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Review: By any other name by Laura Jarratt

Nobody can know the truth - her life depends on it. I picked up the book and thumbed through the pages. Names in alphabetical order, names with meanings, names I knew, names I'd never heard of. How to pick? Nothing that would stand out, nothing that would link me to the past - those were the instructions. The past. As if everything that had gone before this moment was buried already. Holly is fifteen years old, but she's only been "Holly" for a matter of months. Because of something that happened, she and her family have had to enter witness protection and have all assumed new identities. All, that is, except her sister Katie, who is autistic. Starting at a new school mid-term is hard enough at the best of times, and Holly has no clue who she is any more. Lonely and angry, she reaches out to friends - new and old. But one wrong move will put all their lives in danger..

My Thoughts
I really enjoyed this book quite a lot for a variety of reasons.

For me the main part of the book is about identity. Holly is a teenage girl who was forced into witness protection. The reader meets her after a move to a new area and follows her as she tries to settle into a new home and new school. I must admit this part of the story is quite slow but it makes you think a lot about settlling into a new life and also those decisions you make about which peer group to get into and what makes a real friend. I loved seeing that process and found it completely fascinating.

This book also features an autistic character in the form of Holly's little sister. I loved her role in the story but also found the insight into living with a family member with autism really fascinating. It made me think about the way in which one may judge someone else without having the full story about that person.

For me the main part of this book was the relationship that began to develop between holly and emo boy. I loved seeing how their perceptions of one another changed as the story went along and I loved seeing the role in played in the main plotline.

Eventually the story kicks off once the criminals who forced holly into witness protection catch up with her. The story brought so many strands together and was fast paced and exciting. I really enjoyed seeing how things finally resolved and was completely hooked to the point where I couldn't put the book down.

A fab read which I enjoyed.


I'm reading this at the moment and loving it!
Anonymous said…
This looks great, I've just read your review and have now been convinced to get it :) Glad you enjoyed it!