23 July, 2016


Title: This is Not Forgiveness
Author: Celia Rees
Series: -
Genres: YA, contemporary
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Source: Paperback
Pages: 280

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Everyone says that Caro is bad ...but Jamie can't help himself. He thinks of her night and day and can't believe that she wants to be his girlfriend. Gorgeous, impulsive and unconventional, she is totally different to all the other girls he knows. His sister, Martha, hates her. Jamie doesn't know why, but there's no way he's going to take any notice of her warnings to stay away from Caro. But as Jamie falls deeper and deeper under her spell, he realises there is more to Caro - much more. There are the times when she disappears and doesn't get in touch, the small scars on her wrists, her talk about revolutions and taking action, not to mention the rumours he hears about the other men in her life. And then always in the background there is Rob, Jamie's older brother, back from Afghanistan and traumatised after having his leg smashed to bits there. Jamie wants to help him, but Rob seems to be living in a world of his own and is increasingly difficult to reach. With Caro, the summer should have been perfect ...but that isn't how things work out in real life, and Jamie is going to find out the hard way. This taut psychological drama is the brilliant new novel from acclaimed Celia Rees

I found this book in my local library in my home town and didn't really knew anything about it or about the author for that matter. But I decided to read it cause I thought the cover looked nice and I don't even know why it reminded me of Looking For Alaska, by John Green.

THE WORLD:  The world in this book is our everyday typical world. The story starts with summer break and takes place over the period of a summer, so we have teenagers and just young people going to parties, to the beach, clubs, having romances, falling in love, the whole young and wild drama.

CHARACTERS: There are basically three main characters in this novel. Now the way this novel is written is from three different point of views, which I thought was a really clever and interesting way to write a novel. Okay so let's start with our first character  - Jamie. To me it felt like Jamie was more of the led character because everything in this book revolved around him, and his point of view is more dominant in the book. Jamie writes a diary, or a journal, let's call it a journal, so yeah he writes a journal about how his life is going and how he fell in love with a girl. I liked Jamie, I mean he was the more stable person in this book for me. He was just your plain every day guy, nothing special about him, I mean he wasn't described to be this gorgeous silent, mysterious type of a boy who you are destined to fall in love with,. Nope, he was plain simple, wanting to have a good summer before school and just going crazy for a girl.

The girl Jamie falls in love with is Caro. I have to be honest with you, she did remind me a lot of Alaska, but I felt like Caro had more of a backstory to her, so I actually kind of understood where she was coming from. She was annoying yes, but you understood why she was the way she was and after some time it stopped bothering me. Let me perhaps paint a picture of Caro a little more, so you guys could judge by yourself. Caro is a badass, she is the girl that your parents tell you to stay away from because she's trouble. But her being like this comes from within, as she has identity issues and just doesn't really know who she is or how to live and she feels like the world has failed her, so that's why she seeks comfort in alcohol or sex. But I think she was written really well, because such characters can become annoying really fast and she didn't, I didn't love her or anything, but I understood her frustration.She also writes a diary, so we get to see her point of view as well.

The same goes for Jamie's older brother Rob. When we meet Rob he is back from Afghanistan, on a medical discharge because his unit got hit and he hurt his leg really badly, so he is constantly on pain meds and beer. Again, Rob was not annoying, I actually think that I cared about him the most because you really understand in how much pain he was, not just because he got hurt, but because he had to see his dead friends and just all the pain. Rob didn't write a journal but he made these like videos where he would talk about how he feels and what he was planning to do.

We also have few minor characters such as Jamie's friends, Jamie and Rob's sister Martha, who I liked actually. She basically tells Jamie and Rob to leave Caro alone because she's going to ruin them and she just doesn't care she is plain straight up and I liked that.

LOVE: There is a love triangle guys, I'm not gonna lie, but let me explain why this love triangle is different. So Jamie falls in love with Caro, and it seems that Caro also wants to be with Jamie. They start dating and everything is nice for a while, Jamie doesn't mind people telling him Caro has another guy, he is just really happy. But she does, Caro is also dating Rob, but I actually wouldn't call it dating. These two relationships are very different from one another, and we understand that from Caro's point of view. Let me explain: Caro feels abandoned, failed, lost, Rob also feels that way so together they can forget the pain they are in. There is actually a line that Rob says in one if his videos, that what he and Caro have is not love but a connection, connection of two people in pain. And with Jamie, Caro has this teen romance, the first innocent, pure love, and I believe that's why she was always going back to him because of how innocent and pure Jamie was and she just wanted that goodness. 

PLUS: I enjoyed the way the book was written, I thought the three point of views method was brilliant and reflected the characters better. I also liked the plot, from the first page you know that one of the characters is dead and the other one says that the story is told in their honor but not to forgive them, and I have to say I though that the book would go one direction but it went into a completely different direction so the plot twist to me was really interesting and unexpected. 

MINUS: I would have loved to read more of Rob's point of view, or even have a section with Martha's point of view.

OVERALL: I did enjoy the book, I think it was simple, although it gets a little heavy and dark at times, but the pace was good, it didn't get boring so all in all, I would recommend this book for those who like contemporary and are not afraid of a little tension.


What did you think of THIS IS NOT FORGIVENESS?