Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Review: My Sister Lives on the Mantlepiece

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

Author: Annabel Pitcher
Publisher: Indigo
Pages: 236+Jasmine's Memory (this edition)
Source: Bought
Goodreads | Amazon

This book is one of those books that hits you very hard at home. It shows you about grief that people have when a close family member dies, what they do to try and let them live on, and the racism that the world bears.

It's a difficult thing to comprehend, as we don't know if Jamie's dad is really a racist, and believes what he says about Muslims in his heart, or if it's just a side effect of Rose's death. During the book, every time he sees a Muslim, he says things like "go back to your own country", and is horrified when he finds out that Jamie's new friend Sunya is a Muslim. He can't deal with the fact that not all Muslim people are bad; he just sees that they are bad, because some of them, terrorists, killed his daughter.

Another thing is how different members of the family act. When I've had close people die, it doesn't affect all of us, as there are two families in the house; my mum's and my stepdad's, so I've never seen just how differently different people get over their grief. People like Jamie are what a family like this need; a little spark of hope. I think the family's main problem was the father. He was wrecked by grief, drunk and racist. You can see why they have troubles in the book.

When I was reading this book, I felt like I could relate to Jamie, even though I haven't had his exact situation. My best friend died when I was ten; so I could relate to some. But he also has to deal with this uncaring, constantly drunk man, bullying at school and hiding his best friend.

The book wasn't easy to read, though it was easy to finish. In some ways, it's hard to believe it's in the point of view of a ten year old, because there is a lot of philosophical thinking, and he understood things which most children wouldn't at that age! But in other ways, you could truly see his age; for instance, when he was at school, and his thinking that his mum will come back to him for parents' evening, just like that.

So, overall, I loved this book; it was right up my street! I love the harsh reality of it; and seeing how a 10 year old copes with all these problems. I had similar at that age; but different.

Charli x


  1. I'm glad you liked this one Charli! I read it a few months before I started my blog, but I remember loving it at the time. Have you read Ketchup Clouds? I absolutely adored that one... it was just SO amazing!

    Great review Charli! You're part of Team Fox aren't you? Did you request Soul Shadows? I just posted my review & wanted to know if you didn't *really* enjoy it either...

  2. I read Ketchup Clouds today as well as this one! I'm posting a review on Friday (hopefully).

    I'm a part of Team Fox. So far I've only got Diary of a Mall Girl and Amber on the way. I commented on your review though :D

    Thanks for commenting!

    Charli x

  3. ^ You have me on the way? Cool, I didn't know I was coming to stay ;D Haha

    Brilliant review, Charli! I've heard great things about this book and now I want to read it even more. I WANT IT ASDFGHJKL. :D Glad you enjoyed it!

    1. Haha, could you imagine the sleepovers?! It would be amazing!


  4. I started this one about a year ago but it was just too depressing and didnt fit my mood at the time. I have since read Ketchup Clouds and loved it, so I need to come back to this! Especially seeing as you enjoyed it so much :-)

    1. Awww, that's a shame! It's amazing but, with both Ketchup Clouds and this one, you have to be in the right mood :) thanks for commenting!

  5. I've seen this book so many times and have wanted to buy it but this has persuaded me even more. I love books that are very real and different and this sounds like it is! Btw, I think the way you review is really, really great and clear :)
    Kate @teenblurb_

    1. BUY IT, you'll have no regrets! Thanks, Kate!


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Charli and Tori