Monday, March 28, 2011

ARC Review: The Opposite of Amber by Gillian Philip

Title: The Opposite of Amber
Author: Gillian Philip | Author Website
Available: 4/18/2011
Reading Level: YA

Description from Goodreads:

They found the fifth girl right after the snow melted ...the place where he left her was winter water, crazed with ice-feathers and dusted with snow. The traces from her body were gone, the ones that said his name, but she had an extra skin of ice that protected her and she looked perfect, like Snow White'. Ruby and her older sister Jinn live together on their own, just about making ends meet. Jinn is beautiful, with glittering blonde hair, and makes it her business to look after Ruby. They are horrified by, but try to ignore, the local newspaper stories of prostitutes who are murdered, their bodies eventually discovered underwater. Then the no-good Nathan Baird turns up on the scene - again - and Jinn starts to change. First Nathan moves in with Jinn and Ruby, making Ruby feel an outsider, and then Jinn and Nathan move out, leaving Ruby alone. Jinn no longer has time to look after Ruby. And it seems to Ruby that Jinn herself needs looking after. Her beautiful glittering hair starts to lose its shine. And then Jinn disappears. A deeply moving, chilling, and incredibly powerful thriller that celebrates the love two sisters have for each other and mourns the events beyond their control that will conspire to drive them apart.

My thoughts:

With Young Adult very much dominated by supernatural creatures and tales of romantic angst, The Opposite of Amber is a book guaranteed to stand out among its companions on the shelves of bookstores. As if the synopsis and stunning cover aren’t enough to make readers flock, once you delve between the pages main character Ruby is guaranteed to take hold of your attention and emotions. She is unlike any protagonist I’ve ever encountered. Her quirkiness was utterly endearing and made for the perfect narrator of the turmoil her family faced, and the brutal crimes rocking her community. 

The Opposite of Amber is made up of so many layers, and writing that flows just beautifully. Not an action packed read by any means, but a pacing that keeps readers interested because of the characters you can’t help but to care about. Packed full of such a unique cast, and a maze of twists and turns from start to finish. I started reading expecting a murder mystery (which I did get), and found this book contained so much more. I loved the bond between sisters Ruby and Jinn, and was heartbroken as I watched it dissolve when the troubled Nathan entered the scene. Readers experience the dynamics of many different relationships, and how things happening around them causes them to bend and change. I almost felt like I was getting a fascinating lesson in human dynamics. I was worried that the author would veer off the plot path with so many things happening, but they all intersect in a precisely executed ending.

This is a book that will make readers feel, and leave its impression long after you’ve finished reading! A must read for anyone craving strong character driven writing. The author did a stellar job of bringing something fresh to the Young Adult scene!

My Rating:

Order from Amazon:

The Opposite of Amber



  1. I'm a big fan of character driven books, and this one sounds a little different to anything I've read before. Looking forward to reading it! :)

  2. Fabulous review! I love character-driven novels, and I've really been craving them lately. This sounds amazing. I really need to get my paws on this :)

  3. Wonderful review. I am a huge enthusiast of mysteries, but even more a lover of character driven reads. and this sound like it has both. I will have to red this one for myself. Thanks!

  4. While I have seen this cover around, I haven't read a summary or review. This sounds really good, I like books that stick with you. Thanks for the review.

  5. Thank you, Christie, for a wonderful review - to know that Ruby and Jinn struck a chord with you and that you cared about them is positively the best thing an author can hear!

  6. I just added this to my TBR list the other day, now I'm happy I did!

  7. Sounds great and smooth :) great review!

  8. PS Your review flowed so well I came back to reread it ;)

  9. This sounds really unique and thought provoking. Thanks for the review!