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This is Not Forgiveness

3.25  ·  Rating details ·  565 ratings  ·  98 reviews
Everyone says that Caro is bad ...but Jamie can't help himself. He thinks of her night and day and can't believe that she wants to be his girlfriend. Gorgeous, impulsive and unconventional, she is totally different to all the other girls he knows. His sister, Martha, hates her. Jamie doesn't know why, but there's no way he's going to take any notice of her warnings to stay ...more
Paperback, 280 pages
Published February 2nd 2012 by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (first published December 25th 2011)
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Amy (Turn the Page)
Nov 14, 2011 rated it liked it
This isn’t the kind of book where you fall in love with the characters and follow their story because you care about what happens to them. This is more of a psychological glimpse into some very real, very flawed characters. This Is Not Forgiveness focuses around war, terrorism, extremism, loyalty and love. It won’t be to everyone’s taste, but it certainly is compelling.

This Is Not Forgiveness is something new from Celia Rees, who usually writes historical fiction. Her wonderful Witch Child is st
Nov 19, 2011 rated it did not like it
I'm giving up. There is little introduction, and I don't know, maybe I missed something vital, but I'm confused and I can't work out who the characters are and what they have to do with each other, and the plot is going nowhere and I can't see how it will go on, and I've no interest anymore... I think I've given it enough chance to grab me and hook me in, and unfortunately it just didn't. I may give it a go again in a few weeks times, but right now I'm going to put it back on my shelf and start ...more
Stephanie (Stepping Out Of The Page)
I have only read one other book by Celia Rees, Blood Sinister, when I was quite a lot younger, but I still connect Rees with historical and some horror stories. This book is very different from the subjects and style of what Rees has written in the past and I thought that it was quite ambitious.

The story revolves around three people - Jamie and Rob, who are brothers, and a girl who comes into both of their lives - Caro. Jamie is supposedly your typical teenage boy, who gets a little bit obsessiv
Kayleigh {K-Books}
Jan 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary
This Is Not Forgiveness Review on K-Books

I really don't know where to start with this review. I was completely in shock and awe when I finished this book yesterday and really couldn't put my thoughts and feelings about it into words. Today, I am still unsure of how I can really write about this book. It was brilliant. I definitely did not expect it to be as good as it was. This is definitely not the kind of book that I usually read but I genuinely enjoyed every moment of it.

Jamie has seen the be
Nov 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This Is Not Forgiveness ripped something out of me, and then squished it back in. In a good way. I think.

Written from three different, but irrevocably intertwined, perspectives, This Is Not Forgiveness explores the realities of war, political activism, first love, mental health, and how challenging clambering from teenager to adult (17-24ish?) can be if you scratch the surface. It is, in places, a challenging read, but even the most shocking descriptions are somehow rendered a beautiful piece of
Casey Ann Books
Mar 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Until now, I had never read a novel by Celia Rees.

This Is Not Forgiveness isn't the sort of book I would usually read.
When I first picked up this novel, I'd said I wouldn't read it but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Never ever judge a book by it's cover or you'll miss out on some gems.
What I liked was that Celia used different fonts to identify different characters entry and obviously each of them had their own distinct voice.
The explanation and detail was so vivid, if you closed your eyes for a seco
Nov 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
"I can't decide what to do with your ashes. It's been nearly a year now. Almost summer again."


"This is not forgiveness. Don't think that."

A powerful start. We know Rob is dead. We know there were funerals. We know Rob has done something that cannot be forgiven, not even by those closest to him. The story returns to the start of that summer. Jamie's interested in a girl, Caro, and doesn't have much time for his brother who has been discharged from the army following an injury in Afghanistan. E
BAYA Librarian
Mar 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Told in first-person narrative alternating between the voices of Jamie, his hot-tempered and rabble-rousing brother Rob, and Caro, the girl they’re both inexorably drawn to yet repelled by, This is Not Forgiveness takes a serious look at post-traumatic stress disorder and how families are torn apart by mental illness and violence.

Indecisive, predictable, empathetic, and closer to his sister and mother – Jamie is the opposite of Rob. Sometimes vicious and heavy-handed – Rob takes after their fat
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
Read to roughly halfway and realized I was forcing myself to go on. I don't care about these characters or the bare minimum of a plot that's being set-up in those 150 pages. I had been so excited to start this, but both Rees's writing style and her cast did nothing to convince me this is worth my time. This was choppy, confusing, boring, awful and with repellant characters.

No, thank you.
Beth Kemp
Jan 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
The bulk of this novel centres on Jamie and is told in his voice. We know from the start that Rob is dead (Jamie is focusing on his ashes and thinking about his poorly-attended funeral), and that his was not the only death. Then we skip back in time, knowing we are being inexorably propelled to the catastrophic event that led to Rob's sorry little funeral.

Before long, we are involved in Jamie's life, with some chapters in Caro's or Rob's voice. These additional voices enrich the narrative and pr
Vee_Bookish // YA Book Blogger
As I heard it, this is not Celia Rees as I have ever seen her before. I've been reading her books for years and this book could have almost have been written by a different Author - no Vampires, no Historical, no Witches? I had to have a copy of this and I admit, I practically dived on Bloomsbury when I heard there was a limited amount of copies. The book didn't quite live up to it's hype, but that's okay, I was expecting that.

The story follows three characters, all who get a say at some point.
The original review for this title can be found HERE on The Book Hookup.

Christina's Review:

**Note:** Christina was provided an e-galley of this title from the publishers via Net Galley. However, that did not influence her review in any way.

The Lowdown: From the prologue, we gather that a guy named Rob has died and so have others. We know that whatever Rob did has made him the villain and that his actions won’t earn him forgiveness any time soon, even from his own brother and family.

“I ca
My original review for this title can be found HERE on The Book Hookup.

**Note:** Christina was provided an e-galley of this title from the publishers via Net Galley. However, that did not influence her review in any way.

The Lowdown: From the prologue, we gather that a guy named Rob has died and so have others. We know that whatever Rob did has made him the villain and that his actions won’t earn him forgiveness any time soon, even from his own brother and family.

“I can’t decide what to d
Aug 02, 2020 rated it liked it
This is a good book but i find all but the last couple of chapters very slow. This caused me to put off reading it. It took me a week to finish it because of it, but took me only two of those days to finish it .
Though it was quite slow i loved how different chapters are told by different people to get an insight to their thoughts. Overall it wasn't bad but could have had ore going on than just at the end.
Nov 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: All Psychological-Suspense Lovers, With Love Gritty Realism and Shocking Characters
4½ Out of 5 Stars

“I can’t decide what to do with your ashes.

“You don’t deserve to be liberated yet.

“This is not forgiveness. Don’t think that.”
Starting at the end with two funerals, we know Rob is dead. And that he did something those closest to him cannot forgive him for. The question is what?
Introducing Caro: mysterious, impulsive and dangerous. Meet Jamie: sweet, naïve and desperate for Caro to notice him, although he never thought she would. Finally Rob, wounded and damaged, a devoted so
Stefanie Stokes
Dec 04, 2016 rated it it was ok
I almost declared this a DNF because I couldn't tell if the main story was one POV or many since they were barely introduced. Then there was the switching timeline, the unlikeable characters and plot that didn't make any sense. I guess it drew me in and I did finish it but I'm not really any wiser about the plot and the characters were flat. I didn't really care about what happened to them.
May 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
'This is Not Forgiveness' was nothing like how I'd expected it to be. This book is not a story full of characters who you can sympathise with and at times I did really hate them but it is an absolutely amazing psychological page-turner. At its heart are harrowing but important messages about violence, mental health and love.
Dec 07, 2017 rated it liked it
I'm a big fan of Celia Rees' historical fiction so I thought I would give this book a go. As soon as I worked out which characters perspective I was reading from I was hooked.
Feb 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This wasn't a bad book. I did quite enjoy it but it took me a few chapters to get into it. The beginning was a little messy and confusing but I'm glad I persevered.
Aug 31, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: ya, young-adult
1.5 stars
Nov 12, 2019 rated it did not like it
A waste of time! Started of ok but then it just dragged and by the time it got to the last few chapters it was just effort to read. Couldn't wait to finish it if I'm honest.
A.R. Collins
Dec 09, 2013 rated it did not like it
As someone who enjoys Rees's historical fiction, I was extremely disappointed by this offering. Her writing is always technically sound, and in this case, there's a good story in there somewhere. Unfortunately, in my opinion, it has been incredibly badly executed.

The pacing is slow, and the characters severely under-developed. Most of the time it isn't at all clear why they're doing what they're doing. The story is told with three voices, all of them un-engaging, particularly that of Jamie, who
Nuisance Nonsense
Nov 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
It's hard to tell which chapters change the point of view so have some pointers: Regular type is Jamie's point of view, bold type is Rob's point of view, and italic type is Caro's point of view. Rob's chapters have a URL by the page number and Caro's chapters have a quote or picture by the chapter number.

On to the actual review part, I have a love-hate relationship with this book. Firstly, the way 'This is Not Forgiveness' is written was very hard to follow. For the first few chapters I had no
3.5 Stars

This Is Not Forgiveness is the first book I've read by Celia Rees so although I've been told it is very different to her usual books I can't make any comparison. The story is mainly told by Jamie with occasional chapters from his brother Rob or his girlfriend Caro's perspective. I've seen some people say that they found the switches in narrators confusing but I have to say I felt the author gave each character such a clear voice that I didn't have a problem keeping track of who was narr
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
Mar 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
This Is Not Forgiveness is a dark, contemporary young adult novel exploring themes such as alienation, depression and extremism with a confronting message. The book opens as Jamie contemplates a small brown plastic urn that contains the ashes of his brother, Robert, and then traces the events that led to his death. The story unfolds through first person narratives from Jamie, Caro and Robert allowing the reader essential insight into the motivations of each and their role in the story. Caro is t ...more
Nov 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Brothers Rob and Jamie are nothing alike; Jamie is young and niaive, whilst Rob is still suffering from the traumas of being injured in the war against Afghanistan. But they do have one thing in common. The charismatic, elusive Caro. Jamie falls head over heels for her, despite warnings from his sister. And for good reason - Caro goes days without calling him, has a secret past and a dangerous taste for radical politics. Both boys will find themselves under Caro's spell and making decisions that ...more
** For the full review please check out **

This was my first step into the incredible world of Celia Rees, and what a step it is. After reading This Is Not Forgiveness I am incredibly excited to read other books by Celia.

I received This Is Not Forgiveness as an ARC (advanced reading copy) as it is not due for release until February 2012. The blurb on the back doesn’t give much, if anything, away although mixed with the excerpt on the front cover you know that someone dies, so
Serendipity Reviews
Jan 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
I knew that this book was going to be different to anything that Celia Rees had written before but I was surprised just how different it was. I have loved Celia's previous historical novels and I was impressed by her ability to change to such a hard hitting contemporary novel that is very current and very real.

From the first couple of pages, you know this book is not going to end well. You just have to work through the harrowing experience that led to the events that came to be.

There is a real
Brandi Kosiner
Sep 28, 2012 rated it liked it
This is Not Forgiveness is darkly beautiful and draws you into this story with three main characters, all with their own voice and all with their own issues.
The opening wasn't what I expected and I needed to know what it was that Jamie couldn't forgive and if I agreed with him. So I began this heart breaking journey into Jamie, Caro and Rob's minds.
While I preferred the views from Jamie, I was drawn to Caro and Rob's stories like a trainwreck that you can't peel your eyes from. This is defi
Quick review for a quick read. I didn't expect "This is Not Forgiveness" to be as emotional or as intense a read as it was, particularly considering where it began. It takes a bit getting used to because you're navigating between three different perspective points told in first person (in the print book - they're distinguished between different fonts, but in the audiobook I bought from Audible, it's heavily reliant on the intonation of the narrator. Steve West does a fantastic job with the narra ...more
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Celia Rees (born 1949) is an English author of children's, YA and Adult fiction.

She was born in 1949 in Solihull, West Midlands but now lives in Leamington Spa with her husband. Rees attended University of Warwick and earned a degree in History of Politics. After university, she taught English in Coventry secondary schools for seventeen years, during which time she began to write.

Since then, she

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