Tuesday, 17 April 2012

HOT TIP: Black Heart Blue by Louisa Reid

The lovely folks over at Penguin UK recently sent me an advanced copy of a young adult/crossover debut from Author Louisa Reid called Black Heart Blue. I was lured in by the beautiful, eery cover and compelling, dark synopsis. So I was excited to read it when it arrived. What I hadn't realised was just how much I would love it - I devoured it in two days, almost missing stops on the tube and staying up into the early hours of the morning, just to see what happened.

The book starts with Rebecca going to her twin Hephzi's funeral and then proceeds to jump between her perspective and that of her sister in the lead up to her death. The truth behind what Hephzi died of is kept hidden for most of the story, but it is clear that Rebecca knows the truth.

The twins have been hidden away for so long, they have no idea about the realities of the world in which they live. So when they are finally allowed to go to a public school in their late teens, both react differently. Rebecca, the twin who survived, has been born with a genetic disorder that has affected the bone structure of her face and left her almost totally deaf. Hephzi, on the other hand has been blessed with a natural beauty. But both girls are stifled under the watchful and abusive eyes of The Mother and The Father, parents who are so devout in their religious beliefs, they believe only in punishment and seclusion, never in compassion or understanding.

Black Heart Blue deals with sibling relationships, domestic abuse, disability and the lengths many go to just to try to fit in through the mystery around Hephzi's death and the will for Rebecca to find the courage to break free of her parents. The book is guaranteed to shock many readers but will keep you hooked throughout as you spur Rebecca to keep going.

'They tried to make me go to my sister's funeral today. In the end I'd 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.'

How would you feel if your twin sister died suddenly? Particularly if she was the beautiful one and you were horribly disfigured. And how would it feel to be alone now if you and your sister were the only ones to know the truth about what takes place behind closed doors at home?And what would you do if it was your parents who brought danger and terror into your life? Would you dare reveal how your sister died? And would you be brave enough to find an escape of your own?

Black Heart Blue is a powerful novel about the domestic horrors that can unfold within a small community - and one girl's quest to stand up for the truth.

Louisa can be found on Twitter at @Louisareid

Black Heart Blue is available to pre-order now and I cannot recommend it highly enough. It is a powerful debut and I cannot wait to see what Louisa Reid has in store for the future.

Check out Novelicious this month for a full review and chats with the author.

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