Description: Seventeen-year-old Keri likes to plan for every possibility. She knows what to do if you break an arm, or get caught in an earthquake or fire. But she wasn't prepared for her brother's suicide, and his death has left her shattered with grief. When her childhood friend Janna tells her it was murder, not suicide, Keri wants to believe her. After all, Janna's brother died under similar circumstances years ago, and Janna insists a visiting tourist, Sione, who also lost a brother to apparent suicide that year, has helped her find some answers.
As the three dig deeper, disturbing facts begin to pile up: one boy killed every year; all older brothers; all had spent New Year's Eve in the idyllic town of Summerton. But when their search for the serial killer takes an unexpected turn, suspicion is cast on those they trust the most.
As secrets shatter around them, can they save the next victim? Or will they become victims themselves?
My thoughts: What appealed to me immediately is that the book’s setting was in New Zealand and that it supposedly had a twist of horror and supernatural mixed with a contemporary feel. And any time there’s a mixture of these aspects I always want to give it a try, because those types of books are either brilliant or unappealing, often without any in-between. But when they’re good they’re really good. And fortunately, The Shattering was one of those books.
Most books that include a little bit of a supernatural aspect in a basic contemporary world end up being ok, or even great, but it’s when an author includes horror that things (often) start to go downhill. With The Shattering, it made everything better. Initially the characters seemed to be figuring out a mystery, but once they uncovered a dark secret about the town, things got extremely exciting (and a little scary). I even got a shiver from time to time, which is what happens when things frighten me. I either get this weird shiver or I get paranoid. It’s kind of weird but it means that the book’s believability factor is working very well.
As for the characters, Keri, Janna, and Sione are the only ones who are trying to figure out what’s happening in Summertown because they have personal ties to whatever is going on. These characters are what turns the story from (really) good to great. They’re 3-dimensional characters who are friendly and kind at times, but can be just as mean and bitchy as they want to at others. But that made them feel real, because nobody is just good or just bad. And this idea is really justified when the bad characters are revealed, because they’re not going around trying to cause mayhem, but the don’t mind doing bad things if it means it’ll serve a “justifiable” purpose in the end. Sort of like the end justifies the means type philosophy.
The Shattering is the type of book that makes you think even long after you’ve finished it.
Additional note: Something I really appreciated was that the people in the book were made up of a multi-ethnic cast of white, Samoan, Japanese, and Maori ancestry, which automatically makes this book stand out.