My Side of the Diamond, Sally Gardner ARC Book Review

Not a bad book as books go, but I can think of a couple of things that would have made it even more amazing…

Goodreads Summary:

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 . . .

With detailed and intriguing black and white illustrations throughout.

This book is written as a series of interviews with people connected to the disappearance of Becky, primarily Jazmin but there are a few other characters along for the ride. It reads a lot like a YA contemporary novel with a bit of a science fiction twist. There is the feeling in the back of my mind that this book has and had the potential to be incredibly powerful and thought provoking, it just missed the mark in a couple of places.

For instance, there is no real doubt in the book that we’re supposed to believe Jazmin. She’s set up as a trustworthy narrator from page one. But would this not have been so much more powerful a novel if she wasn’t treated as trustworthy? If I read back some chapters without getting it in my head that she was telling the truth would it have been more engaging a story? Perhaps that’s what the author was trying to do, if so, it didn’t feel quite so effective as, for example, Elizabeth is Missing which is the most moving untrustworthy narrator I have ever read.

Maybe that’s the root of what stopped me from utterly loving this book. There’s the essence of a wonderful mystery here, why Becky is missing, why Icarus is important here but rather than hinting at things and leaving the reader to decide for themselves what is happening and how much of it could possibly be extraterrestrial, instead the story feels very spoon fed. That makes for very pleasant reading but I like to be challenged by books like these and I didn’t truly feel like I was.

There are some great elements to this book however, the plot, while at times a little unbelieveable, is certainly engaging and the writing itself is entertaining and well done. If you read more YA contemporary than I this might be more suited to your temperament but for me there was just something missing.

My rating: 3/5 stars

My Side of the Diamond releases on the fifth of October this year so get in your pre orders if you want to see what it’s all about.

By the way, I received a free digital advanced review copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

What say you? Have you read My Side of the Diamond? If so, do you agree with my assessment? Let me know in the comments below!


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