Author: Jenny Valentine
Release Date: January 7th, 2008
Positive. Negative. It's how you look at it. . . . Someone shoves a photo negative into Rowan's hands. She is distracted but, frankly, she has larger problems to worry about. Her brother is dead. Her father has left. Her mother won't get out of bed. She has to take care of her younger sister. "And" keep it all together . . . But Rowan is curious about the mysterious boy and the negative. Who is he? Why did he give it to her? The mystery only deepens when the photo is developed and the inconceivable appears. Everything is about to change for Rowan. . . . Finally, something positive is in her life. Award-winning author Jenny Valentine delivers a powerful and life-affirming story of grief, friendship, and healing that will resonate long after the last page.
Jenny Valentine tells a sad, realistic story of a teenage girl who had to grow up fast. Rowan was forced to grow up within a couple of weeks after her older brother Jack suddenly dies on a trip leaving her family in bits. The book focuses on the struggles of Rowan trying to look after her 5-6 year old sister Storma, dealing with her mother who cannot get over the death of her son and on top of that, she has to lie to her dad about everything that is happening in the house. So a not so happy themed book. However even with the dark theme and the depressing bits, the story is heart-warming and charming (obviously not the depressing and horrible bits), I absolutely love this quote
“I smiled back and I thought how incredible that was, that they would find the time to smile. There was goodness in the world still, even if you couldn’t always see it.” It sums up the book and the feelings behind it. I was expecting the book to break my heart, to make me sick with feelings and cry my eyes out but I smiled and laughed and even gasped when I read the book because as sad as the story is there was still a lot of things that were really happy and really joyful.
With looking after Storma, Rowan literally has no social life. Until a boy (a cute boy) hands her a negative for a picture and assures her that it belongs to her. Even though Rowan is positive it doesn’t. I absolutely love this part. The negative of the picture, the mystery behind it, not knowing what it is or whom it belonged to. It was great.
The characters in this book put a positive spin on Rowan’s life. I love that about this book. Rowan is so caring and loving that she is the mother figure for her sister even though it must have been horrible and hard for her to adjust. Bee brings a funny side with her almost bubbly personality, Storma is just adorable, sweet and funny; she nearly made me cry when I was reading her letters to her dead brother and Harper helps Rowan get some of her life that disappeared along with her brother.
The fact that the book was set in England made me happy. It was so much easier for me to relate to it, however after reading so many books based in America it was weird getting used to it. But once I did I was excited.
The book is such a fast read that I finished it within a couple of hours. It seemed so short, it felt like I turned the page and it was over. I am so glad I read this book. The only reason why I’m not “in love” with this book is only because the story was predictable in an unpredictable way. I could kinda guess what might happen and sometimes I was right or just about right but I still liked the little twists. I never saw the last twist however. That shocked me.