By Any Other Name – book review

By Any Other Name - Laura Jarratt

By Any Other Name is the thrilling and emotional book, written by Laura Jarratt.

Holly is fifteen years old, except she’s only been ‘Holly’ for a few months. After witnessing something she was never meant to see, she and her family had to go into a witness protection program. They have to start over – a new town, a new school, new friends and a new life. But starting over isn’t easy. Holly doesn’t know who she is anymore. She struggles to fit in at her new school. Lonely and angry, she tries to reclaim her life, but no one can know the truth about her. But one wrong move could throw her and her family into danger.

*

I really loved reading this book. It grabbed me from the very beginning and took me on an unforgettable journey of love, loss and trying to discover who you really are. In this book, Laura Jarratt dealt with lots of issues that was incredibly interesting to read about; such as witness protection, autism, bullying, what identity means, and not judging someone before you really get to know them. All of this was very well done and although there were a lot of issues that this book dealt with, it seemed like Laura Jarratt wrote them effortlessly and beautifully. This book really made me think about what identity really means. Is it just your name? Is it your appearance? Is it your personality? Is it based on what choices you make? Or is it just knowing who you are and being a good person?

The writing was absolutely beautiful and one of the things I loved most about this book was how well developed the characters in this book were. It seemed that people we met weren’t what they seemed to be on the outside, which was a lovely change, seeing as that is how it is in real life most of the time. Firstly, Holly was a spectacularly written character. I could so easily feel her loss and her struggle in so many aspects. They way she dealt with things just seemed so real and everything about her was realistic. Her flashbacks were a great addition to the story, rather than just telling us what had happened in the beginning.

At the start of the book however, I was confused as to why she was going into witness protection. But as the book progressed, I learnt more and more about her past and what happened that led her to where she is now. Because of that, my eyes were glued to the pages and I couldn’t put the book down until I knew what had happened and found out what was going to happen. Another character I really liked in this book was Holly’s autistic sister, Katie. It was interesting to see how people reacted to her and what they thought of her. I understood how judgements could be made about her before they know the whole story. It was awful to see how some people would treat her and how they would make Holly feel when she was with her sister. I really liked this part of the book because it reinforced the idea of getting to know someone before you judge the person. This happened with Emo Boy too. I loved Emo Boy from the very beginning. He was dark and mysterious and so alluring. It was great to find out more about him and learn that you can’t assume things about someone by the way the person dresses. I loved seeing Holly and Emo Boy’s relationship turn from hatred to mistrust, to friendship and then something more… I can’t even explain how much I enjoyed reading the scenes between Emo Boy and Holly. Their relationship was perfect and I loved reading every bit of it.

I am very happy with the plot in this book. I always wanted to know what was going to happen. At some points, I found things a tiny bit predictable, but there were plenty of things in that book that made my jaw drop from astonishment. In the beginning, the book was slower, but it kept speeding up and hurtling towards the amazing ending. The last third of the book went at an extremely fast pace and made me read on until the end. I loved reading By Any Other Name by Laura Jarratt and I’d give it a score of 9 out of 10. I really recommend reading this book!

Thank you to Hardie Grant Egmont Australia for providing me with this book in exchange for an honest review!  

6 thoughts on “By Any Other Name – book review

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