Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Black Heart Blue” as Want to Read:
Black Heart Blue
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Excerpt

Black Heart Blue

by
3.97  ·  Rating details ·  1,175 ratings  ·  188 reviews
Hephzibah
You've no idea what it's like having a freak for a sister.

Rebecca
Born first, prettier, Hephzi's always been the more popular one.

The Father
When he was busy with his bottle we were usually safe. Usually.

The Mother
Her specialist subject was misery and lessons of painful silence . . .

Hephzibah and Rebecca are twins.


One beautiful, one disfigured.
Trapped wi
...more
266 pages
Published May 10th 2012 by Razorbill (first published April 26th 2012)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Black Heart Blue, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Black Heart Blue

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,175 ratings  ·  188 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Black Heart Blue
Jo
Apr 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cross-over fiction is a genre that I’ve thought a lot about.
Well, OK not really, I just said that so I sounded like I was ‘in the know’ about all things publishing. Before I read this book, a ‘cross-over fiction’ kinda book, I’d never really thought about it. But for reviewing purposes I have decided to do just that.
I’ve narrowed all my thoughts, highly highly intellectual thoughts, down to one question that I will attempt to answer in this review.

Is a book that is classed as ‘cross-over fiction
...more
Lynda
"They tried to make me go to my sister’s funeral today. In the end I’d had to give in … I’d been walking in her shadow for sixteen years and I liked its cool darkness. It was a good place to hide."

Such a beautifully written yet extremely sad book. It follows the lives of 16-year-old twin sisters, Hephzibah and Rebecca. Told in split narrative format, Hephzibah narrates the past (before her death) and Rebecca the present (after her sister's death). Hephzibah is the beautiful, outgoing and popula
...more
Stephanie (Stepping Out Of The Page)
I've actually waited a couple of days before reviewing this book and I think that I made the right decision to do that. Black Heart Blue is definitely a haunting book and I think that I appreciate it more now that I've had even more time to reflect on it. I think that this will be a book that lingers in my mind for quite a long time.


On the very first page of this story is a verse from Sylvia Plath's poem, Daddy. I absolutely adore Sylvia Plath, so when I read the verse, I was so excited that I w
...more
Nabilah Firdaus
(Fuh I tried so hard to make this a spoiler-free)

4.2/5 for Black Heart Blue by Louisa Reid.

Black Heart Blue is a gripping tale of twin sisters, Hephzi and Rebecca, who have been subjected to abuse and religious extremism in their own family. I like how distinctive the main characters are: Hephzi, the extroverted one, bold at the outside but most fragile at heart and then Rebecca, her twin sister, who suffered Treacher Collins Syndrome, who seemed fragile but actually was a strong-willed child in
...more
Mizuki
Feb 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pretty-good
The author of this book described child abuse in realistic ways, so as a result parts of the story is rather painful and disturbing to read, for example, the abused victims are always too fearful to seek for help to a point you become frustrated and wanting to scream "OMG! Seek help already!". Plus the complicated relationship between the disfigured girl and her pretty twin sister has also been handled nicely. 4 stars.
Karen
Mar 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Its quite rare that I feel so emotional when reading a novel but this certainly was the case with this story. Its a very powerful and compelling story at which I felt sadness, anger and hope in equal measures. The story is told in two narratives of both past and present from two twin sisters, Rebecca and Hephzibah (Hephzi). The book starts with Hephzi’s funeral. We are not told why she died although as the book progresses, it becomes clear. Although they are twins, the two sisters are very diffe ...more
Kirsty
Mar 25, 2012 rated it liked it
Black Heart Blue is a touching book which I really enjoyed because it is unusual and both sad and heartwarming at the same time.

I really enjoyed the way this story was told. It it told it split narrative for the majority of the book switching between the twins. One looks backs of the events the story is set around while the other is present tense. As a reader you are therefore trying to make sense and fill in the gaps between the two narratives which is something I really liked about it.

The best
...more
skippity_doo
Feb 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Annie Mag
Apr 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Teenagers and Adults
Recommended to Annie by: Colleague
Beautifully written and hauntingly sad. A reminder to us all that just because a family looks respectable it doesnt mean they are.
Rachel Masters
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book as it was a proper turn pager, and one I did not want to put down! Depicting the saddening tale of two sisters, abused at the hands of their parents, and their escape. I loved how the chapters alternated from the sisters perspectives, showing personal thoughts and feelings as well as events from both of their perspectives and their journeys. Great read, definitely recommend!
Faye {Daydreaming_Star}
This book was first reviewed on my blog; here

There are times when you pick up a book and it truly speaks to you. It’s words enter your mind and instantly find a place within your heart, refusing to leave and determined to leave a mark there forever. Black Heart Blue did that to me. From the very first sentence, the very first paragraph, to the very last paragraph, the very last sentence, this book grabbed for me and has not let me go since. I will carry it around with me wherever I go and I am e
...more
TheBookAddictedGirl
May 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone! It's So Incredible And Powerful And Will Stay With You Forever!
The day after reading this, I went to the cinema. I was going to see a great film, one I really loved. But I kept thinking about Black Heart Blue. I could not get it out of my head. That was a few weeks ago now. And it's still just as much in my head now as it was the second is finished it. That there is the sign of an amazing book…
Hephzibah and Rebecca are twins.
Hephzi is bold, beautiful and confident.
Rebecca is quiet, always living in her sister's shadow.
Now Hephzi is gone and Rebecca is all
...more
Amy
Feb 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: YOU! I'd rather be in this novel than not recommend it to ANYBODY.
Recommended to Amy by: Claire
Shelves: british
Not only recommended my Claire but by many others, book bloggers, non-GR members & obviously, Jaimie Admans. Thanks to everyone, especially Reid.

Review includes GIF and book trailer

This book may just be ever so haunting after those horrifingly engaging 274 pages (that's the whole novel). I quite liked the depth and sombreness- it just was portrayed so well in contrast to the up points of the novel. There were some of those and I felt more for Rebecca as she seemed to be taking the blows. Rebecca
...more
Natasha
I cannot stop thinking about this book. The storyline was clever and addictive and unbelievably incredible. I began to feel for the main characters and connect with them throughout the book. The style of writing was beautiful and made me turn the pages faster with each word. Louisa Reid has helped me find one of my favourite books and has me obssessing over a fantastic book.

Black Heart Blue is about two girls, which are twins, one is beautiful and the other suffers from a syndrome called Treache
...more
Natalie Frampton
May 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book was a really touching read.
Told by the perspectives of both sisters. Hephzibah speaks before her death of the details before the incident and Rebecca after Hephzibah's death.

Hephzi and Rebecca have always been homeschooled by their mother but the book begins when they have beged their strict, abusive father to let them go to college.
Hephzi becomes involved with a new group of friends and soon starts sneaking out the house to meet them.
Rebecca however struggles with her disfigured fac
...more
Anne
Jun 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Published in May 2012, Black Heart Blue is Louisa Reid's debut novel and is part of the SpineBreakers series from Penguin Books. It is aimed at a teenage audience, but is also published in an alternative, more adult cover. It is most definitely a cross-over story, one to be read by all ages.


Twin sisters Rebecca and Hephzibah are the daughters of the local vicar, they had not had an easy life, not allowed to mix with other children, beaten and abused, yet both of them had hope of a better life so
...more
Paula Sealey
Jul 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, favorites
Black Heart Blue is a powerful and harrowing tale of two sisters who have grown up sheltered from the world, subjected to religious extremism and abuse.

Told in before and after chapters by the two girls, we learn of the circumstances leading up to the death of Hephzi (before) and Rebecca's struggles to escape from her life (after).

A poignant and gripping tale, one that left me with a golf ball sized lump in my throat at times, and tears threatening to spring out at others. Do we ever know what g
...more
Cara McGovern
Aug 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tjala
Jan 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Tjala by: michelle
Black Heart Blue by Louisa Reid

This has to be one of the best books I’ve ever read since ‘My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece’ by Annabel Pitcher. I literally devoured it in less than two hours. Beautifully written, with a complex and original storyline, this story takes us through the lives of Hephzibah and Rebecca, two twins, one beautiful the other disfigured, when one of them suddenly dies. They cope with abuse, love, and death, and create a story out of this world. One of the twins tells the
...more
Barbienightmare
May 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I finished reading Black heart blue  this afternoon,  I finished this afternoon because I couldn't put this book down and stop reading.  Right from reading the   first page I was hooked. 
 The story is written at a nice pace with plenty of hints and descriptions of events and secrets hidden that I just had to keep reading to find out if they were as dark as they suggested.  ( and it turns out they are.. ) 
  The book is written from both the perspectives of two girls who are twins, one  is pretty
...more
Noor
Jan 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
haunting, heartbreaking!
When I started reading this book,
I somehow related to Rebecca's feelings of sadness and despair, and how she somehow got used to it.
I loved how the characters developed throughout the story..
how love made hephzi strong enough to stand up to The mother
how Rebecca started as a sad person with no self confidence and ended as a strong woman ready to face the world on her own.
I held resentment for The parents and I loved the girls.
Each character had a great part and the stor
...more
Matraversg
Feb 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is one that stays with you for days and days. Like other reviewers I devoured it in less than a day. It is fabulous - the voices of the girls are so real you can hear them speaking as you read. The power of the relationship of the girls extending out beyond the grave is so terribly sad but also comforting for the twin left behind. It made me cry, it made me laugh. Just stunning.
Michelle (Fluttering Butterflies)
What a difficult but interesting book to read. I really liked the dual perspective and the before and after timelines and how that shaped the story and what information is revealed to the reader. Was definitely a dark, hard book to read but I finished the book with a sense of hope.
Renita D'Silva
Nov 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Sad, poignant and ultimately hopeful.
Margo
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the most touching stories I have ever read, honestly- the beauty behind it takes your breathe away.
hawwa
Aug 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Twin sisters. Bound by fear. Torn apart by death.

Horrible. Unforgettable. Painful. This is a book that will stay with you long after you have finished reading it....
Hephzibah and Rebecca are twins.
Hephzibah: Born first, prettier, has always been the more popular one.
Rebecca: silent, disfigured; the girl who has no confidence whatsoever and lives in her sister's shadow.
Now Hephzibah has gone though, and has left Rebecca alone with the lies, secrets and abuse from her loveless parents...
...and if
...more
Bex Books
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So I came across this book on eBay held it in my watch list for a good few weeks the cover attracted my attention straight away but had too many books on my list before this but I gave in and ordered it...😀

I absolutely loved this book !! Black heart blue is perfect it touched my heart, I felt so sorry for those poor girls :( this book will definitely stay with me and I will highly recommend it to people.
And happy to say lies like love just arrived in the post :)
Stephanie Karaolis
One of the best debut novels I’ve read, Black Heart Blue is a heartbreaking, beautifully-told and haunting read.

The story is narrated by twin sisters Hephzibah and Rebecca, but we find out at the very beginning that Hephzibah has died. Her chapters narrate ‘before’, while Rebecca’s narrate ‘after’ as she learns to live without her sister.

Hephzi and Rebecca are the daughters of a village preacher and his wife. They have been home-schooled their whole lives, and don’t have much of a life outside t
...more
Claire
May 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Black Heart Blue follows the lives of two sisters and there are two parts to this book, the first half is split into before and after chapters. Before is told by Hepzibah and the after is told by Rebecca, I really like reading about Hepzibah as it meant you could learn things that her sister didn't know. She was slightly strange in the sense that she wouldn't want Rebecca near her in public and that she would occasionally get annoyed with her, her feelings were very mixed but she did care about ...more
Ollie
3.75 stars

This book will break your heart. You won't necessarily start to cry - I didn't, anyway -, but the unfairness and cruelty that Rebecca and Hephzi have to suffer from is sometimes just too much to bear.
At first, I had the intention to read this book in tiny little steps - to prevent my heart from shattering into a million pieces, quasi. But today when I sat down and started reading, I just couldn't stop. I had to know if Rebecca was going to be okay. I wasn't able to put the book un
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
hephzibah 5 23 Jun 29, 2013 03:09AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Beautiful Malice
  • The Places I've Cried in Public
  • Say What You Will
  • What We Saw
  • All Your Twisted Secrets
  • Black Rabbit Summer
  • Blood Games
  • Ashes to Ashes (Burn for Burn, #3)
  • Love Sucks! (Bite Me, #2)
  • Be Not Far from Me
  • Bite Me! (Bite Me, #1)
  • El mal (La puerta oscura, #2)
  • A Thousand Perfect Notes
  • Gravity Is the Thing
  • Fire with Fire (Burn for Burn, #2)
  • Here Is the Beehive
  • ¿Sabes que te quiero? (Canciones para Paula #2)
  • Romeo y Julieta / Julio César
See similar books…

Related Articles

November is the time for aspiring writers to get serious about writing that book! It's National Novel Writing Month, the annual event designed to...
76 likes · 15 comments
“There was no point dreaming; the leaflet was nothing more than a glass slipper handed to the ugly sister. I would never fit in there even if they'd let me go, which was a fairy tale in itself.” 4 likes
“If you hate, you lose who you are.” 3 likes
More quotes…