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Ketchup Clouds

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  6,602 ratings  ·  1,056 reviews
Dear Mr. S. 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. It wasn't your wife's jam the police found on your shoe. . . .

I know what it's like.

Mine wasn't a woman. Mine was a boy. And I killed him exactly three months ago.

Zoe has an unconventional pen pal--Mr. Stuart Harris
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Hardcover, 261 pages
Published November 12th 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published 2012)
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Popular Answered Questions

Universa Red Maybe she changed name because Zoe always writes 'yours truly' but it doesn't meet the concept of the book. Zoe always talks about things fading into…moreMaybe she changed name because Zoe always writes 'yours truly' but it doesn't meet the concept of the book. Zoe always talks about things fading into nothing. If people didn't know the title of the book they wouldn't think of Dot talking about ketchup clouds as a point of interest almost as if it 'Fades into nothing' so I think personally believe Annabel Pitcher changed the name so people would find the moral understanding of the book without it being directed at them .I think if all writers did this maybe we would all connect with the books a bit more but then again we wouldn't know what they were about.(less)
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)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Eve
"...my stomach ached with disappointment at the familiarity of it all. Humans. We're all the same. There's no escaping it...Doesn't matter what language you speak or what clothes you wear. Some things don't change. Families. Friends. Lovers. They're the same in every city in every country in every continent of the world."

If you're a Netflixter, then you're aware of the unique rating algorithm that essentially takes the guess work out of whether you will love or hate a movie based on your past
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Jo
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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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.
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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Ruby (Feed Me Books Now)
It's always said that a reader lives a thousand lives...

And this is one I will never forget.
Gi
I don't know why, but I somehow love reading books of the contemporary genre. And for the record (aside from its strange title), I chose Ketchup Clouds because of its cover (haha can't help it) and its interesting synopsis that got me curious all along.

"I've done something wrong and do you know the worst thing? I got away with it."


The main character can't keep her secret to herself any longer, so she decided to tell her story to someone. She introduced herself as Zoe. Her story was told from
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Liam
( 4.5 stars )

I've had this book for ages and literally knew very little about it but recently I felt an urge to just finally get round to reading it and WOW this book took me by surprise!

The concept and characters all felt so real and I really enjoyed reading this book and seeing how the story unfolded. I can't help but feel as though the ending was slightly anti climatic but it kind of helped make the story seem even more real and interesting!

The family in this book were so so well written and
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Charlie
Trigger warning: Sexual consent issues. Slut shaming. Sexual coercion. Talk of domestic violence leading to death. (view spoiler)

Synopsis:
Someone is dead. Zoe says she's responsible for his death. The narrative is insistent we won't find out who or how for far too long, like, all the damn book (leading to awkward reminises about 'The Boy' and 'Her Son'). I'm calling this the GIANT AWFUL SECRET
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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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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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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
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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
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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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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Mandy
Oh wow, I'm still trying to gather my thoughts about this book. I started reading Ketchup Clouds knowing pretty much nothing about it, but still hoping it would be a good read because I've read some really good things about this book. And oh my, what a lovely surprise I had.

I can't really describe this book to you, half of it is a cute contemporary story with heartwarming characters and also real life problems about family but on the other side the main character is pen paling with a death row c
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Leslie
Actual rating: 2.5

This book was not the best. The characters were very annoying, and it took a while for me to get into it.
Over all this book was just okay.
Paige
SPOILERS ALL UP IN HERE

The premise I was sold on: "some girls get away with murder". The premise I received: some girls whine about their lives to death row inmates.

Bullet points for speed and clarity! Away we go!
•SLUT SHAMING. Honestly, what the fuck? The book was filled with little digs and jabs at the MC's supposed sluttiness. And the messed up part? It is told from the MC's POV in letter form. So she is picking herself apart for her sexual behavior months later, and in letters to a complete
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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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Marie
WHAT AN ENDING! MY POOR HEART. I loved how this book was written I loved how it was told through letters. It was so heartwarming and heartbreaking at times. Also plus for main character working in a library.
Sarah Churchill
Please can Dot be my little sister?!
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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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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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
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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Marlies Stienstra (Tea Time Books)
Vreemd boek, vaag, rare titel. Apart kinderlijk verhaal. Duidelijk niet mijn 'cup of tea'. Binnenkort recensie op teatimebooks.nl
Andrea Tomé
Pitcher's prose is as magnificent and colourful as always. She masterfully gets to voice a very believable, very relatable 15-year-old. Zoe, our protagonist, is a dynamic character. Her parents and her sisters, albeit being secondary characters, are as well. If the novel had been about Zoe's family, I'd have given it 4 or even 5 stars. The tension and the conflict are perfect; so perfect, in fact, that I at first thought this book would be one of my favourites of the year.
HOWEVER... the whole lo
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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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YA Buddy Readers'...: Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher --> Starting August 5th 9 23 Aug 10, 2014 02:21AM  
Crazy for Young A...: Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher → Start Date: January 10, 2014 46 35 Jan 17, 2014 05:00AM  
Ketchup Clouds, real book? 2 49 Nov 29, 2013 03:59PM  
Zoe 9 53 Nov 10, 2013 10:20AM  
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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 Silence is Goldfish Project Bright Spark La meva germana viu sobre la llar de foc

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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?” 44 likes
“That's not how you're going to live, Bird Girl. Not on my account. Spread those strong wings of yours. Fly.” 36 likes
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