Guest Review: Ketchup Clouds

November 26, 2013 Uncategorized 6

Hi everyone! Today I have a great friend over for a guest review! Guys, say hey to Kate (aka MV)! She is the blogger behind The Magic Violinist and can be found frequently on The Book Chewers. She recently read KETCHUP CLOUDS–a book I’ve been itching to read myself–and I’m so happy she wanted to share her review on my blog with you guys.

Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher

Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher

Released: November 12, 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 261

Dear Mr. S. 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. It wasn’t your wife’s jam the police found on your shoe. . . . 

Zoe has an unconventional pen pal-Mr. Stuart Harris, a Texas Death Row inmate and convicted murderer. But then again, Zoe has an unconventional story to tell. A story about how she fell for two boys, betrayed one of them, and killed the other.

Hidden away in her backyard shed in the middle of the night with a jam sandwich in one hand and a pen in the other, Zoe gives a voice to her heart and her fears after months of silence. Mr. Harris may never respond to Zoe’s letters, but at least somebody will know her story-somebody who knows what it’s like to kill a person you love. Only through her unusual confession can Zoe hope to atone for her mistakes that have torn lives apart, and work to put her own life back together again.

Rising literary star Annabel Pitcher pens a captivating second novel, rich with her distinctive balance between humor and heart. Annabel explores the themes of first love, guilt, and grief, introducing a character with a witty voice and true emotional resonance.

Let me start off by saying that I loved this book. Though the whole story had a dark, gloomy, sort of depressing feel, it was very suspenseful and very well done. I gobbled the whole thing up in one (very late) night.
I loved the fact that this is set in England. I think we need to read more books that are set in places besides America, and not just historical fiction. We need to broaden our horizons a little bit, and if we can’t easily travel to a place like England, reading’s a great way to “go” there!

I loved all of the characters in this book! Even Mr. Harris, though he never responds to Zoe’s letters or contacts her in any way. You got to know him through bits of the letters that Zoe wrote, mentioning him writing poems while in jail and how he took his wife on their first date to a burger restaurant where they got a milkshake with two straws. I think my favorite character was Dot, though, Zoe’s five-year-old sister who was deaf, but communicated through sign language. She was such a happy ray of sunshine in such a dark book.

I instantly loved Zoe. Despite all of her flaws–which were some pretty big flaws–you couldn’t help but feel sorry for her and want to put your arm around her and tell her that it was okay. The only thing that bugged me about her was that she never seemed to learn from her mistakes. She kept making the same mistake over and over again. Despite all of that, though, I really loved this book.

Note: This book–as you might have been able to tell–has a lot of heavy topics and adult themes. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone under the age of twelve or thirteen.

Kate gave it 5 Thought Clouds!

Kate received an ARC from Martina and Jan at Adventures in YA Publishing.

The Magic Violinist


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