The Opposite of Amber – Gillian Philip

‘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, are 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 and 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. This is 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.

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20 thoughts on “The Opposite of Amber – Gillian Philip

  1. I started off this story thinking it was very boring, I really didn’t enjoy it and thought that nothing much would happen but I carried on reading anyway. I am glad to say I was pleasantly surprised as I ended up really liking this book near the end and I even ended up crying at some points. I feel very sorry for Ruby as she becomes completely alone when her mother dies and her older sister leaves her and lives with her boyfriend. Ruby however, is a strong character and carries on with her life as normal. Then at the end she finds out that her sister dies and this is one of the most emotional points which really get you hooked to this book. You want to find out who killed her and why. It is a very nice story when you really get into it you just need to get past the first few pages then you’d know what I meant.

    By Salma

  2. Kathryn says:
    Jinn and Ruby are sisters, and with the lack of a mother Jinn becomes like a mother to Ruby. Situated in a Scottish town, where murders have begun taking place Jinn is soon too busy to look after Ruby and their relationship is in tatters when Jinn takes up instead with bad boy Nathan. This is however just a doomed relationship that leaves her in an awful state at the finish. And then Jinn vanishes.
    This book is, contrary to the blurb that makes it sound like a murder mystery, a story all about the sisterly relationship between Jinn and Ruby, the way Gillian Philip writes this novel includes many red herrings and deep levels of themes. I think it was good book but didn’t really appeal to me, even though I have a sister, perhaps because it was just too far away from books I normally read and enjoy.
    It is a well written book that would appeal to those who are fond of sisterly relations and their hardships, plus some drama.

    Sarah says:
    Ruby idolises her sister Jinn, and Jinn has always been there to take care of Ruby. When Jinn starts spending more and more time with her boyfriend, Nathan Baird, she gradually becomes isolated , and she and Ruby grow apart. Just a sisterly dispute? Maybe so, but a girl needs all the friends she can get in a town with a serial killer on the loose….

    This book was really moving and empathetic, as it demonstrates the relationship between two sisters dissolve in front of their very eyes. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

  3. The first chapter of the book promises an exciting, fast-paced story. The middle of the book is filled with lots of small stories alongside a slow-moving tale of the main character’s relationship with her sister.

    This does, however, mean that Ruby (the main character) is very easy to relate to, as she describes herself and her life extensively when nothing seems to be happening in the story. She does have a unique character voice, and this makes the book unusual, but is more intriguing than the plot.

    There is a lot of drama in the book, but at the start you are given too much information about the murder, which means there isn’t enough in the rest of the book to keep it interesting. At the end, there is a brilliant twist, and everything makes sense. This part is quite moving and almost makes reading the rest of the book worthwhile.

    A good idea; unfortunately I can’t make it to the party but would have loved to have been there .

  4. You really wanted to see what would happen to the characters, at times it was a bit predictable but most of the time it was a great mystery.

  5. This book was really interesting, it was gripping and tense as you waited to find out what happened to the characters. At times I felt the book was too predictable, like I knew what was going to happen at the end. However, I did enjoy reading this book, but I didn’t find it impossible to put down. All in all, a good book 🙂

  6. This book was really good. I liked the characters and the story had lots of twists. The best part was the ending because it was unexpected.

  7. This was a great book, at first it seemed pretty boring but after a while I got really pulled in to the story.

  8. Reading this book felt quite weird because I’m not into this type of genre. It took me a long time to get in to the book because of all the different changes but eventually I got into the book. It really touched my emotions when Ruby’s sister went missing. Overall this is a great book and I really enjoyed it! 🙂

  9. WOW, this was a creepy book, and what a twist at the end!
    I really enjoyed reading this book, went a bit flat in the middle but then it picked itself up again!

  10. The first chapter of the book promises an exciting, fast-paced story. Unfortunately, this is not delivered until about 30 pages from the end; the middle of the book is filled with lots of small stories alongside a slow-moving tale of the main character’s relationship with her sister.

    This does, however, mean that Ruby (the main character) is very easy to relate to, as she describes herself and her life extensively when nothing seems to be happening in the story. She does have a unique character voice, and this makes the book unusual, but is more intriguing than the plot.

    There is a lot of drama in the book, but at the start you are given too much information about the murder, which means there isn’t enough in the rest of the book to keep it interesting. At the end, there is a brilliant twist, and everything makes sense. This part is quite moving and almost makes reading the rest of the book worthwhile.

    A good idea; unfortunately most of the book wasn’t directly about it.

    By Lauren

  11. I loved this book a lot and while reading it I was getting very involved in it and I could hear myself shouting in my head, telling Ruby not to push her sister away and everytime she pushed her a little further I could feel myself getting angrier even so it was a good thing and I loved every minute reading it. Also when I was trying to guess who it was it wasn’t until near the end that I finally guessed who it was and I was shocked to say the least. I loved following the story of Ruby and Foley, and I loved how the further away she became with her sister, the closer she became to Foley. I really enjoyed reading this book and can’t wait to read more of Gillian Philip’s books.

  12. I loved this book as I loved the relationship between Ruby and Jinn at the beginning. It reminds me of the relationship me and my mum share so I can really relate to Jinn and Ruby. I loved the little twists in it and it made me want to read on. In many books I can guess the culprit straight away, yet Gillian Philip left me in suspense all the way to the end. It made me cry . I loved the book and I am really interested to how Gillian got her inspiration! Great book!

  13. This was a really good book but I have to admit I did suspect the wrong person and was very shocked when the actual person was revealed. :/

  14. Opposite of Amber is another one of my favourite books in the group of books. The storyline is just gripping, I couldn’t put this book down it was that great! The storyline felt very realistic, and as I was reading I felt as if I was there with the characters watching over this happening and at times I was shouting stuff at the book because it was just so gripping, like when Ruby is in the house and Nathan comes to the door I was like NOOO! I loved the off chapter bits of “Counting games” they were good because it gave you a background to what had actually happened. Furthermore the twist at the end was absolutely amazing, I did not expect it! I was actually gobsmacked when I got to the ending; it was a well thought ending and very good! Great book, I would easily recommend people to read it!

  15. I liked this book, I sort of like a book that keeps the reader thinking and this book met my expectations

  16. I chose this particular book to talk about, because I really enjoyed it and I think this book is really good. The book is about two sisters called Ruby- the youngest- and Jinn- the older sister-. At first they are inseparable until a boy comes along and spoils their relationship. Then, as the book proceeds they grow further apart when suddenly Jinn goes missing. Also, this is a book about women being found in the river dead whereas the police have no idea who the murderer is. Overall out of ten stars I would give this book a nine. Finally I would like to say that I like it how Gillian Phillip doesn’t give away the murderer until right to the very end of the book.

  17. This book was excellent, it took me some time to get into the book as I felt it rambled on a bit. Although this book got me thinking from the start of who it could be, we come into contact with many characters which makes you think about the book more. An excellent read that gets you thinking and makes you think back about how you realise who it really is.

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