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Ketchup Clouds Hardcover – 27 Dec 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 206 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Orion Children's Books (27 Dec. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780620306
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780620305
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 2.8 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (206 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 127,341 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

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)

Book Description

Secrets, romance, murder and lies: Zoe shares a terrible secret in letters to a stranger on death row in this second novel from the author of the bestselling debut, MY SISTER LIVES ON THE MANTELPIECE.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book because it had won or been nominated for various awards and so I thought it was going to be something special. However I found that I didn't warm to any of the characters and didn't really care what happened to any of them, especially not the character who died. All of the outpourings of guilt and build up to what was essentially a stupid drunken accident did not make for an interesting ending and I was left feeling pretty depressed and deflated by the end. I also did not like the narrative style and the flippant way that some of the issues were treated, and I definitely didn't feel that there was much a romance between any of the characters. Maybe I feel this way because one of my friends died when I was the same age as the characters in this book and I remember it vividly, with a lot more emotion.
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Format: Hardcover
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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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What an amazing book. It's 4.19am and I've been reading since 9pm. Couldn't put it down. Truly wonderful and sad.
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By mememe on 9 Oct. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.....I'm not a young adult _-that's who this book is marketed for- but I actually loved it.

It's quite dark and a bit confusing in parts as the story isn't straight forward.

It deals with a boy taking photos on his phone of a girl (15?ish age) And sending it to his friends....which could've been handeled well to show girls why they shouldn't do this. (Do you realise at 15 that those photos will be there when you're 40&job hunting...!)

But it wasn't a good plot line, the girl forgave him and the photos weren't mentioned. And although the photos were sent everywhere, the girls strict parents didn't find out

So...it made me NOT give this book to my teenager. I'd bought it to read to check it was ok for her.
But the subjects were a little too old for her (she's 13) & after reading the photo storyline, I didn't want her reading it.

So would I recommend...yes.

It's good but I'd say only if you're a mature teenager or adult.
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Format: Paperback
I was a bit doubtful about reading this novel - the idea of a teenager writing to a prisoner on death row to confess her own guilty secret sounded as though it could be sensationalist, but Annabel Pitcher handles it well, sensitively balancing the darker themes with the more normal and often humorous elements of an otherwise normal teenager's life - school, homework, family drama, sneaking out to parties with her best friend and falling in love for the first time. I liked the background threads of her parents' arguments about money, her ill grandfather, and her youngest sister, Dot, being deaf - these all added in to the chaos of family life and made Zoe feel grounded as a character.

The epistolatory form works well, as Zoe (not her real name) writes to Mr Harris and narrates two stories, both what is happening to her currently, one year on, and the year leading up to her crime. I did cringe slightly when she was overfamiliar with him, imagining how he felt when he murdered his wife and commenting on the personal details of his case, but perhaps she is just a teenager with an active imagination (despite her mother's wishes for her to be a lawyer, she wants to be a writer) and a lack of tact. Indeed, Zoe isn't a wholly sympathetic character, which I liked - she seems like a real, normal, sometimes selfish teenager.

The past thread mainly concerns Zoe meeting two separate boys at a party and the situation she finds herself in about choosing between them.
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