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Ketchup Clouds

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  5,196 ratings  ·  894 reviews
Secrets, romance, murder and lies: Zoe shares a terrible secret in a letter to a stranger on death row in this second novel from the author of the bestselling debut, My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece.

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
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Paperback, 251 pages
Published November 2012 by Orion
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Jumana Hiasat When her little sister was playing with her food that has ketchup, she made clouds and called them ketchup clouds and was super happy while everyone…moreWhen her little sister was playing with her food that has ketchup, she made clouds and called them ketchup clouds and was super happy while everyone else in the family was feeling awful.
Plus I think she mentioned the sky looking like ketchup clouds while she was sitting with Aron before he left.
Still not sure if those are actual reasons though.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jo
Feb 16, 2013 Jo rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: e, 2013
So, I have to admit, I’m extremely underwhelmed by this book. I’ve never read My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece but I’ve heard it’s great. It never really appealed to me though, I’m not sure why.

But Ketchup Clouds appealed to me, really it did. I was captivated by the gorgeous cover, the wonderful title and the intriguing synopsis.

I guess you know what they say: you shouldn’t judge a book by a gorgeous cover, a wonderful title and… well, you get the gist.

This was such a disappointment. There wa
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Melissa (Book Nerd Reviews)
What a charmer. There's quite a lot of things I really liked about Ketchup Clouds, and I'll talk about those things in this review. But firstly, about the novel itself. It's a uniquely told story in that we're reading this novel through a series of one way letters from an English girl who calls herself Zoe (not her real name, but that's how I'll refer to her throughout) to Stuart Harris, a murderer who is sitting on death row in Texas, USA. This in itself was enough to pique my interest and made ...more
Temilouise
Okay, ketchup clouds. After reading this book I still do not know why it is called ketchup clouds. Well not really.

If you are looking for a happy summer read which leaves you in the same way as you were before you started the book then maybe this is not for you.

This book is about a girl and two boys. Yes I know what you're thinking not another love triangle but, it is more a story about a girl finding herself and accepting what she has done. She writes to a man of death row, she does not give h
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Elizabeth
Immature and childish story about a teen girl caught between two brothers. I am obviously not the target audience for this one.

No idea what the title is about.
Ruby (Feed Me Books Now)
It's always said that a reader lives a thousand lives...

And this is one I will never forget.
Stephanie (Stepping out of the Page)
Since hearing about Ketchup Clouds, I was eager to get my hands on a copy of it! I absolutely loved the sound of the blurb and Annabel Pitcher is one of those authors that I think will always appeal to me - she has the most interesting ideas and a very unique voice.

The whole idea behind this story was something that immediately intrigued me. Our main character, Zoe, has made a big mistake, committed a crime, and has decided that she can no longer keep it to herself, so she decides to let it all
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Anne
When Annabel Pitcher's debut novel My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece was published in March last year she really raised the bar for authors of young adult novels and set herself a very very high standard to keep. The novel was shortlisted for numerous awards and was praised by other authors, by the press and by book bloggers.

I was very excited to receive a pre-publication copy of her second novel Ketchup Clouds which will be published by Indigo (an imprint of Orion) at the end of the year.

Ketch
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Stacey (prettybooks)
Ketchup Clouds is a book that had been loitering around my wishlist for while, even though I didn't really know what it was about (ketchup?!) so, because my curiosity got the better of me, I finally checked it out of the library. I wasn't too sure what to expect, but I didn't expect to fall in love with it straight away. Ketchup Clouds is one of those books that makes me tell everyone I know about it (of course, everyone already knew about it since it won the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 20 ...more
Teresa
Annabel Pitcher’s debut novel My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece was one of my favourite reads of 2011 so I have been keenly anticipating her second novel, hoping that it would engage me and move me in a similar way. Well, it’s a very different type of novel but I’m delighted to report that it packs the same punch as its predecessor.

The novel is composed of a series of letters written by a fifteen year old British girl and addressed to Stuart Harris, a prisoner on Death Row in Texas. Initially,
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Aisha
I first heard about this book from Charley over at CharleyReads on YouTube. When she described the book, I was immediately interested. You don't read much YA that deals with the people in prison.

In Ketchup Clouds, by Annabel Pitcher, the main character, "Zoe", writes to a death row inmate in Texas. She starts writing to him in order to confess the crime she thinks she has committed. The inmate, Stewart Harris, seems to be the only person she can turn to. "Zoe" feels like she has no one else to t
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Emma Carroll
In 'Ketchup Clouds' acknowledgements, Annabel Pitcher says the story ' took a long while to get right.' I'm glad she took the time; this is one of the best books I've read in ages.
The story is told from Zoe's viewpoint. This isn't her real name, but then Zoe is a girl hiding more than her true identity. Zoe has a secret, a secret so crushing that she has to share it. And so she does, via letters to a death row prisoner who knows all about guilt.
These letters are what 'Ketchup Clouds' comprises
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Elise
Review may contain spoilers.

This book is about people. Real people with real, relatable lives. It tears at your heart. 'Zoe' is desperate. So desperate she'll send anonymous messages to a murderer. I don't believe she is a murderer. She made mistakes. Of course she did. Awful mistakes that caused somebody's death. But she is a human being. Stuart Harris is a human being too. Nobody deserved to die.

I like to think of this as a love story. But it's not a love story between Zoe and Max, or Zoe and
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Michelle Arrow
"Stop playing with your food!" Mum signed. "They're clouds," Dot replied. "Clouds aren't red," Soph signed. "They are at sunrise," Dot signed back defiantly. "And it's sunrise on my plate, and the sausage thinks it's lovely."She carved a smile onto the sausage with her knife. "You're making a mess," Mum signed. "A beautiful mess." Dot beamed.

In books, we never really see families that show a lot of importance and potential. Most families are split apart, unequal and uneven. No one cares for
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Farah Jay
This book started off as just a letter to Stuart Harris, an inmate and convicted murder. When I got to read more as Zoe told her story to Stuart, this became such a beautiful story full of sacrifice, love, guilt, and trust. I went into this book with no expectations, and I ended up loving it. It was one of those books that really moved my heart (cheesy factor has gone haywire). Zoe's guilt has been eating her up for a while, so she decides to let someone know. That someone lives across the world ...more
Dawn Abron
2.5 but it wasn't good enough to bump it up to a 3.
Not what I was expecting.
(view spoiler)
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Josie
I LOVED THIS SO MUCH. The whole idea of it -- a girl with a guilty secret writing to a prisoner on death row, wanting to tell him her story before he dies because she thinks he of all people will understand -- is just amazing, and oh, Annabel Pitcher pulled it off so well. Zoe's voice in her letters was incredible -- so vibrant and unique and real.

It wasn't just dancing. It was living. Really living, like imagine the width of a moment rather than the length, and two people determined to fill eve
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Amy Hirst
1. I only read this book because I did a book swap with my friend, and we only trade our best-loved books.

2. I really liked 'Aaron' he is sort of suave, but also genuine and comfortable at the same time. He adapts throughout the book from being the attractive, articulate guy at the party to the sensitive, warm, fuzzy guy who you can't quite wrap your head around. He's also a wee bit, different, if you like, he drives a little red car called Doris and goes to library instead of going on drinking
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Megan (Book Brats)
Now where did I leave my memory of this book... KETCHUP CLOUDS is one of those books that you kind of forget after a few days - forget the characters, their names, the specifics, but a few things have stuck around with me. I liked it well enough, and by the end it got pretty damn good, but here is the problem: it's rather farfetched on the same level as DEAR KILLER, except more...realistic I guess? It's a book about a girl who kills her boyfriend and writes to a death row killer with excessive d ...more
Michelle (Pink Polka Dot Book Blog)
Zoe is writing what she can't say to anyone else to a stranger on death row. Zoe has a secret eating her up inside. A secret so big she knows the only person who would understand is someone who is capable of taking a life, just like she did. So from all the way in England, a teenage girl writes letters to a Texas jailhouse confessing the worst year of her life, and hoping that maybe once it's all out there, she might finally be able to live with herself.

My Thoughts
This is one of the special ones
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Sara Grochowski
Zoe has a dark secret... a secret that she's been carrying with her since a tragic day in May. Though no one would ever suspect it, Zoe is a murderer. She killed a boy she was supposed to love and got away with it. But the guilt of her actions keep her awake at night and drive her to seek out an unconventional pen pal, a Mr. Stuart Harris. Mr. Harris might be the only person who can understand how Zoe feels... he may be the only person she can confess to. After all, Mr. Harris also killed someon ...more
rubywednesday
I liked almost everything about this book. The concept was interesting, the voice was unique and distinctive and the teenage experience was captured fabulously. I was really engaged with the characters and I think fans of writers like Jenny Downham or Laurie Halse Andersen would enjoy this book.

I particularly liked the relationship between Zoe and her younger sisters (Dot needs to win all the awards. She was so lovely) and the family dynamics in general. They felt very realistic but they also ma
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Nafiza
Ketchup Clouds is the second Annabel Pitcher novel I have read and while the novel is beautifully written, I was not able to get behind the themes discussed and the actions of the protagonists made me feel further alienated. I also felt that the letters in the beginning had a rather forced tone to them and I questioned whether a girl, no matter how upset she is, would confess to a convict on the death row, in a somewhat graphic manner, the nature of her hookup with the school’s cutest guy. Stuff ...more
Chloe
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dibi
No encuentro las palabras suficientes para definir este libro, ni como me senti\ siento al leerlo.. Es mas, unas cuantas citas de este asombroso-desgarrador libro ayudara a que entiendan mas o menos como fue\es.
Ahora, señor Harris, estará usted probablemente esperando que le diga que le di patadas al arbusto o que me eché a llorar o que corrí al aparcamiento y monté una escena. Pues siento decepcionarle y todo eso, pero me quedé con la cara completamente tranquila y el cuerpo completamente inmóv
...more
Catherine Bishop
I loved this. I had read a quite a few reviews of this book before picking it up and so I went into it expecting it to be a bit of a ‘meh’ book. Evidently I was pleasantly surprised. I’ve always harboured an interest in books written in letter form (Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Lady Susan to name a few). So when I saw a hardback edition on sale in Waterstones I snatched it up promptly.

I very much enjoyed the style in which it was written. A lot
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Lynda
"Dear Mr Harris....Ignore the blob of red in the top left corner. It's jam not blood, though I don't think I need to tell you the difference". And so begins the story of 15 year old Zoe, a troubled teen, in letters she writes to Stuart Harris, a convicted murderer on death row in Texas, charged with murdering his wife.

I enjoyed the epistolary structure of the novel. Through her letters Zoe recounts the troubled events of the past year of her life. The intimacy of the letters and the freedom Zoe
...more
Abbey Lissaman
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sorrel
I remember when I was in the bookshop buying this. I didn't really want to get it but it was on buy one get one free and so was a book I really wanted. I just sort of picked it up in the spur of the moment... I don't know why I didn't put it back. I did with lots of the other books. But. But for some reason I kept it. I kept it and I bought it and I took it home and I started to read. And my god was it good. I have given a lot books five stars. But now looking back none of them seem to deserve t ...more
Heather Panella
This would really be 3.5 stars. I wasn't as impressed with this as I was with Annebel Pitcher's My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece, but it was still compelling and well written. Zoe's grief and guilt came across as genuine and the epistolary form of the novel was unique. I liked Aaron and while some of Max's actions were despicable, I could understand his hurt and anger. The only thing I really couldn't get behind here was how fast Zoe forgave Max for taking and circulating a topless photo of he ...more
JoAnn
I was disappointed with this book, if only a few things would have gone differently I would have given it five stars. It was ridiculous to a point where it was almost good, if it would have been ridiculous and kind of deep and surprising instead of just ridiculous and cliche I would have liked it a lot.
Though I do have to say this should be made into a movie, it already feels like one.
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Annabel Pitcher studied English at Oxford and has since worked as a script writer and an English teacher. She lives in Yorkshire with her husband. MY SISTER LIVES ON THE MANTELPIECE was her first novel. She is a full-time writer.
More about Annabel Pitcher...
My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece Project Bright Spark

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“Let's pretend for just one moment that could actually happen. You close your eyes and I'll close mine and let's dream the same dream across the Atlantic, lighting up the darkness between us. Can you see it, Stu? Can you see us up there, shining in all the black?” 42 likes
“That's not how you're going to live, Bird Girl. Not on my account. Spread those strong wings of yours. Fly.” 34 likes
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