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BOOK REVIEW: Black by Fleur Ferris

| 10 October 2016 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Black by Fleur Ferris

Random House Australia
June 2016
Paperback, $19.99
Reviewed by Steph O’Connell

Young Adult



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?


‘What did she mean by your friends not having a good track record?’
Every muscle in my body tenses up. I take a deep breath. I hate this conversation. I hate having to explain this to people, as if it’s part of who I am, as important as my name or where I’m from.
He’s staring at my pursed lips, my frown. We stop walking.
‘What? It can’t be that bad. What did she mean? What do your friends do?’
‘They die.’ I watch a frown develop on Aiden’s face before I continue. ‘Three of them, on separate occasions.’

Despite the age of the main character and certain elements of the story that could only come into play for someone her age, this reads as though it would better fit the younger end of the young adult spectrum. There’s a love triangle that doesn’t really add anything to the story, except to offer one love interest as a catalyst for the story, and another to go out of his way to help her. Because someone who wasn’t in love with her wouldn’t go out of their way, right? I mean, friends don’t do that kind of thing for friends, do they? Overall I wasn’t entirely convinced of the friendships, relationships, reasoning, and motivations of the characters within this novel.

Black is also set in a fictional small town positioned a few hours from Melbourne, but beyond the couple of mentions of the capital city, this could be set in any small American town for all the Australian flavour it held.

But, even with these areas that felt slightly underdeveloped, this was a fast-paced and engaging read, and I devoured it in one sitting.

This is a mix of contemporary and mystery, with a dash of religious cultism, and as such there isn’t a dull moment.

From the first page, you will find yourself wondering whether Black really is cursed, and if not, what has been going on in this small town to make everyone think that she is? Is this a conspiracy? Is there something in the water? Is she really possessed by a demon? And when anyone might be convinced she is cursed, who can she really trust?

Tensions run high as a lifetime of being shunned and told she’s cursed comes to a head, and you’ll have to keep reading to find out who’s going to make it out of this alive.

‘Don’t you dare talk about Aiden!’ I wave my fist at her, holding the flyer. ‘Stop saying this crap!’
‘You’re cursed! You killed -‘
‘Screw you, Ged! You know what? You’re next!’ I scream. My face burns as I completely lose it.
‘No…’ She’s crying, still backing away from me as if I were a monster.
‘I curse you! You’re next, Ged. You’re going to die…’



Category: Book Reviews, Other Reviews

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