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Close Your Pretty Eyes Paperback – 7 Nov 2013

4.8 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Marion Lloyd Books; 1 edition (7 Nov. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1407124323
  • ISBN-13: 978-1407124322
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.8 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 136,402 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I idly read the first couple of pages of this... and the next thing I knew I'd read the whole book in one sitting, because it was SO engrossing.

Eleven-year-old Olivia has been in care since the age of five, after being taken away from her violent mother, and it's left her a miserable ball of rage. But now she's being fostered by a kind new family - can they make it work?

Within a few pages, my heart was already breaking for Olivia. She's been through so much, and is so scared all the time she doesn't know how to react to things and it comes out as fury and tantrums. But despite what she thinks of herself, and how she acts sometimes, she's not a bad kid. I honestly think Olivia might be the most three-dimensional main character I've EVER read, she comes alive so well, and although she's wise beyond her years about many things, she's also very much still a kid. The ghost story entwined with the main plot is seriously creepy at times too. I'm not one for dark books usually, but none of the violence (often in brief flashback) is spelled out graphically, and there's a great deal of warmth in the book too. The writing is also brilliant, and I cared so much about Olivia I was completely gripped by the story. Highly, highly recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Sally Nicholls has done it again. The darkness underlying the story of damaged Olivia makes this a novel for older teens even though the protagonist at eleven will be much younger than readers. Remember Ways to Live Forever with its middle grade character going through a crisis that demands a level of maturity (and strength) from young adult readers? That. Well, though the word harrowing kept coming to mind as I read Close Your Pretty Eyes, I found myself on the side of its feisty narrator, willing her to survive her demons and discover hope. Olivia is real and unforgettable and this is a story that will not leave your thoughts for a long time.
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Format: Paperback
It only took Sally Nicholls one page for me to love this book, the very first page when Olivia says something went wrong when she was born. She was born evil she believes which is why her mother hated her. These are only a few paragraphs but already I wished I could fix her life.

I read this book in one sitting and I will admit there were tears threatening to escape rather frequently. Now, while I loved Olivia I didn't always like her, at times she's really awful but that makes her so believable. She's angry and pushes people away because if there is one thing she's learned is that no one ever stays. I know what that's like, so to me Olivia was utterly convincing as a character.

Olivia believes she has super powers, which is why she hears the ghost in her new home and nobody else can. She can't sleep because it's not safe. Between Olivia's emotional minefield and the events at the house you really are in for an emotional roller-coaster.

Close Your Pretty Eyes had a good story but it's Olivia that makes this book wonderful.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Amazing book, it's the 2nd one by Sally Nicholls I have read
I have an inkling that she was in care or a foster parent or something, I am sensing a slight theme, like the Jacqueline Wilson for teens!
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Format: Kindle Edition
This book makes gripping reading and has many insights into fostered and adopted children - the way their carers react to their needs and the child's thoughts and feelings that cause sometimes baffling and disturbed behaviour. I see it as essential reading for Foster and Adoptive parents, but I would not give it to a young person to read, especially one who had been in the care system herself. Certainly my adopted grandchild would not be helped by reading it, as the danger is she would likely produce copycat behaviours. Many of the reactions to bad parenting are 100% accurate and ring bells for anyone who knows an adopted or fostered child.
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Format: Paperback
I don't know where to start with this, other than to say I am still in a bit of a hangover from it, a good two weeks since I finished it and several books later. I keep wanting to pick it back up and read on, even though I finished it already. If that isn't a good enough reason for you to go find yourself a copy then I don't know what is!

The characterisation of Olivia, the main character, is incredible. She is not a likeable person and during the course of the book she does some truly horrible things, but despite this you find yourself wishing for the best for her and hoping for a happy ending. She is a complicated character but all her flaws are rooted in the way she was treated in her past by her mother and subsequent foster parents - this all unfolds through the book, cleverly interwoven with the story of current events. You are presented with a lot of history but it never feels like you have been taken out of the story to learn it - it is seamlessly worked through in such a way that you understand Olivia's feelings and actions even if you can't agree with them.

I particularly loved the fact that Nicholls chose to use a real person from history as the ghost - the research she had clearly done meant that the danger Olivia felt in the presence of the baby farmer's spirit was alarmingly real. Even though you were never quite sure if the hauntings were truly happening or if they were merely the workings of a frightened and damaged child's over-active imagination.

It is this uncertainty that makes the book so chilling - the ghost story about murdered babies is creepy but Olivia's story of trauma, abuse, mistrust and fear is even more horrifying. And completely believable.
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