Friday, 6 June 2014

The Year of the Rat by Clare Furniss

This post contains a review, a giveaway, and a bookish manicure.



The Year of the Rat by Clare Furniss
Published April 24, 2014 by Simon & Schuster
Source: the publisher
Rating: 3 stars
From the blurb: Pearl’s baby sister is The Rat. She’s the reason Pearl’s mum died, the reason everything has changed forever, and Pearl can’t forgive her for that. Because losing her mum is the hardest thing that Pearl has ever gone through and no one, not her dad, her interfering granny, her best friend – and especially not her new little sister – can break down the barriers she’s putting up. But what if Pearl’s mum isn’t completely gone? What if, somehow, she’s still here?
The world may tip at any moment, Pearl knows that now. The trick is finding something to hold onto…

Sixteen year old Pearl lives in London with her mum and adoptive father. They moved into a ramshackle house four months earlier and her mum told her the news that she was pregnant. They were going to renovate and do up the house but then her mum died and little Rose was born prematurely.

The Year of the Rat is a look at a year of Pearl’s life, starting on the day her mum dies. She is devastated by the loss and refuses to visit her baby sister in hospital. She feels jealous because she thinks her dad loves his biological daughter more, she is mad at her mum for not letting them know she felt unwell, she’s mad at Rose, aka The Rat, for causing it all. Pearl’s reaction to her situation felt so real, there were times when she was acting badly, like taking her anger out on bff Molly, but it was all so believable.

Along with her struggles at home, Pearl decides to try and find her biological father. She has never wanted to before, she and her adoptive father have always been close, but now she wants to know who her real father is. Towards the end when her two families collide, the story almost verged on being a little too dramatic for me, but it never managed to go too far, and every event that occurred led to the final emotional scene which was so crucial for Pearl.

At the funeral Pearl sees her mother’s ghost and throughout the year her mother appears at times, and it seems only Pearl can see her. I didn’t feel as though it was an actual ghost, but similar to that scene in Scrubs where patients that died under a doctor’s watch, followed them around due to the doctor’s guilt. The scenes were always quite sad either way, because you knew that despite being able to communicate, Pearl’s mother was never truly going to be in her life again.

The Year of the Rat is a grief-filled story of a teen having to figure out what her life is meant to be for, now that her mother is dead. It’s sad, honest, and most of all, hopeful.

Thank you to Simon & Schuster for my review copy, and for my copies to giveaway.


Please read before entering: I received 3 copies of The Year of the Rat.1 is an ARC and the other 2 are finished copies. All three are paperbacks, and 1 of the finished copies got damaged while in the post, the top corner of the spine is a little dented, but it’s not major, imo. Please only enter this giveaway if you are ok with the possibility of winning the ARC copy or the finished copy with a little dent in it. I will be drawing the winners at random, and there will be 1 international winner, and 2 Australian winners.



I like the simple graphic look the cover designers went with for The Year of the Rat and figured I’d have a go at nails to match.


I started with a base of Ulta3 Lotsa Fun, a rich, dark purple.



Once dry I used a very fine brush and acrylic paint for the mobile, strings, stars, and moon.




27 comments:

  1. Love the nails and thank you for the giveaway!

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  2. What a sad situation for Pearl to find herself in! It would be overwhelming to lose your mother and gain a sister at the same time and worry whether your dad loved his biological daughter more. Sounds like and emotional read. Wonderful review, and fun looking manicure, Mandee! :)

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  3. I don't think I'm up for a book about grief right now, but it sounds good.

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  4. I'm sorry you didn't love this book, Mands, but thank you for the great review and giveaway! What a gorgeous manicure!

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  5. really love this mani! great job drawing the mobile on your nails :)

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  6. Absolutely stunning! The detail you include in such a small area, you should try your hand at painting miniatures.

    Completely agree with the realism, the storyline reminded me so much of Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott, but I found Pearl so much more likable. It was so heartbreaking, but I loved watching The Rat grow. Awesome review Mands.

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  7. I won this in a giveaway and it sounds so good! I have only read a bit but I can't wait to see how the story progresses. Great review!

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  8. I've been seeing this around a lot on the Aussie blogs and you guys make me want this book SO BAD. It sounds so good! I want to know how things will work out with Pearl. I want to know in which direction will the relationship with her adoptive father and Pearl go. I want to know Pearl's story.

    Lovely review, Mands! :)

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

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  9. I just won this from Kelly and mine arrived today! Eeeeh! Excited...except...I'm seeing it get a lot of 3 stars. Which is worrying. >.< It sounds like a bit of a tear jerker though. I'm pretty excited to try it!

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  10. I think I like that the ghost doesn't seem like a ghost more like a construct of the mind. This sounds emotional and haunting. Thanks for the chance to win :)

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  11. This sounds like the most heartbreaking thing ever :(

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  12. I'm glad that although this is a heartbreaking and grief-filled story there is still a message of hope! I just started a bookish manicures board on Pinterest and am going to start pinning yours like crazy, lol. You have been warned ;)

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  13. Totally gorgeous manicure as usual. This book sounds really emotional and heart breaking, I have it on my shelf to review. Lovely review!

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  14. I haven't heard of this one but it sounds really good. It also sounds unusual and emotional which is what I like in books. Also do I have to say that your nails look amazing? Cause they look fabulous! :D

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  15. Love those nails! Those have to be one of my favorites!
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

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  16. First of all, awesome review. So many people have loved this one, most especially my Aussie friends, and with so many praising it, it can only mean that it really is good and a heartfelt story.

    Second, LOVELY NAILS. They are really, really beautiful. Once again, you are so talented, and I wish you made customized nails on and ship them out of the country so I can buy for myself!

    Third, THANK YOU FOR THE GIVEAWAY! I've been wanting to get a copy of this one, and there are so many giveaways but most of them are only for AU! Finally, an international one :) Thanks for the opportunity!

    Faye at The Social Potato Reviews

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  17. I'm never gonna get over how amazing those nails look omg!

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  18. Great review and lovely nails like always. I have seen a few reviews for this and they had the same kind of rating as well. Sounds like an okay book but I am still a little unsure about it.

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  19. I have been seeing everyone reading this book!! I really want to read it. Love how you did your nails this time around.

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  20. I love the cover to this and your nails are fantastic, as usual. I don't read many books on grief because they are just too sad for me. I have a feeling that this would make me sad but it still sounds like a good book.

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  21. Wonderful mani! Would be great for the 4th of July, too--a more elegant twist on bright red, white, and blue.

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    1. Well, 4th of July here where I am, anyway. ;)

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  22. I love the sound of this! Heartbreaking but good. Gorgeous nails, as always! :D

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  23. Well this does sound like it could be a really powerful book, and it's really nice to hear it was such a good read for you, and really moving, but I don't think it would be for me- I've read quite a few different reviews and there's just something, though what I can't quite figure out, that makes me think I wouldn't like it. Also, Pearl doesn't quite sound like a character I could connect with.
    Great review!

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  24. Those nails are stunning! I've seen the cover around and thought it was gorgeous and I'm so glad this turned out to be one of your manis! :-)

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  25. Gorgeous nails as always. This sounds interesting but it sounds like the main character is quite awful at times. Understandbly with grief and all of course.

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  26. I enjoyed this book too Mandee but it was so sad! I thought Pearl was bratty but I understood where she was coming from because she was so grief-stricken.

    A great review & I love your nails! :-)

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