Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Book Review: My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece By: Annabel Pitcher

"My sister Rose lives on the mantelpiece. Well, some of her does" (1).

Title: My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece
Author: Annabel Pitcher
Amount of Pages: 214
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: August 14, 2012 (My birthday :) )
Geared Towards: Teens 
From: Publisher (Review Copy)
Extra: First Published in March 2011

Summary (From Front Flap): To ten-year-old Jamie, his family has fallen apart because of the loss of someone he barely remember: his sister Rose, who died five years ago in a terrorist bombing. To his father, life is impossible to make sense of when he lives in a world that could so cruelly take away a ten-year-old girl. To Rose's surviving fifteen-year-old twin, Jas, there's no escape form Rose's ever-present shadow-she's forever the living twin of a dead girl. 

Jamie and Jas's father moves them to the countryside for a "fresh new start" without their mother, who stays behind in London. But when he places Rose's ashes back up on the mantelpiece, Jamei and Jas realize that the past will continue to haunt them wherever they go. Until that is, Jamei meets someone who seems to understand his pain-the one person whom his father would never allow him to befriend. Armed with his new friend and a keen understanding of the world around him, Jamie tries to make sense of the loss that has torn his family apart and endeavors to bring them back together.

Wdebo's Review: MY SISTER LIVES ON THE MANTELPIECE is a stunning debut novel. When I first looked at the book, I was kind of hesitant to start it. I am a chronic offender of judging books by their cover and let me tell you, I really don't like that cover. (At least this cover seems better than the other ones for like the UK version and stuff). However, when I glanced over the beginning, I was shocked by how quickly I was hooked on the story.

Jamie is a very unique narrator especially when you look at the subject matter he is talking about. He's 10 and he acts and talks like it, though he does have a surprisingly mature instinct at times. I loved the usage of Jamie as the narrator, he is intune with his family and relates it back to the readers even if he does not understand what is going on at times.

The book deals with very heavy topics. It begins with a family torn apart by the death of their daughter five years ago and talks about issues like racism, alcoholism and bullying. Though at moments it does feel like the issues are buried and not given the amount of heaviness and importance they should be given, but that may also be one of the reasons I enjoyed this novel. It contains a sense of innocence that envelops the entire story. In the end, you are seeing all this unfold from Jamie's point of view and though so much has happened, he is still a child and keeps that point of view.

Throughout the story, it talks about Jamie's life a lot (Obviously, he's the protagonist) but it also deals with how his sister, Jas, deals with everything and the rest of the family's response. However, I was hoping that Jas' story could be emphasized more, it is an interesting contrast to Jamie's.

The writing itself was also very well done. The beginning though sad at parts was mainly pretty humorous. However, towards the middle it made me both laugh and cry. It was just really well written and I devoured it. The book itself is pretty small so this story went by pretty fast.

Cafe Cover Chat: As stated before, not a big fan of the cover, but I do like the blue! (C+)

All in all, a wonderful story. Even though it does contain darker themes it is written and presented in such a way that it can be enjoyed by both older and younger readers.

Grade: A

Wdebo :)

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