BOOKBLOG: Penny Joelson

I Have No Secrets: a slow burn, but shines bright by the end.

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“Jemma knows who did the murder. She knows because he told her. And she can’t tell anyone.

Fourteen-year-old Jemma has severe cerebral palsy. Unable to communicate or move, she relies on her family and carer for everything. She has a sharp brain and inquisitive nature, and knows all sorts of things about everyone. But when she is confronted with this terrible secret, she is utterly powerless to do anything. Though that might be about to change…”

I had seen this book floating around on twitter for a while and it appealed to me. I didn’t know much about it at the time which I bought it. The cover was simple and endearing. I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself in for to be honest. I struggled at first. There were times I wanted to throw this book at my wall and be done with it – it was a very slow burn, but I persevered… I like to think that there aren’t many books I DNF. 

Jemma is a young girl with cerebal palsy and she can not communicate with anyone around her. She is just an observer in life. She finds out people’s secrets; they share things with her because they know she can’t pass them on; she knows things and sees things that possibly wouldn’t be given to her if she were able to communicate. She finds out something terrible – someone commits a murder and she can’t help. It frustrates her to no end. It frustrated me. There were times I just wanted her to be able to communicate somehow. I think this is why eventually the book became a quick burn to me – something changes and this changes the book entirely. 

This book is filled with characters I really liked, and characters I hated. I loved Jemma’s family dynamic. There’s some complicated relationships going on but her family I really liked. It’s a diverse family with some strong personalities. I really liked Sarah. She was everything which is good in the world to me. She looks after Jemma like a friend, sees her as a person. Yes she does some questionable things, but knows that Jemma is important. There is one character who I utterly despised. I don’t often dislike characters that much, but him, I really did. I won’t spoil anything, but if you read it and figure out who then please share your thoughts with me

Have you read I Have No Secrets?
What did you think of the premise and the characters?
How would you feel if you couldn’t communicate?

Let me know in the comments or on Twitter (@eenalol).

S x

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