Opposite of Amber

So my first failure of the A to Z Challenge – I missed N completely. Totally stumped on that one. I could think of topics – names for example – I just didn’t have anything remotely interesting to say!

Moving swiftly on, O comes very nicely to coincide with a book I was planning to review on here anyway. The Opposite of Amber is the latest book by Gillian Philip – if you read my Firebrand interview way back in the autumn or follow me on Twitter you’ll know I’m a big fan of Gillian’s and I was really excited to see this book come out a little early that I went finger-happy and pressed ‘one-click buy’ on Amazon before I could stop myself. Ah well – so worth it.

The Opposite of Amber follows two sisters, Ruby and Jinn, and what happens when outside influences interfere with their ¬†close and loving relationship. Ruby is the narrator, and her very distinctive voice touched me very deeply. It’s described as a thriller, and on one level it is, but it’s much more than that too. I’d also say that although Gillian writes for Young Adults, this is easily a cross-over book and likely to appeal to just as many Not-So-Young Adults.

I found that pace-wise there was a distinction between a slower, beautifully-written first half, in which I got to know and love the main characters. All the characters were incredibly well-done – individual and unique and intensely human. If you want to know how to write good characters, read a few of Gillian’s books. The language as well was very evocative; there was one piece in particular when Ruby and Jinn were at the ice rink at the same time but separate that made me fill up a bit. In the second half the pace really picks up. It reminded me of a roller coaster where you are almost lulled into a false sense of security when the coach trundles along leisurely then dives at top speed making your stomach leap. My heart was actually racing when I finished the book, with a few scenes I never saw coming.

I’m not giving any more away but I seriously recommend that you go and buy this asap. Here’s the link to Amazon. If you haven’t heard of Gillian before, here’s a link to her website.

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