations from the beginning. I was only a few pages in when I actually said out loud to myself “THIS is going to be a good book.” And I’m pleased to say that my early judgement was spot on.

Tanya Byrne, wow, I cannot believe that this is her debut novel. This is one of the most well written books that I’ve read this year.
L.H. Johnson
May 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Emily Koll is - well - she's -

she's here.

She's brittle, broken. But she's here.

She's here after -

(well, after everything she did, after everything that's been printed about her, after all the words that have been said)

She's telling her story for the first time. And oh - what a story. Emily is a glass-edged, vivid narrator full of fragile braggadocio and vicious, vicious pain.

Heart-Shaped Bruise is massively out of my comfort zone and I found it a little hard to get in to at first. It felt a
It was like this blackness that crept into the corners of my life until everything was grey and dirty. My insides felt burnt out, like if you cut me open, all you would find would be smoke. No heart. No bones. There was nothing left, just the anger. It followed me everywhere. It sat on my bed and watched me sleep and when I had to eat, it looked at me across the table.

Heart-Shaped Bruise sure did one thing right, and that's anger.
Have you ever felt so angry that you wanted to burn something?
Sahina Bibi
Sep 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
The hazards of reading a good book. Phase 1 – before you start the book; good mental state, happy, able to eat. Phase 2 – after you finish the book; want to die, want to kill someone, want to rip your heart out and not feel the pain, spend hours in endless agony.

(Note, this review may be a little dramatic, given I just finished this book and I’m emotionally unstable) (all the more reason to read this book).

So. Okay. 4 hours ago, I started a book, which I just finished and in a fit of agony, I’m
Dec 24, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, ya, 2012
Emily Koll is awaiting trial at the Archway Young Offenders Institution, and she is going to tell her side of the story. They say she’s evil, they always thought there was something wrong with her, but she is just broken. Heart Shaped Bruise is Emily Koll finally telling people what really was going through her mind.

This novel is told like a diary, which explores her life in the institution with the other girls and her sessions with her therapist. Slowly you begin to uncover just what happened
Stacey (prettybooks)
Heart-Shaped Bruise is one of those novels that, although received a lot of press and internet buzz when it was first published (in early 2012), I knew next to nothing about. I knew that my fellow book bloggers raved about it. I knew many of them named it as one of their favourite books of 2012, which is high praise coming from people who often read 100 or 200 books per year. And I knew that reviewers called it 'compulsive', 'gripping' and 'compelling'. I finally decided to pick it up, after ...more
Hannah (Ivyclad Ideas)
I picked this book up off the library shelf, sat down in the conveniently placed chair and devoured it in three hours flat. If that doesn't convince you that you must read it as soon as humanly possible, then I don't know what will.

Some people will think they've read this book before - a first person account of a criminal awaiting trial, but you haven't read it. You haven't read it at all. Emily is an incredible narrator. She will make you laugh. She will make you gasp (with horror). And, most
Jul 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
"Heart-Shaped Bruise" is the diary of young criminal Emily Koll, written from her prison -- a young offender's institute in England.

This book has some balls: we've got a hard-to-categorise story (is it crime? mystery? psychological? contemporary?) with a hard-to-like protagonist who's in jail for something horrible. It's a daring book, and I love it.

I was worried that I wouldn't be able to relate to Emily, who's bitter about her imprisonment, difficult to talk to, and cold to her fellow inmates.
Firstly - Oh. My. God!

I read this novel in what was literally one sitting - several hours curled up on the sofa unable to release the book from my death-grip. When my partner came home from work, I carried on reading, practically ignoring her until I'd turned the last page.

Emily is... well actually there are two Emily's. There is the Emily that the tabloids have declared Evil and there's the Emily who pours out her heart in a diary night after night as she attempts to come to terms with what
Apr 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The night that her father was stabbed was the night that Emily learned her whole life had been a lie. He was just dad to her and she was just another teenage girl. In reality he was a gangster and their life-style funded by organised crime. Heart-Shaped Bruise is told in the form of a journal that was found in the psychiatric unit of Archway Young Offenders Institution. A journal that Emily chose to tell her story in.

Emily is not the sort of character you're going to fall in love with. She's
Liz Barnsley
Apr 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful and evocative first novel from this author - Having finished it a very short time ago I am attempting to write this review whilst still slightly tearful and to me that is pretty much the best compliment I could pay. In its pages you will find the "diary" of Emily Koll, a young girl currently in a secure unit awaiting trial for a crime as yet unspecified. Emily tells us her story and really, whilst doing so, tries to work out for herself the events in her life that have led her ...more
I think it's very important to write about women doing bad things - wicked or evil things, even - that aren't related to ideas about 'scorned' women.

Damn. I'm finding it hard to explain coherently. But it comes down to having few female anti-heroes - the closest we get is the Femme Fatale, whose risk and danger is still seen in terms of the men she interacts with.

I liked this book because the main character was complex and believable. I've been a teenage girl - I remember the intensity, the
Jul 26, 2012 rated it it was ok
This book read more like a teen read to me than an adult crime book.

I had no emotion towards any of the characters and found myself not really caring what she'd done. It was incredibly slow and the story didn't grab me at all. I think my expectations were slightly too high for this one, it had the potential to be great but just didn't quite make it.
Margaret Bamford
May 19, 2018 rated it liked it
A broken girl telling why she did the things that she did. A sad novel.
Apr 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
'There's more than one side to a story, and this is mine...I'll be me and you be the stranger on the bus.'

Eighteen-year-old Emily Koll has written her story in a notebook, which we are immediately told was found in one of the rooms when the psychiatric unit of Archway Young Offenders Institution was closed. The story Emily has to tell is bursting out of her, weighing heavily on her, and there is a real immediacy about the fact that she has to get it out of her, onto paper, as if to a stranger:

Feb 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: uk-ya, read-in-2012
Heart-Shaped Bruise tells the story of a 17-year-old girl called Emily Koll. Emily has been locked up in a psychiatric unit for young offenders because she has done something very bad...the novel follows a journal-style format that strips away the lies and reveals the truth about Emily Koll.

Tanya Byrne is the LOVELIEST on Twitter, and her debut novel sounded amazing, so obviously I *had* to beg Sam for a copy! And you know what? I am SO glad I did. Because Heart-Shaped Bruise was awesome and an
Chantel Gledhill
Mar 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star-books
This book is amazing. It had been sitting on my shelf for years and I was going to get rid of it, because it was cheap and I didn't think I was going to read it. But I'm so glad I did!

This book changes your moral perspective. I like to think of myself as a morally sound person, that if something bad were to happen that I could trusted to do the right thing. Straightaway, we're told that Emily is in the wrong (shes in mental health ward for a reason) but as the book goes on you start to
Margaret Alexander
Holy crap, holy crap, holy crap, holy crap. Way to start a review, right? Can I just say this book is perfection? Utter, spotless, beautiful perfection. It’s just…I don’t even want to say anything bad about it. Not that I can’t, but there isn’t anything at all. It’s a story of revenge. Beautiful, sweet revenge. And as you may be familiar, revenge usually stems either from sheer stupidity or madness. This was definitely madness, but beautiful madness. Reading this novel was like eating a ...more
Nov 22, 2012 rated it liked it
I am usually a fan of well-written Young Adult fiction and find that many books make the successful crossover, and can be read and enjoyed by Adult readers too. Tanya Byrne's debut novel is a very interesting concept - written as a diary that has been found in an old, closed-down psychiatric unit.
The author of the diary is Emily Koll - a spoilt 18-year-old who is a patient in the unit.
The short, sharp chapters work well and do keep the reader's interest, however I became pretty annoyed by the
Jayne  Downes
I almost didn't finish this book, it just didn't grab me even though it had great reviews. It is written from the perspective of Emily whose father is a criminal and was stabbed by Juliet in self defence. Juliet goes on a witness protection programme and becomes Nancy, Emily becomes Rose and befriends Nancy so that she can get revenge. I found it confusing and didn't connect to characters.
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have a soft spot when it comes to Y/A crime novels. I tend to read them as soon as I find a new one. But this is easy easier said than done when it comes to finding a new one. Most of the sites I buy books from tending to lump all young adult novels into one genre. So it was a bit of a sideways route that brought this book to attention. Having spent several hours skipping from one site to the next I finally found a U.S retailer who actually broke Y/A down by individual sub-genres. It was then ...more
Heart-Shaped Bruise by Tanya Byrne was one of the books all over my Twitter feed in the past year. It received a lot of buzz and enthusiastic reactions, so I was pleased to get a copy for Christmas. As soon as it landed on my huge TBR-pile, Wiebe made off with it – to my complete and utter amazement, as I'd never expected him to start reading contemporary YA, but that's a different story – and after finishing the book in three hours flat he came back and said: "You have to read this NOW, this is ...more
Apr 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
I love thrillers, in case you haven't noticed, and I'm also a fan of Sophie Hannah and YA novels. Due to this, I simply had to get my hands on Heart-Shaped Bruise. I mean, did you read the synopsis? It’s pretty awesome.

Now done, I’m not sure if you can call this a thriller, because it doesn’t really have a plot. I mean, it does...kind of, but it’s never fully embraced.

Heart-Shaped Bruise has two stories that it presents to the reader, the before and the after. Before is when Emily Koll is on
Mar 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Review posted at Amaterasu Reads

There's a line in this book that had the most impact to me:

"Curiousity will break your heart."

I didn't believe it at first, but when I was at the last few pages, I realized it did. Because curiousity will make you want to know Emily Koll and what she has done. To herself, to her life, to Juliet. And you will wonder if she will ever get better. You will want to know her story, and that story will break your heart into a million pieces.

Emily left a mark on my
Stephanie (Stepping out of the Page)
Although Heart-Shaped Bruise has been released for a relatively long while, it has taken quite some time to actually get around to reading it! As soon as I read the blurb of this book, it was something that I knew that I'd have to get around to as the premise sounds as though this book was written for me! I love reading anything to do with mental health and for some unknown reason, I also find prison and criminology very interesting. What could be better than reading the story of a girl in a ...more
Beth (bibliobeth)
Apr 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
I’ve been meaning to read this book for so long after it came with an extremely high recommendation from my sister and fellow blogger Chrissi Reads. It was fitting therefore that it should be the first book that I read for June 2014 – Chrissi Cupboard Month – please see my previous post HERE. It tells the story of a young woman called Emily Koll who is incarcerated prior to her trial in Archway Young Offenders Institution in London for committing a horrific crime. Whilst on the unit she begins ...more
Summer (Summer winterr)
Overall this book was okay, I feel like it could have been developed further but it was a debut novel.

This story is very character driven which at times can get annoying as I feel the main character can feel very teenage angsty at times and at other times she feels more complex and you start to understand why she acts the way she does.

A big issue for me is that a lot of this story is told in the therapists office and the dialogue between the main character and the therapist is very back and
Mar 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
5. Freaking. Stars.

Let's get the negatives out of the way first, shall we? I typically hate books written in the style of a journal. They lose something for me in that if they are written too well, then they cease to feel like a journal and you can never really get lost in them because you're always reminded that it was written by the author, not by the character in a story. If they are written 'rougher' to seem like scrawls written on the fly, they can come out as more realistic, but don't
I’ve always been fascinated with the story behind the headlines when it comes to crime. I think it’s only natural for audiences (and indeed journalists) to feel sympathy for victims of crime. It’s all too easy to imagine yourself in the same situation. But it’s also easy to forget that sometimes there’s more to a story than meets the eye. Thrilling and moving, Heart-Shaped Bruise takes readers to the other side of crime through Emily Koll, who is in juvenile detention awaiting trial.

Heart-Shaped Bruise is a fantastic book, much, much better than I was expecting it to be.
And I did have quite high expectations when beginning the book - I had read Tanya Byrne's other novel, Follow Me Down, not long before, and thought it was brilliant. I did, however, worry that Heart-Shaped Bruise would not leave such an impression; I had an inkling it might disappoint me.
It did no such thing.
Tanya Byrne has a way with words. Her writing is fantastic, her plots intricately weaved. Her
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Tanya was born in London where she still lives with her cat who goes by several names, none of which he actually answers to. After eight years working for BBC Radio, she left to write her debut novel, Heart-Shaped Bruise, which is out in May. She has a weakness for boys with guitars, drinks far too much tea and even though her mother tells her not to, she always talks to strangers.
“It was like this blackness that crept into the corners of my life until everything was grey and dirty. My insides felt burnt out, like if you cut me open, all you would find would be smoke. No heart. No bones. There was nothing left, just the anger. It followed me everywhere. It sat on my bed and watched me sleep and when I had to eat, it looked at me across the table.” 23 likes
“I don’t know if that’s ever happened to you, if you’ve loved someone, loved who they are, then found out they’re not that person after all. It doesn’t just break your heart, does it? It breaks you. Then you’re not who you thought you were, either.” 15 likes
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