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Zoe es una chica inglesa de quince años que oculta un terrible secreto. Llena de angustia pero también con una buena dosis de humor, Zoe comenzará a escribir cartas a Stuart Harris, un asesino encerrado en el corredor de la muerte de una prisión de Texas. Piensa que solo alguien así, marcado al igual que ella por el secreto, la mentira y el asesinato, va a poder comprender Zoe es una chica inglesa de quince años que oculta un terrible secreto. Llena de angustia pero también con una buena dosis de humor, Zoe comenzará a escribir cartas a Stuart Harris, un asesino encerrado en el corredor de la muerte de una prisión de Texas. Piensa que solo alguien así, marcado al igual que ella por el secreto, la mentira y el asesinato, va a poder comprenderla... Bolígrafo en mano, Zoe respira profundamente y comienza su relato de amor y traición...


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Zoe es una chica inglesa de quince años que oculta un terrible secreto. Llena de angustia pero también con una buena dosis de humor, Zoe comenzará a escribir cartas a Stuart Harris, un asesino encerrado en el corredor de la muerte de una prisión de Texas. Piensa que solo alguien así, marcado al igual que ella por el secreto, la mentira y el asesinato, va a poder comprender Zoe es una chica inglesa de quince años que oculta un terrible secreto. Llena de angustia pero también con una buena dosis de humor, Zoe comenzará a escribir cartas a Stuart Harris, un asesino encerrado en el corredor de la muerte de una prisión de Texas. Piensa que solo alguien así, marcado al igual que ella por el secreto, la mentira y el asesinato, va a poder comprenderla... Bolígrafo en mano, Zoe respira profundamente y comienza su relato de amor y traición...

30 review for Nubes de Kétchup

  1. 4 out of 5

    Idarah

    "...my stomach ached with disappointment at the familiarity of it all. Humans. We're all the same. There's no escaping it...Doesn't matter what language you speak or what clothes you wear. Some things don't change. Families. Friends. Lovers. They're the same in every city in every country in every continent of the world." If you're a Netflixter, then you're aware of the unique rating algorithm that essentially takes the guess work out of whether you will love or hate a movie based on your pa "...my stomach ached with disappointment at the familiarity of it all. Humans. We're all the same. There's no escaping it...Doesn't matter what language you speak or what clothes you wear. Some things don't change. Families. Friends. Lovers. They're the same in every city in every country in every continent of the world." If you're a Netflixter, then you're aware of the unique rating algorithm that essentially takes the guess work out of whether you will love or hate a movie based on your past ratings. It would be awesome if Goodreads had a similar system (hint, hint) instead of basing ratings on how others rated a book. Not to knock Goodreads too much, the site has actually turned me on to several books that I would have otherwise never given a second glance. Ketchup Clouds is a stellar example of a book I would have never found on my own. Zoe seeks out a Texas Death Row inmate as a pen pal. Writing from the shelter of her garden shed in the UK, she relates the events of the previous year. Riddled with guilt over the death of her boyfriend, she confides in her penpal about her guilt, family life, and all the events leading up to the sad conclusion. I have to say that based on the dust jacket, this turned out to be quite different than I expected...in a good way! It was a pleasant read, and I came away with the quote above. As imperfect humans, we all make mistakes, and sometimes the moving on part can be the hardest thing to do. I think this was the perfect book for me to read at the right time, which probably supports the 4-star rating. If you read this book, I hope you find just as much meaning in it as I did. I look forward to reading My Sister Lives On The Mantelpiece.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Malia

    KETCHUP CLOUDS This book had been on my tbr for AGES, and when I recently came across it in my library, I thought now is as good a time as any to give it a try, especially as I had been binging crime fiction and needed a little break. Ketchup Clouds is not an easy book to describe. It's got elements of a coming-of-age story, a mystery, romance and a dose of strangeness pervading the pages. I was surprised that it was considerably more melancholy than I expected. In the beginning, I thought it was KETCHUP CLOUDS This book had been on my tbr for AGES, and when I recently came across it in my library, I thought now is as good a time as any to give it a try, especially as I had been binging crime fiction and needed a little break. Ketchup Clouds is not an easy book to describe. It's got elements of a coming-of-age story, a mystery, romance and a dose of strangeness pervading the pages. I was surprised that it was considerably more melancholy than I expected. In the beginning, I thought it was just a story about a quirky girl with a vivid imagination, but as it progressed, I almost started to worry about Zoe, the protagonist, because she was making so many troubling decisions and I could just see how things would eventually spiral badly out of her control. This book was like a pleasant journey, which took a number or wrong turns and finally resulted in toppling off a cliff. That's not a criticism of the story, which I found engrossing, but it's definitely the kind of book where you are constantly questioning how far you can trust the narrator. I wasn't familiar with this author before, but I would definitely be interested in reading more of her books in the future. Ketchup Clouds was well-written, with strong character development and an engaging story. My only gripe is that I felt the ending was a little too rushed. But overall, I can definitely recommend it! If you like Melina Marchetta's On the Jellicoe Road or anything by A.S. King, I think you might want to give this book a try. Find more reviews and bookish fun at http://www.princessandpen.com

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jo

    So, I have to admit, I’m extremely underwhelmed by this book. I’ve never read My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece but I’ve heard it’s great. It never really appealed to me though, I’m not sure why. But Ketchup Clouds appealed to me, really it did. I was captivated by the gorgeous cover, the wonderful title and the intriguing synopsis. I guess you know what they say: you shouldn’t judge a book by a gorgeous cover, a wonderful title and… well, you get the gist. This was such a disappointment. There wa So, I have to admit, I’m extremely underwhelmed by this book. I’ve never read My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece but I’ve heard it’s great. It never really appealed to me though, I’m not sure why. But Ketchup Clouds appealed to me, really it did. I was captivated by the gorgeous cover, the wonderful title and the intriguing synopsis. I guess you know what they say: you shouldn’t judge a book by a gorgeous cover, a wonderful title and… well, you get the gist. This was such a disappointment. There was far too much going on, so many issues and drama smushed into a story that everything seemed to be watered down. When I’m reading a book, I’d much rather a few issues were dealt with thoroughly and completely so I can be completely invested in them as opposed to thousands, cluttering up my brain. To me anyway, it often felt that just as I was feeling one storyline, I was whipped away to try and deal with another thing. I also had a bit of a problem with the whole letter writing to death row. In theory, excellent. In practice…. Not so much. It just didn’t seem to fit at all with the style of writing or the subjects that the story was covering. The more I thought about it, the more I thought it could’ve been a sixteen year old girl’s diary, full of angst and drama about boys and kissing. If you had taken out the references to death row and Stuart’s crime, I honestly wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference. And speaking of angst and drama about boys and kissing. Urgh…this next bit is going to be a spoiler so… just watch out. (view spoiler)[ SPOILERS FOR THIS BOOK AND, RATHER BIZARELY, MOCKINGJAY BY SUZANNE COLLINS. I’m reluctant to call the relationships in Ketchup Clouds a love triangle, because they're not. Not really anyway. Not in the sense of usual love triangles. But it was just as frustrating. As above with not really staying long enough on one issue to really get a feel for it, it was the same with the relationships between Zoe and The Brothers (capital letters, I feel, are necessary). It felt like we didn’t get a glimpse into either relationship for me to really root for either of them. That being said, my favourite character in this whole book was Max. And that will probably mean a lot more to people who have read this book and will, hopefully, understand why I was so disappointed at the end. I really disliked how Ms Pitcher built him up as something (crisps on his chin *sigh*) for the majority of the book just to completely tear that apart and assassinate his character. It really reminded me of Gale in Mockingjay and you know how I feel about Mockingjay. And this is my problem when it comes to having more than one love interest in a book, only one of them is going to win. And the easiest way of doing that is throwing in some flimsy (and in my opinion, unnecessary) drama that makes it impossible not to hate one of them, so you have to be on the side of the boy that the author wanted you to side with from the start. But maybe I just have a soft spot for boys who do jigsaw puzzles. The best love triangles, and I say this with a scowl on my face because no love should be triangular, are when you have no idea who will ‘win’. END OF SPOILERS AND MOCKINGJAY RAGE. (hide spoiler)] However, I absolutely adored Zoe’s family. It’s obvious that Ms Pitcher has an eye for family dynamics and depicts them wonderfully, flaws and all. I was so fascinated by their interactions and I just wanted to get back to them when we were elsewhere in the story. It frustrated me that we only got brief glimpses of them, like you’re watching TV and the signal keeps going, coming back on when the episode has gone on a few scenes and you can’t help but think that you’ve missed something important. I really apologise for being so grouchy in this review but I’m just so disappointed. And I’ll be the first to admit that I can be pretty brutal when it comes to books that disappoint me. But… even though this book was not for me, I have a feeling it will be for about 97% of you. Because that is the exact* percentage of people I know who adored The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson. These two books, to me, are very similar. Both in writing style and subject matter. So if you are one of the 97% who loved Ms Nelson’s writing, then I urge you to pick this one up because I think you’ll like it. *ish.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Immature and childish story about a teen girl caught between two brothers. I am obviously not the target audience for this one. No idea what the title is about.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Charlie

    Trigger warning: Sexual consent issues. Slut shaming. Sexual coercion. Talk of domestic violence leading to death. (view spoiler)[Indecent photos taken and distributed without consent; utilised for public humiliation. (hide spoiler)] Synopsis: Someone is dead. Zoe says she's responsible for his death. The narrative is insistent we won't find out who or how for far too long, like, all the damn book (leading to awkward reminises about 'The Boy' and 'Her Son'). I'm calling this the GIANT AWFUL SECRET Trigger warning: Sexual consent issues. Slut shaming. Sexual coercion. Talk of domestic violence leading to death. (view spoiler)[Indecent photos taken and distributed without consent; utilised for public humiliation. (hide spoiler)] Synopsis: Someone is dead. Zoe says she's responsible for his death. The narrative is insistent we won't find out who or how for far too long, like, all the damn book (leading to awkward reminises about 'The Boy' and 'Her Son'). I'm calling this the GIANT AWFUL SECRET. So Zoe decides to write to a death row prisoner in Texas in order to talk out her guilt and actions, because he'll understand (and obviously care about her tiny privileged girl problems, since he's about to be killed by the state and doesn't have anything else on his mind). Firstly, the positives. The protagonist's youngest sister, Dot, is D/deaf. This novel protrays a D/deaf character in a way which is a positive example of disability in fiction. If you know a teen with a disability or disabled family member, they might love this book for those reasons (as I loved Dot and her story arc). I loved how normalised Dot was, as a part of the story, and as one of the three sisters. The way Zoe's parents treat Dot's disability in terms of a problem which can be fixed, or a way of life to be explored is fabulous and realistically complicated. Her mother obsesses over coclear implants, and her father struggles with sign language, while the sisters Zoe and Soph take it in stride and care about Dot's happiness in concrete ways. Zoe's family is well crafted, interesting, and has a lot of complicated conflict. If the entire novel was about her family, I would have loved it. It gets a bit metaphorically complicated at one point. (view spoiler)[Because the disability is a punishment on her mum because that's what you get when you don't love your children enough, disability as punishment on their carers, which is piles of ick. (hide spoiler)] but Dot is an awesome character. Dot is why I finished this book. Dot would have got two stars all on her lonesome, if it hadn't become disability-metaphor, rather than child with a disability. And the negatives... For those familiar with fandom terms, Zoe is a giant Mary Sue. It becomes infuriating to listen to her life as she keeps making mistakes and being rewarded by being loved and adored by all who know her, and being melodramatic about her own guilt (while, seemingly, to not have learnt much to apply to her current/future behaviour). She doesn't have a strong or interesting relationship with her parents (who are interesting and troubled characters), her 'best friend' seems to exist solely because for her to not exist would be odd, but doesn't have any characterisation I can point at, and both her sisters profess their love for Zoe over their other sibling, without ever really seeing interactions between Dot and Soph. Her relationship triangle drama would have been easily resolved with about three minutes of communication with either of the boys (and her treatment of both is cruel, and self destructive, and oh so unnecessary). I'm hardly the type to say that teen characters need to act kindly to each other, or communicate effectively, because that's boring. It's more a problem that she gets away with being so heartless and clueless, when previously she painted herself as a bookish nerd who is laughed at by the entire school. IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE. There are also missed opportunities. Sooooo many missed opportunities. I could write a novel in response to all the things she didn't talk about. I'm tempted to writing a sarky fanfic series of letters from her prison pen pal telling her she's a twit. I'm so damn tempted to do that. The idea of sexual consent was touched on and then thematically eliminated without consequence. Those scenes upset me (and I suspect would be triggering for some readers). It was dealing with sexual assault and coercion as is usually forgiven between teenagers (drunken; I didn't mean to; blame X; come on, you know you want to kiss me in the locker room even though we have nothing in common and I've proven myself a jackass, because I'm more popular than you). But this isn't anything to do with why Zoe has a problem with this character; it is forgotten, and forgiven, and no one at school (or Zoe herself) mentions it ever again. Glossing over the nature and insidiousness of female sexuality being up for grabs was disturbing, both personally, and as part of a wider cultural narrative about how girls should expect to be treated when it comes to sex. Honestly, it felt like... somehow it didn't count as assault? Because teens think that sexting is fine and such, when it's creation and distribution and possessing child pornography legally is extraordinarily problematic. The characters don't have to know that, they're stuck in this world where it's normal, but the author should. It's like the author didn't notice that she had written non-con in the insidious way that can be most damaging, it was only drama. (view spoiler)[ That the death is of a character who has just proven himself a douchenozzle, sexual-assaulting bastard and therefore deserves death doesn't even rate as a counterbalance to the problems of his earlier, more manipulative actions not being seen as awful. Threat of immediate assault/force as justification of accidental manslaughter DOESN'T COUNT as justice. This doesn't acknowledge the type of sexual coercion that he's been going at all book, which is a more insidious problem which will affect most teenagers, because other teens are dicks. NOT COOL. I would have loved this entire book to be about sexual coercion, and it was all shiny twilight bullshit and forgiveness. But with an extra metaphorical line, saying this is where consent is needed, not ALL THE OTHER SHIT THAT HAS ALREADY GONE DOWN WITH PUBLIC HUMILIATION AND DISCOMFORT AND WITHOUT CONSENT. (hide spoiler)] You could also read her love triangle as an extensive example of slut shaming. (And internalised slut shaming at that.) She shouldn't have been flirting with two boys at once, so it's all her fault if bad things happen. She should put up with what she can get because that's better than she should expect as a book nerdy girl without popularity. So she's wrong and should hate herself for flirtations (and whatever her GIANT AWFUL SECRET is). Because being indecisive, sexual, and enjoying being wanted by boys leads to death and it's the girl's fault. The missed chances with the death row conversation was ARGHGHGHGHGH inducing. I read that the lead character was writing to a death row inmate, and I wanted to read those interactions (even though I was underwhelmed by My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece). Unfortunately, she's writing anonymously, so we don't hear anything from Stuart Harris, her penpal, and we get his story in ridiculously convoluted snippets where Zoe guesses what he might feel, think, or remember. Zoe is also ridiculously patronising to Harris (to facilitate exposition), heavy-handed, reductive, disrespectful and depressingly ignorant in a way wikipedia could have fixed. Certainly an opportunity to talk about capital punishment, prison, homocide and justice was completely missed and that is INFURIATING, since it was the most interesting potential in the book. The anonymous nature makes the whole thing so fucking pointless. The opportunities for an interesting and dramatic relationship are completely missed. She's confiding, but not conversing with *anyone* about what happened. (Another side effect of the GIANT AWFUL SECRET: so that we don't know who is dead, she can't talk to anyone who is still around other than her family. The brother who doesn't die can't be in the Now sections, even though if the entire thing was letters back and forth to him, it would have been far more interesting.) The actual events of the book aren't enough to bring a reader from one chapter to the next. I didn't care about Zoe or her love life, given that nothing much happened, even if I cared about her family's drama. I hated her love life. I wanted to shoot her love life in the face, and sit her down in juvvie for a few years to think about her own unimportance, and require her to write lines about how other people don't just exist for her own edification. Primarily, however, the problem is the forced suspense, as it impairs the entire plot and character development. The GIANT AWFUL SECRET that she's not telling us is all we have for suspense or driving the plot, and the suspicion that it's not worth telling starts creeping in extraordinarily quickly. If the GIANT AWFUL SECRET had actually been explored, engaged with, and had psychological consequences, rather than used as suspense, I would have found this book much more enjoyable. As it was, I can't think of anything more infuriating.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Robert Collins

    This an award winning YA book it's a mystery, with plot twisting turns that lot of so called adult books don't have. I had hard time thinking that this YA but at over 50 ys old I wish that there been books available like this when I was 14 but by time I was 7ys I read Agatha Christie & most of Dennis Whately At 11' This an award winning YA book it's a mystery, with plot twisting turns that lot of so called adult books don't have. I had hard time thinking that this YA but at over 50 ys old I wish that there been books available like this when I was 14 but by time I was 7ys I read Agatha Christie & most of Dennis Whately At 11'

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Churchill

    Please can Dot be my little sister?!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Temilouise

    Okay, ketchup clouds. After reading this book I still do not know why it is called ketchup clouds. Well not really. If you are looking for a happy summer read which leaves you in the same way as you were before you started the book then maybe this is not for you. This book is about a girl and two boys. Yes I know what you're thinking not another love triangle but, it is more a story about a girl finding herself and accepting what she has done. She writes to a man of death row, she does not give h Okay, ketchup clouds. After reading this book I still do not know why it is called ketchup clouds. Well not really. If you are looking for a happy summer read which leaves you in the same way as you were before you started the book then maybe this is not for you. This book is about a girl and two boys. Yes I know what you're thinking not another love triangle but, it is more a story about a girl finding herself and accepting what she has done. She writes to a man of death row, she does not give her real name or address so the man can't contact her. In a way it is kind of beautiful how she gets so much comfort out of sharing her story with someone without being able to hear their reply. She seems to have a connection with him through the story and it seems that the bond between them enhances or maybe it is just her finally coming to acceptance. I gave this book four stars so I am going to tell you why in hopefully four points. Keeping it concise like the book itself. 1) I loved it because it surprised me. When I picked up this book I thought it would not be great. Honestly, the first time I picked it up I put it straight back down and it took several other visits to the bookshop and many high recommendation from the shop keeper before I even just read the blurb. Yes I'm guilty of judging a book by its cover please don't hold that against me because I have never been one to follow the rules. 2) It wasn't overly romantic. Yes I am sucker for a good romance, I cried in the movie 'click' with Adam Sandler and in case you haven't seen it, the movie was suppose to be a comedy. But when it came to this book I did not really want a book all about love. Sex I'm fine with. But not so much love and passion not when it was a letter to a guy on death row who had probably not had romance with anyone in awhile. At least sex talk might have turned him on. Okay that sounded gross but it is kinda true in a realistic sense anyway I think this is a good time to wrap this point up before I get carried away. 3) The story and characters were heart warming. I loved the sisters and the fact the story was not all about Zoe the main character. Although, at times I found it a bit muddling I still enjoyed reading about Zoe's family and friend. Whether it is sweet little Dot or troubled Soph I found it refreshing that the book allowed an input into her family life. But the name Dot. 4)My last point will be that I like the book as a whole because the boys were not the perfect, heavenly boys that are portrayed in a lot if YA novels, it felt real and it was not a dream boy and I don't feel as though they are the boys from my imagination but, that sort of made me fall in love with them a bit more. That they felt real like all the characters just felt normal. They faced real problems and life did not revolve around the main character. I likes this book and I hope I was able to help you into whether you wanted to read this book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    G

    I don't know why, but I somehow love reading books of the contemporary genre. And for the record (aside from its strange title), I chose Ketchup Clouds because of its cover (haha can't help it) and its interesting synopsis that got me curious all along. "I've done something wrong and do you know the worst thing? I got away with it." The main character can't keep her secret to herself any longer, so she decided to tell her story to someone. She introduced herself as Zoe. Her story was told from I don't know why, but I somehow love reading books of the contemporary genre. And for the record (aside from its strange title), I chose Ketchup Clouds because of its cover (haha can't help it) and its interesting synopsis that got me curious all along. "I've done something wrong and do you know the worst thing? I got away with it." The main character can't keep her secret to herself any longer, so she decided to tell her story to someone. She introduced herself as Zoe. Her story was told from the letters she wrote to Mr. Stuart Harris, an inmate charged for doing murder.She sends her letters to him, but she didn't disclose concrete information about herself. What I didn't like here is that Zoe is very vocal considering that she's narrating her story to a stranger. Yes. The way she tells her story is very detailed (sometimes it gets gross). However, I like Zoe's honesty. Her voice is so sincere and unique. I learned more things about her and her personality. I admire how this book isn't overly romantic at all. However, if you're not into hammy love triangles, WARNING: keep this book away! I don't know if it is considered a spoiler if I'll spill the beans about Max and Aaron, but don't worry I won't spoil it for everyone. Anyway, these two guys are very interesting (and not perfect), for they are such total opposites. Their characters are both likeable even though Max seems a little douchy at the start, but then progressed as the story continues. I also prefer how she structured Zoe's family. Very realistic although it has a little drama in it. All in all, I like all of the characters in this book, and how they made the story more complex. This book kept me clueless from the start until its near end. Zoe's storytelling isn't that vivid enough to easily find out the things that happened. As a reader, you have to connect the dots to create the image of the whole story though I was a little disappointed on how the story ended. The End. :)

  10. 4 out of 5

    Liam

    ( 4.5 stars ) I've had this book for ages and literally knew very little about it but recently I felt an urge to just finally get round to reading it and WOW this book took me by surprise! The concept and characters all felt so real and I really enjoyed reading this book and seeing how the story unfolded. I can't help but feel as though the ending was slightly anti climatic but it kind of helped make the story seem even more real and interesting! The family in this book were so so well written and ( 4.5 stars ) I've had this book for ages and literally knew very little about it but recently I felt an urge to just finally get round to reading it and WOW this book took me by surprise! The concept and characters all felt so real and I really enjoyed reading this book and seeing how the story unfolded. I can't help but feel as though the ending was slightly anti climatic but it kind of helped make the story seem even more real and interesting! The family in this book were so so well written and every single character was truly great and had their own story to tell. The writing style was fantastic and I look forward to reading more Annabel Pitcher's books in the future!! ps isn't the cover brilliant I mean just look at that font and those birds wow I love it

  11. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    When Annabel Pitcher's debut novel My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece was published in March last year she really raised the bar for authors of young adult novels and set herself a very very high standard to keep. The novel was shortlisted for numerous awards and was praised by other authors, by the press and by book bloggers. I was very excited to receive a pre-publication copy of her second novel Ketchup Clouds which will be published by Indigo (an imprint of Orion) at the end of the year. Ketch When Annabel Pitcher's debut novel My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece was published in March last year she really raised the bar for authors of young adult novels and set herself a very very high standard to keep. The novel was shortlisted for numerous awards and was praised by other authors, by the press and by book bloggers. I was very excited to receive a pre-publication copy of her second novel Ketchup Clouds which will be published by Indigo (an imprint of Orion) at the end of the year. Ketchup Clouds is certainly not a copy of My Sister, but it got the same reaction from me and I loved every page, I was hooked in by the end of the first paragraph and was loathe to put it down at all until I'd finished the last sentence. The lead character; Zoe, has done something wrong, or so she thinks. She has lived with what has happened to her for the past year, feeling guilty, yet hiding her feelings at the same time. Zoe's family have their own problems and she doesn't want to burden them any more. Mum and Dad are constantly bickering, about money, about jobs, about Grandpa, it seems to Zoe that they argue about everything these days. Her sister Soph is ten years old and struggles to find her place in the family, and then there is the baby of the family; little Dot. Dot is deaf, yet funny and happy but Mum does seem to spend so much more time with her than either of the others. When a Nun visits Zoe's school to talk about capital punishment and tells them about prisoners on Death Row in the USA, Zoe becomes intrigued. It is there, in the most unlikely place, that Zoe finds someone she can confide in. Stu Harris, convicted murderer, facing the death sentence. Zoe creeps out into the garden shed night after night and writes letter after letter to Stu, spilling her secrets and her innermost thoughts honestly and candidly. Annabel Pitcher creates a wonderfully lifelike and credible teenage voice in Zoe, allowing the reader to find out slowly and surely just what has happened to her over the past year. The family rows, the teenage angst, the blossoming relationships with boys, the responsibilities of being the older sibling, but at the same time she doesn't give much away. The sense of intrigue and the feeling of suspense builds up right up until the last few chapters when finally all is revealed to the reader. There are only a very few authors of young adult fiction that can really engage me as an adult reader, who can write novels that seem as relevant to an adult as they do to teenagers. Tabitha Suzuma and the late Siobhan Dowd are two of the best, and Annabel Pitcher is now firmly up there with them in my eyes. Ketchup Clouds is a compelling, sometimes funny, often heartbreaking and always original story of a young girl's guilt and fear, it's also a story of new beginnings and hope. The characters become real, the writing is engaging and very very special. Fans of My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece can breathe a sigh of relief, Annabel Pitcher has produced another sure fire winner.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Bang Bang Books

    2.5 but it wasn't good enough to bump it up to a 3. Not what I was expecting. (view spoiler)[ Zoe made herself out to be some vicious murderer but it was an accident. 1. So she's writing to an inmate with graphic stories about her breasts and her near sexcapades. Who does that? 2. She is a great sister but that's all. It's hard to tell what age she is because she acts like she's 12 but I'm assuming she's 16 or 17. She's nosy and annoying and kind of skanky. She describes herself as plain and she s 2.5 but it wasn't good enough to bump it up to a 3. Not what I was expecting. (view spoiler)[ Zoe made herself out to be some vicious murderer but it was an accident. 1. So she's writing to an inmate with graphic stories about her breasts and her near sexcapades. Who does that? 2. She is a great sister but that's all. It's hard to tell what age she is because she acts like she's 12 but I'm assuming she's 16 or 17. She's nosy and annoying and kind of skanky. She describes herself as plain and she seems like a geek with one friend but I don't know any one-friend geeks who get gets drunk and goes to second base with a guy she doesn't know. It's not like she wants to be popular or cool or anything-that would be believable. 3. She had every chance to break it off with Max but didn't b/c he's cute? I would understand that if there was no other boy in the picture-especially his brother. Why didn't she just break it off with him? She never complained about being lonely or sad. She never said he made her feel good about herself. There was no reason to stay with him, except to keep the story moving. 4. None of the other characters are likable except Dot-but what 5 year old says "sex" like it's the word cookie? 5. The conversations between Aaron and Zoe seemed forced. I don't see these teens having such witty conversations. Only 20-something hipsters talk the way they do. 6. The entire book hinged on this secret which is why I kept reading but it was a let down. (hide spoiler)]

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly Ho

    Rating: 4.5/5 This book. Just wow. I could honestly say I connected INSTANTLY to the character's voice. The whole mystery surrounding who she killed and why she killed was just intense. I couldn't put it down once I started. This wasn't just one story about Zoe, the main character. It interweaves 3 stories together. Zoe, Stuart's, and Dot's. The plot and story line was fast paced and makes you ponder why, what, how, when. I didn't really like the ending to Zoe's part. The way it ended was just uns Rating: 4.5/5 This book. Just wow. I could honestly say I connected INSTANTLY to the character's voice. The whole mystery surrounding who she killed and why she killed was just intense. I couldn't put it down once I started. This wasn't just one story about Zoe, the main character. It interweaves 3 stories together. Zoe, Stuart's, and Dot's. The plot and story line was fast paced and makes you ponder why, what, how, when. I didn't really like the ending to Zoe's part. The way it ended was just unsatisfying. Something felt missing. It could've been better. That last letter, the one that wasn't from Zoe, that was wow. I loved it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Stacey (prettybooks)

    Ketchup Clouds is a book that had been loitering around my wishlist for while, even though I didn't really know what it was about (ketchup?!) so, because my curiosity got the better of me, I finally checked it out of the library. I wasn't too sure what to expect, but I didn't expect to fall in love with it straight away. Ketchup Clouds is one of those books that makes me tell everyone I know about it (of course, everyone already knew about it since it won the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 20 Ketchup Clouds is a book that had been loitering around my wishlist for while, even though I didn't really know what it was about (ketchup?!) so, because my curiosity got the better of me, I finally checked it out of the library. I wasn't too sure what to expect, but I didn't expect to fall in love with it straight away. Ketchup Clouds is one of those books that makes me tell everyone I know about it (of course, everyone already knew about it since it won the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2013, but that doesn't stop me), and tweet about it, and talk about how wonderful the sprayed edges are. I read a lot books – although not nearly as many as some of you! – and I find that it's quite rare for a book to consume me in such a way, yet it's what readers are always looking for. I like to like characters, but Zoe, our protagonist (and that isn't even her real name – we find that out much later in the book) is pretty unlikeable, I'd say, in the way that if you're a teenager, you're not much a fan of fellow teenagers. She's selfish and self-centred and tactless, yet that doesn't seem to stop the reader from wanting the story to end in her favour. But I'll start at the beginning. Zoe is fifteen and a murderer – she tells us this so it must be true. She is overwhelmed with the guilt that comes with causing the death of somebody close to you and she cannot possibly tell anyone the truth aside from Mr. S. Harris. Stuart Harris is an inmate on death row in Texas, who Zoe begins sending letters to because she needs someone to relate to, someone who has already been what she has been through. But what has she been through? Ketchup Clouds does not tell us this vital piece of information straight away, for Zoe is an unreliable narrator, and instead we must, piece by piece, work out what Zoe has really done. All we know is that it involves death, two brothers, and a whole bunch of secrets and lies. Ketchup Clouds is superb storytelling and a novel that encapsulates beautiful writing. As I have said, it draws you in straight away and doesn't let go until you are finally given some answers. We have an inkling early on about what might happen, but we keep wondering whether it might change if we don't think about it too much. Zoe is difficult to feel sorry for, after she makes shockingly bad decision after bad decision, yet I still wanted to prevent the immense anguish caused by two very different brothers. And Zoe isn't only preoccupied by romance and relationships for she's having a difficult time at home. Why won't her mother let her see her dying Grandfather? Why is one sister so awful to another sister, who is deaf? Why don't her parents notice her slipping out at night to write these confessional letters? Annabel Pitcher tackles the nature of guilt just wonderfully and expertly – how we deal with it, why we feel it and what we can do about it. I wish I could say more, but the beauty of reading Ketchup Clouds comes with finding out for yourself how it ends, perhaps throwing in little judgements, accusations and guesses along the way, but never quite knowing until the last page. If My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece is just as brilliant, it looks like Annabel Pitcher will become one of my favourite authors! I wish my review could do this book justice – it's my own fault for waiting over a month since I finished the book to review it. It's quite frustrating as Ketchup Clouds deserves so much more, but all I can say is read it. I also reviewed this book over on Pretty Books.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie (Stepping Out Of The Page)

    Since hearing about Ketchup Clouds, I was eager to get my hands on a copy of it! I absolutely loved the sound of the blurb and Annabel Pitcher is one of those authors that I think will always appeal to me - she has the most interesting ideas and a very unique voice. The whole idea behind this story was something that immediately intrigued me. Our main character, Zoe, has made a big mistake, committed a crime, and has decided that she can no longer keep it to herself, so she decides to let it all Since hearing about Ketchup Clouds, I was eager to get my hands on a copy of it! I absolutely loved the sound of the blurb and Annabel Pitcher is one of those authors that I think will always appeal to me - she has the most interesting ideas and a very unique voice. The whole idea behind this story was something that immediately intrigued me. Our main character, Zoe, has made a big mistake, committed a crime, and has decided that she can no longer keep it to herself, so she decides to let it all out in a series of letters to Stuart Harris, a murderer on death row. I could not wait to start reading Zoe's letters! I will admit that it did take me a while to get used to Zoe. The letters are clearly written in a younger voice than my own, which was difficult at first. However, as the book progressed and I got to know our protagonist, I could see her personality shine through on the paper and she even managed to made me laugh quite a few times! Pitcher certainly has a talent for getting into the mind of her characters - not only Zoe, but the rest of the characters also felt very realistic. I find it amazing how well the author has written the voice of a young teenager. Several friendships and other relationships are explored in this book. Zoe's relationships with two brothers, Max and Aaron, play a vital part in this book, but I personally found Zoe's relationship with her family to be the most interesting and touching part of this book - particularly her interaction with her sisters. I also enjoyed it when Zoe clearly directed her thoughts and feelings towards the reader of her letters - with a somewhat childish naiveté but also with great sincerity. Although there is a very heavy subject behind this story, Pitcher balanced things perfectly. The story never got too dark and if it held the risk of becoming maudlin, Zoe perked it back up again with her casual humour. The writing is simple yet impressive and easy to read. Zoe's letters held my attention throughout and the story was easy to become enthralled in. This was a page-turner and a quick read as I kept on reading 'just one more page' to discover more about what really happened. Whilst I enjoyed Ketchup Clouds for the most part, I didn't absolutely love it - unfortunately I didn't feel the impact that I think that this book was supposed to make strongly enough - for me, it needed some more depth. I did enjoy this book more than her debut and I would recommend it to others as it is interesting and unique. As aforementioned, I think that Pitcher's story lines will always attract, and I have no doubt that I will pick up the next book that she writes!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

    Annabel Pitcher’s debut novel My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece was one of my favourite reads of 2011 so I have been keenly anticipating her second novel, hoping that it would engage me and move me in a similar way. Well, it’s a very different type of novel but I’m delighted to report that it packs the same punch as its predecessor. The novel is composed of a series of letters written by a fifteen year old British girl and addressed to Stuart Harris, a prisoner on Death Row in Texas. Initially, Annabel Pitcher’s debut novel My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece was one of my favourite reads of 2011 so I have been keenly anticipating her second novel, hoping that it would engage me and move me in a similar way. Well, it’s a very different type of novel but I’m delighted to report that it packs the same punch as its predecessor. The novel is composed of a series of letters written by a fifteen year old British girl and addressed to Stuart Harris, a prisoner on Death Row in Texas. Initially, she is cautious about revealing her identity and location, writing under the pseudonym “Zoe” and living in Fiction Road. Ironically “Zoe” feels that she and Stuart have something in common – he having murdered his wife and she feeling responsible for the death of a boy she knew. So she sneaks out to the garden shed at night, hoping to somehow exorcise her guilt by confessing to a stranger. We never hear directly from Stuart but there is quite enough going on in day to day life as well as “Zoe’s” gradual revelation of the events of the past year – May 1st is the first anniversary of the boy’s death. The author succeeds in weaving an intriguing tale of family relationships, the intensity of young love, the angst of the teenager as well as keeping the readers on the edge of their seats wondering who died and who is to blame. Annabel Pitcher has captured the teenage voice and tone perfectly in a very natural and easy way. All of the characters are fully fleshed and extremely credible from the bickering parents feeling the stress of financial worry and the pressure of caring for elderly parents to the precocious middle child who feels ever so slightly neglected. It all flows beautifully and even though I’m not usually a big fan of romance, I felt the strength and intensity of “Zoe”’s emotions with a conclusion which moved me to tears. You’ll laugh and cry in equal measure and, if you’re slightly older like myself, you will breathe a blessed sigh of relief that you’re no longer a teenager. It certainly doesn’t look as if Annabel has suffered much from second novel syndrome as her writing is going from strength to strength, increasing in confidence, engaging you from the first word and keeping you enthralled – I’m already looking forward to her next novel!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lynda

    "Dear Mr Harris....Ignore the blob of red in the top left corner. It's jam not blood, though I don't think I need to tell you the difference". And so begins the story of 15 year old Zoe, a troubled teen, in letters she writes to Stuart Harris, a convicted murderer on death row in Texas, charged with murdering his wife. I enjoyed the epistolary structure of the novel. Through her letters Zoe recounts the troubled events of the past year of her life. The intimacy of the letters and the freedom Zoe "Dear Mr Harris....Ignore the blob of red in the top left corner. It's jam not blood, though I don't think I need to tell you the difference". And so begins the story of 15 year old Zoe, a troubled teen, in letters she writes to Stuart Harris, a convicted murderer on death row in Texas, charged with murdering his wife. I enjoyed the epistolary structure of the novel. Through her letters Zoe recounts the troubled events of the past year of her life. The intimacy of the letters and the freedom Zoe feels to tell this stranger everything allows her to be completely honest and ultimately relieves her of the guilt and burden she has carried. Without giving the story away, you soon begin to understand why she has chosen this ONE person to tell her story to, and the ultimate similarities she clearly feels she has with him. This is the second novel I have read of the author and she has a talent in creating such wonderful (although in this case not particularly likeable), believable characters. Definitely a fan!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kluxorious Kluxces

    Urgh I suffered through this book. Zoe just pissed me off. She's selfish and such a bitch! Aron is no better. How can you do that to your brother! Jeebus. I am not going to be coherent with this one. This book doesnt deserved any more attention. It is one of my disappointed reads of 2016. The style of writing is so immature. Just urgghhhhh Story 1/5 Character 2/5 Development 3/5 Enjoyment 2/5 Style of writing 2/5 Overall 2/5

  19. 5 out of 5

    Aisha

    I first heard about this book from Charley over at CharleyReads on YouTube. When she described the book, I was immediately interested. You don't read much YA that deals with the people in prison. In Ketchup Clouds, by Annabel Pitcher, the main character, "Zoe", writes to a death row inmate in Texas. She starts writing to him in order to confess the crime she thinks she has committed. The inmate, Stewart Harris, seems to be the only person she can turn to. "Zoe" feels like she has no one else to t I first heard about this book from Charley over at CharleyReads on YouTube. When she described the book, I was immediately interested. You don't read much YA that deals with the people in prison. In Ketchup Clouds, by Annabel Pitcher, the main character, "Zoe", writes to a death row inmate in Texas. She starts writing to him in order to confess the crime she thinks she has committed. The inmate, Stewart Harris, seems to be the only person she can turn to. "Zoe" feels like she has no one else to tell and the guilt is eating away at her insides. I went into this book not knowing much so, I will just leave my summary at that. I think it's best to go into it blind. Throughout the novel, I found myself gasping, laughing at the witty conversations, and even putting the book down a few times because I was too embarrassed or scared to see what would happen next. I felt tat the author handles Zoe's depression in a great way using wit and humor to cushion the severity of Zoe's feelings. At times, I felt Zoe to be annoying but given her age in the book, I will excuse her immaturity. However, I was happy to see that Zoe was eventually able to let go of her guilt and cope with her depression after the event that forever changed her life. I also enjoyed, the ending because it was not the typical "and they lived happily ever after" conclusion. I am usually on the fence when it comes to YA contemporary, but this novel was so skillfully written hat I found this to be really enjoyable despite the "heaviness" of the book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Elise

    Review may contain spoilers. This book is about people. Real people with real, relatable lives. It tears at your heart. 'Zoe' is desperate. So desperate she'll send anonymous messages to a murderer. I don't believe she is a murderer. She made mistakes. Of course she did. Awful mistakes that caused somebody's death. But she is a human being. Stuart Harris is a human being too. Nobody deserved to die. I like to think of this as a love story. But it's not a love story between Zoe and Max, or Zoe and Review may contain spoilers. This book is about people. Real people with real, relatable lives. It tears at your heart. 'Zoe' is desperate. So desperate she'll send anonymous messages to a murderer. I don't believe she is a murderer. She made mistakes. Of course she did. Awful mistakes that caused somebody's death. But she is a human being. Stuart Harris is a human being too. Nobody deserved to die. I like to think of this as a love story. But it's not a love story between Zoe and Max, or Zoe and Aaron. Anything that contains a series letter is a definite yes with me. What makes this so powerful is that we only see one half of the letters. I find myself wondering whether Stuart wrote replies that he knew he couldn't send to her. Did he even read the letters? As Zoe continues to write the letters, they get more and more personal. 'My dearest Stu' is how she greets him and each letter begins to end with kisses. She doesn't think of him as a bad person. She relates and feels bad for him and I think she loves him. In a friend sense, maybe. But the ending is devastating. I cried like I often do after reading a good book. I am only awarding four stars as I think the writer's style was a little sloppy in places. Of course this is a letter so it shouldn't be too formal, but it did get rather annoying.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Emma Carroll

    In 'Ketchup Clouds' acknowledgements, Annabel Pitcher says the story ' took a long while to get right.' I'm glad she took the time; this is one of the best books I've read in ages. The story is told from Zoe's viewpoint. This isn't her real name, but then Zoe is a girl hiding more than her true identity. Zoe has a secret, a secret so crushing that she has to share it. And so she does, via letters to a death row prisoner who knows all about guilt. These letters are what 'Ketchup Clouds' comprises In 'Ketchup Clouds' acknowledgements, Annabel Pitcher says the story ' took a long while to get right.' I'm glad she took the time; this is one of the best books I've read in ages. The story is told from Zoe's viewpoint. This isn't her real name, but then Zoe is a girl hiding more than her true identity. Zoe has a secret, a secret so crushing that she has to share it. And so she does, via letters to a death row prisoner who knows all about guilt. These letters are what 'Ketchup Clouds' comprises of. If that puts you off, don't let it. Pitcher very deftly overcomes the limitations of this epistolary style. Zoe's voice is also intriguing, a mix of real naivety, humour and poignancy. What I liked best was Zoe's family. Each character has his/her own little foibles, just enough to add richness to Zoe's experience. The many tender little snapshots of how they interact is what, to me, takes this story from 'good' to 'wonderful'. The final reveal of Zoe's secret is also well-handled. Not knowing who died -or how- kept me absolutely hooked. Some reviews have flagged up the ending as a disappointment. I disagree. Zoe's last letter is beautifully pitched. Granted, I would've rather the story ended in her voice, but there is definite resolution where resolution is possible. And where it isn't, then instead we are given hope.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mandy

    Oh wow, I'm still trying to gather my thoughts about this book. I started reading Ketchup Clouds knowing pretty much nothing about it, but still hoping it would be a good read because I've read some really good things about this book. And oh my, what a lovely surprise I had. I can't really describe this book to you, half of it is a cute contemporary story with heartwarming characters and also real life problems about family but on the other side the main character is pen paling with a death row c Oh wow, I'm still trying to gather my thoughts about this book. I started reading Ketchup Clouds knowing pretty much nothing about it, but still hoping it would be a good read because I've read some really good things about this book. And oh my, what a lovely surprise I had. I can't really describe this book to you, half of it is a cute contemporary story with heartwarming characters and also real life problems about family but on the other side the main character is pen paling with a death row convict because she supposedly killed someone 'she was supposed to love', so you have to read it to fully understand it because it took my breath away and I'm still trying to process everything. It is so mysterious and it was one of the most intense books I've ever read. There was nothing special with the writing but I have no complaints about this book, I liked pretty much everything about it, why only four stars then? Because it was a four star kind of book, it wasn't one of my favorites but I'm so glad I read it and I'm going to spend some time mourning it, to be honest. Buy a copy: http://www.bookdepository.com/Ketchup...

  23. 4 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    Teenage angst and drama though presented in a unique fashion. Finding a penpal on Death Row, Zoe uses letters to him as a way to tell her story.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    Actual rating: 2.5 This book was not the best. The characters were very annoying, and it took a while for me to get into it. Over all this book was just okay.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Camilla

    2.5 stars.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jodie (jodie.loves.books)

    Okay, so I didn’t really have very high expectations for this book, purely because I felt like I was too old to appreciate this story for what it was - a 15 year old writing letters. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this story and how well I was able to relate to ‘Zoe’. There were many different levels to this book and lots of issues tackled: grief, love, guilt, relationships. All of which were explored honestly and beautifully. I love Annabel Pitcher’s writing style and I loved Okay, so I didn’t really have very high expectations for this book, purely because I felt like I was too old to appreciate this story for what it was - a 15 year old writing letters. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this story and how well I was able to relate to ‘Zoe’. There were many different levels to this book and lots of issues tackled: grief, love, guilt, relationships. All of which were explored honestly and beautifully. I love Annabel Pitcher’s writing style and I loved the concept of telling the story through letters to an inmate on death row. Personally, I feel like there could have been a little bit more development on the relationships between the different characters and I would have loved more information on Stuart’s fate. Despite this, I still thoroughly enjoyed this story and I’d definitely recommend it! - 4 stars🌟🌟🌟🌟

  27. 4 out of 5

    Michelle (Pink Polka Dot Books)

    Zoe is writing what she can't say to anyone else to a stranger on death row. Zoe has a secret eating her up inside. A secret so big she knows the only person who would understand is someone who is capable of taking a life, just like she did. So from all the way in England, a teenage girl writes letters to a Texas jailhouse confessing the worst year of her life, and hoping that maybe once it's all out there, she might finally be able to live with herself. My Thoughts This is one of the special ones Zoe is writing what she can't say to anyone else to a stranger on death row. Zoe has a secret eating her up inside. A secret so big she knows the only person who would understand is someone who is capable of taking a life, just like she did. So from all the way in England, a teenage girl writes letters to a Texas jailhouse confessing the worst year of her life, and hoping that maybe once it's all out there, she might finally be able to live with herself. My Thoughts This is one of the special ones. It was smart, funny, unique, heartbreaking... all those things. I fell in love with Zoe and her family. They weren't perfect by any means, but they were all the things that a family is. I really wish I could read this one all over again for the first time. And I love books that make me feel that way. I loved the unique format this book is written in. Letters to a death row inmate. It's so cool. I loved how even though Zoe and this man's life and realities were so different she managed to link them in a way that was really beautiful. Especially the way she didn't judge him for his choices in life and how much compassion she had for a man she was having a one sided conversation with. It's hard for me to talk a lot about the book because I think knowing too much would spoil it. I went into it not knowing anything except that this girl supposedly killed someone, and I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. If I knew about the relationship stuff before I read the book, I feel like it wouldn't have made me feel the way it did. Some of the stuff was so surprising to me and it made me really sympathize with Zoe, even though a lot of the stuff she was doing was probably wrong. And I get that some of the choices Zoe makes might turn people off... but that's life. Sometimes good people make terrible mistakes, especially when the heart is involved. I totally related to Zoe's dilemma. What I will talk about is Dot. She's Zoe's littlest sister who is deaf. She is the spunkiest little girl and made me smile so much in this book. I also enjoyed reading the sister relationships between all 3 sisters. It's really nice to see strong sibling relationships in YA... I feel like it's so rare. The only thing I'll say against this book is that I didn't cry. And it's not hard to make me cry. I cried during Lola and the Boy Next Door for Christ's sake. But even though this book is pretty heartbreaking... I didn't feel like crying. I felt sad. I for real wanted to hug Zoe and this one other boy... but I didn't feel like crying. OVERALL: A book written from a teenage girl to a death row inmate as a way to confess her sins. I absolutely loved her story and found it so unique and entertaining. It has this whole big dramatic event going on, but it was also about family and what it really means to be a family. It's definitely worth reading. My Blog:

  28. 5 out of 5

    Paige

    SPOILERS ALL UP IN HERE The premise I was sold on: "some girls get away with murder". The premise I received: some girls whine about their lives to death row inmates. Bullet points for speed and clarity! Away we go! •SLUT SHAMING. Honestly, what the fuck? The book was filled with little digs and jabs at the MC's supposed sluttiness. And the messed up part? It is told from the MC's POV in letter form. So she is picking herself apart for her sexual behavior months later, and in letters to a complete SPOILERS ALL UP IN HERE The premise I was sold on: "some girls get away with murder". The premise I received: some girls whine about their lives to death row inmates. Bullet points for speed and clarity! Away we go! •SLUT SHAMING. Honestly, what the fuck? The book was filled with little digs and jabs at the MC's supposed sluttiness. And the messed up part? It is told from the MC's POV in letter form. So she is picking herself apart for her sexual behavior months later, and in letters to a complete stranger. Not amused. •The whole plot of this book was a love triangle, basically, and I was not invested. Max is a complete douchebag, who is apparently likable because he likes puzzles. Super early in the book, he takes a picture of Zoe drunk and topless and wastes no time sending it to everyone in school. Despite this, Zoe continues to date him because he's popular. Aaron, Max's older brother, is sort of a hipster, and older, which I guess makes him hot. He has a car and likes the library. •This read very young. We're never told how old the MC is, but I'd guess 16 or 17. It sounds like she's 11 or 12. •The family dynamics were fascinating. Zoe's parents' troubles, Dot's deafness, and the other sister's imaginary troubles to get attention were the best part of the book. •IT WASNT MURDER. Max got drunk and tried to rape Zoe. She and Aaron accidentally pushed him into the river in an attempt to get him to stop attacking them. He drowned. It was self defense, not murder. The bait and switch feeling made me mad. I felt like this was a waste of time. Not recommended.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Really angry at this terrible book. Only finished it out of a perverse sense of duty. Really disliked the narrator from the start, and her two uses of transphobic language did not help this at all - in this day and age, regardless of the fact she's supposed to be 14 (?) I think, it wasn't necessary and added nothing to the plot. Also bit squicked by the fact a girl who was 14 at most would be going out with a college boy. And the fact that child porn of her was leaked around the school without c Really angry at this terrible book. Only finished it out of a perverse sense of duty. Really disliked the narrator from the start, and her two uses of transphobic language did not help this at all - in this day and age, regardless of the fact she's supposed to be 14 (?) I think, it wasn't necessary and added nothing to the plot. Also bit squicked by the fact a girl who was 14 at most would be going out with a college boy. And the fact that child porn of her was leaked around the school without consequences? The fact that she chose someone on death row to write to, someone who was going to die for committing the same crime she did, and then she constantly made remarks about how his life must suck, and how her only concern was not guilt or remorse, but getting caught. Just made her very unlikeable and I didn't really care what happened to her. I wanted a prison guard vetting the letters to find out and report her. I wanted to see her react to that. Was really hoping this book would flip halfway through and have her writing from prison or something, anything to speed up the tedium of the story. The last 'wrap up' chapter just felt like an insult, written by her youngest sister in cutesy baby misspellings which frankly hurt my head to read. Really disappointed about this book, as I'd heard really good things about it. I can't understand why or where they came from though.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte Hackett

    I'm so disappointed. I spent less than a day reading this book; honestly it wasn't even worth that. The book appealed to me because it had the whole John Green-esque cover and an enticing synopsis - I loved the concept of the story, but everything was just so WRONG. Students progressing from years 9 to 10 (aged 13 to 14) drinking vodka at house parties and dating 17/18 year olds? An accidental murder of one of the two brothers you are caught between? It just doesn't add up. The idea of sending let I'm so disappointed. I spent less than a day reading this book; honestly it wasn't even worth that. The book appealed to me because it had the whole John Green-esque cover and an enticing synopsis - I loved the concept of the story, but everything was just so WRONG. Students progressing from years 9 to 10 (aged 13 to 14) drinking vodka at house parties and dating 17/18 year olds? An accidental murder of one of the two brothers you are caught between? It just doesn't add up. The idea of sending letters to a man on death row: that's appealing. Maybe you confess to a crime and it's the one that your pen pal has been accused of, you end up clearing his name, perhaps. But once again, teen fiction has stooped to making everything into a love story. The only reason I gave this book even one star is because I am still trying to kid myself into thinking that reading this book wasn't a complete waste of my time.

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