[ARC Review] Ketchup Clouds by Annabel PictherThursday, November 21, 2013
Author: Annabel Pitcher
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Release Date: November 12, 2013
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Source: ARC provided by publisher in exchange honest review
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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.
I loved the concept of this book the moment i read it. Written in letter form, we follow "Zoe" as she anonymously writes to a death row inmate telling him about the day that changed her life forever. The fact that we are the inmate that she is writing to is a different reading experience, especially since the narrator is talking directly to us, while telling us the heartbreaking story that she has kept inside for so long.
What I think i loved the most about this book was the candid voice the narrator and the way she told her story. It was so unique and heartbreaking to hear her pour her heart out to a complete stranger, even if that stranger was on death row and about to die. "Zoe" (I put that is quotations because she did not reveal her real name in her letters) was such a young and naive girl, but throughout the book you get a glimpse at how haunted she is by one mistake that changed not only her life, but the life of an entire family.
Whenever I read a character and they say that they were the reason someone got hurt I always think that they are overreacting for the sake of the story. But in this case I actually genuinely felt bad for her when she revealed what actually happened and the guilt that she had been carrying around for so long.
There is a love story in this book, and it is the nucleus of the story itself. But what I think I liked the most was that it was different. There may have been two boys vying for attention, and there might have been some drama involved, but the structure of the romance (for each boy) was done very well, and each of their love stories felt sincere and real to me which was amazing, considering I had a favourite boy :)
If you are looking or a fast, heartfelt read, Ketchup Clouds is for you. It has such a great message at the end that it will be impossible not to smile, even if the events that transpired were less than perfect. I loved it.