Monday, 9 December 2013

Stones by Polly Johnson

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins UK, Digital and Netgalley.
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Coo is trying to cope with the hand that life has dealt her. At sixteen, she feels she’s too young to have lost her older brother, Sam, to alcoholism. She’s skipping school to avoid the sympathy and questions of her friends and teachers, and shunning her parents, angry that they failed to protect her, and desperate to avoid having to face the fact that, towards the end, she began to wish Sam would leave forever – even die. Then, one day, truanting by the Brighton seafront, Coo meets Banks, a homeless alcoholic and she’s surprised to discover that it is possible for her life to get more complicated.Despite warnings from her friends and family, Coo and Banks develop an unlikely friendship. Brought together through a series of unexpected events, strange midnight feasts, a near drowning and the unravelling of secrets, together they seek their chance for redemption. That is, until Coo’s feelings start getting dangerously out of hand.

Stones by Polly Johnson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Stones(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins UK, Digital and Netgalley.)
16-year-old Coo is struggling to come to terms with the death of her alcoholic older brother, and spends more time walking Brighton beach than attending school.
When a homeless man called Banks saves her from another homeless man who claims he has a message from God for her, she strikes up a friendship with him, even though he too is a drunk.
Why does Coo feel so guilty over her brother’s death? And is Banks really the person she should be talking to?

This was quite an emotional read about a girl dealing with the death of her brother.

Coo was a bit of a mixed up teen. She felt guilt over her brother’s death, partly because she wanted him to die at times, and then felt guilty that she didn’t miss him more.
I felt sorry for the situation that she had found herself in, and it really did seem like the feelings she had were going to take a long time for her to work through.

The storyline in this was basically about Coo and how feelings following the death of her brother, but it was also about her finding someone who she could actually talk to, even if the person wasn’t necessarily the sort of person her parent’s had in mind for her to talk to. I found it interesting the way she bonded with ‘Banks’ and tried to help him, even when he wasn’t necessarily trying to help himself.
The ending of this was quite sad, and also left a ton of stuff feeling unfinished. This book basically was about Coo and her grief, but by the end of the book I think she may actually have been more depressed than she was at the start, which was a bit of an anti-happily-ever-after really. I did enjoy the story, and the emotions in there were very real, but I would have liked a happier, more hopeful ending of some kind, as the ending was actually really sad, and I have mixed feelings about the book because of it.
Overall; a good story, but with a sad ending.
8 out of 10.


  1. Not really my thing but glad it worked for you.

  2. Oh no! I just don't do depressing books very often. They are so tough especially if there isn't a silver lining. I don't think this is one for me, either.

  3. It sounds grimmer than it is. There are lots of positives in it, and it does end looking optimistic for Coo.

    Sadie Gould.