Monday, 13 August 2012

Black Heart Blue By Louisa Reid

Black Heart Blue
Release Date: 10th May 2012
Publisher: Penguin
Format: Paperback
Pages: 274

Synopsis: 'They tried to make me go to my sister's funeral today. In the end I had to give in ... I'd been walking in her shadow for sixteen years and I liked its cool darkness. It was a good place to hide.'

Rebecca's twin sister Hephzibah was beautiful and daring. She was the one who always wanted more. The one who wouldn't listen. Now she's gone, Rebecca is alone.

While there were two of them, they stayed silent about their home life. But Rebecca, who knows the truth about how her twin died, suddenly finds herself keeping too many secrets. Hephzibah dreamt of escape, but failed. Could Rebecca be the one to find freedom?

Original and unforgettable, Black Heart Blue is not just Rebecca and Hephzibah's story. It's a story about all of us: a story about the lies we want to believe, the truth we sometimes can't, and having the courage to discover the difference.

Review: I won this book earlier this year but I've only just got around to reading this. This book is a heartbreaking story about truth and the reality of peoples lives. It teaches us many lessons, one of the most important is that you should never judge someone because you don't know what goes on at home behind closed doors. People who seem normal could be living through hell at home and they don't need you adding to their misery. The two girls in this story were locked away by their father and abused, only recently have they been allowed to go to college but still they are on a tight leash. The girls have to learn how to act normal and it's here you see how much of a monster their parents are to make them like this. It should never happen. People shouldn't have children if they are not ready to look after them. We see neglect and abuse in this story but the best thing is we see the girls coming into their own and in the end standing up for themselves. In a way it's very inspiring to see Rebecca pick herself up and start anew, that would take a lot of guts but she did it. I'm sure there have been real people who have done this too, and all I can say is they are inspirational. Starting anew from scratch, despite their past, they give it a go. I want you to realise how emotional this journey was and even now I'm realising that this book hit me more than I initially thought. Despite the dark themes it's probably one of my best books this year. The book is just so real and fleshed out, in a way it's scary how real it is. Nevertheless it's that which pulls you into the story and doesn't let you go. There's times you want to stop reading or look away but the story is just too good. You have to know what happens next.

Black Heart Blue follows twins Hephzibah and Rebecca. The story is told from two point of views. As the story takes place after Hephzibahs death we get Rebecca's point of view after and Hephzibahs view before she died. This worked really well, we got to see the story unfold and find out the secrets that Rebecca kept hidden. It was brilliantly told, the author Louisa Reid really has a way with words. I think I will read everything else she writes, she has left such a big impression on me.

The story starts the day of Hephzibahs funeral when Rebecca is forced to go. For the first time she is all alone and has to step out of her sisters shadow. Rebecca was born with Treacher Collins Syndrome, so she is used to all the stares but that doesn't make it any easier. Rebecca tries to live her life as normally as she can but that isn't possible with a father like hers. Soon he stops her from attending college and she is forced to work in the vicarage all day and at night if he is angry he will come for her. We watch her suffer daily and things soon get worse. From Rebecca's point of view we get to see the last few weeks of her life and how they play out. It truly is heartbreaking to watch these events unfold. The girls who have been hidden all their life do not know the consequences of things in the real world. It's hard just writing this review, remembering all the pain the girls went through and how their lives left them unprepared for reality and the real world.

Hephzibah was the less serious twin, she was determined to get out before they killed her. She wanted to enjoy life and meet boys not be stuck in the vicarage all day. She knew how to work her mother and her father went soft on her but too many times she allowed her sister to take the punch. Rebecca because of her syndrome was according to her father the work of the devil and he punished her frequently. She was quiet and never screamed, she was scared. So so scared. She had nightmares and she wouldn't even tell her sister what they were about. Despite what happens to Hephzibah I think Rebecca got put through much worse. It Hephzibahs innocents and her parents ignorance that led to her death. Rebecca had secrets of her own some even worse than her sisters. It makes me sick just thinking about some of them.

This book was engrossing, you just couldn't pull away. The main themes are dark and horrible but you root for Rebecca the whole way and hope she stays safe. This book really does open your eyes to the world and things you can't see. It makes you think twice about everything. You question life and what you know. This book will impact you in many ways, you won't ever forget it. If you think you are prepared to read this book, I really do suggest it. It shows the horrors of life but also the strength of an individual. That in itself is worth reading. Black Heart Blue is one book that will remain with me for a long while. The lessons learnt in this book will help the reader too. It's full of wisdom but most of the all the strength. The novel was so real that I don't want to let it go. I don't want to finish this review, I still have so much more to say but I will let you discover more on your own.

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