February 20, 2014

Review: Ketchup Clouds by: Annabel Pitcher

Ketchup Clouds by: Annabel Pitcher Dec. 2013)
251 pages
Genre: YA/Contemporary
Publisher: Orion
Source: The Library
Goodreads Summary: Secrets, romance, murder and lies: Zoe shares a terrible secret in a letter to a
stranger on death row in this second novel from the author of the bestselling debut, My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece.

Fifteen-year-old Zoe has a secret—a dark and terrible secret that she can't confess to anyone she knows. But then one day she hears of a criminal, Stuart Harris, locked up on death row in Texas. Like Zoe, Stuart is no stranger to secrets. Or lies. Or murder.

Full of heartache yet humour, Zoe tells her story in the only way she can—in letters to the man in prison in America. Armed with a pen, Zoe takes a deep breath, eats a jam sandwich, and begins her tale of love and betrayal.

My Review

This is not a cute story about a teen romance. This is a story about a girl who didn’t always make good choices and is living a lie, it is actually a pretty dark story. On the other hand, Ketchup Clouds does a good job at getting you to think about how you forgive yourself and others, and the importance of living life the best that you can, so it's also a darn good story.

I loved that Zoe’s story, past and present, is told through the letters she is writing to a person in prison who is on death row, someone who she feels a connection with. Zoe is matter of fact in her letters, harsh on the world and herself, but each letter is usually also filled with some much needed humor. The mystery in Ketchup Clouds of who has died and how Zoe is involved may have been a tiny bit obvious, but there were still some good twists that were shocking. I also loved that there are so many secrets going on between so many different people throughout the novel. I'm a huge fan of there being a lot of secrets in my books. One other aspect of Ketchup Clouds that I really found a liking to is Zoe's family, how her little sister is adorable, and how family is just as prominent in this story as Zoe’s love interests. Now I know I just said interests, plural, there is a love triangle of sorts, which is one of the reasons Zoe can come off as naive and kind of dumb at times, but I promise that it didn't keep me from really enjoying this book.

Wow, sorry for that jumbled mess of the above paragraph, I'm having trouble organizing my thoughts on this one. Get in the mood to read a darker young adult novel and emerge yourself in Ketchup Clouds, a unique novel that may not be perfect, but overall is a keeper. 


  1. I will admit to being a little biased at first because the title of this one seems really odd, but it actually sounds fascinating. I don't read a lot of YA contemporary, but I think a darker story might just be a good one for me.

    1. I'm not even sure what the title has to do with anything, I'm not sure I completely figured that out. It was a unique book to say the least.

  2. This is my first time hearing of this but I definitely want to read it after reading your review! Contemporary is probably my second favorite genre and I really like the sound of this one for a darker read. I love that the story is told through letters to someone in prison - so neat! Thanks for the rec! ;)

    1. You are very welcome! I really liked how the whole story was told through letters that the main character was writing to someone in prison. It had the right amount of darkness and humor.


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