The blurb: Secrets, romance, murder and lies: Zoe shares a terrible secret in a letter to a stranger on death row in this second novel from the author of the bestselling debut, My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece.
Fifteen-year-old Zoe has a secret—a dark and terrible secret that she can’t confess to anyone she knows. But then one day she hears of a criminal, Stuart Harris, locked up on death row in Texas. Like Zoe, Stuart is no stranger to secrets. Or lies. Or murder.
Full of heartache yet humour, Zoe tells her story in the only way she can—in letters to the man in prison in America. Armed with a pen, Zoe takes a deep breath, eats a jam sandwich, and begins her tale of love and betrayal.
My review: I am probably one of the few people who hasn’t read My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece. I came to this book as a recommendation from a friend, having of course heard of her first book, I was surprised I hadn’t encountered her before.
Ketchup Clouds is an eminently readable book. We are introduced to Zoe, a fifteen year old British girl who is writing letters in her shed. She’s writing to an inmate on death row in Texas as a way of talking to someone who might have something in common with her. She’s harbouring a dark secret, something only one other person knows about in the world. This secret and the guilt she carries connects her with the inmate on death row.
I’m not sure what to say about this book. I read it in a trice, it was good, but it didn’t blow me away. Competently handled, the intensity of young love is handled beautifully and that was one of the parts I loved most about this book. The characters are well drawn, credible and interesting. There were certain plot points that seemed slightly incredulous, misunderstandings that would’ve been cleared up in a real life situation. However this isn’t, we’re talking about fiction here. I’m a weeper at books but this didn’t produce a single tear. Heart-felt and heart-warming but potentially it lost some shock, tension as it went along. So a lovely little book but not one of my favourites.
6 out of 10 stars! ******
BUY ME! Ketchup Clouds