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C.J. Skuse was born in 1980 in Weston-super-Mare, England. She has First Class degrees in Creative Writing and Writing for Children and, aside from writing novels, works as a freelance children's fiction consultant and lectures in Writing for Children at Bath Spa University. C.J. loves Masterchef, Gummy Bears and murder sites. Before she dies, she would like to go to Japan, try clay-pigeon shooting and have Ryan Gosling present her with the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.
October 2016 Book of the Month | In a Nutshell: Revelations | Revenge | Rebuilding relationships Masterfully suspenseful rollercoaster of a read, with a genuinely jaw-dropping finale. Once thick as thieves and known as “The Fearless Friends”, the light of Ella, Max, Corey, Fallon and Zane’s friendship was extinguished following the death of Max’s older sister, Jess. Only Ella and Max are still close. So close, in fact, that he’s desperate to go all the way with her. But Ella isn’t ready for that. She has enough going on already, including her commitments to a promising athletics career, which has already earned her the nickname “Volcano Girl”. The group begins to re-form when Ella and Max see Corey looking for his lost cat. While helping him search, the three of them end up near Fallon’s house on the edge of town. While there’s bad blood between Fallon’s much-maligned mum and Max’s family, they reignite their friendship. Then, a series of revelations lead to a riot of revenge and Volcano Girl erupts, along with the action, as increasingly dark truths are excavated in heart-stoppingly unexpected layers. As kids “we saw magic in everything,” Ella remarks. “Something about growing up kicks that out of you without you even realising it's happening”. While the teenagers in this remarkable novel have certainly had a lot kicked out of them, and while the unexpected twist will leave readers reeling, there’s much magic between its pages: this novel is plotted with incredible panache, and sparks of rekindled light glow through the darkness. ~ Joanne Owen A letter from the author: Dear reader, This book has been with me for 15 years now. Little did I know when I began how difficult it would be to write. I learn something with every new project and with The Deviants, it was bravery. I don't think I was ready to be this story's writer 15 years ago. I wasn't brave enough. It took me four other novels to find the courage I needed to give The Deviants the story they deserved. Though the central storyline has changed many times over during the past decade - the characters' names alone have changed constantly - my intention for it has always been the same: to create a modern day Famous Five where life's not all picnics and bike rides and the baddies aren't as easy to identify. To create five modern teenagers dealing with five modern issues who come together to find a joint way forward for themselves - and solve the horrendous mystery that's impacted all their lives. But it's become much more than that now; more than just a throwaway story about five depressed teens or a slapstick comedy about kids who drink home brew instead of ginger beer and ride discarded supermarket trolleys, rather than bicycles. Back in the mists of time, the pitch was 'The Famous Five find a bag in the woods.' Then that turned into 'The Famous Five find a body in the woods.' Pretty soon, they were hunting for a serial killer, then a paedophile and now, they are The Fearless Five and they have found a body washed up on a beach. For some reason, the beach body became the pitch I stuck with, but this is just the beginning. For all the Famous Five-esque shenanigans going on within these pages, this book deals with three things above all else - growing up, the insidious effects of abuse and the colossal power of true friendship. It is my absolute pleasure to share it with you and I hope something within these pages lights a fire within you the way it has within me. CJ Skuse
`A tale of revenge, righteousness and recovery with a heart-stopping twist - The Guardian Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves THEN Ella, Max, Corey, Fallon and Zane. The Fearless Five, inseparable as children growing up in a sleepy English seaside town. But when Max's older sister is killed, the friendship seems to die with her. NOW Only Max and Ella are in touch, still best friends and a couple since they were thirteen. But Ella is hiding things - like why she's afraid to take their relationship to the next level. And when underdog Corey is bullied, the Fearless Five are brought back together again, teaming up to wreak havoc and revenge on those who have wronged them. But when the secrets they are keeping can no longer be kept quiet, will their fearlessness be enough to save them from themselves? 'Electrifying, bold, brilliant' -Amanda Craig
Every girl at Bathory School has heard stories about The Beast. No one believed they were true. Until Now. 'Grisly, nail-biting fun!' - Lovereading4kids.co.uk At sixteen Nash thought that the fight to become Head Girl of prestigious boarding school Bathory would be the biggest battle she'd face. Until her brother's disappearance leads to Nash being trapped at the school over Christmas with Bathory's assorted misfits. As a blizzard rages outside, strange things are afoot in the school's hallways, and legends of the mysterious Beast of Bathory - a big cat rumoured to room the moors outside the school - run wild. Yet when the girls' Matron goes missing it's clear that something altogether darker is to blame - and that they'll have to stick together if they hope to survive. Praise for C J Skuse 'Monster is another rollicking adventure ... but you might not want to read the final chapter alone in the house . . . or while you're eating . . . as you find out the truth about the Beast of Bathory. Great fun.' - Martin Chilton, Telegraph's Best YA Books 2015 'CJ does it again, with a boarding school story packed with tension...Nobody captures the darkness of teenage nightmares quite like CJ Skuse.' - Sophia Bennett, author of The Look 'This book is a skillfully crafted rollercoaster of excitement, fear and shocks' Reading Zone 'The book has one of the best endings I've read.' - 4.5 stars The Bookbag 'Fiendishly dark, with a sense of humour. CJ Skuse always inspires deep author envy' - Keren David, YA Book Prize Nominee on Monster `It's an absolute page-turner! I gobbled it up in one sitting, and it kept me guessing right till the end. A deliciously creepy horror story, served up with CJ's trademark humour.' - Cat Clarke. `It's so good, I'd recommend it to people I don't like' - Kevin Brooks on Pretty Bad Things `A rip roaring story' - Julia Eccleshare, The Guardian on Rockoholic `sharp, funny and knowing...' - The Telegraph on Rockoholic `The tension and the comedy crack along with a heart-warming hilarity that is impossible to resist.'- Amanda Craig, The Times on Dead Romantic
Camille wants to find the perfect boy, with an athlete's body and a poet's brain. But when she's mocked at a college party, she knows there isn't a boy alive who'll ever measure up. Enter Zoe, her brilliant but strange best friend, who takes biology homework to a whole new level. She can create Camille's dream boy, Frankenstein-stylee. But can she make him love her?
Jody loves Jackson Gatlin. At his only UK rock concert, she's right at the front. But when she's caught in the crush and carried back stage she has more than concussion to contend with. Throw in a menacing manager, a super-wired super-star, and a curly-wurly, and she finds herself taking home more than just a poster. It's the accidental kidnapping of the decade. But what happens if you've a rock-god in your garage who doesn't want to leave? Jody's stuck between a rock-idol and a hard place! From the pen of C.J. Skuse, author of 2010's super cool debut Pretty Bad Things, comes a tale of rock star obsession gone nuts.
SIXTEEN-YEAR OLD TWINS IN CANDY-STORE CRIME SPREE! Twins, Paisley and Beau Argent are in the headlines again. Last time, they were the 'wonder twins', when, as six-year-olds, they were found alive in woods after three days missing following their mother's death - three days spent looking for their dad. Now at sixteen, life's not so wonderful. Cast out and exploited by their money-grabbing grandmother, they're still clueless about their dad's whereabouts. Until they discover an old letter from him. That's when they decide to hit the road - and make headlines again. Holding up fast-food joints in Las Vegas might seem extreme but if they can get on the news, and tell their dad they need him, they might just get the dream reunion they never thought could happen.
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