Close Your Pretty Eyes by Sally Nicholls

I listened to Sally Nicholls talk about this book at the Edinburgh Book Festival. I was intrigued by the story but I was also unsure how the book would work and if it would actually appeal to a teenage audience.

I was wrong to have any doubts. The book tells the story of Olivia, a young girl who suffered at the hands of her mother and was taken into care. By the time she has stayed with a couple of foster families she is emotionally damaged and cannot stop sabotaging her own chances of a happy home life.

Olivia is the type of girl you would avoid at school – violent, angry and rude. Yet Sally Nicholls writes with such skill that you empathise with Olivia and, even at her worst, you want the best for her

The ending is perfect because it leaves the reader to work out what might happen. This is quite a special book, not mainstream and not an easy read.  I hope it does well and I hope it is widely read.

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