Thursday, February 2

Review: This Is Not Forgiveness

This Is Not Forgiveness
Celia Rees

Published By: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: February 2, 2012
Finish Date: February 1, 2012
Genre: YA - Realistic Fiction
Source: ARC from Bloomsbury Publishing
Format: Paperback
Pages: 280

From Goodreads:
Everyone says that Caro is bad ...but Jamie can't help himself. He thinks of her night and day and can't believe that she wants to be his girlfriend. Gorgeous, impulsive and unconventional, she is totally different to all the other girls he knows. His sister, Martha, hates her. Jamie doesn't know why, but there's no way he's going to take any notice of her warnings to stay away from Caro. But as Jamie falls deeper and deeper under her spell, he realises there is more to Caro - much more. There are the times when she disappears and doesn't get in touch, the small scars on her wrists, her talk about revolutions and taking action, not to mention the rumours he hears about the other men in her life. And then always in the background there is Rob, Jamie's older brother, back from Afghanistan and traumatised after having his leg smashed to bits there. Jamie wants to help him, but Rob seems to be living in a world of his own and is increasingly difficult to reach. With Caro, the summer should have been perfect ...but that isn't how things work out in real life, and Jamie is going to find out the hard way. This taut psychological drama is the brilliant new novel from acclaimed Celia Rees.
I really don't know where to start with this review. I was completely in shock and awe when I finished this book yesterday and really couldn't put my thoughts and feelings about it into words. Today, I am still unsure of how I can really write about this book. It was brilliant. I definitely did not expect it to be as good as it was. This is definitely not the kind of book that I usually read but I genuinely enjoyed every moment of it.

Jamie has seen the beautiful Caro around and always wanted her to notice him. When she does he can't believe his luck, she is everything he has ever wanted. But Caro holds some secrets, like what is really her relationship with Jamie's brother, the mysterious and disturbed Rob? Secrets, shocks and horror come together in this haunting Psychological tale, one this is for sure: After this summer, life will never be the same.

I really loved that the book was told from three perspectives. It is mostly told from Jamie's point of view but there are certain chapters where you get the story from Caro and Rob. I loved this since you really got an insight of what was happening with Caro and Rob and what they were thinking. One this is for sure, neither Caro nor Rob can really be called 'sane'.
These characters completely shocked me. All the way through the book I was diagnosing them in my head to different kinds of mental illness based on how they were acting. It is so difficult for me not to turn this review into a psychological analysis of these characters and it's inevitable for me not to mention it a little, after all it is a Psychological book. Caro was the character that I got the most reaction out of me. I hated her. I mean really really hated her. I don't think there's ever been a lead female I have hated more. She is deceiving and manipulative and knows exactly how to act to get people to do what she wants. She is the character that without a doubt confuses me the most. At times I thought she had to be without a doubt 'mentally ill'. No body would do the things that she does and be mentally stable but then there are times throughout the book where she really just acted like a normal person. This really frustrated me but I loved that about the book. It really kept me guessing all the way through.

I really love the way that Celia wrote this book. At first I wasn't entirely sure about the narration. To me it seems kind of simple but then the more I read the more I realised that the use of the simple sentences throughout the book was actually a genius thing to do. It really kept me hooked and I couldn't put the book down. I was hooked to the story right from the first chapter when it is hinted that something bad happened. It had me reading at a pace must faster than I usually read just because I couldn't wait to find out what had happened and what was going to happen.
I am definitely a fan of Celia Rees now. I think she is a phenomenal author and I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.

A brilliant book that really opened my eyes to this genre. It's a very dark gritty book for Young Adult but that's what makes it so brilliant. A must-read for any fan of Contemporary YA books.


  1. That's good that you still loved te book even though you hated the character lol I really liked it to, though I felt that first chapter kinda spoiled the end a bit


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