Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher

Zoe is writing what she can't say to anyone else to a stranger on death row.  Zoe has a secret eating her up inside.  A secret so big she knows the only person who would understand is someone who is capable of taking a life, just like she did.  So from all the way in England, a teenage girl writes letters to a Texas jailhouse confessing the worst year of her life, and hoping that maybe once it's all out there, she might finally be able to live with herself.

This is one of the special ones.  It was smart, funny, unique, heartbreaking... all those things.  I fell in love with Zoe and her family.  They weren't perfect by any means, but they were all the things that a family is.  I really wish I could read this one all over again for the first time.  And I love books that make me feel that way.

I loved the unique format this book is written in.  Letters to a death row inmate.  It's so cool.  I loved how even though Zoe and this man's life and realities were so different she managed to link them in a way that was really beautiful.  Especially the way she didn't judge him for his choices in life and how much compassion she had for a man she was having a one sided conversation with.

It's hard for me to talk a lot about the book because I think knowing too much would spoil it.  I went into it not knowing anything except that this girl supposedly killed someone, and I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.  If I knew about the relationship stuff before I read the book, I feel like it wouldn't have made me feel the way it did.  Some of the stuff was so surprising to me and it made me really sympathize with Zoe, even though a lot of the stuff she was doing was probably wrong.  And I get that some of the choices Zoe makes might turn people off... but that's life.  Sometimes good people make terrible mistakes, especially when the heart is involved.  I totally related to Zoe's dilemma.

What I will talk about is Dot.  She's Zoe's littlest sister who is deaf.  She is the spunkiest little girl and made me smile so much in this book.  I also enjoyed reading the sister relationships between all 3 sisters.  It's really nice to see strong sibling relationships in YA... I feel like it's so rare.

The only thing I'll say against this book is that I didn't cry.  And it's not hard to make me cry.  I cried during Lola and the Boy Next Door for Christ's sake.  But even though this book is pretty heartbreaking... I didn't feel like crying.  I felt sad.  I for real wanted to hug Zoe and this one other boy... but I didn't feel like crying.

OVERALL:  A book written from a teenage girl to a death row inmate as a way to confess her sins.  I absolutely loved her story and found it so unique and entertaining.  It has this whole big dramatic event going on, but it was also about family and what it really means to be a family.  It's definitely worth reading.

This Book Contains:

  • A UK setting
  • English holidays
  • A hearing impaired character
  • Family issues
  • Birds
  • A library
  • Letters
  • Death

My Rating:


How I got this book: Library
Date Published: 12/27/2012 (11/12/2013 in US)


  1. I'm in the process of reading it. I like it so far.

  2. well, I am very easily a cryer during most books, too
    I am wondering if this will make me cry
    GREAT review, Michelle
    Your reader,

  3. This is a really cool premise! Also, I need this book just b/c of the title. I am a big fan of ketchup, lol!

  4. This book does sound amazing. I think its funny you are disappointed you didn't cry. I lke it whne I don't cry , although that is because I cry 95 percent of the time in books, movies, commercials, and ect. Can't wait to get to this one. Great review.

  5. This book sounds great. I cry really easily too (I like it) and I think it's odd when I don't. I will have to pick this up and see what happens.

  6. aww wow sounds like an emotional bundle in one package. I like the concept a lot :) different. Now I am curious, never heard of this one before.

  7. Oh, this sounds interesting! I wouldn't have thought it was what it was going by the title alone. This just proves that you can't judge a book by it's title. I may need to check this one out.

    Thanks for the review!

    ~Sara @ Just Another Story

  8. This sounds great! I haven't previously heard too much about this one, but now I'm definitely excited to read it. The letter format sounds interesting and I always love a book set from the UK. Awesome review :)

  9. I'm so curious about this (I also love the cover!), but I don't know, the whole death row thing freaks me out. But your review does make me want to read it. Also, I love that you cried at Lola and the Boy Next Door :)

  10. Yay, I really want to read this but I've hardly seen any reviews for it. I love the whole killer aspect and have a thing for them. I need to find time for this :)