Review Blog

Oct 25 2017

My side of the diamond by Sally Gardner

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Hot Keys books, 2017. ISBN 9781471406430
(Age: 11+) Highly recommended. Themes: Fantasy, Science fiction, Friendship, Anorexia, Artificial intelligence. A lone girl at school, Becky writes in her journal constantly, so much so that Jazmin grabs the book and reads it. She comes across an amazing story, one she insists the girl should share online. But when Becky's mother, Ruth reads it she gives it to a publisher and it is published, selling millions of copies, making the family well off, Becky retreats. Becky and Jazmin no longer see each other so when Ruth invites Jazmin to spend the holidays at the beach with her daughter, she is at first reluctant, but on seeing the state of Becky relents and goes, adamant that she will make her eat.
This very unusual story takes many turns, inviting the reader to think they are perhaps reading a supernatural novel, a mystery, science fiction, a story about UFO's, a romance, or tale of anorexia. It is none of these, and yet contains elements of each. So be prepared for the unexpected.
The story centres around sessions between several of the protagonists and a researcher, Mr Jones, who listens to each of their stories in turn, Gardner putting us in the place of the researcher; listening to, weighing up and judging each of the stories, sifting through each of their perspectives on what really happened.
Becky is transfixed by the story of Skye and Lazarus who disappeared after jumping from the dome of St Paul's Cathedral some years before. Their bodies never hit the ground and yet a man, Icarus, is in prison for their murders. It is he that Becky wants to interview while they are on holiday in Suffolk. And she does, becoming involved with him in the oddest of ways. She and Jazmin become involved with his story and when letting a stranger out of the locked cupboard, must run for their lives.
Icarus must leap into the unknown and wants Becky to go with him, and in so doing, relegates Jazmin to a life of suspicion and rejection by her peers. The reader is hooked into reading to the end to find out just what is going on.
Fran Knight

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