Just look at this cover. It has a pretty girl and a butterfly. I wonder what this book might be about?
As it turns out it’s about drugs, sex, violence, murders, abortions, prostitution and suicides. Aw, that’s cute. The only thing missing are ponies.
This is how the narrator describes the birth of her little brother:
“I shrugged. Mam’d always slept a lot and I’d never thought much of it. I looked at the baby, his mouth open and tongue wriggling as he screamed. I noticed he used his whole body to cry with. Looking back now, I wonder why the nurses didn’t give him a bit of methadone or summat to help him out but they let him go cold turkey instead. What a way to come into the world. Never stood a chance, our Jon.”
So, Vintage Books dot Co dot Uk, I actually love ya, but this cover is a serious case of false advertising. I know there is this rule in publishing that anything written by a woman needs a cute cover, otherwise other women would panic and wouldn’t buy it, and I know that there technically was a butterfly in the book, but for God’s sake! Alex Wheatle’s books get way better covers and his stuff is not half as grim as ‘The Killing Jar’. Yeah, it’s called ‘the KILLING JAR’. The butterflies on the cover should be DEAD.
Ok, rant over. This book was actually quite awesome.
It should be a recommended read for all judgemental people, Tory MPs, Mitt Romney, and everybody else who feels just a little too smug about themselves.
Kerry-Ann, the narrator, is smart, funny, sarcastic, angry, soft, hard, sometimes out of control, just as you have to be to survive on an estate and come out on the right side against all odds.
Nicola Monaghan creates a voice that’s psychologically deep with prose that’s beautiful without compromising the authenticity of the character and which tells a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
By the time Kerry-Ann is fourteen, she has already been through things someone her age shouldn’t even watch on tv. And there’s more to come. Don’t get it twisted, though, the book isn’t just some ‘poverty porn’ style piling up of gruesome events to get you teary-eyed. Far from it. It does make you emotional, of course, but more importantly, it makes you understand. Ten points for social determinism.
The downside of reading “The Killing Jar” is that you might want to try ecstasy and start writing ‘could of’ and ‘should of’.
Still, I’d say read it, even you don’t normally go for things with pretty girls and butterflies on the cover.
Here, I have a perfect video for this book: