Black Heart Blue – Louisa Reid

You’ve no idea what it’s like having a freak for a sister.
Born first, prettier, Hephzi’s always been the more popular one.
The Father
When he was busy with his bottle we were usually safe. Usually.
The Mother
Her specialist subject was misery and lessons of painful silence…
Hephzibah and Rebecca are twins.
One beautiful, one disfigured.
Trapped with their loveless parents, they dream of a normal life. But when one twin tragically dies, the other must find a way to escape. Because if she doesn’t, she’ll end up like her sister.


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The Things We Did for Love by Natasha Farrant
How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
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Before I Die by Jenny Downham
Saving June by Hannah Harrington
A Swift Pure Cry by Siobhan Dowd
Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
Stolen by Lucy Christopher


11 thoughts on “Black Heart Blue – Louisa Reid

  1. This is a great book and it proves to your self that you can feel empathy for the character as it is written from their point of view. It is well written and the characters are well described and you feel like you are there a bystander who can do nothing but look on

  2. This was my favourite book. I loved the book and was so happy when there was a happy ending. It’s dark in places, but that just makes it more interesting. All through the book I thought Craig was one of the bad guys, so at the end I got a huge shock. Definitely an amazing book!

  3. This book is the sort of book I usually go for but this story takes dark and twisted to a whole new level. I despised the father from a few chapters in and was horrified when I found out the extent of what he was doing to Rebecca and Hephzi. I thought Hephzi and Dean would have had a happy future had it not been for the harsh conditions she was forced to live in. I felt Rebecca’s pain when the other kids made fun of her and her own sister would ignore her or leave her to starve. The abuse by the father was intolerable. I couldn’t believe he would even do such a thing. I felt so attatched to the two girls. This is probably my most favourite book of all time.

    Annie Dabb
    millennium riot reader group

  4. Fantastic – dark and shocking, yet uplifting. Brilliant narrative – changing both time period and voice. I really enjoyed this book , although I found it disturbing, in places. Best one yet !

  5. I loved this book, very confusing at the start but as soon as you get used to it’s easy to read and gets better later on .

  6. I loved this book, it was amazing 🙂 it was kind of dullish at this start but still left a lot of questions and made you want to find out more. By about halfway through the book couldn’t put it down, you had to find out what happened, you had to find out what would happen to Rebbeca. The ending was so sweet and I loved it. Would easily read it a million times because it was such a gripping story. Absolutely fantastically brilliant 🙂

  7. A great book which made me read for hours at a time and hardly get any sleep, filled with suspense and enriched characters and by the end I was begging for more answers. A lot of the confusion gets cleared up as the book goes on because of the way it’s written with it changing before and after. You know a book is good when you hav to put it down and think about what has just happened.

    Great book
    Great read

  8. I loved this book, it was very well written. It was a bit confusing at first but once you got used to it you got the gist of it. It was so gruesome and I’m not the gruesome kind of reader, I prefer fantasy. I know I love the sparkly pixies XD. But i loved it. It was very mysterious and very gruesome. I couldn’t put it down! I loved every second of it!!!!

  9. This is a really harrowing story of two sisters coping with abuse, love and death. I love how the narrator alternates between the twins and between different time zones (before and after Hephzi’s death), so that the tension keeps building up until the two time zones collide and we finally find out how Hephzi died. There are lots of hints throughout the book about many past events, but it keeps you guessing until all the secrets come gushing out at the end. I found it hard to take in because of the blunt and detached way that the twins narrate how they are beaten and abused by their Father, but it was effective as it provoked an emotional response. I felt frustrated because no one should have to suffer like that – I just wanted to shout ‘call Childline!’ I was totally horrified at how badly the twins were treated, to the point that I was reluctant to turn the next page and see what the Father would do next. This book really touched me and left me shocked and speechless. It’s definitely worth reading but not more than once – it’s too terrible to relive. I feel like this story will be imprinted on my mind for a long time.

    I loved this mysterious story, following the horrendous lives of the twins. I really liked how not only did the chapters alternate between the twins but also between tenses: I thought this made the book really interesting and helped it to flow. I felt myself turning over the pages, unable to stop! Although I absolutely loved the book, especially the relationships between the twins, Hephzi and Craig, Rebecca and Danny, I thought the ending could have been slightly different. However this didn’t take away how clever and moving I thought the book was. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and didn’t want it to end!

    Hephizbah and Rebecca are unlikely heroes in an eye-opening book. Written in “Before” and “After” sections narrated by each of the twins you have to piece together their life like any other outsider in the village. Throughout their story you are given clues to what happened after the “Before” and before the “After” reading between the lines of Rebecca’s lamentations and Hephzi’s annoyance. You find yourself marvelling at Mrs Sparks’ ignorance at what is going on right under her nose.
    Hephzi’s desire to escape makes a rift between the sisters because she has the tools and the mindset to make it happen but Rebecca is more accepting of her fate and does all she can to protect her sister from herself. By the end of their story you feel a part of it and wish you could do something to help the girls and tell them that there is more to life than playing invisible.

    There are so many things I could say about this book and shortening them down is hard, but I will start with the fact that this book isn’t one I would normally choose to read – even so, I read it like it was water and I had just spent 40 days in the desert. This is because the author wrote so brilliantly, although I did find I was slightly tuning out towards the end (but that may be because it wasn’t my type of novel). To tell you the truth, this was a great reading experience for me, and if this book appeals to you then there’s no doubt you will enjoy it too.

    Black heart blue is a book that will go straight to your heart with its characters and plot. It is the story about two sisters who are in a struggling battle, each with her own problems however they realise that they are one and the courage and sisterly love become the basis of this heart breaking novel. As the reader you are only able to hope for the best as the story of their life unfolds. This book will make you cry as it touches your heart with the truths of domestic violence. I would recommend this book to everyone as it gives you the truths of real life as both positive factors and negative factors too.

  10. Good book. The title and cover don’t really reflect the story very well. The start was quite slow,dull and boring though the book gets better and is well written.Not the type of story I would normally read but I would recommend this to people who like a sad story.
    I would rate this
    ***(out of 5)

  11. This is the first book I have read from he shortlist and i really enjoyed it. Rebecca was my favourite character and I thought Hephzi was a little selfish and arrogant. It had a hugely satisfying ending and I thought that even though it is very dark, grim and disturbing it is still definitely worth a read.
    Beth Khalil
    LRC Manager

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