Friday, 6 July 2012

Review: My Sister Lives On The Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher

Publication Date: March 2011

Publisher: Orion Childrens books

Source: Local Library 

(Goodreads)   (Book Depository


Ten-year-old Jamie Matthews has just moved to the Lake District with his Dad and his teenage sister, Jasmine for a 'Fresh New Start'. Five years ago his sister's twin, Rose, was blown up by a terrorist bomb. His parents are wrecked by their grief, Jasmine turns to piercing, pink hair and stops eating. The family falls apart. But Jamie hasn't cried in all that time. To him Rose is just a distant memory. Jamie is far more interested in his cat, Roger, his birthday Spiderman T-shirt, and in keeping his new friend Sunya a secret from his dad. And in his deep longing and unshakeable belief that his Mum will come back to the family she walked out on months ago. When he sees a TV advert for a talent show, he feels certain that this will change everything and bring them all back together once and for all.

I liked the characters in this book. Jamie was such an innocent child. The story through his eyes , made the book a lot less complicated than it might have been . He is a loving and kind brother and he is an animal lover. He loved his cat and treated it as family. He was very protective of his older sister and loved being with her. He didn't quite understand the loss of his sister or his dad's behavior , which would be expected as he is so young.
Jasmine's character was realistic. I liked when she could be close to Jamie but sometimes she was cold towards her family. She sometimes stayed out all night with boys and rebelled, but this would also be typical of a teenager experiencing loss.
I felt bad for the dad, he had fallen into a deep depression. His reaction to his daughters death in the 9/11 attacks was understandable but his hatred toward Muslims was very hard to read.
I didn't like Jamie's mum, I felt so bad for him, wearing his spider man top all day everyday , and then in the end she disappointed him 

The plot was a little slow in the beginning and, for me, it only picked up near the end. I liked the plot , I had never read a book like this before, and i found this book intriguing and interesting. It was definitely a thought provoking read. It showed the reader how a victim's family would be dealing with the loss . The 9/11 attacks were a horrible event, that effected many people and it was very sad to read about the family in this book.
This plot was definitely very emotional and powerful.

Annabel Pitchers writing style was very unique. She was very capable at getting into the mindset of the ten-year-old Jamie. She wrote about loss with ease and all the emotions in the book felt very real . The characters were wonderful and realistic. She could write about something as delicate as racism, bullying , 9/11 and death with the mind of a young child but without taking away the serious side of the novel. She created such a unique, thought provoking, heart warming novel, that I will never forget.

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