Mini Review: Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher

Posted April 22, 2022 by Angie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

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Mini Review: Ketchup Clouds by Annabel PitcherKetchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers on December 27, 2012
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult Fiction
Format: Hardcover (272 pages)
Source: Library
Purchase: AmazonIndieBound
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Dear Mr. S. Harris,

Ignore the blob of red in the top left corner. It's jam, not blood, though I don't think I need to tell you the difference. It wasn't your wife's jam the police found on your shoe. . . .

I know what it's like.

Mine wasn't a woman. Mine was a boy. And I killed him exactly three months ago.

Zoe has an unconventional pen pal--Mr. Stuart Harris, a Texas Death Row inmate and convicted murderer. But then again, Zoe has an unconventional story to tell. A story about how she fell for two boys, betrayed one of them, and killed the other.

Hidden away in her backyard shed in the middle of the night with a jam sandwich in one hand and a pen in the other, Zoe gives a voice to her heart and her fears after months of silence. Mr. Harris may never respond to Zoe's letters, but at least somebody will know her story--somebody who knows what it's like to kill a person you love. Only through her unusual confession can Zoe hope to atone for her mistakes that have torn lives apart, and work to put her own life back together again.

Rising literary star Annabel Pitcher pens a captivating second novel, rich with her distinctive balance between humor and heart. Annabel explores the themes of first love, guilt, and grief, introducing a character with a witty voice and true emotional resonance.


Ketchup Clouds is a book that I was super excited for when it first came out, then promptly forgot about it. Then recently rediscovered it and got super excited again! Nearly a decade after its release, I’ve finally read it and know Zoe’s secret! I flew through it because I just had to know what happened between her, Max, and Aaron which resulted in one of the brothers dying.

Zoe (not her real name) slowly reveals what went on with her and the boys over the course of the year she knew them in letters to a Death Row inmate. She feels guilty, but not guilty enough to turn herself in, but she needs to get the truth off her chest. Who better to understand than a man who murdered his wife? Well, about two-thirds in, I started having doubts about Ketchup Clouds. Zoe was taking way too long to get to the point and kept dancing around the issue. It made me suspicious that this was not heading in the direction I thought it was. There’s no huge twist. No big ending. It’s quite subtle. I enjoyed the suspense of it all, but the ending was a bit disappointing. But Zoe does repeatedly say that life doesn’t have a grand build up…

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