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The Hurting

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  193 ratings  ·  62 reviews
Nell hates her sister's illness, her drunken dad, and the daily absence of her mum.

When she meets Lukas, adopted heir to a Norwegian oil fortune, she sees her escape: the two of them running away from the world. But Lukas has his own dark wishes, and soon it's clear that what joins them goes way beyond love.

This is survival ... and is any boy really worth her soul?
Paperback, 358 pages
Published September 6th 2018 by Chicken House Ltd
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Average rating 3.59  · 
Rating details
 ·  193 ratings  ·  62 reviews

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Lindsay Galvin
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Delighted to get my hands on an early copy of The Hurting at YALC. This searing tale left me bruised and gasping. Obsession, revenge, survival; a YA nordic noir intimately plotted so every sentence stands in as sharp relief as the Norwegian landscape it inhabits. Highly recommended.
Lucy Hay
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Compelling, dark, enthralling - read it now! Don't you just hate it when you fall in love and steal a baby? Seriously, Lucy Van Smit takes an 'out there' premise and draws the reader in, via layered plotting and nuanved characterisation. The nordic backdrop is fabulous and Nell is an enigmatic lead, complex and flawed and absolutely compelling. I can see this as a movie, for sure. Loved it and very, very much recommended.
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well that is SOMETHING. Prepare yourself for twists, turns, characters you want to trust, characters you shouldn’t trust and an ever faithful reason to stay and survive. I really enjoyed this. It was GRIPPING from the start. The setting adds another layer of intrigue to the story. I do not want to get lost in the Nordic landscapes with wolves ever thanks. Really bloody good.
Victoria Bennion

I read the beginning of The Hurting when Lucy won the Bath Children's Novel Award and I was hooked. It was so compelling. After waiting and waiting for The Hurting to be published I can say the rest of the book truly lived up to the promise of the start. I raced through it with a pounding heart as Nell falls in love, steals a baby and finds herself in peril. Norway forms a beautiful backdrop to this YA novel. Read It!
Fran Benson
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this and devoured it in a weekend.

Very tense psychological thriller set in atmospheric scandi noir setting.
Bertie B
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A gripping story full of twists and turns. The Norwegian backdrop is painted in vivid language which brings the setting alive. If you like your stories to be predictable and formulaic this is not the book for you. If you like something that tests boundaries and asks questions of you as a reader then don't miss it. I haven't read a book like it for a very long time.
Chris Vick
Nov 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Angharad (Two Book Thieves)
Our main character is teenage Nell, an aspiring song-writer from Manchester who is now coming to terms with living in Norway with her strict religious dad and unwell sister. Her home life is not great - since her mother walked out, she is constantly blamed for it. She has to care for her sister who has cancer and is frustrated with not having a life of her own (plus feeling guilty for wanting it.) Our second main character is Lukas, heir to the Norwegian oil fortune and a seemingly mysterious ch ...more
Clemency Horsell
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Love is a temporary madness. How far would you go for it?

This powerful debut novel grips you from the very first page. Torn from her home to live in the beautifully atmospheric Norwegian fjords, Nell’s frenetic account of family, love, longing and revenge is packed full of twists and turns without ever feeling contrived. Van Smit’s true strength lies in her sense of placemaking - the fjords are both a source of oppressive foreboding and yet are threaded with a sense of ethereal mysticism. When
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars

Originally Published at

The Hurting by Lucy van Smit is a YA Nordic Noir with twist after twist and characters who change from bad guy to good guy and back again in the blink of an eye.

The plot was very interesting and the vivid descriptions of the Norwegian landscapes were beautiful but I think it went on for slightly longer than was necessary.

Overall I did enjoy it and I'm looking forward to reading more from this author.

Thank you to @chickenhou
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Hurting is definitely one of those books that I will remember for the rest of my life. It's an emotional and gripping story that pulls you in with the beautiful, vivid writing and plot that makes you want to know what's going to happen next. I'm still a bit speechless but I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoy their stories with twists and turns and complex characters!
Julia Rice
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
Nell is a troubled teenager; her father took her and her sister Harper from Manchester to live in Norway, ostensibly for medical treatment as Harper has cancer. The girls's mother left them when Nell was a baby and they have not seen her since. Their father is an alcoholic and takes refuge in religion, which he forces on his daughters as well. Nell wants to be a songwriter and is desperate to take part in an audition back home, which she knows her father won't let her go to. Egged on by her best ...more
Water Moon
Apr 01, 2020 rated it did not like it
An angsty YA romance that gets weird pretty fast. The plot’s not believable to start with, but grows more ridiculous as the book goes on. Main character Nell falls for this guy, Lukas. He has “model” looks and is wildly spontaneous. He’s also just a little wild, being raised partly by wolves. But whatd’ya know, the boy raised by wolves faints at the sight of a drop of blood. He’s a jerk but Nell trusts him implicitly. She’ll throw all of her dreams out the window from day one, even put her entir ...more
May 27, 2019 rated it liked it
3.75 stars

TW: abusive family, abusive romantic relationship, cancer (there's a lot of talk about going bald and about hair, and while I understand most people can read about this, it might be hard for others. I know it was hard for me), animal abuse (animal deaths, both on-page and talked about), religious fanatic

I'm not really sure how to review this, to be completely honest. Because I honestly don't know what to make of the main character?

If I had to answer fast and without thinking, I woul
Amber Vandemaele
Jun 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
At the beginning of March 2020, my English teacher, Mrs A., gave us a list of novels. My eye fell on “The Hurting” by “Lucy van Smit”. A 342-paged thriller that could please me from the beginning until the end. It’s the first time I’ve read an English thriller and I absolutely don’t regret it.
My choice was quickly made when I saw the mysterious cover. I was immediately attracted by the atmospheric colours and the fjords in the back. On top of this, there was a remarkable sentence: “Is being with
Ruth Estevez
The Hurting by Lucy Van Smit, published by chickenhousebooks. Finished this morning. A YA novel set in Norway, excellent descriptions of landscape without lingering too long. This book reminded me of Twilight without the relief of numerous characters. Nell and Lukas are at the heart. She will do anything for him. Sibling rivalry at its core and sibling love wins out. I'll admit, I struggled with Nell's characterization at times, but Van Smit has been meticulous in research and it shows. The book ...more
Miss Rose
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
A complicated family drama intertwined with a compelling love story. Nell Lamb’s past, present and it appears her future is being orchestrated by her grieving religious father, dangerously ill sister and ever-absent mother. With her own dreams of becoming an artist and songwriter overlooked as her family spirals out of control, Nell finds solace with the intense and enigmatic Lukas, heir to a Norwegian oil fortune. Nell and Lukas ’s relationship moves with a frightening intensity as her home lif ...more
Sep 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: october, a5, a2, 2018, walker
I really wanted to enjoy this, and it's a good idea. It just seemed to go on for too long. She loves Lukas, she hates Lukas, she loves Lukas, she's afraid of just kept going back and forth and not getting anywhere. Harper didn't seem to learn anything, the father only changed superficially, and the ending didn't make much sense to me. But it is a good idea, and the descriptions of the scenery were amazing - I could picture everything really well.

Receiving an ARC did not affect my revi
Damaris Young
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Hurting is an astonishing debut. I'd seen lots of positive buzz surrounding the book's release (plus look at the wonderful cover!) and I couldn't wait to get my own copy. I was hooked from the opening line. The prose is gorgeous and vividly captures the beautiful Norwegian setting. I'd highly recommend to anyone who enjoys intense thrillers with lots of twists and secrets and a cast of complex characters.
Olivia Levez
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Hurting is dark and brooding, like its wolfish antagonist, and steeped in Nordic atmosphere. But there’s Northern light with the dark, and Nell Lamb ultimately finds redemption. With nods to great Gothic classics like Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre, this book is intense and seering, exploring the obsessive nature of love. Lucy writes beautifully, and I hurtled through this one, blinking at the sunshine after the beauty and menace of those Norwegian woods.
Emma Read
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read this book with a speed that almost matched the pace of the story itself! What a gripping thriller, in a most incredible setting. The wilds of Norway were a character in themselves - more reliable than our protagonist, certainly, but dark and unmoving, wild and beautiful. And equally as stunning is the prose - lyrical, dangerous and compelling. Somebody make this into a movie, please!
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
A beautifully written, haunting love story. Wuthering Heights for the 21st century. The characters stay with you long after you’ve finished the last page. Loved Nell’s complexities and the twisted plot she gets tangled up in. Definitely recommend!
Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! So beautifully written.

My feminist side was screaming at this character pretty much 3/4 of the way through but she had a great character arc.

Hated so many characters in this book but thats hopefully what Lucy was going for.
Anna Waterworth
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful and heart breaking! Wonderful descriptions of Norway. Well done, Lucy 😊
Lydia Massiah
Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A dramatic, intense read full of jeopardy and twisted passion in a stunning setting. Teenage infatuation and angst writ large!
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star
Such an amazingly written book. the story was beautifully put together and the characters were some of the best I've read
Rebecca Rouillard
Oct 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A eerie, dreamlike tale of first love and obsession set against a backdrop of Nordic mountains and fjords, plus wolves. Mesmerising.
Bee Tay
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: yalc19
Can't quite compute my feelings right now, but this book was exceptional!!
Jan 04, 2019 rated it liked it
I feel like, as I get older and move further away from the YA and children's genres, I'm gaining this renewed appreciation for Jacqueline Wilson, and how effortlessly she combines childish idealism and whimsy with the stark adult realities of her character's situations. I've studied child welfare and I work with vulnerable people, and I find myself thinking back to her books, to things that went right over my head as a child, but which now suddenly make sense. The reason I'm bringing up Wilson i ...more
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