Book Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: Eight Pieces of Silva

Today I’m bringing you a book review of this superb book that should be on EVERYONE’S radar! Especially for your thriller fans!

Please note: I’ve tried to keep this as spoiler-free as possible, but have referenced some themes in the book that could be potential slight spoilers

Becks and Silva live under the same roof, but they couldn’t be less like sisters. Becks likes watching loud superhero movies, girls, and chatting to anyone and everyone. Silva likes privacy; her bedroom is her oasis, and she has an unspoken rule that none of her family are allowed inside.

But then Silva goes missing. Becks enters Silva’s room. And finds eight clues about Silva’s secret life. Can Beck’s piece the jigsaw together and find her, before it’s too late?

To say this book is tense is an understatement. This book had me so worried about the main characters in the book, and I just wanted to swoop in and help Becks as much as possible! When Silva doesn’t return home from seeing her dad and Becks’ mum fly off on their honeymoon, Becks isn’t worried at first. But as time goes on, the more worried she becomes, and soon Becks is desperately trying to piece together the information she’s found in Silva’s room to find her sister and bring her home.

Eight Pieces of Silva was a little confusing to start with – which is what makes it so good. You’re right there in the mindset of Becks – confused as hell as to where her sister is gone, even more confused as to what these clues in her room mean, and very soon you’re as desperate as Becks to find out what happened. Patrice Lawrence has a really clever way of writing scenes that are meant to unnerve – the same can be said for Rose, Interrupted (which is also excellent!). The book itself is a mystery woven with the dangers of complete obsession, as well as shining a light on the treatment of girls that some boys think is perfectly acceptable, when in reality it is disgusting, manipulative and wrong.

No major spoilers here, but it was really interesting to read about what was happening to Silva, and to witness obsession slowly overtake a character. To contrast this to Becks, who is more outgoing and obsesses over things like movies and bands, it’s interesting to read about someone with an almost destructive obsession with another person. I also really adored Becks’ budding relationship with another character – it was cute, they were both so well-suited to each other, and it was nice to see that Becks was able to carve out a little pocket of happiness any joy even amidst such worry. It was also wonderful for her to have such a reliable person in her life to help her with her worry.

I really loved the use of language in this book. Becks sounded very much like your typical London teenager, and Lawrence has nailed the voice perfectly. Her internal thoughts and dialogue between herself and her friends is excellent, and even in a book that’s tense and during a worrying time for Becks she still manages to have some fun. Her interactions with Azog the cat were some of my favourite bits! Here’s a couple of lines that I truly adored that I just have to include in my review so you’ll get a feel of how Becks is as a character:

“Now McDonald’s does delivery, it’s damn rude if people like me don’t use it.”

“He sits back like Gimli after a good feats. I almost expect him to pull out a pouch of pipe-weed.”

“Apparently, I once has a big screaming tantrum because the librarian didn’t read So Much! with the same voices mum did.”

Becks is a brilliant character, and I’d happily read another book with her as the main character. I know that this book, like other books Lawrence has written, is a standalone, but I can only hope that there’s another Becks book in future!

Now, let’s quickly talk about how much I really enjoyed the inclusion of references in this book. Sometimes, books can really overdo it with references – cramming them on every page and making the book read quite stiffly. Or they never have any at all, which is a real shame especially for contemporary YA novels. Lawrence, like with Becks voice, has perfected the balance of using references. Becks is a huge fan of The Lord of the Rings and Black Panther, and as a fan of both of those myself, the references used were spot on! As you can see with the quote above about a comparison to Gimli, there’s also laugh-out-loud discussions about Legolas and his brooding facial expression, as well as references to the legendary Busan casino scene in Black PantherĀ and the reactions of cinema-goers to Okoye’s wig reveal. It was really enjoyable to read a book with such naturally woven real world references, as it really helped cement my love for the character – her passions are clear.

This book is shorter than some of the other novels Lawrence has written, but it still manages to be a tense and twisty novel that packs a punch in 310 pages.

Final thoughts: A tense, intriguing look at the consuming nature of obsession, as well as holding up a mirror to manipulative behaviour. 4.5/5

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