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Amber Paperback – 12 Sep 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Curious Fox (12 Sep 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1782020594
  • ISBN-13: 978-1782020592
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.8 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 266,913 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'The writing... is STUNNING... Please tell me there's a sequel?!... The book is like a drug - it hooks you and you can't stop reading! Fabulously crafted and unique - you've got to love it!' --Amber, The Mile Long Bookshelf, 30/08/2013

'Amber is the perfect novel' --Rachel, Goodreads, 01/01/2014

'Amber is one hell of a book with the most twisty-twist I've read for a while. I literally gasped multiple times through the book and was still a little shocked after I'd turned the last page... A really amazing debut for Julie Sykes.' --Catriona, Through A Cat's Eyes, 01/09/2013

About the Author

Julie Sykes is the author of many books, including the best-selling Silver Dolphins series. Amber is her first book for older readers. Julie once lived on a fish farm, sharing her home with 300,000 rainbow trout. She now lives in the south of England with her family, their pet wolf, and a few goldfish.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By IcedGems on 4 Oct 2013
Format: Paperback
Amber is Julie Sykes's first YA novel and it's beautifully produced. The cover is gorgeous and just screams 'Pick me up!' but what's clever is that the image gives very little away about the story.

Similarly, the book is easy to begin and hooks you quickly, but for some time you're not quite sure whether you're reading a classic mystery, a whodunit, a sci-fi story or a straightforward girl-meets-boy. It's hard to review without giving anything away, but there's something that Amber discovers she can do early on that makes it clear she's not just a normal girl.

Amber has been in a car accident, that much is clear. But she has completely lost her memory. She doesn't know her own name, and many things are completely unfamiliar to her. A kind family takes pity on her and offers her a place at their music school for the summer while the social workers keep an eye on her. I loved the descriptions of the school and the people there, who felt warm and real and well-drawn. I also loved the section where Amber discovers she's an expert on a particular instrument. Her growing attachment to Dan, a student at the school, is lovely to see, especially her reluctance to commit to something when she can't be sure who she is. Sykes shows us enough of Amber's inner turmoil (is she a thief? an alien? a genetic experiment? on the run?) to keep us guessing and interested without ever making us bored of Amber's voice.

Very gradually (almost frustratingly slowly!) we are thrown clue after clue as to Amber's real identity, but it's still quite a shock when it's finally revealed. I can't explain anything about it, for obvious reasons, but I enjoyed the new area that opened up and thought it well described.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Barmy_Bex on 22 April 2014
Format: Paperback
I saw a review for this online that said it was absolutely fantastic, and I will admit that I had looked at it a couple of times in the library and was curious so I decided to take the plunge and bring it home to read.

With the day off on Easter Monday and nothing really planned I got up and picked up my book straight away. About 3 hours later I had finished it with time to spare before lunch.

The book starts with a girl waking up in hospital with no memory of who she is or where she came from. I liked this because it puts you in her shoes - we discover things about her at the same time as she does, giving us a connection to the character. With only an Amber necklace to identify her she decides to name herself Amber.

I really enjoyed this book, I really wanted to know who Amber was and what happened to her, she is naturally likeable and makes you want to discover more about her. The first half of the story sets her up as a character and what could be a whole new life for her, but you know it is building to something big, and a choice for Amber too, stick with the new life or embrace her old life again.

I will admit, when you discover who Amber is I rolled my eyes, did they have to go down that root. *Spoiler - I mean 'Aliens', are so overdone. * But I kept reading and I am glad I did because it's actually done in a fresh and exciting way and I found myself really enjoying it. I was actually sad when it was finished, I came to really like the characters, not just Amber but the others around her and I wanted to stay in that world a bit longer.

If you want a compelling read then this is definitely worth picking up.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Danielle @ What Danielle Did Next on 16 Oct 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
AMBER is the story of a young girl who awakens in the hospital after a car crash with no memory of her identity. Upon learning that the person she was travelling with was killed, our protagonist takes the name Amber, compelled to do so by the beautiful necklace in her possession. With nothing more than a strange type of Smartphone, Amber must discover who she is. Fostered by the Marshall family as investigations get underway and brought to their Summer Music Camp, Amber finds herself drawn to Dan, the Marshall's son and as she builds a life, must decide whether the disturbing flashbacks of her previous life are a beacon to guide her home or a warning to stay away...

From page one you're hooked into the mystery as the fog around Amber's past begins to dissipate and the reader uncovers information at the same time as Amber about the mysteries of her past. I enjoyed AMBER but unfortunately I didn't love it. I felt there was something crucial missing. The pacing chugged along at a steady tempo and kept me interested as the story unfolded but I didn't particularly connect with any of the characters. At times their interaction was strange, it didn't ring true which I suppose should add to the sense of foreboding that one should feel when trying to solve a mystery and figure out who's the good and bad guys but it struck me as more jarring and shallow.

It was interesting to discover who Amber actually is although from the beginning it was fairly obvious but I liked how certain aspects of language and culture particularly the use of music were weaved into the plot and thought it highly original and compelling.

At times the mystery of who Amber is was shunted to one side in favour of a classic boy meets girl scenario.
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