Books,  Five Stars,  Review,  YA

Black Heart Blue by Louisa Reid

Author: Louisa Reid
Publisher: Penguin (Puffin Books)
Published: May 10th 2012
Pages: 274
Format: Paperback
Source: Review Copy from Penguin
Goodreads: Add It


They tried to make me go to my sister’s funeral today. In the end I had to give in … I’d been walking in her shadow for sixteen years and I liked its cool darkness. It was a good place to hide.’

Rebecca’s twin sister Hephzibah was beautiful and daring. She was the one who always wanted more. The one who wouldn’t listen. Now she’s gone, Rebecca is alone.

While there were two of them, they stayed silent about their home life. But Rebecca, who knows the truth about how her twin died, suddenly finds herself keeping too many secrets. Hephzibah dreamt of escape, but failed. Could Rebecca be the one to find freedom?

Original and unforgettable, Black Heart Blue is not just Rebecca and Hephzibah’s story. It’s a story about all of us: a story about the lies we want to believe, the truth we sometimes can’t, and having the courage to discover the difference.


There are times when you pick up a book and it truly speaks to you. It’s words enter your mind and instantly find a place within your heart, refusing to leave and determined to leave a mark there forever. Black Heart Blue did that to me. From the very first sentence, the very first paragraph, to the very last paragraph, the very last sentence, this book grabbed for me and has not let me go since. I will carry it around with me wherever I go and I am extremely glad for that because it is a book that moved me to tears, a book that truly made me think about the world around me and just really, really spoke to me. I cannot recommend it enough.

Rebecca may just be one of my favourite characters ever. She is such a powerful protagonist but she doesn’t even realise her strength and that is just so heart-breaking in its self. All I wanted to do throughout the entire novel was reach through the pages and hug her into oblivion. She was protective and caring, damaged yet strong and proud. She only ever wanted to live, to survive, to be. She lived her life for her twin sister, and after she felt the loss weigh on her shoulders as she struggled to continue on with her life. Her passion for books was inspiring and really brought out more of her character. She felt so real and sad and great and I just loved reading more of her thoughts and feelings and actions.

Hephzi was a brilliant character as well. She was lively despite the circumstances. She wanted the best out of life that it could offer her and she tried her hardest to get it. Despite all of this, despite it all, I actually just couldn’t find myself liking Hephzi. She wasn’t strong enough, she wasn’t independent enough and she was just too self-obsessed for my entire liking. But I feel that this really helps to bring the story alive. It makes the story better that Hephzi was the way she was, it makes you understand why it was Rebecca who survived because if it had gone the other way around, Hephzi may not have lasted much longer. Hephzi gave Rebecca strength not only in her life, but also in her absence and I just loved that compassion.

The style of this book could have been confusing, it had the chance of being too heavy-going, a little too much to bear but thankfully, this simply wasn’t the case at all. It switched from Rebecca’s POV after the death and Hephzi’s POV before the death and it was just really interesting. I felt that this style really made the story that much greater. The comparison not only between the two girls but between the two journey’s just made the book and the message that much more powerful. I would find myself itching to read more of both stories as I read, wanting to know what was going to happen next. I guessed, as it came to the end, what had happened to Hephzi but I feel that this was supposed to happen. Louisa wrote it that way on purpose. It definitely had its impact, it’s gut-wrenching, heart-tugging, tear-jerking impact and it left me feeling battered and blue. As did the end of the novel, but it also lifted my spirits slightly, made me feel happy for Rebecca.

I wish there were better words to describe how amazing and brilliant this book was. I wish there was a way to convey the feelings and emotions and thoughts that went whipping through my head as I read this book without ruining it and I really, really, wish that this review does this book justice because it is a book that doesn’t just need to be read; it demands to be read. There were so many instances in the book where I had to stop and pause because I could no longer see the words on the page, so many times when my heart thumped faster in my chest, urging Rebecca on or scowling at Hephzi and wishing I could just get her to see. This book shocked me to my very core as it carried me on its journey and I know that it is one that I will read, and re-read, and re-read time and time again.

Black Heart Blue may not be full of supernatural creatures, it may not be full of the epic proportions of dystopian novels and it may not be everyone’s cup of tea but it certainly took a hold of me and made me fall in love with it. It quickly made it’s way into my top ten books of 2012 and may have even snuck its way into my top ten of all time. It is one of the most powerful, heart-wrenching, emotional and “realistic” reads that I have read in a very long time and it is one that I can only urge every single person to go and read. If there is only one book to buy this spring, Black Heart Blue is it. It will not be a book to disappoint.

** I received this book in return for an honest review **

And, because I love it so much, why not check out the trailer?



  • kimba88

    wow..excellent review..Sold :) I am excited about how excited you are, and that you are still thinking about it. Strong protagonists and multiple POV’s appeal to me. I like your last paragraph and will be picking this one up. Awesome!

  • Louisa Reid

    Not sure that the author is allowed to comment here, but I can’t help myself. Reading this review just made me cry. Thank you for loving and understanding my book. I am so privileged to have a reader like you!

    • Daydreaming_Star

      Haha, I’m glad my enthusiasm is infectious! Everyone should be privy to this amazing book; yes, yes they should! You’re very welcome! Thank you commenting, and for reading!

      Faye <3

  • Kathe (Good Lit and Green Tea)

    The title of Black Heart Blue got to me the first time I read it. I don’t know why exactly; it just struck me, y’know? This rainy afternoon, seeing your review makes me think that, yes, I need to read this book, and, yesyesyes, I need it NOW. If it moved you so much, if it made you think, it must be worth reading.

    Also, the trailer’s awesome. Awesome in all the ways.

    Thanks for the review!

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