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