Sunday 13 October 2013

Book Review - Ketchup Clouds

Title: Ketchup Clouds
Author: Annabel Pitcher
Publisher: Indigo
Release Date: 1 July 2013
ISBN-13: 978-1780620312

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
This is another book form the list I have to read for work. I had seen it in the shops and knew it had won the 'Waterstones Fiction Prize' but didn't really know much more than that. I had read the back cover a few times and wondered about reading it, but wasn't sure it was the sort of thing I would enjoy.
I started this at lunchtime today and seemed to get through it quite quickly, i finished it early this evening. Had some time out this afternoon so think I read it in about 3 hours total.
It's a very unique idea and something I haven't really experienced before in reading. My mum read it too and pointed out that one of the main characters isn't ever seen or heard, which is unusual but very clever, and a good point to pick up on.
Basically Zoe has done something terrible but hasn't been able to tell anyone, they're all treating her like a victim, feeling sorry for her and the pressure is getting to her. Desperate to talk to someone she finds out about a pen-pal system being run for prisoners on death row, she picks a guy called Stu Harris out and starts to write letters to him explaining all about her crime, knowing he would understand. 
Through her letters you learn all about her family, all their troubles, ups and downs and the start of a relationship with the 'hottest' guy in school, and meeting his brother.
This was a sort of love triangle but done in a very different way to usual and I didn't get annoyed by it at all, in fact i could sort of understand how she got in that position, although I don't think she handled it very well I still liked Zoe. 
I had some guesses as to what she had done but although I was close in some respects I actually didn't expect that outcome. 
This is the sort of book you can get immersed in and feel like you have been on a journey with. The characters lives came to life and I found myself wanting to know them more, especially Zoe's little sisters Soph and Dot.
I'm not sure exactly what it is about this book that is so endearing. My first reaction to finishing it was a little sigh and a 'huh?' but not in a bad way. 
I haven't read anything by Pitcher before but I liked her style. I may try her other book now, I am suitably intrigued.

My Rating

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