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Black Heart Blue [Kindle Edition]

Louisa Reid
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £6.99
Kindle Price: £4.70 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

'They tried to make me go to my sister's funeral today. In the end I'd had to give in ... I'd been walking in her shadow for sixteen years and I liked its cool darkness. It was a good place to hide.'

How would you feel if your twin sister died suddenly? Particularly if she was the beautiful one and you were horribly disfigured.

And how would it feel to be alone now if you and your sister were the only ones to know the truth about what takes place behind closed doors at home?

And what would you do if it was your parents who brought danger and terror into your life? Would you dare reveal how your sister died?

And would you be brave enough to find an escape of your own?

Black Heart Blue is a powerful novel about the domestic horrors that can unfold within a small community - and one girl's quest to stand up for the truth.

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Product Description


Some books stay with you long after you've finished them and Reid's debut is one of them. It is a moving, gripping story (The Sun )

Emotive, sometimes shocking story (The Sunday Times )

Yes, yes, yes! God, this sounds absolutely wonderful (Bidisha, The Guardian )

Stunning, shocking, sad and incredibly touching. We are pretty sure you will read it in one sitting then want to share the book with someone else (LoveReading )

We read this in one sitting. ***** (Teen Now )

About the Author

Louisa Reid is 35 years old, married with two young daughters and currently teaches English in a girls' school in Cambridge. She is originally from Cheshire, studied English at Oxford and has lived in London and Zurich. Her pupils are definitely not the inspiration for her characters in her novels but witnessing their passion for great fiction inspired her to write for young adults.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 411 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (10 May 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718158784
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718158781
  • ASIN: B007L01E3O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #82,841 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Black Heart Blue 20 April 2012
By Vicki @ Cosy Books VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I knew very little about this book when I started it, mainly attracted by the story of twin sisters ripped apart. I certainly wasn't prepared for the dark, emotional and heartrendingly sad story inside.

Written in alternating chapters of before and after from each sister, Louise Reid blends a tense tale of abuse and religious extremism with courage and hope. I felt we really got to know both sisters, who were scarily believable and uncliched (as characters in books covering similar stories can often be)

I was gripped to this book right from the beginning and read it in just two sittings. It all consuming and I couldn't stop thinking about it for a long time after. With some very dark themes and scenes of violence, it's not the very fainthearted, but despite it's themes there's an over arching feeling of hope throughout. Highly recommended by me.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful read 26 April 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a book full of conflicting emotions. Or rather it raised conflicting emotions in me. At one moment I was sad enough to bring tears to my eyes, the next I was so angry that I started to shake. This is a very powerful book, and brings to the front things that are usually just glossed over in my day to day existence. Other people's misfortune, bad luck or ill treatment is something that I would listen to or read about, but unless that person was in my immediate circle of acquaintances then I would probably just ignore them. This book brings the characters and their struggles right home and puts it in your face. Well written and fast enough paced to make it easy to read, this was a thought provoking and intelligent book that I will probably read again.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A dark book, but one with heart 27 Mar. 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
BLACK HEART BLUE is a dark book, absolutely bursting with menace. It tells the story of twin teenage girls, Rebecca and Heph (this is a shortened version of her name, as I cannot remember how to spell it). Heph is the beautiful one, Rebecca is disfigured due to suffering from Treacher Collins syndrome. Living in a small village with their mother and father, who is a vicar, their world is one of terror and pain. At the very beginning of the story, we are told that one of the girls is dead. The book is narrated by both girls - Rebecca's chapters deal with events following her sister's death, whilst Heph's chapters deal with events leading upto her death. So, through both of their eyes, we as the reader are able to see what it was like growing up at the Vicarage with their very disturbed parents.

That is all of the story that I will give away. Suffice to say that this book is incredibly dark. As we learn more and more about what they have lived through, there are certainly times when it is hard to read on. Although there were times when I found myself thinking, "surely someone would have noticed", I had to remind myself that unfortunately things like this do happen in people's homes, behind closed doors. I think that is what makes it so heartbreaking.

I would recommend this book to others. Despite it being dark, there is also light there too. The love that the girls share is uplifting, and their determination to stand up against the treatment that they face is also heartening. A good, fairly quick read which should also touch your heart.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Horrifying story beautifully written 26 April 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Black Heart Blue is the story of two sisters, Hephzi and Rebecca. Hephzi is dead. The circumstances surrounding her death are known to no one outside the vicarage. Black Heart Blue carefully unfolds a catalogue of horrors leading up to and away from Hephzi's death. At the heart of the story is Rebecca, the surviving twin and the only person who knows the truth.

I don't read emotionally-challenging books if I can help it. Within five pages, I was miserable and hopeless. How was it going to get better? Here's what: it didn't. It did not get better. But it is beautifully written, almost faultless in its prose, its timing, its sense, the 'lovely grotesque'. It was bang on. Louisa Reid is an English teacher who can WRITE. Think about the story for a moment: vicar and his wife, abused's not exactly new news, is it? It's almost tabloid. But the way Reid tells it is powerful and moving - it was too much and too horrifying for tears.

There were times I was forced to face my own discomfort with, for instance, the hypocrisy of a man of the cloth, or the complicity of the mother. As a person with a completely opposite experience of those things, it was very difficult to accept that they were happening, even in a fictional context. This is what I mean about how the book works: it hits you at an emotional level, to parallel your experience as a reader. As a reader, will you be like the other people in the village, credulous and duped? Are you, too, awed by the cloth and convinced by the false piety? Are you wrong to think the mother deserves a shred of mercy?

The back-crossing narrative is a powerful way to tell the story. Hephzi is dead. We know this before anything else.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars black heart blue 10 April 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Black Heart Blue is a touching book which I really enjoyed because it is unusual and both sad and heartwarming at the same time.

I really enjoyed the way this story was told. It it told it split narrative for the majority of the book switching between the twins. One looks backs of the events the story is set around while the other is present tense. As a reader you are therefore trying to make sense and fill in the gaps between the two narratives which is something I really liked about it.

The best thing about this book is following the story of the twins as they go out into the real world after living like prisoners with a father who treats them like animals and hides them away from the world and tells him it's because they are evil. I like seeing how the girls interacted with the world in their own different ways and found myself wanting to go and take them away from everything they went through.

The story goes along nicely as you start to find out more and more about what has been going on behind those closed doors that the girls have been hidden behind all their lives the more you feel for them. Towards the last third is when everything starts to come out fully and the revelations pack a real emotional punch.

While the book is very sad I did enoy that it was uplifting too and had some nice things to say about human nature. I particularly loved the character Danny who Rebecca meets part way through the book. I loved the role he ends up playing and seeing how pivotal he and his family were to changing things for Rebecca for the better.

All in all a book I enjoyed which really made me think.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I absolutely love this book
I absolutely love this book, this is fine for an 11 year old (myself). I very much so reccomend it so get reading!
Published 24 days ago by Michael Scott
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant.
This is excellent. Heart rending, painful, sometimes emotionally draining and terrible at times, but excellent. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Alison Towers
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark, but very uplifting
This book is particularly dark and at times is hard to read. It tells the story of twins Rebecca and Hephzi – Hephzi is beautiful but her sister is severely disfigured due to an... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Aremess
5.0 out of 5 stars I don't think you will be disappointed.
The best book I have read in a while!

Engaging and well written, it really was a treat to read. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Free Spirit
5.0 out of 5 stars A moving story, well-written.
Such a moving story, it's aimed at the YA market, but I've found that lots of books in this genre are well-written and worth a read, and this is one of those. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Chocolate Drop
4.0 out of 5 stars Unsettling book, for older teens
I was originally going to read this book with my 10 year old, assuming that like "Wonder" by RJ Palacio, it was about prejudices, people who are different and... Read more
Published 8 months ago by I. Horswell
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a comfortable read but well worth it
This is not a comfortable read, by any description. The story is told by both twins, Hephzi telling the events leading up to her death and Rebecca telling what happens afterwards,... Read more
Published 9 months ago by L. White
4.0 out of 5 stars Raw and intensely readable story
Although this is technically a book for Young Adults it's fascinating and absorbing for adults too, and very readable. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Littlepig Littlepig
3.0 out of 5 stars another of my sisters recommendations
Book not to bad, easy story to follow but it was my sisters choice and her books seem to be all the same.Guessed the ending and was glad to finish it.
Published 9 months ago by Shield Shirlx
5.0 out of 5 stars Broke my Heart.
Loved loved loved this book. The twins' story broke my heart. Could not put it down, great read.
Published 10 months ago by curator
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