Thursday, 4 February 2016


4 out of 5 stars

Complex emotional drama

On Amazon UK HERE

Reviewed by me as part of Rosie Amber's Book Review Team

This mysterious domestic drama had a most interesting and unusual plot; I couldn't work out where it was going at all, which kept me turning the pages. 

The story is told from multiple first person points of view, the main one (to my mind) being Jessica, who is aged between eleven and thirteen for most of the story.  She's an overweight, shy girl who doesn't get on that well with her parents, but has an unusually close bond with her best friend, Jack Banford.

Jack is a troubled young boy with divorced parents, and his mother is dying.

I thought the way Jess was written was a clever piece of character illustration; I believed in her completely.  All her fears and insecurities leapt from the page.  Jack was so well drawn, too, that I could completely understand her obsessive feelings for him.  I loved their relationship, the secret world they'd forged together. 

The story is divided into three parts, the first and longest of which is a building up of the background.  Here, I felt that some of the points of view were superfluous, that the story would have been structured better as longer sections from less viewpoints; it kept diving off at tangents.  The characters themselves were clearly defined, I just thought there were too many voices, too much chopping and changing. 

Part two starts with a HUGE surprise - well done, Ms Spicer, that one certainly made me go 'whaaat?!'.  There follows a court case, which was well done, and kept me completely absorbed.  I couldn't guess the outcome of this, which pleased me.  As for the ending, I felt a little confused; things were implied, suggested, rather than facts being given, and I am still not absolutely sure I quite 'got' it.  I am willing to accept that this might just be me, though! 

To sum up - I'd recommend this if you like complex dramas with undercurrents, secrets and hidden depths, and the author deserves a round of applause for the relationship between Jack and Jess.