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Six Pounds Eight Ounces Paperback – 7 Apr 2014


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Product details

  • Paperback: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Seren (7 April 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781721408
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781721407
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 2.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 361,930 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"Funny and derisive, tender and magical, this is a fascinating novel of glitter and grit about a girl growing up troubled: Rhian Elizabeth channels the voice of Hannah King, who loves words and keeps all her thoughts and feelings inside, pushing everything down and fearing an explosion. Her first best friend is a notebook, a safe outlet for all the things she can't say out loud: still, to read her story is to be rocked by shockwaves. Be prepared for the flaying of innocence layer by layer as Hannah and her childhood friend, Jess, grow up to become a couple of lost girls, burying their dreams and talents before someone else takes them away. Hannah's unflinching and often hilarious observations, absorbing Jess's voice and story into her own, hide the hardest truths until the end. Yet there's a feeling that you should never give up hope, as Hannah carries her notebooks and her memories with her into the world. Keep the faith that one day she'll write again and that for her, as for the author, Talent Will Out." - Maria Donovan

About the Author

Rhian Elizabeth was born in 1988 and currently lives in South Wales. Six Pounds Eight Ounces is her first novel and she will definitely write some more.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sheenagh Pugh VINE VOICE on 16 April 2014
Format: Paperback
"If the teachers liked teaching once, they definitely don’t any more. […] They trip up, we laugh. They cry, and it’s even funnier. […] We make fun of their twitches and the way they speak, that’s if we let them speak at all. […] Because this is war. […] Although when I say we, I don’t actually mean me and Jess. We always wear the right uniform and do our ties up properly. We bring our homework in on time and only ever talk in class with a teacher we’re not afraid of."

The way this passage subverts and undermines its original premise is typical of Rhian Elizabeth’s debut novel. Hannah, its narrator and protagonist, announces herself from the start as an unreliable narrator: a potential author of fiction, indeed. Having done so, she then proceeds to speak, for the most part, very openly and honestly, so you forget for long stretches that, apart from being a child, she also sees herself as a writer who embroiders and riffs on reality. She pulls this trick several times in the narrative, recounting something as if it had actually happened, before making it clear that this was in fact only one of several possible outcomes and not the one that actually came to pass.

“The truth”, whatever that may be, is a key theme of the novel; most of Hannah’s problems with adults are caused by their elastic definition of truth. They cannot tell childish fantasies from lies, yet themselves distort or ignore the truth when it does not suit them, like the grandmother evading a question about someone’s terminal illness by pretending her hearing aid is on the blink.

Hannah’s first-person narrative begins when she is aged five and ends when she is sixteen.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Josine Jansen on 12 May 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I started reading this book not knowing exactly what to expect, but one page in I was hooked!

Describing the story wont really do it justice, because it's so much more than just a story. I was really impressed by the use of language to give a kind of distance to the things that are described. Hannah doesnt seem to 'fit in' with her surroundings and uses HER words and HER notebook as an outlet. What we see is what other people say or do and her perspective and her understanding of it. This results in a blend of thoughts, conversation and interpretation.

The protagonist Hannah describes the whole story in the first person. Shes an irreliable narrator, and sometimes comes back on things and changes the story halfway through. She doesnt understand why people react on her the way they do and seems to have trouble expressing herself towards others. The friendship she develops with Jess is special precisely because of that, The connection between these two girls and the 'own world' they create and at the same time the way Hannah looks at the relationships between Jess and other people gives a tension to the whole book, where seemingly ordinary teenage things become extraordinary.

All in all it made me think and reflect on how people interact and how perceptions and reality are often very wide apart, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it has a very own 'voice' and feel to it and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good novel every now and then.
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Format: Paperback
An amazing debut novel by a talented author. Being a 'Valley' girl myself I could totally relate to the characters, places and themes that run throughout the book. It was hard hitting in places, especially the final pages, with many issues being dealt with and the wanting to shout at the characters to return home because even though they may not have felt love but they would have been safe. Rhian Elizabeth has done well to make the reader know the characters without revealing too much about them. We all know a Hannah King, Jess Matthews, Billy or Marley.....that's what makes the book so poignant. Well done Rhian Elizabeth, I'm really looking forward to your next novel regardless of the what it may be about. A promising future indeed!
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This will especially strike a chord with people from South Wales and the Valleys region, but the experience of growing up in a place where the overwhelming atmosphere is downbeat and apathetic, and where expectations and prospects are low and children are raised accordingly, will undoubtedly speak to millions more. The protagonist - young would-be author Hannah King - is never unsympathetic even at her most selfish and manipulative (Indeed, she often makes the case for why honesty is an untenable virtue - when surrounded by hypocrites, being a good liar is a far more useful survival skill), though it is also easy enough to sympathise with the adults of the story: people who have long since let their own dreams go to waste and know that they cut poor role models for their children (who, indeed, more often ignore and deride them), but who still genuinely love them and who, ironically, they would benefit from listening to. This is particularly the case in the final sequence of the novel, which is a very harrowing and sinister account of Hannah and her friend Jess' experience after leaving home. The climax, however, whilst not exactly the stuff of Disney fairytales, has a satisfying justice and humour to it while remaining true to the sceptical outlook of the novel as a whole, and while no easy answers are presented, Hannah's ultimate fate leaves room for hope, albeit in the creative individual rather than in a society that never looked more broken ... Hard-hitting and suspenseful yet true to life, this novel is thoroughly recommended.
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