Title: My Side of the Diamond by Sally Gardner
Genre: Teens, Y/A , General Fiction (Adult)
Publication: October 5th 2017 by Hot Key Books
Series: N/A –
Format: Kindle E-Book
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Ever since her best friend Becky disappeared, Jazmin Little has been shunned by everyone around her. But Becky didn’t just disappear, she seemingly jumped off a tall building but never reached the ground. It was as if she simply vanished into thin air.
Did Jazmin have something to do with her disappearance? Or was it more to do with Icarus, so beguiling and ever youthful, with who Becky became suddenly besotted…
I recently joined Net Galley and was lucky enough to be approved for an advanced copy of My Side of the Diamond. The plot sounded so intriguing that I simply had to request it and imagine my surprise when I got an email saying Hot Key Books approved it! I read quite a few of Gardners’ books when I was in my early teens and always enjoyed them, titles such as I, Coriander and The Red Necklace for example. I was very much looking forward to starting this book and seeing what it was like. Thanks to Hot Key Books for sending me a copy!
What I enjoyed:
- Mystery / Sci Fi Elements – The whole premise of the novel is based on figuring out what happened to Becky, as well as other characters when they disappeared. All these cases have something in common however: they each jumped off a building and no bodies were ever found. This drew me in immediately as I enjoy a good mystery and it seemed that supernatural or Sci Fi elements were definitely involved so I was invested till the very end.
- Different Point of View – I always enjoy books which have sections told from the POV of different characters and Gardner made good use of this. It took me a while to get used to the characters and to establish who was ‘speaking’ in each section but by the end of the novel, I was accustomed to it jumping around and I think this non linear narrative was necessary for the mystery element.
What could have been improved:
- Development of relationships: The two key relationships in the book: Between Jaz and Alex and Icarus and Becky, felt a little flat to me. Whilst I really wanted to root for the couples and get invested, I felt both were quite rushed and there was no build up. Perhaps with a lengthier novel, this build up could have been included but without it, I couldn’t really enjoy the romantic element at all.
- Disconnected from the characters: I didn’t feel like I was attached to the characters very much, I felt for Jazmin at times and empathised with one of the characters when it came to her eating disorder but I didn’t really love the characters as much as I would have liked to. They felt a little two dimensional, with little personality at times.
- Wasted time / Pacing issues: I felt like a large portion of the book was wasted on non essential or ‘filler’ moments. I understand that Jaz, Becky and Alex were trying to figure out what was going on gradually, but the plot moved so slowly at times that I found myself a tad frustrated. I kept wishing for some action to further the plot, to come sooner rather than later.
Overall, the mystery element and finding out what really happened to Becky is what kept me reading more than any other element. It was a pretty original addition to the Teen Y/A genre and I appreciated that I hadn’t read anything quite like it before.
If you’re a fan of Y/A and enjoy unique takes on Sci Fi, with elements of mystery then this book will be the right one for you. It is out for preorder right now on Amazon – (Click to see!)
Until next time,