My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece is an incredible book, narrated in the voice of ten-year-old Jamie, who refuses to see how damaged his family is. Jamie's older sister, Rose, was killed in a terrorist bombing in London. In the aftermath of Rose's death, Jamie's family falls apart: his mother leaves, and his father moves Jamie and his sister Jasmine, Rose's twin, out to the countryside. He then proceeds to drink and neglect them, leaving Jasmine to care for herself and Jamie.
It sounds dismal, but in Jamie's optimistic voice, it is instead achingly sweet and sad, with more than a touch of humor. I can't imagine readers not falling in love with Jamie and Jas. Among all the series and the dystopias, My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece shines through as an example of what a realistic, stand-alone novel can be.