Monday, 15 September 2014

Ketchup Clouds Review

Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher

“As if they’ve looked inside their soul and decided it’s bad all bad without even the tiniest bit of good worth saving.”

Ketchup Clouds deals with a lot of topics and not all of them are negative. There’s death and murder, parents fighting, living with grief and self hatred but there’s also love, family and friendship bonds and accepting the truth and moving on. Reading the synopsis of Ketchup Clouds it seems as of the story is middle grade but with dark theme however our main character is 15 and there are a lot of intimate scenes which was quite a shock.

The story starts with the main character writing to a prisoner on the death row and stating that like him she committed a crime but unlike him she was never caught. The prisoner stabbed his wife after finding out about her affair with his brother and that’s what caught Zoe’s attention, her story is similar to Stu’s. Zoe, the name she gave herself to protect her identity decides to become pen pals with Stu and the writing style consists of the present and the past both written in a letter style. I really liked the idea around this and I really how the author had structured the story though at times the past and present seemed to blend.

Going into the story I expected a mystery with the reader guessing to what happened. The start was good with the introduction to the characters and throughout the novel there was a lot of tension build.  But what this book was a romance book; a girl falling in love when she’s already taken. And her relationship with the guy she likes is built nicely with their jokes and moments but the drama with her juggling the guys sort of took over the novel. Also her lying and her lies made her annoying and made the story really boring and dragged it on. And when the truth is revealed, was that it? All the suspense for something you can already guess.

The minor characters were likable in particular the sisters. Though the parents/grandfather’s drama did drag on but the reason behind it was more interesting than Zoe’s revelation.

 I also liked the ending as it was bittersweet; acceptance and letting go. At first I thought it would be better if Stu wrote back but then that wouldn’t fit and it wouldn’t go with the story so who’s pov we do get was better. Also Dot’s bonus chapter was interesting because we saw an outsider’s view on how Zoe coped and her relationships with others.

The title is a bit random until you read the story and Dot creates these ketchup clouds and labels them a beautiful mess and that summarises Zoe and Aaron’s relationship.


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