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The Year of The Rat [Kindle Edition]

Clare Furniss
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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Book Description

"Beautifully written with a dry sense of humour" The Stylist
"'I cried, I laughed, I cried some more… a moving must-read that'll stay with you long after the last page is turned." Bliss
"The Year of the Rat is already a strong contender for best YA debut of 2014… I never wanted it to end." Wondrous Reads
"This novel will stay with me for a very long time. A must-read." The Mile Long Bookshelf
"An assured debut...Furniss describes Pearl's journey with sensitivity and humour' The Bookseller - editors pick section
I always thought you'd know, somehow, if something terrible was going to happen. I thought you'd sense it, like when the air goes damp and heavy before a storm and you know you'd better hide yourself away somewhere safe until it all blows over.
But it turns out it's not like that at all. There's no scary music playing in the background like in films. No warning signs. Not even a lonely magpie. One for sorrow, Mum used to say. Quick, look for another.
The world can tip at any moment … a fact that fifteen-year-old Pearl is all too aware of when her mum dies after giving birth to her baby sister. Told across the year following her mother's death, Pearl's story is full of bittersweet humour and heartbreaking honesty about how you deal with grief that cuts you to the bone, as she tries not only to come to terms with losing her mum, but also the fact that her sister - The Rat - is a constant reminder of why her mum is no longer around…


Product Description

About the Author

Clare Furniss studied at Cambridge University and worked for several years in political media relations. She now lives in Bath and is completing an MA in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 635 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's UK (24 April 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DX7ISQK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #10,331 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much better than I expected! 9 April 2014
By DaisyDaisy VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I am pleased to say that this book is not chick lit for teens, which I was dreading. As soon as Finn arrived on the scene I groaned and assumed the "handsome boy" was going to make it all better for her, but this is so not the case.

We experience a year in Pearl's life after the death of her mother in childbirth. Pearl is obviously devastated and blames her younger sister. This book is beautifully written in some places, even I nearly shed a tear, which says a lot for the emotive writing by the author.

This book, as a whole, is well rounded, addressing issues that other authors would have glossed over. Pearl has lost her mother and occasionally is a dislikable brat, even if it is for good reason. She does have many redeeming qualities as well as some hard challenges to face.

This is a very engaging read, with a tough subject matter that is handled well. This book makes a welcome change to the dystopian YA novels that are saturating the market at the moment.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Year of the Rat 24 April 2014
By Jenny, Wondrous Reads TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
The Year of the Rat is already a strong contender for best YA debut of 2014: I laughed, I cried and I never wanted it to end. It's beautifully written and very hard to put down, so much so that I stayed up well into the night to finish it. There was no way I was sleeping until I knew what happened!

Sixteen-year-old Pearl's mum died the day she gave birth to her new baby, Rose. There were complications with the pregnancy, and nothing could be done. Pearl is devastated, she hates Rose (The Rat, as she calls her) and feels like she's all alone in the world. Her dad is pre-occupied with the baby, she's distancing herself from her friends and all she wants is for her mum to walk through the front door.

This is a truly heartbreaking story, but one told with humour and hope. Clare Furniss writes as if she's really experienced everything Pearl is thinking and feeling; whether she has or not I don't know, though I hope she hasn't. I laughed out loud more than once while reading certain lines of dialogue, so snappy and sarcastic that I couldn't help it. I don't make a habit of laughing at sad books, but this one almost demands it - Furniss has a brilliant voice, and her knowledge and understanding of teenagers shines through in her writing.

The Year of the Rat is about a lot of things. It's about grief in its many forms: how if affects people, how to deal with it, how to overcome it and find a way to live with it. It's about family and how they'll always be the people we turn to when we need them, and it's about the power of love.

For me, this is an unforgettable novel. It's sad and poignant and will easily reduce you to tears on more than one occasion. Already I've told everyone about it and I can't get it out of my head.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars THE NEED TO LET GO 4 Jun. 2014
By Mr. D. L. Rees TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Narrator Pearl is sixteen and has attitude. One suspects she was probably a handful even before mother Stella died giving birth to premature Rose. Now she is very abrasive, unable to come to terms. Her attitude adds greatly to her father's grief, he heard quietly crying at night.

What will happen when Rose is at long last released from hospital and father is back at work? Will Pearl face up to her responsibilities or forever resent her little sister, continuing to label her "The Rat"?

The circumstances are tragic. Treatment could have been mawkish, but for the most part is not. Much will ring true for readers who have struggled to adjust to heartfelt loss.

Some may feel impact would be greater if Pearl were more likeable. I confess I preferred everybody else in the book: dad; gran; old neighbour Dulcie, her grandson Finn; friend Molly, her boyfriend Ravi; mum's first boyfriend James, who is Pearl's real dad. Several of these have serious problems too, but strive to cope without self-centred wallowing.

Readers may wonder what to make of those visitations from dead Stella. Mystical? Psychological? Or could these and the rest of Pearl's behaviour suggest she has inherited her mother's mental problems? If the latter, it causes the novel to be looked at in a completely new light, it far more significant than first thought.

I cannot claim "The Year of the Rat" was particularly enjoyed, but it certainly provided much to think about.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By I Read, Therefore I Blog VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
When 16-year-old Pearl's mother dies giving birth to Pearl's baby sister Rose, her life goes into a tailspin. Rose was premature so Pearl's step-dad is spending all his time in hospital and his interfering mother (who never got on with Pearl's mother) has moved in to look after her. Although her best friend, Molly, is keen to offer a sympathetic ear, Pearl feels unable to confide in her because she hates the new baby - as far as Pearl's concerned, she's The Rat. But then a miracle happens - somehow her mother comes back ...

Clare Furniss's debut YA novel is a well written, moving tale about grief. Pearl's a well-drawn character who skirts the line between arousing sympathy and being someone you want to strangle with her sometimes bratty behaviour (there's a particularly shocking scene where she's supposed to look after Rose that is horrifying but also rings true emotionally). I particularly enjoyed the scenes with her mum, which is left open to interpretation but nonetheless allows her to learn things about their relationship and herself. The book covers some well-worn YA ground (notably Pearl's absent biological father, which is completely predictable) while the obligatory romance element really doesn't add anything to the story. That said, I thought this was a good debut that was emotionally true and as such I very much look forward to seeing what Furniss writes next.

I completely believed in Pearl as a character throughout this book. Her emotional tailspin, which swings between self-pity, brattishness and genuine loss, is utterly credible and I particularly liked the fact that her grandmother (who is nicely portrayed) is the only person really prepared to call her on it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
Love it. Amazing, heat felt drama that many people can relate to. Loved it so much. A must read book
Published 1 day ago by Grace Liddiard
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read!
Couldn't put it down, amazing heart felt story line. A great read!
Published 3 days ago by Katherine Euston
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A great read for all ages , not just teens
Published 4 days ago by maz shaw
4.0 out of 5 stars complex story of love and loss
I thought that they could have been more intrigue and suspense. I liked how they showed her coming out of her journey through grief over a year . Read more
Published 4 days ago by Jane Grant
5.0 out of 5 stars Profoundly moving
This is a very powerful novel that tells the story of Pearl, a teenage girl whose mother has just died after having Pearl's half sister. Pearl's world absolutely falls apart. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Mrs. K. A. Wheatley
4.0 out of 5 stars She doesn't feel like anything is worth doing any more
The Year Of The Rat tells the tale of Pearl, who has recently lost her mother. She doesn't feel like anything is worth doing any more. Read more
Published 1 month ago by H. Pierce
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
If you have nothing better to do this book is ok but nothing more.
Published 1 month ago by maura zanin
4.0 out of 5 stars For me this book sums up what loss feels like. It looks at the story...
For me this book sums up what loss feels like. It looks at the story of a teenage girl who has just lost her mother and you follow her story as she comes to terms with it in the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kirsty at the Overflowing Library
5.0 out of 5 stars Cried all the way through
It was as though you were Pearl. You know it would turn out to be okay but still feel such a relief when you 'got there' in the end.
Published 1 month ago by ruby
4.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking, rounded, and beautiful
The Year of the Rat has to be one of the most heartbreaking books I have ever read. Not that that is a bad thing. Read more
Published 1 month ago by ELBS
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