Book Review | Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher

Title: Ketchup Clouds 
Author: Annabel Pitcher
Publication: November 12th, 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown Book for Young Readers
Source: Borrowed from the library

Rating: 4.5 out 5 stars

Synopsis: Dear Mr. S. Harris,

Ignore the blob of red in the top left corner. It's not jam, not blood, though I don't think I need you to tell the difference. It wasn't your wife's jam the police found on your shoe....

I know what it's like.

Mine wasn't a woman. Mine was a boy. And I killed him exactly three months ago.

Zoe has an unconventional pen pal--Mr. Stuart Harris, a Texas Death Row inmate and convicted murderer. But then again, Zoe has an unconventional story to tell. A story about how she fell for two boys, betrayed one of them, and killed the other.

Hidden away in her backyard shed in the middle of the night with a jam sandwich in one hand and a pen in the other, Zoe gives a voice to her heart and her fears after months of silence. Mr. Harris may never respond to Zoe's letters, but at least somebody will know her story--somebody who knows what it's like to kill a person you love. Only through her unusual confession can Zoe hope to atone for her mistakes that have torn lives apart, and work to put her own life back together again.

Review: First off, some cover love. This cover is beautiful! 

After I read the premise of this book, I had to check it out. I was intrigued to find out what was going on, did she actually kill someone and get away with it? I didn't know what to expect going into this one and the lack of expectations made all the difference to me. I was surprised by what I found.

This book is written in all letter form. Zoe is writing letters to Mr. S. Harris in prison about her life, her story and why she thinks that they have some things in common. Zoe believes that Mr. Harris will understand her and possibly relate to why she did what she did. I think it was her way of dealing with the guilt of the loss she suffered. Even though this story is told through letters, I had a strong sense of who Zoe was and felt that I knew her myself. 

It's hard to talk about exactly how this book surprised me without giving away spoilers so please bear with me as I give some potentially confusing points, but hopefully it will intrigue you enough to pick up this book and read it (pretty please?) As mentioned in the synopsis, there is a death of a boy that Zoe knew and was fond of. I thought this death was someone that she had killed, maybe it was accidental or maybe it was on purpose, I was reading to find out. I was completely surprised and blindsided by what actually happened. Through finding out a grew a deeper feel for Zoe and what had happened to her. 

This book took me on a roller coaster through a dark tunnel. Zoe's tale made me feel so many different emotions, that were bouncing back and forth just as hers were throughout the story. You feel for Zoe. You care for Zoe. This is a wonderful contemporary fantastically written that any contemporary fan would enjoy.

Have you read this one and if so, what did you think of it? Are there any stories that have surprised you lately? Do you like to go into books not knowing much about them or having low expectations?