Monday, 15 March 2021

Eight Pieces of Silva by Patrice Lawrence


Reviewer:
Catriona Troth

What We Thought of It:

What do you do if your mum and stepdad have just jetted off on honeymoon and your big step-sister, who is supposed to be looking after you, disappears?

This is the dilemma facing 16 year old Becks. Of course she could just kick back and enjoy the freedom, but she actually cares about Silva. And her instinct is telling her that something is very, very wrong. So she does the unthinkable and roots around in the forbidden territory of Silva’s room for clues.

What she finds only deepens the mystery. And now she has to wonder if she ever knew Silva at all.

Lawrence has written another wonderful, page-turning thriller. Her teenage protagonist is spikey, passionate, caring – sometimes blind to the obvious, but nonetheless determined to do the right thing.

At the centre of the mystery is an exploitative relationship – one that takes advantage of a vulnerable young woman, playing on her emotions with scant regard for the consequences. It may not be grooming as we read about it in tabloid headlines, but it’s nonetheless insidious and damaging.

Much as Becks feels herself to be alone, she does in fact have those around her who care about her and who will support her when she really needs it.

There is lots of wonderful detail here about teenage life (for which Lawrence credits her own teenage daughter). Becks is passionate about K-pop, Lord of the Rings and Black Panther. She is also into girls, which is never portrayed as an issue; it’s just a part of her identity. (Becks “didn't come out because she was never in.”)

A great book to open up conversations about healthy and unhealthy relationships. And just as importantly, a thoroughly gripping read. 

Shortlisted for the inaugural Jhalak Children's and Young Adult Prize.

You’ll Enjoy This If You Loved: Orangeboy by Patrice Lawrence, The Million Pieces of Neena Gill by Emma Smith-Barton, The Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

Avoid If You Dislike: Stories involving the loss of a parent

Perfect Accompaniment: K-pop and your favourite smoothie

Genre: Young Adult, LGBT, Contemporary, Thriller 

Buy This Book Here

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