An extraordinary tale about the search for love from the acclaimed Costa and Carnegie winning novelist Sally Gardner.
Jazmin has been shunned ever since her best friend Becky disappeared. But Becky didn’t just disappear – she jumped off a tall building and seemingly never reached the ground. It was as if she simply vanished into thin air. Did Jazmin have something to do with her disappearance? Or was it more to do with Icarus, so beguiling and strangely ever youthful, with whom Becky became suddenly besotted . . .
I have read a couple of Sally Gardner books over the years and when I saw this one in our local library I knew it had to be my next read. Her books always have amazing characters, a story that makes you not want to stop reading and writing that flows beautifully. My Side of the Diamond was no different and I honestly struggled to put it down!
Reading the back of the book I assumed it was about angels. But it wasn’t. Once I started reading I realised there was more or a sci-fi style twist with it. This made me love it even more than I would have loved the angel take I think! The idea of why Icarus was where he was really intrigued me too. I loved that the majority of it was told from Jaz’ point of view and the way it was being “told” to someone. The ending made me so happy after hearing the perspectives of the story and I’m really glad that Mark’s perspective was included.
The story is pretty “unbelievable” if you think about it right at the start, which is why Jaz’s version of events weren’t believed at the court case that was had when the events first happened. The book is set well after what happened to Jaz and Becky happened. But the shift in perspective and the way it was told I could see everything as it happened in my head. I loved that it was all a story being told but felt so real as Jaz and the other’s who narrated told it. I really loved Jaz as a narrator and believed everything she told, but understood how a young Black girl telling the story could be torn to shreds in the courtroom. It made me feel for Jaz and put me on her side 100%.
I devoured this book, I started it on the Thursday night and only managed to read about 40 pages before needing to go to bed. By Saturday I was nearly done. I had company at my house on the Sunday then forgot to take it with me when I went away Monday. I was kicking myself not having it with me on my mini break because I couldn’t stop thinking about it! I haven’t felt like that about a book for a while and if that doesn’t tell you how good it is, I don’t know what will.
I know covers shouldn’t matter, but I absolutely loved it when reading, I realised why the book cover was designed like a moleskin notebook. It was a fantastic touch and made me love the book even more. There was only one small thing that put me off the book and it was Becky’s return to “health” from having anorexia. That was the least believable bit of the story. Obviously anorexia should be a trigger warning for this book and the way its dealt with could really upset some people who have suffered from it.
My Side of the Diamond was published in 2017 by Hot Key Books. My copy was borrowed from my local library.
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