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Silence is Goldfish

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  2,385 ratings  ·  317 reviews
'I have a voice but it isn't mine. It used to say things so I'd fit in - to please my parents, to please my teachers. It used to tell the universe I was something I wasn't. It lied.' Fifteen-year-old Tess doesn't mean to become mute. At first, she's just too shocked to speak. And who wouldn't be? Discovering your whole life has been a lie because your dad isn't your real f ...more
Hardcover, 365 pages
Published October 1st 2015 by Orion Children's Books
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Isabella Modlin Being a middle schooler/teenager I think that this book is very deep felt and emotional, in the middle school territory, because many people can relat…moreBeing a middle schooler/teenager I think that this book is very deep felt and emotional, in the middle school territory, because many people can relate to the protagonists life. The content is not to overly inappropriate, there is a drinking scene and a few swears, but giving it to a teenager would depend on the teens level of connection, understanding, reading level and maturity. personally I think that teens in my school would be able to handle and read well. (less)

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Average rating 3.52  · 
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 ·  2,385 ratings  ·  317 reviews

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Sarah Elizabeth
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Hachette Children's Group and NetGalley.)

“I might not always pay attention in Biology, but I am pretty certain that two blue-eyed parents cannot produce a brown-eyed child.”

This was a YA contemporary story about a girl who stopped talking.

I felt quite sorry for Tess, the information that she stumbled across on her dad’s computer was quite sensitive, and to find out in such a harsh way couldn
I wandered familiar streets feeling lost in the darkness, too scared of the stuff inside my head to be afraid of anything outside it. And now here I am with a plan that involves a goldfish, who looks shocked because this is not at all what he thought was going to happen when he woke up this morning next to the bottles of de-icer at the Texaco Garage that is the only home he’s ever known.

Tess has just read something shocking. Six hundred and seventeen words in which her father revealed that he wa
Claire (Book Blog Bird)
***Mildly Spoilery***

Tess Turner has just discovered something terrible. She read her dad’s blog and six hundred and seventeen words later her world is kind of coming apart at the seams. Soon she retreats into a world of silence, communicating only with her plastic goldfish torch, as she tries to make sense of what she’s found out.

I liked the theme of the book, which was all about identity and how where we come from shapes who we are. There’s also the nature versus nurture debate and the questio
Oct 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
I think I have the maturity of a teenager as this book—and its language—very much appealed to me. In fact I was pretty much hooked from the opening page.

Tess's an outcast. After reading the book I read some reviews in Goodreads and noted that some peeps there really disliked her character. I was surprised. I found her endearing. Of course I am much older and could probably sympathise with her a lot.

She's a loner but has lied to her parents about her friends. Her dad in particular has been keen
Book Riot Community
When Tess Turner learns that the man she thought was her dad isn’t her birth father, she’s shocked into silence. Literally. As she looks into her past, the truth about her real dad may uncover a lot of painful secrets. But when you aren’t talking, it’s easier to keep them. This is a fantastic contemporary coming-of-age novel about the definition of family and identity.
Backlist bump: My Sister Lives On the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher

Tune in to our weekly podcast dedicated to all things new boo
Michelle (Pink Polka Dot Books)
Sep 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tbr-2015
Every now and again I read a book that even when I don't relate fully with the main character, I end up completely immersed in the story and unable to think of anything else. THIS is one of those books. I had previously read (and loved) Ketchup Clouds, so I was super excited to read more from Annabel Pitcher. And now that I have, I will probably be reading everything she writes, forever ever.

The best thing about her books are that they are so full of emotion. She could be writing about something
Aug 21, 2016 rated it it was ok
I'm sorry but I didn't get it, like at all. I went into this book thinking it would be one thing and ended up getting something completely different.

I'll give it this, the authors writing style is enjoyable. It's easy to read and like and her voice is relatable.

But I didn't like her characters. I didn't understand any of them. Tess basically completely lost her marbles and it wasn't presented in any sort of legitimate way that I could see. Her actions were childish and ridiculous and it's anot
Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries)
I tried my best, but Silence is Goldfish is 100% not for me. The stream of consciousness narration gives me a headache and it became unbearable for me after 50 pages or so. Definitely not what I expected after reading Ketchup Clouds. Still, if you can handle stream of consciousness, go for it! Different readers have different tastes and all the way my best friend dislikes epistolary novels and I love them..
Feb 09, 2017 rated it liked it
I've been tossing up a 2/3 star review but thought I'd give Pitcher the benefit of the doubt. So here are my thoughts...There were some nice moments and ideas in this novel- especially about fitting in and feeling unsure of your own identity. However I found the plot fairly repetitive and many characters one-dimensional. Although I understood the conceit of the goldfish torch, ultimately I felt it unnecessarily infantilised Tess. The ending was rushed and neat while the rest dragged. Certainly i ...more
Sep 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-to-review
(I received a copy from Netgalley, In exchange for an honest review.)

It felt like it took me ages to get into this, so the first bit of it dragged slightly for me. Unfortunately, after It did manage to catch my interest, it wasn't long before the book started struggling to keep it.

There wasn't any parts in this that I loved, but it wasn't a bad read overall.

May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
This is a beautifully written book and I highly recommend it to anyone who likes tragic and slightly sad books. It is a great read about a girl who finds out that her Dad is not her Dad and confers with a goldfish torch, that talks back to her as she sets out to find her real Dad. She lies, becomes mute and faces a lot of problems that all work out in the end.
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps

I couldn’t get into the storing. The 15 year old narrator behaved as if she was 11, I didn’t like the writing or any of the characters.
Feb 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
This has been on my to read list for years and I finally got around to it. I absolutely loved My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece so was keen to read this too.
This is a great read too, not at all what I was expecting (with such an odd title I’ve never been sure what it was about). When Tess finds out something shocking about her dad she deals with it in a very surprising way. Recommended.
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, young-adult
Silence is Goldfish is about a 15 year old girl called Tess who just finds out that her dad isn’t her real dad, and her anger/frustration causes her to become reluctant to speak. We follow Tess’ story as she begins her search to find who her real dad actually is..

It took me a while to get into this book. I got quite lost during the beginning because there was so much going on at once. However the further I read, the more I loved it! Silence is Goldfish is a different approach to a YA book, full
Adele Broadbent
Dec 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is this author’s 3rd novel – her debut novel My Sister lives on the Mantlepiece and 2nd novel Ketchup Clouds both won awards and I’m sure Silence is Goldfish will certainly follow in their footsteps.

The main character, 15 yr old shy, overweight, Tess Turner is as real as one can get between pages of a book. Her thoughts are true to a young teen whose world has been tipped upside down by the truth. I loved how Tess explains who she is and how she feels about people around her – all who are o
Dec 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Silence is Goldfish by Annabel Pitcher

I was sent this book for the Goodreads Giveaways.

By the author of Ketchup Clouds and My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece, Silence is Goldfish is about fifteen-year-old Tess who discovers her father isn't her real father. She starts out by realising what has happened, that she feels she has been living a lie for the past few years, deciding she will pack a few of her things and go looking for her real father, regardless. Tess would love nothing more than to
In this first US printing of a novel published and set in Great Britain, Tess Turner has just accidentally discovered that her father isn't her real dad. And her current dad? If the blog post she stumbled across on his laptop is any indication; hated her from the moment she was born. Adrift in her confusion; 15 year old Tess falls mute.

"Speaking" only in her mind to a flashlight she calls "Mr. Goldfish"; we follow Tess through the fallout of choosing to remain silent and then of seemingly being
Jan 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
I found this compulsively readable, even though I didn't really like what I was reading. Tess's voice in this was possibly too realistic, i.e. she's a whiny teenager and she doesn't hold back on her whine. Her immaturity and the way she leapt to conclusions was intensely frustrating. I was also left feeling unsettled by the fact that the severe bullying that goes on during the book is never actually addressed or resolved. ...more
Karen Barber
Back in October I got a sneak peek at three chapters (hence rating)
Now I've got the full text!
After reading the whole novel, this still remains a three stars read for me.
Tess grew on me, and it was a good attempt to look at family relationships and how you come to terms with growing up/finding yourself. A little earnest for my tastes.
Amy Martin
Nov 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
This book is a lovely story in which a girl finds out a terrible secret she then goes completely silent to avoid being hurt again. In her silence she meets heaps of people who change her perspective on the secret. I recommend this book to both boys and girls. Ages 11 and up. Great book!
Nov 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review-copy-read
For a more detailed review, check out my review below:

Debra's Book Cafe

Debs :-)
Mar 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2018
All her life, Tess has been trying to fit in, saying and doing whatever her parents and teachers wanted to hear - until she sees something she wasn't meant to, a blog post by her dad from which she learns that he's not her dad at all and apparently didn't want her, either. The revelation turns her world upside down, and in response she stops speaking entirely, leaving everyone around her puzzled and concerned while she also tries to find out who her real father might be.

This took me quite a whil
Kelly Gunderman
Mar 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Check out this and other reviews on my young adult book blog, Here's to Happy Endings!

"At primary school when people tried to find friends, I tried to find space that my imagine could fill with whatever it wanted, nearly always butterflies because to me they were perfection, like real-life fairies with prettier wings."

Tess has always been different - she never fit in, and she has always been okay with that. She spent a good deal of time by herself while growing up, rather than with other kids, b
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-books
I really enjoyed this book there were so many elements to it that were unusual and unique for a young adult/teen book.
It dealt with the normal teen subjects like love, friendship and bullying
But it also dealt with imaginary friends, manipulative teachers, adultery, non biological parents, and much more.
The writing style is very easy to read and the chapters are short which makes you want to keep reading.
All in all a really unique read.
Feb 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Pretty good. Slow in parts but enjoyable and had a good plot. Interesting take on mutism in young people.
Devon Campbell
Took all of 4 hours to finish this book. Nice easy YA book with an interesting story line.
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: l-like-library
schizophrenia, cyber-bullying and weird affairs... I'm sorry, this book just wasn't for me. There were metaphors in all the wrong places, and the entire plot was basically just one big misunderstanding because the main character had given up speaking. ...more
Sara Grimes
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book took a turn! Im glad i pushed through to finish it!!
Oct 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Actual rating: 3. 5 stars
Apr 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Silence as a way of protest.
Tess Turner is 15. Despite having loving parents, she has the same pains and feelings of inadequacy as every other teenager; until that is, she peeks at her father’s computer screen, and her world is turned upside down. What do they say about not spying or eavesdropping, or you will sorely regret it? Well, every one of Tess’ self-professed inadequacies came to light in her own mind: her weight, height, looks, not least her square jaw, which she regards as being unflat
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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.

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  Kerine Wint is a software engineering graduate with more love for books than for computers. As an avid reader, writer, and fan of all things...
13 likes · 7 comments
“You might not be a lion, Tess. That's fine. Neither am I. But we're still cats, aren't we? Just because we don't roar, doesn't mean we have to be silent.” 2 likes
“They think it's what we need to hear, but it's the opposite. Inviting glamorous people to school, asking them to parade their glamorous lives onstage, getting them to inspire us with their message that anything is possible if only we believe. Dream. Reach for the stars. Well, no thanks. That's not for me. I'm not going to get there, and neither are most people that I know, and that's fine by me. It is. It really is. When did it stop being fine for everyone else? The normal stuff. Sunday dinners and, I don't know , taking a walk in the park and listening to music and working in an ordinary job for an ordinary wage that will allow you to maybe go on holiday once a year, and really look forward to it too because you're are not a greedy bastard wanting more, more, more all the time. That's who should be doing a talk at school. Seriously. Show me someone happy with a life like that, because it's enough. It should be enough. All that other stuff is meaningless.” 1 likes
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