The Black Sheep By Sophie Mckenzie: Book Review & Summary

Book Review: The Black Sheep By Sophie McKenzie – Mrs B's Book Reviews

Book Review: The Black Sheep by Sophie McKenzie – Mrs B's Book Reviews

The Black Sheep by Sophie McKenzie is a gripping psychological thriller that will keep readers on the edge of their seats from start to finish. Sophie McKenzie is a British author who has written over 20 books for young adults and adults. Her books have received critical acclaim and have been translated into several languages.

Main Themes and Ideas

The Black Sheep explores the themes of family dynamics, sibling rivalry, and mental illness. The story revolves around Francesca Shaw, who is the black sheep of the family. She is the youngest of three siblings and never quite fit in with her perfect siblings. When her brother Johnny dies unexpectedly, she returns home to discover that her sister, Alex, is suffering from severe mental illness. Francesca tries to find the truth about what happened to Johnny and deals with her troubled family dynamics, all while trying to protect her own mental health.

The author does an excellent job of showcasing the struggles of someone dealing with a family member’s mental illness. The book portrays how such an illness can take a toll on the entire family, and not just the person suffering from it. It also shows how difficult it is to navigate through the complex dynamics of family relationships and how they can influence our lives. The story delves deep into the dark side of human nature, exploring jealousy, betrayal, and greed.

Critical Evaluation of Writing Style

The writing style in The Black Sheep is engaging and captures the reader’s attention from the very beginning. The author uses a first-person narrative, allowing the reader to get deep into the mind of the protagonist and experience her emotions. The plot is well thought out and expertly executed, keeping the reader hooked until the very end. The characters are well developed, and each has their distinct personality, making them feel real and relatable.

The only criticism is that some parts of the story feel rushed, particularly towards the end. However, this does not detract from the overall impact of the book.

Strengths and Weaknesses

The book’s main strength lies in its ability to effectively portray the struggles of someone dealing with mental illness and how it impacts their loved ones. The author’s approach towards the subject is realistic and respectful. Another strength is the unpredictable plot, which keeps the reader guessing until the end.

The only weakness is the aforementioned rushed ending. Nevertheless, this is a minor issue given the overall quality of the book.

Comparison to Other Works

The Black Sheep stands out from other works in the psychological thriller genre with its unique approach to mental illness and family dynamics. While other books in the genre may explore similar themes, The Black Sheep adds its distinct touch, making it stand out from the rest.

Final Impression

The Black Sheep by Sophie McKenzie is an excellent book that delves into the complexities of family relationships, mental illness, and human nature. The author’s writing style is engaging, and the plot is well executed. The book is a must-read for anyone who enjoys psychological thrillers.


Q: Can I relate to the characters in The Black Sheep?

A: Yes, the characters in the book are well developed and relatable. The struggles they face are human struggles that others can relate to.

Q: Is The Black Sheep a predictable book?

A: No, The Black Sheep is unpredictable and keeps the reader guessing until the very end.

Q: Is The Black Sheep suitable for young adults?

A: The book deals with mature themes such as mental illness, which may not be suitable for younger readers.

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