After Battle Royale, I needed to take a little break from Japanese literature for a while. I need to read something a little more easy on my mental psyche… Hello, Young Adults section!
Fifteen-year-old Zoe has a secret – a dark and terrible secret that she can’t confess to anyone she knows. But then one day she hears of a criminal, Stuart Harris, locked up on death row in Texas. Like Zoe, Stuart is no stranger to secrets. Or lies. Or murder.
Full of heartache yet humour, Zoe tells her story in the only way she can – in letters to the man in prison in America. Armed with a pen, Zoe takes a deep breath, eats a jam sandwich, and begins her tale of love and betrayal.
With a teaser like that, how could I not pick up this book? From the first page I was quite intrigued. The story is about a girl called Zoe, who decides to write to a murderer on Death Row who she has heard about at school. She decides to write to him as she feels he will understand what she is going through, as she hints that she may have murdered someone. You don’t know quite who it is until a couple of pages from the end and believe me, you will go: – “IT WAS HIM…. NO IT WAS HER… NO, NO IT WAS DEFINITELY HIM!”.
Zoe is a cute narrator, albeit scatter brained at times and a little over dramatic, but then again if you’re mouthing off about how you did someone in, then yeah, it’s only natural. I would also say that the language and tone of this book is aimed at people 20 and below, but not younger than 15. Some of the language and references in this book made me raise my eyebrows!
Without ruining the plot, I would say that this is a good book. My only criticism is the ending. It felt quite rushed and I like loose ends to be tied up personally. My recommendation is that this is one for the teens, not ones for those after a pool-side read.