by Annabel Pitcher (mystery, young adult)
Many people have sung the praises of Ketchup Clouds. It got starred reviews from Kirkus, SLJ, Booklist, and Publishers Weekly. It won the 2013 Waterstones Children's Book Prize, was a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Pick and won the 2014 Edgar Allen Poe Award. It may well have been nominated for and won other awards, but those are the ones I know about.
Listen to this brilliant premise: A fifteen-old-year British girl named Zoe (fake name) committed murder and writes to Stuart Harris, a Texan inmate on death row for killing his wife. Zoe wants someone to know her story. Someone who can relate. Brilliant, right?
The novel is epistolary in style. One sided. Zoe goes out to the family shed at night and writes her letters. The letters span a little over a year, detailing the events leading up to Zoe's crime as well as chronicling her daily life. We learn of her romance triangle with two brothers, her relationship with her sisters, one of whom is deaf, her best friend, her parents' financial difficulties after her dad is made redundant.
And, through it all, we fall in love with Zoe and her guilt and her angst and her sharp wit and her observations on life.
In case I haven't done Ketchup Clouds justice, here's The Beginning of the Book: Dear Mr. S. Harris, Ignore the blob of red in the top right corner. It's jam, not blood, though I don't think I need to tell you the difference. It wasn't your wife's jam the police found on your shoe.
And now....onto the rest of our reviews. Please click through. You won't want to miss a single one!
MDDLE GRADE AND YOUNG ADULT FICTION BOOK REVIEWS
Ellen Booraem: ONE CRAZY SUMMER by Rita Williams Garcia (MG)
Lucy Sartain: THE DISAPPEARANCE OF EMILY H. by Barrie Summy (MG, mystery)
Stacy Nyikos: ALWAYS OCTOBER by Bruce Coleville (MG)
Beth Bonini of TRAC: ME BEING ME IS EXACTLY AS INSANE AS YOU BEING YOU
by Todd Hasak-Lowy (YA)
ADULT FICTION BOOK REVIEWS
Alyssa Goodnight: ARTIFACT by Gigi Pandian (mystery)
Lucy Sartain: QUEEN OF THE TRAILER PARK by Alice Quinn (A Rosie Maldonne mystery)
Patti Abbott: NOVEMBER by Georges Simenon
Ray Potthoff: THE DREAM LOVER by Elizabeth Berg (historical)
**Scott Parker: CONCRETE ANGEL by OUR VERY OWN Patricia Abbott (domestic suspense)**
Linda McLaughlin: THE MONUMENTS MEN: ALLIED HEROES, NAZI THIEVES, AND THE GREATEST TREASURE HUNT IN HISTORY by Robert M. Edsel with Bret Witter (adult)
Rob Costello: SO YOU'VE BEEN PUBLICLY SHAMED by Jon Ronson (adult)
Sarah Laurence: I WILL ALWAYS WRITE BACK by Caitlin Alifirenka and Martin Ganda
with Liz Welch (young adult)
Note to Reviewers: Any errors (broken link, missed review, etc), just shoot me an email or leave a comment. Thank you so much for your reviews!
Dear FCC: Oh, you are so nosy. I bought this book. Nothing tricky going on here.