Black Heart Blue

Black Heart Blue

3.96 (1,010 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Hephzibah You've no idea what it's like having a freak for a sister. Rebecca Born first, prettier, Hephzi's always been the more popular one. The Father When he was busy with his bottle we were usually safe. Usually. The Mother Her specialist subject was misery and lessons of painful silence ...Hephzibah and Rebecca are twins. One beautiful, one disfigured. Trapped with their loveless parents, they dream of a normal life.But when one twin tragically dies, the other must find a way to escape. Because if she doesn't, she'll end up like her sister .show more

Product details

  • 12-17
  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 128 x 196 x 18mm | 81.65g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0141342706
  • 9780141342702
  • 579,029

About Louisa Reid

Louisa Reid is 35 years old, married with two young daughters and currently teaches English in a girls' school in Cambridge. She is originally from Cheshire, studied English at Oxford and has lived in London and Zurich. Her pupils are definitely not the inspiration for her characters in her novels but witnessing their passion for great fiction inspired her to write for young adults.show more

Review quote

Some books stay with you long after you've finished them and Reid's debut is one of them. It is a moving, gripping story The Sun Emotive, sometimes shocking story The Sunday Times Yes, yes, yes! God, this sounds absolutely wonderful Bidisha, The Guardian Stunning, shocking, sad and incredibly touching. We are pretty sure you will read it in one sitting then want to share the book with someone else LoveReading We read this in one sitting. ***** Teen Nowshow more

Rating details

1,010 ratings
3.96 out of 5 stars
5 34% (341)
4 38% (386)
3 21% (215)
2 5% (46)
1 2% (22)

Our customer reviews

I've actually waited a couple of days before reviewing this book and I think that I made the right decision to do that. Black Heart Blue is definitely a haunting book and I think that I appreciate it more now that I've had even more time to reflect on it. I think that this will be a book that lingers in my mind for quite a long time. On the very first page of this story is a verse from Sylvia Plath's poem, Daddy. I absolutely adore Sylvia Plath, so when I read the verse, I was so excited that I was maybe going to read something that was so marvellously interlinked, but I was also scared that the story was going to be a disappointment - in my eyes, it's quite a big thing to try and follow on after a Plath verse! Thankfully, I think that using the poem was the right thing to do - Reid definitely did it justice with the story that followed. Black Heart Blue follows the life of two twins - the well rounded and beautiful Hepzibah (Hepzhi) and her disfigured sister, Rebecca. We learn right from the start that Hepzhi has died and we discover exactly how and why as we progress through the book. I thought that the format of the book was really well done. Hepzhi narrates chapters 'before' her death so that we get a clear picture of what life was like for the twins. On the other hand, Rebecca narrates the time after Hepzhi's death and what it meant not just for her, but her family and the community around them. Writing this way meant that we learnt so much about both twins and they were so well developed. The twins had a very troubled past (and present) and we can see this in so many ways - their behaviour, their emotions and through other people's actions towards them. Everything that was explored felt so realistic and had a lot of depth, despite the shortness of the book. We were introduced to several characters including the granny of the twins, Hephzi's boyfriend, her friends, members in the community such as a church assistant and people who Rebecca worked with, as well as non-immediate family members. Every single person in this story seemed to matter and they each contributed something to the story. I was absolutely fascinated with how everyone interacted. It seems wrong to say that I enjoyed this book due to the subject matter. I didn't really enjoy it as such - there wasn't anything that made me feel very happy, but instead, I appreciated it. I really appreciated how well Reid had portrayed the lives of Hephzi and Rebecca - there were no holds barred on the content - this is a story that involves abuse and a whole lot more. Whilst the events weren't overly graphic or descriptive, they were unbelievably powerful. As aforementioned, the words were haunting. There was a seriously sinister undertone and it worked seriously well. This is a book that I will recommend to others who are looking for a different read to your usual YA - I'm glad that there's something different to the usual 'boy meets girl' or paranormal subjects. This is definitely not a book for younger teens but for older teens and I know a lot of adults that would appreciate the work that's been put into this too. I look forward to more of Reid's work in the future.show more
by Stephanie Forster (Stepping out of the Page)
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