Published by Little Brown on November 12, 2013
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Dear Mr. S. Harris,
Ignore the blob of red in the top left corner. It's jam, not blood, though I don't think I need to tell you the difference. It wasn't your wife's jam the police found on your shoe. . . .
I know what it's like.
Mine wasn't a woman. Mine was a boy. And I killed him exactly three months ago.
Zoe has an unconventional pen pal--Mr. Stuart Harris, a Texas Death Row inmate and convicted murderer. But then again, Zoe has an unconventional story to tell. A story about how she fell for two boys, betrayed one of them, and killed the other.
Hidden away in her backyard shed in the middle of the night with a jam sandwich in one hand and a pen in the other, Zoe gives a voice to her heart and her fears after months of silence. Mr. Harris may never respond to Zoe's letters, but at least somebody will know her story--somebody who knows what it's like to kill a person you love. Only through her unusual confession can Zoe hope to atone for her mistakes that have torn lives apart, and work to put her own life back together again.
Ketchup Clouds has one of the most unique premises that I’ve read in a while. I had high hopes for an intriguing read unlike any I’d read before. While I definitely found it to be a unique story, I had quite a few issues with it.
Zoe is an unusual character. She writes to a man on death row because she feels like she can relate to him and his situation. She also knows that he will never tell anyone her story. She admits to him that she killed someone and the rest of the book is spent exploring exactly how and why she thinks she killed someone. It’s a captivating story that had me guessing for a while but there were definitely issues.
First off there was Zoe. She seemed very cold and detached. I never felt like I could relate to her. Everything with her was almost clinical. I wanted to see her emotions. She was confessing to killing someone, someone close to her, yet she never seemed torn up about it. I could not connect to her at all and I found myself just wanting to get to the end of the book so I could be done with it.
The other characters weren’t much better. Her parents were a little too detached and involved in their own drama. They paid very little attention to what was actually going on with their kids. The sibling dynamic was interesting though. I actually enjoyed the relationships of the three sisters. That was the only time I could really get any emotions from Zoe. As for the boys, well, they were just meh for me. I couldn’t see why Zoe was interested in one of them when the other one was clearly perfect for her. I don’t want to give anything away though so that’s all I will say about that part.
Overall, Ketchup Clouds is a unique, interesting read but not something I’d ever re-read. If you have nothing better to read on a rainy day, give this one a try. It’s a quick, suspenseful read that will leave you thinking.