Poison Heart by S B Hayes
|Poison Heart by S B Hayes|
|Reviewer: Robert James|
|Summary: A really compelling psychological thriller. Strong characters and an incredibly tense atmosphere make this one you shouldn't miss. S B Hayes was good enough to come to Bookbag Towers and chat to us.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 352||Date: March 2012|
|External links: Author's website|
When Katy first sees a girl staring at her from the window of a bus, she shouldn't think anything of it. Something makes her look back, though, and in that moment everything changes. For some reason Katy doesn't know, the girl - Genevieve - starts to follow her around, insinuating herself into Katy's college, her friendship group, and even her relationship with the wonderful Merlin. Can Katy, with the help of journalist Luke, find out what's going on before it's too late?
This is a read which is packed with suspense and atmosphere and at times the tension is close to unbearable. Hayes does a great job of keeping things open for a large part of the novel - is Genevieve a supernatural being or is the superstitious Katy overreacting to someone who's just a normal person, if clearly a troubled one? I honestly couldn't work out which one it was for most of this exciting story. I also found the way in which she managed to weave her way into Katy's life very believable and chilling.
Hayes draws her characters well, particularly Katy herself, her mother - a somewhat tragic figure who can barely bring herself to leave the house, relying on Katy to do most things for her, and Katy's next door neighbour Luke. I especially liked the changing relationship between Katy and Luke which felt very realistic as the older boy started to see the girl he'd known all his life differently. A special mention here for Genevieve, one of the most compelling bad girls I've read about for a while, with the way she manages to sow discord between Katy and her friends, and her boyfriend Merlin, to be really well written.
Overall, this is a very strong story which I'd highly recommend, and leaves me looking forward to reading more by Hayes in the future.
For another tension filled novel for teens, the Carnegie Medal winning The Changeover by Margaret Mahy is superb.
S B Hayes was kind enough to be interviewed by Bookbag.
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