Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Charli Reviews: The Year of the Rat

Grappling with grief is hard enough without repeat visits from the deceased. Pearl deals with death, life, and family in this haunting, humorous, and poignant debut. The world can tip at any moment…a fact that fifteen-year-old Pearl is all too aware of when her mom dies after giving birth to her baby sister, Rose. Rose, who looks exactly like a baby rat, all pink, wrinkled, and writhing. This little Rat has destroyed everything, even ruined the wonderful relationship that Pearl had with her stepfather, the Rat’s biological father. Mom, though…Mom’s dead but she can’t seem to leave. She keeps visiting Pearl. Smoking, cursing, guiding.

Author: Clare Furniss
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Date of Publication: April 2014
Pages: 320
Source: Review copy via NetGalley
Goodreads | Amazon

I received a free copy of this book from S&S via NetGalley in exchange for a honest review. This does not affect my review/opinions in any way. Thank you S&S and NetGalley!

I read this book one evening and it was beautiful. It's poignant and heartfelt; and I absolutely adored it. This book is so emotional and I almost found myself crying - something I have never done at a book.

I felt so much empathy for Pearl; for her loss and then taking that hatred out on something close to her loss. You would normally hate a protagonist like Pearl; call them bratty, spoilt, but it's not the same situation for Pearl. Furniss lays out her characters amazingly and my heart reached for the whole family.

The concept of her mum visiting her was beautiful, too, and I became so emotionally invested in the story. I loved the idea of our lost loved ones shadowing us, helping us to do right and telling us when we need a bit of a push to go on with life.

I don't think I've ever felt for a character more than I have for Pearl. I just wanted to hug her continually, I wanted to run to a teacher and tell them to help her, I just wanted to do something. Furniss has written a stunning debut that will stay with you for a long time.

1 comment:

  1. Great review! I really liked Pearl; have seen a couple of reviews which DO say she's bratty/spoilt but I didn't feel that at all - like you I was hugely sympathetic towards her.

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