Review: This Is Not Forgiveness by Celia Rees

This is Not ForgivenessEveryone says that Caro is bad ...but Jamie can't help himself. He thinks of her night and day and can't believe that she wants to be his girlfriend. Gorgeous, impulsive and unconventional, she is totally different to all the other girls he knows. His sister, Martha, hates her. Jamie doesn't know why, but there's no way he's going to take any notice of her warnings to stay away from Caro. But as Jamie falls deeper and deeper under her spell, he realises there is more to Caro - much more. There are the times when she disappears and doesn't get in touch, the small scars on her wrists, her talk about revolutions and taking action, not to mention the rumours he hears about the other men in her life. And then always in the background there is Rob, Jamie's older brother, back from Afghanistan and traumatised after having his leg smashed to bits there. Jamie wants to help him, but Rob seems to be living in a world of his own and is increasingly difficult to reach. With Caro, the summer should have been perfect ...but that isn't how things work out in real life, and Jamie is going to find out the hard way.

I didn't know what to expect with this, I've read Celia Rees' historical books but this is something completely new from her and wow, I was blown away. A powerful start, an emotional ending and everything in the middle was heart-wrenching. 

I will start by saying that none of the characters are particularly likeable, Rob is a total... well he's a bit of a butt-hole, Jamie is naive and depends too much on other people and Caro is broken and selfish, but the characters are meant to be this way, this is a real life book an the draw is in the message which is delivered so fantastically and realistically.

This book gives a story on how war affects people, from the injured Rob to the revolutionary Caro, I don't want to give much away but this book talks about extreme views, the type of things that we do see on the news and gives us the background of the characters and why they do the things that they do. It was difficult to read at times, and not in agood way as I'm not the type of person that likes to read such depressing books HOWEVER this one really did get to me and I have spent the whole night thinking about it, mainly because of the story bu also because of Rees' fantastic writing.

At times the pacing was a little slow and there was a lot of confusing making it difficult to get through pats of this book, but it really picked up eventually.

Overall, a heart-wrenching, gripping, thrilling, emotional read. Despite some issues with pacing, this book has affected me in ways that so few books can. 

Overall Rating: A-

To be released February 2nd 2012 through Bloomsbury.
Book received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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