Friday, April 1, 2011

The Opposite of Amber by Gillian Philips

The Opposite of Amber by Gillian Philips

Released: April 2011
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Genre: Young Adult - Contemporary
Source: Teen Book Scene


Ruby and her older sister Jinn live together on their own, just about making ends meet. Jinn is beautiful, with glittering blonde hair, and makes it her business to look after Ruby. They are horrified by, but try to ignore, the local newspaper stories of prostitutes who are murdered, their bodies eventually discovered underwater.

Then the no-good Nathan Baird turns up on the scene - again - and Jinn starts to change. First Nathan moves in with Jinn and Ruby, making Ruby feel an outsider, and then Jinn and Nathan move out, leaving Ruby alone. Jinn no longer has time to look after Ruby. And it seems to Ruby that Jinn herself needs looking after. Her beautiful glittering hair starts to lose its shine. And then Jinn disappears. A deeply moving, chilling, and incredibly powerful thriller that celebrates the love two sisters have for each other and mourns the events beyond their control that will conspire to drive them apart.


The beginning of the book didn't really grab me in like I thought it would. It was mainly because I had it in my mind that this was going to be more of a mystery book about the dead girls and the missing sister. And I will admit that I picked this book up mainly because my name is in the title. The book focuses a lot on Ruby herself. After her mother's death, it had always been her and her older sister, Jinn. When Jinn decides to stay with a guy who isn't good for her, Ruby has to adjust to this new life put in front of her.

After I got over the fact that this wasn't exactly a suspenseful book, I throughly enjoyed the plot. There was a great balance in Ruby. She was lost yet she wasn't. I haven't read many UK based book so all the slang and seeing the different culture really interested me. Gillian Philips is a wonderful writer. A lot of the passages were written beautifully and I could get lost inside Ruby's world.

With the aspect of the missing girls and who the killer was, I was very surprised. I was sure throughout half the novel that it was a certain someone, actually I would have even took a bet on it, but when the ending came around I had a what?! moment. Even if you thought this book was more of a thriller type novel, don't let that steer you away that it's not. It's still a wonderfully written story about a teenage girl finding her place in this world.



prophecygirl said...

I still need to read this one, and I'm really glad you enjoyed it. You should read Bad Faith, also by Gillian, as it's brilliant and very unusual.

Great review Amber!

Lynn said...

Hey, thanks for your review. I read Firebrand by GP and am eagerly anticpating her next book in the series - reading your review makes me think I'm missing something else so I'll check it out.