Published in May 2012, Black Heart Blue is Louisa Reid's debut novel and is part of the SpineBreakers series from Penguin Books.
It is aimed at a teenage audience, but is also published in an alternative, more adult cover. It is most definitely a cross-over story, one to be read by all ages.
Twin sisters Rebecca and Hephzibah are the daughters of the local vicar, they had not had an easy life, not allowed to mix with other children, beaten and abused, yet both of them had hope of a better life someday.
From the beginning of the story the reader knows that Hephzi is dead, and that Rebecca is mourning her and blaming herself.
The book is cleverly told by Rebecca in the present and jumping back to Hephzi in the past, enabling the reader to get the full story.
Frankly, this is a heartbreaking read, there were times when I felt that I could read no more as the emotion in the writing really affected me.
It is more about the implications of what has happened and what is happening than graphic detail, and as the twins' story slowly unfurls, the pure terror of their lives is laid bare.
Black Heart Blue is an outstanding debut novel from an author who is able to get right into the characters and bring them alive on the page. I will certainly be watching out for more from Louisa Reid.
Many thanks go to Nicola at Penguin for sending a copy for review.