Dandelion Clocks by Rebecca Westcott Smith will be loved by fans of Jacqueline Wilson, Cathy Cassidy or Annabel Pitcher. Liv takes us on a journey through her life from "Thirteen Weeks Before" to "Six Months After". We discover Liv's passion for photography, her brother's obsession with sticking to the rules, the stupidity of Moronic Louise at school, and how the family copes as Mum's terminal illness takes hold...Guided by Mum's own childhood diaries, Liv finds a new way to live. This book is real, funny, utterly touching and absolutely heartwarming. Despite the sadness at the heart of the story, every reader will laugh and keep on turning the pages, charmed by Liv and her mum. "A brilliantly told, ultra modern story about a significant six months in eleven year old Olivia's life - it should be sold with a large box of tissues!" (Jacqueline Wilson)
Title: Dandelion Clocks
Author: Rebecca Westcott
Format: Kindle ebook (Provided by Netgalley)
Goodreads Rating: 4.0/5
My Rating: 6/10
There's a lot that I really enjoyed about this book. To start with I think the premise of this story is fantastic, it's exactly the kind of thing I love to read, so I was really excited that I got the chance to read and review this book.
Next up I love the cover, I honestly think it's stunning. I also love the title and feel it ties in really nicely with the story itself.
I loved the idea of having the before and after sections. I found this kind of layout to be really interesting, and kept me turning the pages.
There were some really great moments in this story, I especially loved the section where Liv's mum teaches her to cook a meal. I think that scene was really powerful, because the reader knew why her mum wanted to teach her that skill, but Liv didn't and that was written really well.
I liked how realistic the characters seemed, they weren't perfect all the time. I was worried that Liv's character would completely change, and she's suddenly mature way beyond her eleven years, and it would seem a little rushed. However, this didn't happen, and although there was character development, it was gentle and realistic.
There were however a few negatives for me. I felt like the after section was really rushed. A lot of time got skipped and so we didn't get to see much of Liv's adjustement. Just a few quick chapters that didn't really get developed very far. This after section, for me, really let the book down because it was just really rushed. I wanted it to play out a little better, and so I was disappointed each time I got to a new chapter and it was suddenly skipping a big chunk of time. I felt like if the book had been just a bit longer, it would have had a better balance.
Overall this was an enjoyable book, and I would especially recommend it for the younger reader (11-14). It's an emotional story that I think will pull in a lot of readers, and I enjoyed it.