The Year of the Rat
Actual rating 4.5
This book… I don’t even know where to begin with this book.
I couldn’t put it down.
That’s a lie, I forced myself to put it down so I could get some work done, but inevitably picked it back up within the hour to read “just one more chapter.” (The book technically only has twelve chapters, one for each month of the year, but there were scene breaks within the twelve chapters.)
This book will break your heart, this book will remind you of your youn ...more
I admit, though, the title threw me. There is nothing Chinese about this book. Not even Chinese food. Which is a pity. The title is perfectly clear once you get reading, but it does feel misleading to me.
It is also ex ...more
The Year of the Rat is the story of Pearl. Pearl’s mum has just died in childbirth, leaving Pearl, her dad and The Rat, the charming name Pearl comes up with for her tiny, premature sister. Over the course of a year, the story shows how Pearl deals (or doesn’t) with the death of her mother and the change in the status quo at home.
I feel bad that I didn’t like The Year of the Rat more than I did. The thing that prevented this book from being a DNF was the author’s writing. It flowed real ...more
The Year of the Rat looks at grief from the angle of a bereaved teenager stuck in the world with a new baby sister, her dad who is everything but her biological dad and a brand new baby sister, ‘the Rat’, blamed for the death of her mother.
What is so brilliant about Furniss’ novel is that the characters are real. So real it’s like I’m sitting amongst people I know. Pearl could be any sixteen year old so she doesn’t have an angelic mother who she idolises and believes was an angel, ...more
This review is also on my blog
In a nutshell: The Year of the Rat is a beautifully written and powerful read about life and death, family and grief.
Pearl's world tips when her mother dies in childbirth. Pink and wrinkled, Pearl names her baby sister The Rat and blames her - and her step-father - for the loss of her mum. Struggling with the grief of the loss, Pearl's relationships with her family and friends are fractured at best. ...more
This is -as all books handling the topic of death and greif- not for everyone since not everyone will see the similarities or understand the main characters Pearls behaviour. Some will find her spoiled and bratty, maybe even utterly selfish and uncaring for anyone beside herself and what she is going through.
For me her behaviour was very understandable, even reliable in some ways.
She was grieving. She was trying to ...more
The story begins with the funeral of Pear’s mother. We learn that Pearl’s “Dad” isn’t her real father but she has always seen him as such and that her mum died while pregnant. Pearl’s baby sister, The Rat, surviv ...more
I really enjoyed 'The Year of the Rat', it was a cute contemporary that dealt well with some difficult issues such as death, depression and bereavement.
The characters were all portrayed well, and I could really sympathise with Pearl and her difficult situation, you felt yourself on her side throughout when everything just seemed so unfair. I'm not embarrassed to admit Pearl's situation would be my worst nightmare and so I found it a difficult read, but in some ways that ...more
This is a wonderfully written debut novel that managed to portray a teenage Pearl's struggle with the death of her mother very realistically. The pace of this story is a little slow at times, and it didn't necessarily have a stand-out storyline. However, the writing, characterisation and shifting relationship dynamics between a variety of characters really drew me in.
Pearl's response to the loss of her mother was ...more
I loved this book and cried when I finished it.
This book deals with grief and so I had reservations as I find this can often be poorly written. However it was written beautifully, perfect for the age group (and older - I'm 23!).
As someone who has some experience with grief I felt it really captured the essence of not only losing someone you love at that age but also the revela ...more
This book deals with the emotional area that is the unexpected death of a parent, and the inner turmoil it can leave you in. Sixteen year old Pear ...more
Year of The Rat was an emotional read, and reminded me of Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott. Same concept, in which the main character loses her mother and cannot cope with the introduction of the new baby left behind. I felt for Pearl, she carries so much anger and guilt and doesn't know how to let it out and begin to allow herself to heal. The storyline is told over a period of a year and begins at her mother's funeral. Pearl is a likable character, but copes ...more
This book is beautiful. It's poignant in the beginning yet warm-hearted in the end. Firstly, I really want to slapped Pearl for being so selfish and annoying. A sixteen year old teenager who lost her mom after maternity of her newborn sister, Rose (the one she called The Rat). Pearl was angry to the world, to her Dad, to her sister and off course -- her mother. The whole story is about Pearl and how she coped with her loss. The interesting part, there also her mother ghost (?) with a good sense ...more
Taken from https:/ ...more
And then it stopped. The writing stopped moving so fast and Pearl's attitude towards her Dad and her sister was terrible. I wanted so badly to read this but it was atrocious! I'm sorry eek.
The Year of the Rat is such a simple and very fitting title for t ...more
My biggest problem with this book w ...more
The Year of the Rat i ...more
I can honestly say I have never read anything quite like it. It broke my heart. As a brief summary, Pearl, the main character, has just lost her mother after the birth of her new baby sister, Rose, whom she compares to a rat. The book ...more
The Year of the Rat is a poignant and thought-provoking novel that discusses themes of grief and dealing with the death of a parent and how one goes about leading a normal life after that.
After hearing Furniss talk at an event, and hearing part of The Year of the Rat being read, I couldn’t wait to start it. I didn’t know an awful lot about it, but I had an inkling that I would love it, and I really did.
Losing somebody close to you must be one of t ...more
I don't know why I keep reading these books about grief that make my heart ache so. But I do, and I've found yet another one that is beautifully written and I've thoroughly enjoyed, despite expecting it to not be 'my kinda thing'.
My favourite thing about this book was how raw and honest it felt. Pearl's grief is ugly and she has thoughts that you wouldn't ever tell anyone and that's why it's so important to read a book like this. Because no one is alone in these ugly t ...more
The story tell us about fifteen years old Pearl, and her world that suddenly crumble to the ground when her mum dies after after giving birth to her baby sister ...more
Characters: You feel so empathetic f ...more
I really liked the novel because of how real it is but also because of the humour laced throughout. It can be hard to inject humour in a storyline as tragic as this but the author does it very well. The storyline didn't stand out to me and I didn't get ...more
Grabbed this from the 'burn pile' because it was on our "Tearjerker" display and I'm really glad I did!
I have a weird thing about old arcs being tainted and unless it's something on my TBR list I don"t normally grab ones already released and the further away the pub date, well.....
Stupid, I know. But I need something to help me from grabbing everything in sight ;)
Finished reading: July 10th 2018
(Read in Dutch: 'Het Jaar Dat De Wereld Op Zijn Kop Stond')
“You shouldn't be wasting your time worrying about what's going to happen after you die. It's pointless. Think about what's happening now. In your life. That's what's important. ”
I still can't believe I was able to finish my Dutch read of the year this quickly! The Dutch translation of The Year Of The Rat was quite a fast read and that definitely helped me reach the final page easily. ...more
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"He said maybe sometimes, when people lose someone they love, it's like they die too. It's like perhaps that's the only way they can stay close to the person who's gone. They stop living." (p. 294)
The Year of the Rat was a beautifully written debut that follows a young girl named Pearl who loses her mum when she gives birth to her baby sister, Rose. The book is set over the year following Pearl's mum's death, and takes u...more
Pearl feels like she’s lost everything when her mum died. Her dad spends most of his time at the hospital with The Rat and her friends just don’t underst ...more