5 years ago Jamie's sister Rose was blown apart by a bomb. People have said that time will make things better for her family but as far as Jamie can see, they're actually getting worse - his dad cries all the time, has all Muslims marked down as terrorists and drinks himself to sleep at night; his Mum has run off with the man from the support group; Jasmine, Rose's twin, dressed for so long in the image of her dead sister, has cut off her hair, dyed it pink and got her nose pierced in an attempt to be herself.
When someone phones Dad with an offer of work in the Lake District, he decides to go for it but a change of location doesn't magically bring things back to normal.
This is one of those books that I'd heard such a lot of hype about and wondered how it was possible for it to live up to it - but it does!! My Sister Lives On The Mantelpiece is a surprisingly funny and totally readable tale of a family trying to come to terms with the death of a child.
Told through the eyes of Jamie - who was 5 when Rose died and doesn't remember her too well - avoids too much sentimentality. He is more interested in his cat, his new school, keeping secret his friendship with Muslim girl Sunya and his desperate belief that his mother will return to them one day.
This story is both unflinchingly brutal and laugh out loud funny. Although aimed at teens, I'd recommend it for almost anyone!
Maryom's review - 5 stars
Publisher - Orion Books
Genre - teen,