- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Orion Children's Books (1 July 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1780620314
- ISBN-13: 978-1780620312
- Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 7.1 x 19.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (199 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 47,315 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Ketchup Clouds Paperback – 1 Jul 2013
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More About the Author
Her first book, My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece, won the Branford Boase and a Betty Trask Award in 2012 and Ketchup Clouds won the 2014 Waterstones Children's Prize. Annabel's work has been shortlisted for numerous prestigious awards including the Dylan Thomas Prize, the Galaxy British Book Award and the Red House Children's Book Award and longlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and the 2012 CILIP Carnegie Medal.
Visit Annabel's website at www.annabelpitcher.com and follow her on Twitter @APitcherAuthor.
In Ketchup Clouds Annabel Pitcher perfectly captures a teenage voice harbouring a guilty and devastating secret as Zoe writes letters to a death row prisoner and slowly reveals the sequence of events that led up to the terrible act she believes she has committed. The letters offer an honest, moving and at times humourous insight into Zoe's life, including her family, first love and friendships, ensuring this book will have wide appeal. (Vanessa Lewis, The Book Nook THE BOOKSELLER)
Award-winning author Annabel Pitcher's new teen novel is a taut and dramatic adventure with a deep yearning at its heart. Ketchup Clouds vividly captures the terrifying roller coaster of emotion that envelopes Zoe when she gets caught in a tragic love triangle between two brothers. Zoe's heart races for the mysterious Aaron but, despite his seeming keenness, he already has a girlfiend. And then there is younger brother Max, unattached and very keen on Zoe. How can Zoe manage her own feelings without hurting the boys especially when she's also coping with puzzling dramas at home? (Julia Eccleshare LOVEREADING)
A wonderful, romantic and sad story told through a series of letters written by a fifteen-year-old girl to a man on death row. It's heartstoppingly gorgeous and we'd recommend it to anyone. (Jill Murphy The Book Bag)
An endearing love story, a painful account of guilt and loss, and a chilling show of the consequences of our actions this book is a worthwhile and thought provoking read. (Jenny Duffy LOVEREADING)
Ketchup Clouds was a wonderful insight into a guilty heart. The book was fantastic and the writing was flawless, what more could you ask? (Delilah Acworth LOVEREADING)
Wow. Ketchup Clouds is without question one of the best books I have ever read. This is one of those books that you start to read, and three hours later look up from and realize the whole world looks different (Harriet Cunningham LOVEREADING)
This is a suspenseful mystery and a moving tale of first love, handled with humour. (Nicolette Jones THE SUNDAY TIMES)
Any teenager doing an anxious post-mortem on a Christmas party can take comfort from Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher, an honest portrayal of emerging sexuality and the excitement, embarrassment and power games it generates, set in the context of the cost of secrecy and betrayal. (THE OBSERVER)
Award-winning author Annabel Pitcher's new teen novel is a taut and dramatic adventure with a deep yearning at its heart. Ketchup Clouds vividly captures the terrifying roller coaster of emotion that envelopes Zoe when she gets caught in a tragic love triangle between two brothers. Zoe's heart races for the mysterious Aaron but, despite his seeming keenness, he already has a girlfriend. And then there is younger brother Max, unattached and very keen on Zoe. How can Zoe manage her own feelings without hurting the boys especially when she's also coping with puzzling dramas at home? (Julia Eccleshare LOVEREADING)
Ketchup Clouds is smart, funny, moving, suspensful and psychologically astute. (Adi Bloom TES)
Ketchup Clouds is risky, confident, compelling and ends... with hope for redemption and self-forgiveness. (Mal Peet The Guardian)
Pitcher's award-winning first novel, My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece, had guilt at its core. This superb follow-up also explores guilt and responsibility but with such a pitch perfect tone that the innocence of adolescence, the violence of murder and an undercurrent of black humour sit happily side by side. This is a vivid and rewarding portrait of passion and betrayal, captured in authentic teenage tones. (Sally Morris Daily Mail)
Blending powerful emotion and darkness with ironic humour, it is a gripping and moving story about secrets, lies and growing up. Sometimes uncomfortable, sometimes wistful, often funny and always compassionate, this is a beautifully-crafted and unexpected coming-of-age story that will win readers' hearts. (Booktrust)
A gripping, must-read book for 2013 (Bella)
Annabel Pitcher creates a moving and compassionate story, capturing Zoe's loss of innocence beautifully as well as her journey of heartache and desire. Ketchup Clouds is edgy and poised. With twists and turns, its hard to put down and makes the perfect follow up to Pitcher's sensational debut. (Cosmopolitan)
A wonderful, romantic and sad story told through a series of letters written by a fifteen-year-old girl to a man on death row. It's heart-stoppingly gorgeous and we'd recommend it to anyone. (The Bookbag)
It's utterly refreshing to see a YA writer be so honest about everyday life and not look away when times are dark. I suppose the beauty of her work is in her honesty, but also in her humour. (Dog Ear Discs)
Pitcher's tale of troubled family life is deftly done... A moving and ultimately highly compassionate tale. To be human is to err, after all. (Martin Chilton The Telegraph)
a memorable and compelling novel to devour in one, weepy, sitting. (Laura Fraine Books for Keeps)
Clever, warm and poignant, this book is the perfect way to begin your new year's resolutions to fill those bookshelves! (Claire Frost Fabulous Mag)
...poignant, funny and utterly beguiling. The author's writing style is as appealing and offbeat as the book's title. (CHOICE MAGAZINE)
Powerful and utterly original... (Natasha Harding THE SUN) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Secrets, romance, murder and lies: Zoe shares a terrible secret in a letter to a stranger on death row in this prize-winning second novel from the bestselling author of the debut, MY SISTER LIVES ON THE MANTELPIECE.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Opening one of Annabel's books is like opening a long awaited Christmas confectionery box, that you know you should eat all at once but temptation gets the better of you and you don't stop until you have scoffed the lot. If you haven't guessed from that, I read the whole book in one sitting, refusing to do anything else.
If that doesn't make you curious to read it, then the following reasons should have you hurdling the Kindle book sales to get hold of a copy of this.
1) It is an epistolary novel written in the form of letters dated over the period of a year. That alone, should make many people want to read it.
2) The narrator is a fifteen year old girl who is writing anonymous letters to a convict on Death Row in America. She is purging her soul in order to come to terms with the guilt she feels for taking a life.
3) The love triangle is beautiful yet poignant and the author keeps you on your toes all the way through the book. It wasn't until the last couple of chapters that I could finally work out what would happen.
Annabel Pitcher books should definitely now come with a warning as this is the second time she has made me cry. I invested all my emotions into this story, willing it to have a happy ending. I loved the way Zoe thought her crimes were bad enough that the only person who might understand would be a murderer on Death Row. She really had sunk to her lowest point in life. I constantly wanted to hug her as she confessed her sins to a complete stranger.
The book contains excellent sub plots which explore the theme of guilt, which plays a major factor in the main plot.
The characters are so realistic and believable; the author has really captured the teenage voice.Read more ›
Good, easy read for a teenager and young adult.
Zoe is 15 and starting her GCSE year at school, yet at home she sometimes appears to be a little old to be doing some of the things she does (i.e.pretending to smoke a pen, p.53.) However like many teenagers, she's got perceived worries, developing relationships, emotions and parents to deal with and home is where she can be comfortable. So, whilst appearing a 'young' 15 in some aspects, that's no bad thing...15 IS still young. I found her easy to identify with: Trying to persuade her parents to allow her to a house party, her thoughts, ideas, and love for her younger deaf sister.
I caught myself smiling a few times at the humour: such as Zoe worrying about the possibility of her parents divorcing and her mum inevitably putting on "three stone and lying on the sofa in pyjamas watching documentaries about women who used to be men." I could SO imagine her waving, without thinking, at the 'green man' at the traffic lights (because that's what she normally did to amuse Dot) pretending he was "...an actual person, with an actual job..." but this time forgetting she was with a boy she was trying to 'appear cool' with ;-) Although she makes some mistakes I like her. She ponders the kind of things that I ponder and uses her imagination a lot.
Without repeating the gist of the story (because the blurb really tells you all you need to know) I found it to be suspenseful throughout, with the reader knowing from the start that someone dies and Zoe believes it to be her fault, but not knowing who or why. Clues to this are steadily leaked to narrow it down as the letters develop. For this reason I think it's a shame that one or two of the other reviews have given away a little of that suspense.
As the book progresses, Zoe's writing style in her letters to the Death Row prisoner changes and she let's us in on more and more of her story until the inevitable, poignant conclusion...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
For a reluctant reader teenage boy. He really enjoyed it and has been encouraged to continue reading.Published 1 month ago by Gabi M
I enjoyed the theme of this book, kept me guessing all along. The characters were well described and I could empathise with all of them. Read morePublished 1 month ago by jess
I love this book because the more I read it the more I get sucked into it and want to read more. This is one of my favourite books. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
This is a really good solid story, but should be ready by mature individuals. It is not as deep or touching or generally as good as my sister lives on the mantlepiece but worth the... Read morePublished 1 month ago by henry nurse
I saw this in a book shop but didn't want to pay the rrp.....So got it second hand on here
So...the story..... Read more
i really did not expect this book to be as good as it was. i often struggle to get into books but i was totally hooked on this. Read morePublished 5 months ago by chelsea