Snake Ropes by Jess Richards is original, inventive and beautifully written with many layers of meaning. It's a story of an island, a world just off the edge of what we know: Two girls on the search, two families and their hidden skeletons. Their worlds collide. It's a story of loss and discovery, of secrets and revelations, of tension and resolution. Mary's brother Barney has gone missing and she searches for him while Morgan escapes the prison of her home on the island. Both girls are very different, one sheltered to the extreme, the other used to fending for herself. But both have suffered abuse, psychological and physical and it's all been hidden away. Despite the tensions and trauma within the story there is plenty of humour, lots of warmth. The plot twists and turns with unexpected and thrilling moments. The writing is rich, emotional, at times painful, funny, sad, believable and brave. It is easy to visualise and has great potential as a film but what also makes it brilliant is the sheer quality of the writing. Every sentence is a joy to read. Jess Richards is a writer I expect to be one of the greats. I am recommending this book to everyone I know and can't wait for her next one.