Publisher: Electric Monkey
Release Date: 1st April 2013
Edition: UK paperback, review copy
Other Titles by this Author: Skin Deep
I picked up the book and thumbed through the pages.
Names in alphabetical order, names with meanings, names I knew, names I’ve never heard of.
How to pick? Nothing that would stand out, nothing that would link me to the past – those were the instructions.
The past. As if everything that had gone before this moment was buried already.
New girl, new school, new home, new life – everything about Holly is new. That’s the point of witness protection; nobody knows the truth. But one wrong move will put her whole family in danger...
Skin Deep was one of my favourite reads of 2012 so By Any Other Name had a lot to live up to. Thankfully, it was just as brilliant.
Laura Jarratt has a real talent for incorporating serious and often uncomfortable topics with sensitively and insane skill. In By Any Other Name Jarratt tackled autism, bullying, war, witness protection and kidnapping in a novel that felt effortless. I love that there’s more than meets the eye to every character important to Holly. Such brilliant characterisation is something I’m quickly beginning to associate with Laura Jarratt.
Even though lots of issues are tackled, By Any Other Name is an exploration of identity. I can’t imagine how you would cope having everything that makes you who you are taken away from you: your friends, your home, your school, your history, your name. Holly’s reaction was almost heart-breaking at times. Her loneliness and fear were palpable and her desperation to have her old life back was so touching and realistic.
I loved how Holly’s friendship, and eventual romance, with Joe helped to make Holly more like Holly. He brought her out of her shell, helped her accept and begin to enjoy her new life. I love Joe! I was also really pleased that instead of diving in to an intense relationship, Jarratt gave them a slow build up. They became friends first; learnt to like, trust and support each other before it turned in to something more. With the surge of new adult around at the moment, it was welcome and refreshing.
By Any Other Name is a powerful, touching and moving. Laura Jarratt is definitely becoming a strong talent in UKYA and I can't wait to see what she dazzles me with next.
Thanks to Electric Monkey for the review copy.