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November 24, 2013

Review: Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher

Title: Ketchup Clouds
Author: Annabel Pitcher
Publisher: HBG Canada
Publication date: November 12th, 2013
Genre(s): Young Adult (Contemporary)
Source: Publisher
Format: ARC
Pages: 272
Zoe has an unconventional pen pal-Mr. Stuart Harris, a Texas Death Row inmate and convicted murderer. But then again, Zoe has an unconventional story to tell. A story about how she fell for two boys, betrayed one of them, and killed the other.

Hidden away in her backyard shed in the middle of the night with a jam sandwich in one hand and a pen in the other, Zoe gives a voice to her heart and her fears after months of silence. Mr. Harris may never respond to Zoe's letters, but at least somebody will know her story-somebody who knows what it's like to kill a person you love. Only through her unusual confession can Zoe hope to atone for her mistakes that have torn lives apart, and work to put her own life back together again.

Rising literary star Annabel Pitcher pens a captivating second novel, rich with her distinctive balance between humor and heart. Annabel explores the themes of first love, guilt, and grief, introducing a character with a witty voice and true emotional resonance. 
This book started off as just a letter to Stuart Harris, an inmate and convicted murderer. When I got to read more as Zoe told her story to Stuart, this became such a beautiful story full of sacrifice, love, guilt, and trust. I went into this book with no expectations, and I ended up loving it. It was one of those books that really moved my heart (cheesy factor has gone haywire). Zoe's guilt has been eating her up for a while, so she decides to let someone know. That someone lives across the world from her, and is someday subjected to execution. The whole book is in "letter" form, but I'm glad that it didn't bother me one bit. I still ended up loving it just as much. I feel like saying anything about this book will end up spoiling even something small, and I think this book should not be spoiled even for something tiny. I'm going to try my best for that to not happen.
Zoe, a girl who "fell for two boys, betrayed one of them, and killed the other", is not who you exactly think she is. I loved her. I was able to connect with her so well, and she really felt real to me. Her story was heartbreaking, and I just wanted to be there for her and give her a hug saying everything will be fine. Zoe is just like any other teenager out there, pressure from her parents to do good at school, family problems, boy problems, etc etc. She couldn't tell her story to anyone she knew, so she decided to tell it to a complete stranger who was going to die very soon. That was sad. I don't want to give anything about the boys she fell for, but they were both great guys. I really loved them both, and it was awful to know that one of them was going to die. 
When the book came to an end, I was upset. I felt like I was losing my close friends, and I won't know what happens in their life anymore. I wanted to cry, but I didn't. I just felt so many emotions, it's hard to describe it. I just know that this book felt so real to me, the people felt so real to me, and it was so sad to see it coming to an end. I wonder what Zoe is doing right now, and how she's coping with her life. I guess that's the sad thing about good books...

I don't usually do this, but I think this song is perfect for this book. For me, at least. 


  1. This sounds like such a good book! I've never even heard of it till now but I'll definitely be picking it up. Great review :)

  2. Ohh such a great review! I saw many UK bloggers posting their review but until now I haven't been convinced that I wanted to read Ketchup Clouds. Now I totally have to get a copy and start reading, sounds like a quick, but very emotional read. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.

  3. THAT BLURB! was epic! I'm really glad that this didn't disappoint, I love books that seem so personal that the emotions just overwhelm you. Will definitely be adding this to my to-read list :) Thanks!

  4. To be honest, I wasn't sure what to make of the book when I read the blurb but after reading your review, I think I'll want to give this a try - I really want to find out more about Zoe and her issues. Thanks for sharing!

  5. When I first read the description I was immediately interested. Good to know that it lives up to what it's advertising!! I've read a lot of Blah books lately and could use something good!