welcome to our book reviews and news page

recent publications and classic reads revisited
covering a wide range of genre, taste and style
please join in the discussion

Saturday 24 September 2011

The Opposite Of Amber

By Gillian Philip

“It’s a good idea, if you don’t want to leave traces, to put a girl in water. It’s the opposite of amber.”

‘The Opposite Of Amber’ is a moving story of sisterly love. Ruby and Jinn are about as different as it’s possible for sisters to be; Jinn being confident and vivacious and Ruby quiet and unable to articulate her feelings.

I loved the way in which a sense of peril and menace builds up right from the start; not just about the dead girls who are turning up in bodies of water locally, but also about Jinn’s relationship with no-good Nathan Baird. Ruby knows straight away that isn’t going to end well.

The story is told through the voice of Ruby, which for very good reasons is a voice that hesitates to speak up. In the past Ruby has said things that have led to serious trouble, so now she’s a bit more careful. This works really well as a narrative technique as it tells us more about Ruby than mere chatter would.

There are many twists and turns in the plot which leads eventually to a resolution which is wholly unexpected. It also takes us on a journey for Ruby which has a very satisfying conclusion.

Although ‘The Opposite Of Amber’ is aimed at young adults, it is sophisticated enough to appeal to an adult audience and I found it a perfect crossover read. It is also beautifully written, full of elegant description and perfectly realised imagery.

Very highly recommended indeed.

Reviewed by Helen M Hunt

You can find an interview with Gillian Phillip on my writing blog Fiction Is Stranger Than Fact today.


Emma Pass said...

THE OPPOSITE OF AMBER is an excellent book, and so well written. I read it a couple of months ago and couldn't put it down!

Karen said...

This sounds really good - I'll be adding it to my list :o)