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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
7


on 12 August 2013
This is Laura Jarratt's second novel and I love it. Laura has a gift for seeing into the teenage mind, especially that of someone in trouble, and Holly is definitely in trouble.

Caught up in the witness protection program it's obvious from the outset that Holly is in danger and that danger encompasses her younger sister and parents. But to a sixteen year old girl that danger is as nothing to the loss of her friends and her place in the world. She doesn't know who she is or even what she wants to be.

As she struggles to assert herself in her new surroundings she makes a lot of mistakes, but what she is running from is never far from her mind and that drives her into strange places.
The joy of this novel is the way Jarratt builds up the suspense to the inevitable conclusion and how she draws us in to Holly's world and her danger. Well worth reading and we can only hope that her third novel is not far away.
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on 15 May 2014
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I read Laura Jarratt's first book Skin Deep, instantly fell in love with it and bought this the next day. I wasn't so sure if it would live up to Skin Deep's standards but about half way through I started to think this was even better. These two books are my favourite books at the moment, short, young love stories but with just enough action and mystery to keep you reading. Amazing!
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on 2 February 2015
Great item, would recommend seller
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on 8 December 2014
Wow that was a wonderful story, it made me cry, feel scared and kept me wanting to read more. Could not put it down.
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on 30 April 2013
Although I'm way beyond the target age group for this book, I was drawn into it from the very first paragraph and stayed up well into the night to finish it because I couldn't put it down.
A pity, perhaps, that it has been classed as children's or young adult fiction, as it has a further-reaching audience in my opinion.
It is beautifully written, and beautifully observed. This author has a real insight into her characters and I believed in them - and the storyline - from the outset.
It would be inconceivable to most of us to have to totally change everything about our lives, even our names, and
Laura Jarratt takes us through how it affects 'Holly,' and her subsequent growth in personal awareness - and her awareness of others. But that makes it sound boring and worthy, rather than the fascinating and exciting book it is!
The relationship with her little sister is integral to the plot, and so well written. The relationship which builds with Joe too is convincing, and also the problems she has at school - we have all known people like Camilla!
The way that the Author gradually reveals what has led to the family's current situation is skilfully done to increase the tension, and final understanding of what has happened. Sadly, it is totally believable. I really enjoyed the sub-plot of Joe's brother Matt coming to terms with his injuries from service in Afghanistan, and actually being helped by the events at the end, too.
My one regret is that I downloaded this book onto Kindle and can't immediately pass it on to a friend to read so we can discuss it! I'm looking forward to reading her earlier book now.
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on 12 May 2013
This is the second book by Laura Jarratt and like her first title 'Skin Deep', explores different territory to many other contemporary young-adult novels currently on the market. The main theme is about making sense of who you are as a person and developing your own identity, rather than being labelled by everyone else around you. The main character Holly struggles to do exactly this, when her family is entered into the witness protection programme and she has to leave everything familiar behind. Starting over is difficult and it was interesting reading to see how Holly coped with establishing herself in a new town and having to make new friends.

The secret of why Holly's family are in witness protection is hinted at throughout the book but the big reveal doesn't come until near the end. I didn't guess the real reason why and so found the truth when it was gradually unveiled, quite shocking. It made me go back and think again about many things that had happened in the story and gave me even more admiration for Holly.

Laura Jarratt writes complex and layered characters. There is often more to them than first meets the eye. Holly's new friend Joe is an example of this - someone with a lot of layers whose outward appearance doesn't tell you everything you need to know about him. Her younger sister Katie is another. Katie is autistic and I think actually the first character with autism that I've seen in a young-adult book. I liked the bond between the two sisters and the way that Holly is so protective towards her.

Although I didn't enjoy 'By Any Other Name' quite as much as 'Skin Deep' which I was literally head over heels for, it was still a thought-provoking and excellent read, which was well-written and proves once again what a brilliant writer Laura Jarratt is.
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on 13 April 2013
I really loved By Any Other Name by Laura Jarratt. I had high expectations for it after reading Laura's Jarratt previous (and also standalone) book last year, Skin Deep. I love especially how both books deal with identity in different ways. Jarratt is quickly becoming one of my favourite authors due to her wonderful characters, interesting stories and beautiful way of writing. I eagerly await any future books by the same author!

I haven't read many books involving witness protection, but I really love the issues that go along with such a premise. There's a tension that arises from keeping something important secret, shutting off the life you led before and the person you once were. Such is the case for 15 year old Holly who had to choose her own name out of a baby book after witnessing a terrible event and being placed in witness protection. There are frequent flashbacks throughout the story that begin to build a clearer picture of what Holly went through and who exactly she is hiding from.

By Any Other Name is Holly's story as her and her family move away and start again in another town, in another school. Holly really struggles with who she is in so many different respects. I love how Laura Jarratt plays with identity in this book. Is a person who she is because of her name? Her personality traits? Can she become somebody else by making different choices and taking on different roles? It was interesting seeing how Holly views herself differently because of what other people think of her and her family's circumstances. Other characters show Holly different elements of identity - from a soldier's sense of masculinity being threatened by injuries but also how friendships and family connections are important and shape the choices we make in creating our own identities.

Holly's little sister was a wonderful addition to the story. I loved seeing how the behaviour that comes along with her autism is seen by other people. Snap judgements being made before someone knows the whole story. These sort of judgements based on assumptions played a big part in Holly's relationship with Emo Boy and I thought it was lovely to see the two of them progress from hatred and mistrust into friendship and a bit more...

And while I absolutely loved and wanted to soak up all of these different aspects of identity, a topic that I love reading about, By Any Other Name also ramps into a really tense thriller as everything that Holly and her family have fled from creep back into their lives in a very dangerous way. While the beginning of the book is a bit slower in pace with it's character-driven storyline, the last third of the book nearly took my breath away with all the action and danger. By Any Other Name is a story that really grabbed me and kept me flying through the pages right from the beginning! I highly recommend that you pick up this book.
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