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The Opposite of Amber

3.42  ·  Rating Details  ·  132 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
Ruby and her older sister, Jinn, are 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.
Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 18th 2011 by Bloomsbury
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(showing 1-30 of 816)
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Aug 02, 2011 Kate rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
In thinking back about The Opposite of Amber, the phrase "don't judge a book by its cover" instantly comes to mind. Don't let this cover fool you.

The Opposite of Amber was nothing like I thought it would be. This novel is not a happy-go-lucky novel. It is a dark, thrilling read that surprised me with its depth. Even now, days after reading it, I feel like a lot of me is still trying to digest Philip's message.

Going into this novel, I was looking for a fast-paced thriller. And I got some of that.
Jan 27, 2011 Jessi rated it it was amazing
This book grabbed me right away with its sense of realism by using the every day events of life to convey the deep, dark themes and meanings the author wants to convey. The atmosphere is somewhat melancholy due to the relationship between the sisters and quite dark and brooding and sinister in the threat that lurks in the mysterious killer of women.

Gillian Philip's prose is stunning! I've been sitting here cycling through adjectives to try to convey how powerful it is... It's intensely beautiful
One Pushy Fox
May 17, 2011 One Pushy Fox rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
Initially I had a hard time getting into this book. It wasn't the characters, who are intriguing despite their individual sadness, but rather the colloquial language used, as this story is set in Scotland, and a Scottish author. But after a while, I got into the rhythm of it and found myself fascinated by Ruby, thankful to have the insight into her thoughts denied to those around her by her monosyllabic behavior. And through her I fell in love with Jinn, her glittering older sister who was so in ...more
//One of the books that i grabbed at random in the local library (and i wonder if it's been borrowed before at all, judging from its 99% new condition and the empty return-stamp slip?)

Just a quick random post-reading ooze of thoughts as this book is, seriously, unlike any of the books ive read before (but possibly because i havent read that much) and i feel like i should write everything down before the thoughts vanish from my mind.

For the start I didnt expect anything in particular as i seldom
Mel (who is deeply in love with herself)
I automatically think less of a book when the murderer is obvious to me. And this book was especially bad at throwing red herrings in front of us; I worked out who the killer was the first page he/she was mentioned. And I promise you that I am not exaggerating.

The writing was spectacular on occasion, though.
Mar 20, 2011 Natalie rated it really liked it
Review will be posted on the blog on Friday.

In a Sentence: The Opposite of Amber is like fiber--a bit harder to digest, but good for you.

My Thoughts

The best advice I could offer you about approaching The Opposite of Amber is to leave all your expectations behind. The synopsis provided on the back of the ARC (which is both different and shorter than the one provided above) had me expecting a fast-paced, suspenseful thriller. While The Opposite of Amber did have some characteristics of that gen
Mar 10, 2016 Christie rated it really liked it
Recommended to Christie by: Teen Book Scene
Shelves: read-in-2011
With Young Adult very much dominated by supernatural creatures and tales of romantic angst, The Opposite of Amber is a book guaranteed to stand out among its companions on the shelves of bookstores. As if the synopsis and stunning cover aren’t enough to make readers flock, once you delve between the pages main character Ruby is guaranteed to take hold of your attention and emotions. She is unlike any protagonist I’ve ever encountered. Her quirkiness was utterly endearing and made for the perfect ...more
♥ Ashleigh ♥  contrary to popular belief im not actually mad!
WOW. what a wonderfully told story. bitter sweet and sad but beautiful. packed fulll with emotions and hard to face truths.

So we start off with two very different sisters who are completely intertwined with each other.
Jinn, the Nurchurer, always looking after others - even at the cost to herself. Jinn is the one that everyone notices and likes often being discribed as the shinning blond with life in her eyes.
than there's Ruby - our narriator.
This is Ruby:

"And for the first time in ages, i felt
Rebecca E.
Apr 18, 2011 Rebecca E. rated it it was amazing
The Opposite of Amber follows two sisters, Ruby and Jinn, and what happens when outside influences interfere with their close and loving relationship. Ruby is the narrator, and her very distinctive voice touched me very deeply. It's described as a thriller, and on one level it is, but it's much more than that too. I'd also say that although Gillian writes for Young Adults, this is easily a cross-over book and likely to appeal to just as many Not-So-Young Adults.

I found that pace-wise there was a
Apr 05, 2011 Mary rated it it was amazing
Set against a backdrop of serial killer on the loose, this is a moving and sometimes distressing look at the bond and interdependence between sisters,Ruby and Jinn.
I took a while to get into the swing of this book, for some strange reason it wasn't quite what I was expecting - I think maybe because the back cover blurb makes a lot of the relationship between the sisters and of the murders happening around town but nothing of Ruby's agonising over Alex's suicide attempt - but after that I was com
Kirsty (overflowing library)
The Opposite of Amber isn't the book you think it is going to be. The synopsis on it is a little misleading in its tone and sets you up for a very different kind of read. That's not to say the read you get in the end isn't good because it is but I'm warning you now to not set your heart on the type of book the synopsis seems to offer.

The books starts with you meeting Ruby. Ruby lives with her older sister Jinn who for all intents and purposes has spend her life acting as both her mother and sist
Feb 15, 2011 Amber rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Aug 04, 2011 Skye rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites, own, ya
This review is also posted on my blog, In The Good Books.

This book begins with what I later find out to be a regular interlude - Counting Games, it's called - where the main focus is on the serial killer and the found victims. The first three pages did an amazing job of mysteriously yet descriptively setting the chilling tone and the scene from an omniscient perspective. I was impressed to the point of shoving the book at anyone who had the patience to humour me and read the first three pages.

Aug 18, 2011 Erica rated it it was amazing
This was a really awesome book! It was really touching and intriguing. Once I started, I had a hard time putting it down, and the pages couldn't seem to flip fast enough. It was addicting, and I needed to know what was going to happen next and what twists Gillian Philip would throw at readers next.

The plot was not predictable by any means. Gillian Philip made readers suspect so many different characters and would switch the facts around to make other characters look just as guilty. I was constan
Apr 23, 2011 Vicki rated it really liked it
The Opposite Of Amber is a surprising book. Firstly, I presumed from the publishers blurb on the back it was going to be a murder mystery, tense and full of suspense. It isn't like that at all really, although there is an element of mystery about it. It's really about the relationship between two sisters, Ruby and Jinn and their lives in a run down Scottish seaside town and the traumas which haunt both them and their fellow residents. The second surprising thing was how hooked I actually became ...more
Apr 02, 2011 Jessica rated it it was amazing
Let me begin by saying that this is not a "happy" book. Beautifully written yes. Deep and moving yes. Happy? Not so much. If you are looking for a light and airy read, this book is not what you are looking for. Howver if you are ready to dive into a story filled with prose and a character driven plot, you are in for a treat.

From the very beginning of the story our main character Ruby is dealing with a lot. As I mentioned above, it seems as though she is barely hanging on to what she has left. Th
Stephen King
Aug 16, 2013 Stephen King rated it it was amazing
Oh Gillian, what are you doing to me? Just when I start to think about writing - just when I feel as if I might have something to say, and the skills and motivation to say it - I read The Opposite of Amber, and realize that I'm a long way short of producing this type of mature, multi faceted, inspirational work.
To call this a YA crime novel would be a total misnomer. It's heart-tuggingly sad but beautifully upbeat, tragic but comic, small town but worldly wise. Other reviewers have commented th
Annabelle Amber
Sep 26, 2011 Annabelle Amber rated it it was ok
This is just my personal opinion, so do not take this as a rating of the language or how you will like it. I found this book really depressing (it was supposed to be, but anyway) and hard to get through. Some books have to be chewed slowly, sucked on and savoured, but there are others that are just tough and yucky. This was one of these books. I found nearly all of the characters stupid and annoying, bar Wide Bertha (I rather liked her attitude and realness) and Foley (he was a nice person, not ...more
Aug 27, 2012 Jodie rated it really liked it
I don't think I have ever read a book like this before. Don't let the cover mislead you to believe this is a happy novel because it is a deep, dark and thrilling murder mystery- not for the faint hearted! Initially I found this book very hard to get into, but the pace eventually picked up. The author made you ask questions inside your head about who was killing these girls and why. The book seemed to be written very realisticly and I can imagine something like this happening in real life. The au ...more
Bewitched Bookworms
Mar 16, 2011 Bewitched Bookworms rated it really liked it
Shelves: show-me-the-free
Initially I had a hard time getting into this book. It wasn't the characters, who are intriguing despite their individual sadness, but rather the colloquial language used, as this story is set in Scotland, and a Scottish author. But after a while, I got into the rhythm of it and found myself fascinated by Ruby, thankful to have the insight into her thoughts denied to those around her by her monosyllabic behavior.

Read the full review here.
Feb 20, 2016 Ellen rated it liked it
Shelves: teen, fiction
An all right book about a girl called Ruby and her big sister Jinn. It's a bit slow for the first half of the book, and you know from reading the first chapter how it is going to end. Saying this, there is a rather good twist near the end, and the plot is quite good.
Mar 19, 2012 Verity rated it did not like it
Warning this is the most boring book ever I thought it sounded good you don't hear about the dead girls until the end of the book the rest you have to hear about love life's and I don't mind this but it's not even an interesting story about love
Jul 12, 2011 Allison rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, young-adult
Reminded me a little of A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews -- the same kind of smart, funny, lost adolescent female character, but the sister is still around, sort of. Less a mystery than a sort of sad coming-of-age story.
Sep 09, 2011 Annekalouise rated it liked it
Dragged on a bit but whe something actually did happen it made up for the stuff that didn't ( if that even makes sense) :)
Aug 15, 2011 Chelsea rated it it was ok
Nothing was particularly wrong with this book. I just could not get past the first 50 pages.
May 10, 2014 Beth rated it it was amazing
Loved this book, It was so good but it took a while to read. I loved it anyway.
Alison Forde
Aug 03, 2011 Alison Forde rated it really liked it
A YA murder mystery which kept me guessing till the end.
Hannah Harvey
Hannah Harvey rated it it was amazing
May 05, 2016
Daniella marked it as to-read
Apr 19, 2016
Carrie marked it as to-read
Apr 10, 2016
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Gillian Philip is the author of more than 20 books for adults, young adults and children, including the Rebel Angels series (Firebrand, Bloodstone, Wolfsbane and Icefall). Her debut novel, the dystopian mystery Bad Faith, was published in 2008.

As well as fantasy she writes crime: Crossing The Line and The Opposite Of Amber are published by Bloomsbury. She is one of the Erin Hunters, working on th
More about Gillian Philip...

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