Review | Eight Pieces of Silva by Patrice Lawrence

Eight Pieces of Silva

by Patrice Lawrence

YA Mystery, Contemporary

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Becks is into girls but didn’t come out because she was never in. She lives with her mum, stepdad and eighteen-year-old Silva, her stepdad’s daughter. Becks and Silva are opposites, but bond over their mutual obsession with K-pop.

When Becks’ mum and stepdad go on honeymoon to Japan, Becks and Silva are left alone. Except, Silva disappears. Becks ventures into the forbidden territory of Silva’s room and finds the first of eight clues that help her discover her sister’s secret life.

Meanwhile, Silva is on a journey. A journey to make someone love her. He says he doesn’t, but he’s just joking. All she has to do is persuade him otherwise …

I absolutely loved meeting Patrice Lawrence at a panel last year and I have loved all her other books too, especially last year’s Rose, Interrupted so I was really looking forward to her new release, especially after I found out it was a mystery with a lesbian main character! YES! So I’m sure you can imagine my total disappointment when this book was just not it for me 😦

Eight Pieces of Silva follows the hilariously authentic main character Becks who has to go looking for her step-sister Silva when she suddenly goes missing. She ventures into Silva’s room to find eight clues that she has to unpack and solve to make sure Silva is okay.

Firstly, I hated the structure of this book. So it’s told in dual perspectives of both Silva and Becks. Becks’s POVs are in the present as she looks for her sister, but woven in between the main story are chapters from Silva’s perspective, as she revealed the truth gradually about why she’s gone missing and what she is up to. Personally, I don’t think this worked. I think it gave away the mystery too soon and when we eventually find out the answers and the truth, I wasn’t one bit impressed because I’d already come to the same conclusion. Also, I get first love and all that but I kind of found it unrealistic just how desperate Silva was acting.

However, Lawrence is a master of dialogue and this book was no different. The characters are so fresh and authentic and I loved reading about them, even if I didn’t enjoy the story all that much. The writing style is excellent, but again I expected nothing less. Unfortunately this story just dragged for me and I felt barely any joy every time I picked it back up.

Part of me knows this book deserves two stars in my opinion, but I love Patrice Lawrence to do that to her. I’m going to go with two and a half. However, Lawrence will always be a staple name in UKYA for me so I’m of course looking forward to what she delivers next.

Review: Indigo Donut by Patrice Lawrence

indigo donut

Indigo Donut

by Patrice Lawrence

YA Contemporary, Romance

A story of longing, belonging and trust. Two very different young people discover who loves them, and who they can love back.

Bailey is 17, mixed race, lives with his mum and dad in Hackney and spends all his time playing guitar or tending to his luscious ginger afro. Indigo is 17 and new to London, having grown up in the care system after being found by her mum’s dead body as a toddler. All Indigo wants is to know who she really is. When Bailey and Indigo meet at sixth form, sparks fly. But when Bailey becomes the target of a homeless man who seems to know more about Indigo than is normal, Bailey is forced to make a choice he should never have to make.

A story about falling in love and everyone’s need to belong.

I’ve read Patrice Lawrence’s two other books and I had mixed feelings about her before diving into this book. I felt disappointed by Orangeboy and the hype it garnered but I absolutely flew through Rose, Interrupted and adored it. But after reading this, I can now safely say I love Patrice Lawrence as an author. She has such an authentic, unique YA voice that I’ve not heard anywhere else. I think if I read a 500 word piece in her writing I could instantly recognise her style.

Aside from that, the story that Indigo Donut told was beautifully refreshing. I love the characters of Bailey and Indigo, they were both equally crafted so well from beginning to end and I enjoyed following them on their personal journeys as well as watching how their lives interlaced with one another. Possibly my favourite thing about Patrice Lawrence’s books is how she knits music into every one of her character’s lives, it gives the novel an extra depth that really makes me connect on a deeper sense almost.

The pace in this started off a bit slow, but after I got through the initial beginning, I was hooked. The mystery was pulled off really well because I was constantly guessing from beginning to end and didn’t expect the answer we got at the end at all.

Lawrence also conjures a really strong setting in this novel of London and I felt really immersed. As a big fan of the city, I was really interested to see Lawrence’s descriptions of the city that only a Londoner would notice really. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and will definitely read more of Lawrence with her future releases! I would recommend this for those 14+ and for fans of contemporary UKYA, such as Sara Barnard or Cat Clarke!