Publication date: 10th May 2012
This one came to me at the same time as Tanya Byrne’s Heart-Shaped Bruise, which made that day one of the best post days for a long time. Like Byrne’s novel, Black Heart Blue is a debut Y.A./crossover novel, and also does not shy away from tackling serious issues without over-simplifying them.
Rebecca and Hephzibah are teenaged twin sisters who are brought up knowing nothing about the modern world. Hephzi is beautiful and strong-willed, whilst Rebecca, the younger twin, is disfigured by Treacher Collins syndrome, and much meeker. That is, she is much meeker until she finally has to be the strong one. Their father, a violent drunk who also happens to be a vicar, demands that they be taught at home, and never allowed out of the vicarage to meet other children. When they finally are allowed, under sufferance, to attend college for their A-levels, they are amazed at what they have missed, but are also worryingly naive about life.
Told in alternating passages by each twin, Hephzi tells of events leading up to her death and Rebecca’s story is concerned with what happened afterwards. The cause of Hephzi’s death is hinted at, but the revelation is withheld for much of the novel, leaving the reader to speculate about who is responsible. Rebecca’s chapters are the more harrowing, being about the abuse that her and her sister suffered at the hands of their father, whilst Hephzi’s are more recognisably about the normal troubles of being a teenager. The contrast between them, as you learn about what both were going through, is almost unbearably poignant.
This chilling and brilliantly written thriller confirms Reid as a fantastic new voice in Y.A. fiction.
This book was provided by www.welovethisbook.com , but the views are my own and I wasn’t paid for my review.