Friday 23 October 2015

Silence is Goldfish, Annabel Pitcher

Pages: 444
Publisher: Indigo
Release Date: 1st October 2015
Edition: UK proof, review copy

Other Titles by this Author: My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece, Ketchup Clouds

My name is Tess Turner – at least, that’s what I've always been told.

I have a voice but it isn’t mine. It's used to say things so I'd fit in. It used to tell the universe was something I wasn’t. It lied.

It never occurred to me that everyone else was lying too. But the words that really hurt weren’t the lies: it was the six hundred and seventeen words of truth that turned my world upside down.

Words scare me, the lies and the truth, so I decided to stop using them.

I am Pluto. Silent. Inaccessible.
Billions of miles from everything I thought I knew.

After hearing Annabel read from Silence is Goldfish and reading the endless praise from my friends about her previous books, I was expecting something wonderful, but I was a little disappointed.

Tess is fifteen, and she really sounds it too. I found it difficult to connect and identify with her and she's really very naïve which I struggled with. She seemed oblivious to the ways she was being manipulated and repeatedly led into a trap by the resident school mean girl. Her silence left her open to that in even more extremes than before. Tess believed that her silence gave her power, and it did at first, but it eventually lost her power. I loved how strong the message about having a voice was. The importance of taking up space in the world, and this was also tied into Tess being a bigger girl and her making herself own it.

I didn’t like Tess too much, but that normally means that I love the secondary characters in the novel a whole lot, and yet, I know this sounds silly, but everyone in Silence is Goldfish is disappointingly human. Each and every one of them was flawed and had hidden depths of being manipulative, having horrible secrets or a cruel side to their personalities. I particularly disliked Tess’s dad; quite frankly, he’s an ass. Then there was the lack of support from her mum (which I know was fuelled by frustration and fear, but still) and then the massive betrayal at school which I won't go into because spoilers!

Though I was rather disappointed by Silence is Goldfish, I do think that was definitely more me than the book and I’m sure it will be loved by teens and adults alike.

Thanks to Orion for the review copy.


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