Furious after discovering that her dad isn’t biologically her dad and that it’s been kept secret from her all these years, Tess decides to protest. By not saying a word to anyone (except her Goldfish torch, that is). But she gets so used to not talking that she forgets how to, which becomes a big problem for Tess when her best friend Isabel gets picked on, and she stumbles across something that could tear lives apart.
This book has been on my TBR for so long. Since January 2016, to be exact. I remember reading Ketchup Clouds at some point at school several years ago so I had to check out the authors other work – safe to say it’s took me some time getting round to it! I was so pleased to find a copy in a local library.
I didn’t get the title, until I read the book of course. I quite liked the talking Goldfish torch element even though it was quite bizarre, it’s definitely not something I’ve read before – it certainly made it clear that Tess wasn’t coping well.
While at times I thought Tess was being a bit dramatic, I totally understand why she felt so hurt and betrayed. Her parents seemed to have no intention of telling her and when she snooped on her dads computer and found out (with some harsh words from him), it was obviously going to be a shock.
I really felt part of the story, with the characters developed so well I felt their emotions aswell as felt emotions about them! I got so angry with Mr Richardson, and upset when Isabel went through a tough time. I wasn’t very keen on Tess’ parents – they were going through all sorts of emotions themselves, but they could’ve tried to be more understanding. Her dad really didn’t come across as a nice person. Tess was an incredibly determined character, and her gran was an absolute blessing. The school bullies made me want to reach into the book and stop Tess from associating with them, and just avoid them at all costs!
Something I didn’t understand was that the bullies were transphobic towards Tess, but she isn’t transgender. Being transphobic is not acceptable anyway but I’m not at all sure why these “jokes” from the bullies were in the story whatsoever. This seemed to just come from nowhere so I’m rather confused about it.
I found it quite sad how desperate Tess got to find her biological dad, and how she didn’t feel capable of telling her best friend so instead got carried away with the idea that any man who shares a likeness with her in any way must be her biological dad.
I could not believe how manipulative Mr Richardson got with Tess upon finding out she’s got selective mutism, and even more so once Tess finds out what he’s hiding. I’m glad the book ended how it did otherwise I would’ve been so stressed about the situation!
Some quotes I loved are:
- “I am big and I am strong and I am powerful – a girl of Everest proportions who won’t easily be conquered.”
- “Dream. Reach for the stars. Well, no thanks. That’s not for me. I’m not going to get there, and neither are most people that I know, and that’s fine by me.”
- “There’s a war in my brain, all right, and the doubts are winning.”
- “You might not be a lion, Tess. That’s fine. Neither am I. But we’re still cats, aren’t we? Just because we don’t roar, doesn’t mean we have to hide ourselves away.”
As a whole, I had a blast reading Silence is Goldfish and would likely recommend it. I read it super quickly (it took me just over 2 hours) and looked forward to how it would conclude.