Sunday, 25 January 2015

Book Review: 'The Year of The Rat' by Clare Furniss

Hello book-lovers!

I'm so delighted to be back reading and reviewing again, apologies for the silence. Sometimes life just happens to get in the way of things :-)

I automatically get pulled in towards the book isles of any supermarket, and Clare Furniss's book 'The Year of The Rat' attracted my attention. I don't judge books by their covers, but not only does this book have a great cover, the blurb sucked me in immediately! 

"To Pearl, there's nothing sweet about her premature half-sister, Rose. It was Rose that caused her mother's death and Rose that turned her world upside down.

To Pearl, Rose is The Rat.

Achingly sad, yet refreshingly real, The Year of The Rat will make you laugh, cry and hold your loved ones a little bit tighter."

We all love a book that not only sounds like it has a lovely story, but also one that we can relate to. So feast your eyes on my review of this book!

It begins with Pearl and her Dad (Alex), inside one of the funeral parlour's cars, on their way to Pearl's Mum's funeral. It's a solemn start to the book, and as the story progresses, Pearl shares memories and last moments with her Mum. Her Mum (Stella) unexpectedly died after giving birth to a very premature baby girl named Rose (Pearl calls her 'The Rat'). Understandably, Pearl hates Rose because she killed her Mum, and it takes Pearl a while to accept that I feel. As the story continues, Alex's Mother moves in to help take care of Rose, as Pearl really isn't take any interest in her new little sister. Pearl didn't like this as her Mum didn't really get on with Alex's Mother, but eventually, she and Pearl do get a long. Pearl also has to deal with her best friend, Molly, getting a boyfriend, which makes her feel left out, and leads to a big falling out. Pearl makes a few silly mistakes, but she finds a love interest in the book, which is nice, but I'm quite relieved the book didn't turn into a fully fledged love story. 
Usually, when we read book we learn something from them, or we interpret the story differently to everyone else. In my opinion, this is a story of accepting a very big loss. Pearl finds herself talking to her Mum as she suddenly appears in various places, and this says to me that this is Pearl not wanting to let go of her. This story is also about acceptance. Not just acceptance of her Mum dying, but also accepting that she can be happy after something as tragic as this. A lot of the time during this story, Pearl often feels very left out, especially when her baby sister comes home; another reason for Pearl not to like her. Eventually, after all of the self-pity, Pearl sorts herself out, but you'll have to read the book to find out how everything fits together. I don't want to spoil anything for potential readers of this book, but she does make some unforeseen connections with people, that I think were life changing for her. 

Overall. this book was a quick and enjoyable read for me. I definitely won't be forgetting this book anytime soon, and I recommend it to anyone that loves a heartwarming, sad, and often quite funny, YA novel.

You can buy it HERE.

Thanks for reading!
Amy :-)


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