2016 Reviews · Australian · thriller · young adult

Book Review: Black by Fleur Ferris


Book blurb:

Ebony Marshall is in her final year of high school. Five months, two weeks and four days …She can’t wait to leave the town where she’s known only as ‘Black’. Because of her name, of course. But for another reason, too.

Everyone says Black Marshall is cursed.

Three of her best friends have died in tragic accidents. After Oscar, the whispers started. Now she’s used to being on her own. It’s easier that way.

But when her date for the formal ends up in intensive care, something in quiet little Dainsfield starts to stir. Old secrets are revealed and terrifying new dangers emerge.

If only Black could put all the pieces together, she could work out who her real enemies are. Should she run for her life, or stay and fight?

4 stars

Every now and then I like to keep in touch with the current trends in the young adult reading market and that is how the book Black by Fleur Ferris ended up in my hands.

Black is the story of seventeen year old Ebony Marshall, also known as ‘Black’. Black is a person who seems unlucky in life, touched by three deaths of those close to her. Black’s curse begins with the death of a close childhood friend, followed by the loss of her first boyfriend and finally the tragic passing of her current boyfriend. When Black finds herself attracted to new boy in town Aiden Sweet, she keeps her cards close to her chest, afraid that any attachment will surely end in heartbreak. Behind Black lies a tangled web of deep and dark secrets withheld by her parents. It is up to Black and Ed, a work colleague and the only person she can trust, to uncover the curse that surrounds Black. For Black it is a race against time to prevent any further tragic loss in her life.

What a harrowing read this was! Black is one of those books that has a storyline which will haunt you for some time. It was an intense read that had me wondering what Fleur Ferris would throw at me next. The suspense level in this novel is very good. For a book that slips into the young adult genre, it can easily be read and enjoyed by adults. The subject matter is quite dark and intense, exploring such themes as loss, romance, family secrets, superstition, sects and religious fanaticism. Black is a well formed character, who leads the story well. She is a vehicle used to highlight feelings of being an outcast in a small town environment, which many readers, both teen based and adult will be able to identify with. Black also demonstrates qualities of strength and resilience, which will appeal to those who like novels based around tough female heroine cast as the star of the novel. For me personally, the enjoyment in this book was the small town setting. Ferris depicts the town of Dainsfield as a place full of secrets and shady undercurrents for the reader to discover along with Black.

Black is an example of compelling young adult literature. To select Black for your bookshelves means you are in for a dramatic and thrilling ride, with an intriguing female lead.

Black by Fleur Ferris was published in 2016 by Random House Australia


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