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Book Review: Eight Pieces of Silva by Patrice Lawrence

Whilst her mum and stepdad are on honeymoon in Japan, 16-year-old Becks is left in the care stepsister Silva. However, Silva does not return home after dropping her parents at the airport. So begins the mystery.

Trying not to invade Silva’s privacy, an unfortunate ‘accident’ by Azog the cat, forces Becks into her sister’s room where she finds a box hidden under the bed. The box contains an envelope with eight seemingly random items. But Becks knows her sister and is certain that these items are connected to Silva’s disappearance, she just needs to piece the clues together. So, with the help of her best friend Raych and her crush (and possible new girlfriend) China, Becks starts investigating.

The  book is written in a dual narrative, mostly from Becks’ point of view. She is a strong character who outwardly exudes confidence, but inwardly second guesses herself and is an endearingly, awkward character. Then we have Silva. She’s the opposite of Becks and has a much quieter voice, one which I found quite sinister at times. 

Silva is clearly suffering from depression which stems from the death of her mother. In her fragile and vulnerable state, she is drawn into a toxic relationship with delivery man Logan. They are no longer together, but he has fractured her mental wellbeing so much that she becomes obsessed with him being the love of her life and wants him back at any cost. You soon begin to question who is in danger.

This is a fantastic read that deals with issues of grief, race, sexuality, blended-families, familial pressures, peer relationships and so much more. It seamlessly covers multiple real-life issues, whilst keeping you guessing about Silva throughout the book. It makes you think about issues surrounding mental health, and how we deal with it. Can we recognise the signs if it affects someone we are close to? Or is it easier to believe that everything is okay?

Highly recommended! There are so many interesting characters with stories to tell, such as Becks’ ‘DNA Dad’, that I have my fingers crossed for a sequel.

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