Young adult

Silence is Goldfish – Annabel Pitcher ★★★★

Blurb; ‘I have a voice but it isn’t mine. It used to say things so I’d fit in – to please my parents, to please my teachers. It used to tell the universe I was something I wasn’t. It lied.’ Fifteen-year-old Tess doesn’t mean to become mute. At first, she’s just too shocked to speak. And who wouldn’t be? Discovering your whole life has been a lie because your dad isn’t your real father is a pretty big deal. Tess sets out to find the truth of her identity, and uncovers a secret that could ruin multiple lives. But can she ask for help when she’s forgotten how to use her voice?

My Review; This is one from my library pile and I’ve read all this authors books now. This was a bit of a wierd read but I still enjoyed it. A brilliant moral to the story… You can stay mute all you like but you have power in your voice.

Main character Tess, well I loved her. She was like a friend more than a character. She reads something on her ‘dads’ (not biological) blog which upsets her, makes her go mute and she decides to hunt for her real father (a sperm donor). After that she quickly gets manipulated into keeping the secret of two teachers relationship which shouldn’t be happening. And becomes fixated with one of the teachers believing he could be her father.

The wierd part is throughout her time being mute she has a goldfish torch that she talks to and it talks back. Wierd. But it works well to help tell the story. In the end she stands up for herself against the teachers, against her bullies and against her parents by using her voice. An uplifting ending. A message of hope and power. Beautiful.

The perfect young adult story. A well deserved four stars from me. Highly recommend.

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Emotional · Young adult

My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece – Annabel Pitcher ★★★★

Blurb; Ten-year-old Jamie hasn’t cried since it happened. He knows he should have—Jasmine cried, Mum cried, Dad still cries. Roger didn’t, but then he is just a cat and didn’t know Rose that well, really.

Everyone kept saying it would get better with time, but that’s just one of those lies that grown-ups tell in awkward situations. Five years on, it’s worse than ever: Dad drinks, Mum’s gone and Jamie’s left with questions that he must answer for himself.

This is his story, an unflinchingly real yet heart-warming account of a young boy’s struggle to make sense of the loss that tore his family apart.

My Review; Tough one to review. The story is told through ten year old James’s eyes. He has twin sisters Jas and Rose. Unfortunately Rose was killed and this is what the book mainly focuses on. The split parents. The other children. The new school. The new house. New friends. The alcohol. The abandonment.

In parts it’s an emotional story but in others it offers hope and the good shines through with new friendships, secrets, the bond with his remaining sister and a grand finale that was beautiful. Also the cat was a great comfort to James. As his sister passed away when he was only five he doesn’t remember much about her and is made to feel bad about that.

We see how both parents react to the death of their child in different ways and the impact it has on the remaining siblings Jas and James. It also contains bullying with the message you can overcome it. It also contains racism which isn’t pleasant but we get to see both the good side and bad side of this too.

A brilliant eye opening book that says sometimes you just have to let go… A beautiful ending. A well deserved four stars from me. Highly recommend. An easy read at 232 pages.

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mystery · Young adult

Ketchup Clouds – Annabel Pitcher ★★★★

Blurb; Secrets, romance, murder and lies: Zoe shares a terrible secret in a letter to a stranger on death row in this second novel from the author of the bestselling debut, My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece.

Fifteen-year-old Zoe has a secret—a dark and terrible secret that she can’t confess to anyone she knows. But then one day she hears of a criminal, Stuart Harris, locked up on death row in Texas. Like Zoe, Stuart is no stranger to secrets. Or lies. Or murder.

Full of heartache yet humour, Zoe tells her story in the only way she can—in letters to the man in prison in America. Armed with a pen, Zoe takes a deep breath, eats a jam sandwich, and begins her tale of love and betrayal.

My Review; Another one off my library pile… I just took a chance on it! It was a really good read, perfect for mystery and young adult readers. This story was different as Zoe becomes a penpal with an inmate on death row. She writes to him, this is how the story is told… Through the letters to him. Loved the whole layout. Instead of a story it’s split between letters.

Zoe find herself in love between two brothers. Ouch. It all ends in a horrible accident, but Zoe is still blaming herself for it, still letting it get to her. She reveals everything to her death row inmate. Zoe has the cutest little sister who is deaf… Dot. I loved her too! I did feel sorry for Zoe but I think she should have just walked away from the brothers. A brilliant story with the important message that everyone makes mistakes even Zoes mum. It Doesn’t mean murder.

I devoured this book and have ordered all the authors other books yo see me by the author as I enjoyed this one. A well deserved four stars. Highly recommend.

I cannot find this book on either of the Amazon websites. Unfortunately. Or I would link them here. Strange.