Author: Abbie Rushton
Source: Borrowed from a friend
Consumed is Abbie Rushton’s second book and, luckily for me, one of my friends knows the author. I borrowed her copy of the book and was instantly drawn into the story. Consumed followed two teens, both who are struggling with mental health issues. Myla has not left her house since her sister’s murder while Jamie struggles to eat even the smallest of meals. Their paths end up crossing and the book follows their growing friendship and the mystery surrounding Myla’s sister’s murder.
The Myla and Jamie friendship storyline was what really kept me reading. I loved how we got to see it grow despite their initial resentment at being forced together and the interference of the adults around them. However, the mystery part of the novel did not quite do it for me as much as the character growth part. I guessed who it was fairly early on, and so seeing them still struggling to figure it out was a little frustrating. It also felt a bit rushed at the end and I had a few misgivings about the various motivations. That being said, it was still a thrilling climax to the novel.
Both Myla and Jamie were realistic characters and neither were defined by their mental health issues – something which is always a danger of occurring with these kind of books. Instead, this was a very sympathetic approach to their struggles. I loved both the main characters, although I think Myla and her love of baking inched her way into the lead. Unfortunately, I felt the other characters to feel a little bit forced, and there were a few stereotypes being played (over-protective father being one). Having a few more adult characters playing a role was quite refreshing, however, and helped make the novel seem more life-like than if only teenaged characters were involved.
This book is set in a sea-side town over the course of a summer. While we do see some of the town, the one place featured most prominently is Myla’s house as that is the only place she feels safe. Her attempts to overcome her agoraphobia mean that we see a combination of claustrophobic settings, such as the house, and wide reaches of space such as a clifftop. The setting does a great job at revealing more about the characters while also matching the tone and events of the book.
While Consumed did have its drawbacks, it was a book I thoroughly enjoyed. It was an easy read, despite the difficult subject matter, and I found it quite refreshing and fun. While the mystery is predictable, Myla and Jamie make the book well worth the read.