The Sham

Young Adult - Mystery
296 Pages
Reviewed on 11/11/2014
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

I've loved reading ever since I was tiny and discovered Enid Blyton in a corner of my classroom - The Magic Faraway Tree, anyone?

I'm author of indie YA novel The Sham, an avid reader, a wild swimmer, and collector of writing titbits and all things bookish. Find me at and

I live in the south of France with my small daughter and would, one day, like to be able to master the French subjunctive.

See my author page at

    Book Review

Reviewed by Cheryl Schopen for Readers' Favorite

In The Sham by Ellen Allen, eighteen-year-old Emily just wants to get out of her town that they call “The Sham.” She repeats quantum equations out loud when she feels nervous or is in uncomfortable situations, which makes her seem a bit odd. She meets Jack, the mysterious new boy in town who has his own secrets, and they witness something horrible being done to someone, which has an impact on several people throughout the book. Ellen and Jack become closer, but his past still haunts him. Plus, the police suspect him when the body of one of Emily’s classmates is discovered. Who is Jack really? What is he hiding? And who killed Emily’s classmate?

Ellen Allen has such a unique writing style. I absolutely loved the metaphors and how things are compared and described; it created very vivid and sometimes disturbing but necessary images in my head. Throughout the story, I was curious and determined to find out about who Jack and who is committing these crimes around town. I have to say, when the truth was revealed at the end, my jaw practically dropped to the floor. Because the story was written so well, I was shocked, which made it so satisfying. Emily and Jack were interestingly different characters, which took some getting used to, but they fit together well. Having a plot with a surprising twist at the end and excellent writing, The Sham is a must-read. I hope to see more from this fantastic author.