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The Opposite of Chocolate
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The Opposite of Chocolate

3.33  ·  Rating Details  ·  165 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
A second novel for Young Picador from Whitbread-shortlist star! It's a long, hot summer - and a climactic one. For 14-year-old Sapphire it brings the awesome, terrifying realisation that she is pregnant - a discovery that catapults her into the eye of a storm as her body, her future, her life, become a battleground for everyone's needs but her own. Meanwhile, out in the hu ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published July 2nd 2004 by Macmillan Children's Books (first published January 1st 2003)
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Michele Velthuizen
Nov 28, 2010 Michele Velthuizen rated it it was amazing
Interest level: 7th +
Reading level: medium, short
Genre: realistic fiction, teen pregnancy, families, pyromania, trial by fire

This is the story of 14-year old Sapphire who discovers she is pregnant after having a seemingly carefree yet intense relationship with Jay, a boy who now seems distant and interested in another girl. Sapphire doesn't know what to do, but when her parents find out and involve more people to help them decide what to do Sapphire begins to feel as if she is being pulled in al
Rachel Brand
Readable but odd. This apparently won awards but I didn't think much to it when I read it at the age of 13. The girl who was pregnant didn't appear to have had much of a relationship with the father of her child, and I just found that sad. The boy who set fire to things was also odd. One thing which I've remembered from this book over the years is that the main character idolised a girl who said that you shouldn't wear the same outfit for two days in a row. I guess, considering that's the most v ...more
Sep 21, 2013 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Haunting, thought-provoking, and elegant. This was the most-stolen book from British school libraries, and I can understand why - it is so good! The setting is almost a character in this book, all hazy summer evenings and wood smoke.
I loved Sapphire as a main character, too - she coped the best way she could in a very difficult situation, and her friendship with the firebug was great.
I would have loved a less ambiguous ending, but I think it did work best with the story.

Anne Hamilton
Jul 10, 2014 Anne Hamilton rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
I felt this lacked the depth and inventiveness The Spark Gap or Exodus.

Sapphire Dean is fourteen and pregnant. Her father Boris is appalled but wants her to keep the baby, her mother wants to arrange an abortion.
Jalisah Rahman
I hated it.
It was boring and nothing interesting happened in the book. No character development, let alone plot development.
I am seriously dissappointed and would not recommend it to anyone.
It wasn't a complex or intricate tale and I read it in the space of an hour.
I had high hopes as its written by Julie Bertagna, and I am a fan of her book Exodus. This was nothing like that.
Do not read it.
Alison Evans
Jan 04, 2010 Alison Evans rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
I've loved every other book that Julie Bertagna has written, but this one wasn't up to scratch.

The main girl (I don't remember her name) really is an idiot. Fancy not using protection at all. At ALL? I mean, come on, no wonder she's pregnant. She's not fleshed out as a character and I felt no sympathy for her.

The main boy (can't remember his name either) I also found very hard to sympathise with. He lights fires in the middle of summer - apparently this is okay because he always "makes sure the
It was readable, but it doesn't live up to some of the other books i have read featuring teen pregnancy. I sympathised with Sapphire and how everybody was trying to make her decisions for her, i know how that feels. Although i got why Gilbert's character was the way he was, i didn't find his role in the story to be very developed. I was also disappointed with the ending as i would have liked to have know whether Sapphire kept her baby or not.
Alison Brownlee
Jan 19, 2015 Alison Brownlee rated it did not like it
Strange book, very strange. I read this book back at school as it was one of those 'issue' books teachers love you to read in social studies and discuss. I remember it being a lot better than it was, maybe my teenage brain didn't know any better. it was just simply odd, with strange characters, unlikable people, bizarre plot twists and quite frankly no really ending.
May 09, 2012 Yeni rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I remember being completely spellbound by this book when I read it as a teenager. I didn't find the charcaters odd at all as one person said below. I remember it being quite a sad read in parts. As a teenager sometimes I wanted to escape from my house & life too, so I can relate alot to that part of this book.
Jul 19, 2011 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A while ago I went through a phase of reading a lot of books about teenage pregnancy. This particular book stands out in my mind because of what Sapphire eventually decides to do about the baby.
Oct 24, 2012 Sacha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Being faced with such a crucial decision at such a young age. As a parent brought out some tough issues remind you that you cannot always inflict your values on your children, you can only guide them
Mar 24, 2011 Nevena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed that it was from the perspective of a girl who is leaning towards abortion and her struggle to decide
Jan 04, 2012 shirley rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Interesting points raised about a child's choice when found in the situation. Ending was a let down.
Oct 04, 2008 Rianne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved it when I was 13ish.
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Julie was born in Ayrshire and grew up near Glasgow, where she now lives with her family. After a degree in English Language and Literature, she was the editor of a small magazine, a teacher and a freelance journalist. Julie has written many critically-acclaimed, award-winning novels for teenagers and younger readers. She speaks in schools, libraries and at book festivals across the UK.
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