Ketchup Clouds, by Annabel Pitcher

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Ketchup Clouds, by Annabel Pitcher

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Romance, Mystery

Rating: 2/5 stars

Publication: November 12, 2013, by Little Brown Books

Format: Hardcover Edition (borrowed)

Goodreads Summary: Zoe has an unconventional pen pal--Mr. Stuart Harris, a Texas Death Row inmate and convicted murderer. But then again, Zoe has an unconventional story to tell. A story about how she fell for two boys, betrayed one of them, and killed the other. 

Hidden away in her backyard shed in the middle of the night with a jam sandwich in one hand and a pen in the other, Zoe gives a voice to her heart and her fears after months of silence. Mr. Harris may never respond to Zoe's letters, but at least somebody will know her story--somebody who knows what it's like to kill a person you love. Only through her unusual confession can Zoe hope to atone for her mistakes that have torn lives apart, and work to put her own life back together again.

Rising literary star Annabel Pitcher pens a captivating second novel, rich with her distinctive balance between humor and heart. Annabel explores the themes of first love, guilt, and grief, introducing a character with a witty voice and true emotional resonance. 


"Stop playing with your food!" Mum signed. "They're clouds," Dot replied. "Clouds aren't red," Soph signed. "They are at sunrise," Dot signed back defiantly. "And it's sunrise on my plate, and the sausage thinks it's lovely."She carved a smile onto the sausage with her knife. "You're making a mess," Mum signed. "A beautiful mess." Dot beamed.

   In books, we never really see families that show a lot of importance and potential. Most families are split apart, unequal and uneven. No one cares for each other and it's all background stuff. Ketchup Clouds absolutely is one of those books with beautiful families, although there are some arguments in between. 

      Alright, they weren't that cheesy, but you get the idea. *smirks*

      Ketchup Clouds was mostly flaws, but it did have its good points that made you smile. The writing, family and characters were great. But, the flaws overtook the greatness of those three things above and turned the book into something really unenjoyable, despite my previous expectations.

       The reason that I chose to read this book was because it was "supposed to be the next John Green book." There has been many positive reviews out there that have stated that this is a work of masterpiece, and is similar to John Green's work of literature. When I hear John Green, I'm in, no doubt about it.

        So this was about a young teenager named Zoe who's writing to Stuart Harris, a man currently in Death Row who was convicted of murder. Zoe writes to him about her past experiences, flaws, troubles and worries, and she feels that Stuart is the only one in her life right now who is listening to her although he never replies. But one more thing, Zoe has killed someone she loves. 

          My main problem was that the idea wasn't there. I didn't see a point of this book, or the main idea. Sure, Zoe's voice was great and she sent a nice message in the end, but I didn't see a labyrinth in the book. It was like a book inside a book full of boring letters about a girl's difficult life. I don't understand-- why write to a forty year old guy in jail? She had such loving parents and siblings who would've been able to talk to her and help her out, but instead, she chose to write about her murdering a guy to a guy who's murdered someone and is currently in jail.


           ?_? If Zoe read this, she'd be mind-blown right now. Hmmph.

           There really was no concept in this at all, and the plot kind of reflected on that. It was very boring and I didn't feel like there was a lot happening during all of the points in the book. Everything was just simple like bread and butter. The writing style was very vague and simple. It didn't really intrigue me as much as I would've liked it to, but I kept on reading because of my instincts.

             Zoe was an okay character. She had the guts to do something big and to be mature and live a good life while having fun, but she was a little too immature and afraid of being out there. I liked her voice and attitude, though. I liked the rest of the characters as well because they were unique and different. All together they created a great family that you don't see often in books.

              I felt like the romance was very forced and just added some sort of forced thrill. Zoe was just desperate for it and therefore it got me upset because love should just me slow and stunning in a book, not after two people made out because they were completely and heavily drunk. What a way to fall in love. Oh, and did I mention the stupid (but hot) idiot takes a photo of you in your bra and underwear and it ends up posted all over the school? Ew.

               Overall, I'm really disappointed with this book. I know that it could've gotten somewhere better, but I guess the author chose it not to become like that. It had its positives, but the flaws really took over.


  1. Dude I love that books are starting to put more families in their stories. Even if it's an uneven and broken family I love it regardless. I like that this one is more a happy family unit though bc those DO still exist and it's refreshing to see in a book. Too bad it wasn't overall better though it sounds like Zoe would frustrate me at times, and the no-point plots are not my favorites, usually. And the romance O_O Bleh. Great review, Michelle!!

    1. Absolutely. This author didn't make the lifestyle seem fictional at all, and that was another positive. :) Thanks! ^_^


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