Coping with Chloe

Author: Rosalie Warren


Age: 12+
RRP: £6.99
ISBN: 9781907912023
Publication Date: 21-03-2011
Format: Pb, 198mm x 129mm
Extent: 240 pages


How do you stop your twin stealing your life?

Anna and Chloe are twins. They share everything – from secrets to clothes; from fending off the school bully to dealing with their parents’ separation. Even Chloe’s terrible accident hasn’t split them apart. After all, twins have a special bond....

But Anna is beginning to realise that being inseparable isn’t always easy. Especially when no one else seems to understand that Chloe isn’t really gone; no one apart from the dashing Joe that is, who, inconveniently, seems to like both sisters.

Told through the eyes and mind of 12 year-old Anna, this is a powerful novel exploring the bond between twins and the grieving process.

The Author says...

"I am fascinated by the mystery of twins, the way the human brain works and how we come to terms with painful losses in our lives. I was musing on these things when the character of Anna appeared out of the blue and started talking...and her story grew from there.

It's completely up to you how you interpret this book. There isn't necessairily one 'correct' explanation of what happens to Anna; she is just telling you what is real to her."

Rosalie Warren has written many books for both adults and children. For adults: Charity’s Child (2008, Circaidy Gregory Press) and Low Tide, Lunan Bay (2009, Robert Hale). More books for children (and adults) on the way.

Reviews

"I loved this book. I read it in two sittings as I was so keen to keep racing on to the end. Beautifully written. Emotional and moving, but real as well. It's hard to say too much without giving the whole thing away, but I loved the fact that the author doesn't definitively say that there is or isn't something a bit out of the ordinary going on. That much is up to the reader.

For my part, I think that if people are very close in life - and especially as close as twins - then perhaps the crossover between life and death isn't always as black and white, or as immediate, as we may think.

But if that sounds a bit deep, don't worry. The subject is handled with such a light touch, it's hard to do anything other than ride along with the story till you get to its very satisfying end. I'd recommend Coping with Chloe for tweens and young teens, and certainly for anyone going through the issues raised in the book."

Liz Kessler, Author

"Such an unusual piece - and in the end I felt it was dead-on psychologically. It's a superb book.  Once I got about 10 pages in, I couldn't put it down. I hope it receives the acclaim it deserves."

Donna Jo Napoli, children's author

"A beautifully written YA novel about coping with the death of a twin. I was fighting off tears at about six different points in this book despite it being reasonably short at around 200 pages. Warren captures the desolation of a child after a sibling's death perfectly, leaving the reader to decide whether Chloe is 'really' there or whether she's a manifestation of her twin's grief.There are also other fairly major issues involved in the novel, including child abuse, bullying, and parental separation, but Warren handles these all deftly and has enough lightness of touch to mean that while it's always a really emotional read, she manages to stop things from ever getting too overwhelmingly bad.

I loved the character of Anna in particular – but also had a soft spot for Miss Tough – and found her parents incredibly realistic, if phenomenally annoying.  Warren also does a great job of capturing the nastiness of bully Lisa and her hangers-on, and readers will be desperate to see her get her well-deserved comeuppance.

This has established Warren as an author I'm keen to read more of in the future and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to young teen readers, but it's an original enough idea and execution that people several years older than the characters here will still enjoy it. While the subject matter of a girl trying to cope with her twin sister's death makes this a seriously difficult read at times, Warren's book is so well written you'll be hooked.                                                           

Robert James, The Bookbag

"There are many theories, many stories and many writings about the mysteries of twins but I don’t think I’ve ever read one quite so gripping as Coping with Chloe. You’ll find your mind and your heart working overtime, with Anna all the way, as she struggles to keep up with events, ahead of the danger, and in touch with her own self. A well-crafted, sympathetically written thriller which tries out some extraordinary – but quite believable – ideas about the kind of things that can go on in human heads."           

Kay Green, Editor, Circaidy Gregory Press

Coping with Chloe is an unusual examination of the grieving process and as Anna tells her version, it is up to the reader to decide whether this is a tale of the supernatural or that Chloe is a figment of Anna’s imagination, her way of coping with loss. Both ways work. This is a well constructed book, the characters are well drawn and totally believable and Anna is a likeable narrator. Other serious issues like parental break-up and bullying are also included, yet although poignant at times, the story is never sordid. Overall, an original book which will appeal to readers of all ages over twelve.”

Audrey Baker, The School Librarian, vol. 59 no. 3, 2011

"When Chloe is killed in a horrible accident, she comes to 'live' in her sister Anna's body, sharing everything with her just like she always did. Only new boy Joe seems to know Chloe is there and even chooses to kiss Chloe ... how can Anna bear this?

This sounds like a strange story but it is a really good book. At the beginning you think it is about just one of the twin girls, but then their 'lives' come together in the middle. It made me wonder what it would be like to be a twin. It is definitely a book for girls!"

Blessing Adogame, Craigmount High,
Teen Titles Magazine

"Coping with Chloe tells the story of how Anna copes with the tragic death of her twin sister. But that's a very simple explanation. To me it highlighted the impact on a number of people when tragedy strikes - parents, siblings and friends. That ripple effect could be seen through the breakdown of her parents' marriage, animosity at school and of course, through Anna's own emotional turmoil.

But this isn't a book full of dark days. Anna's tale is one of hope and it eloquently demonstrates how the grieving process works - at its own pace and very differently within each person affected. When I first decided to read this book I wondered how I would appreciate it. My teenage years are in the distant past. But it's a very intelligent book. It doesn't patronise children and it doesn't avoid the serious issues of life and death.

I found it immensely moving and one of the most satisfying books I can remember reading. As well as young teenagers, it should be read by anyone who has an interest in how we all need support and understanding. Writing as an adult for a teenager requires skill and the author must also have a special gift. Not just the gift of being able to write an interesting tale, but also of understanding how insecure and vulnerable we all were in our younger years - and perhaps still are. Rosalie Warren has written a book of importance. Don't label it children's' fiction. It's a brilliant read."

Reviewer, Amazon UK, 2011

"From the opening sentences this book is hard to put down...Anna's acceptance of the situation is touching and shows the love and loyalty the two girls had when Chloe was still alive...Considering the book deals with death, grief, bullying and abuse, this is not a heavy read, and there is lots of humour along the way.

Rosalie Warren handles the complex personalities of Anna and Chloe in one body with skill and credibility, and only as you reach the end of the book, do you find yourself questioning yourself over whether the two girls do share a body or whether it's Anna's way of grieving. Either way, this is a book you won't want to put down until you've read the very last word."

Reviewer, Amazon UK, 2011

"Coping with Chloe poignantly (but never sentimentally) describes Anna's journey as she struggles to cope with life after a terrible accident involving her twin. The way Anna's family deals with their own feelings, and her friends' reactions, are interwoven with other dark, disturbing themes with the lightest of touches. Anna is instantly likeable, her relationship with her twin, still making her opinions known after death, is skilfully portrayed. This coming-of-age story is more than just an exploration of loss, grief and friendship. It is a beautifully written page turner, and made me laugh and cry."

Reviewer, Amazon UK, 2011

"Anna’s experiences are ambiguous – the book may be read ‘straight’ or as an expression of Anna’s grief.  But although the story deals with some heavy issues – death, depression, physical abuse  – the author deals with the topics with a light, deft touch.  It’s not a traumatic read, and in fact has some very funny moments, mostly arising from the character of Anna who has a way of expressing herself that will be familiar to anyone who knows twelve year old girls.

The pace is fast and lively and would appeal to reluctant readers. I especially loved the very recognisable school bully Lisa, Anna’s interaction with her father, and the subplot involving Joe which jerks Anna back into reality.

Warren has a wonderfully light comic touch while being able to deal with real issues.  I look forward to reading more from her and from Phoenix Yard."

Lou Treleaven, writer and book blogger

"Coping with Chloe is Rosalie Warren's debut Y.A. novel and it is a totally compelling read. I literally couldn't put it down and was finished within a day. This is a novel about the mystery of twins, an endlessly interesting topic. [...] Coping with Chloe is a novel about being a twin and about coping with losing someone who couldn’t be closer. But it is also about life on the cusp of the teenage years with all the pressures of keeping up with fashions, peer group pressure, the competition for boys and coping with family life. As the novel moves towards its crisis and we are drawn more and more into Anna’s rapidly changing world, Joe’s life also reaches breaking point.

Written with humour and acute observation this is a novel which will absorb any reader from the age of ten to adult. Rosalie Warren deals with some deep and difficult issues in a sensitive and accessible way while maintaining a light touch throughout. Thoroughly recommended. I’m looking forward to the sequel."

Myriam Halahmy, writer

"Coping with Chloe  is a sensitive, touching, sometimes humorous portrayal of how grief and bereavement affect people differently but it's also surprisingly intriguing and this, for me, is its greatest strength. I love the ambiguity of the story, the fact that the reader can interpret Anna's experiences in different and personal ways.

Told in first-person, by 12-year-old Anna, we immediately see the world through Anna's eyes and she brings a certain sense of innocence but also insight into the way we, the reader, perceive the things happening around her. Parents may not always realise just how much younger children are aware of especially when coping with loss, or family break-down, and there's a particularly poignant scene with Anna and her dad when they go shopping for a birthday present which deftly captures the conflict inside a child - to speak or not to speak their mind.

For a touching story about loss and real-life issues, told with a light, yet realistic touch, I thoroughly recommend this book but if, like me, you particularly enjoy original, quirky stories that ask questions and are open to interpretation and make you wonder... well, I highly-recommend this."

Tracy Bains, book blogger, Tall Tales & Short Stories

"Some of my all -time favourite books were the ones I read as a child; books that introduced me to new ideas and views of the world. One of my favourites was Stranger with My Face by Lois Duncan and in some ways Rosalie Warren's Coping With Chloe reminds me of that.

While the earlier book introduced me to astral projection, in Coping With Chloe we have life after death. Anna's twin sister Chloe may have died in an accident, but Anna can still speak to her. We all know the bond between twins is a special, even unbreakable one, but can it really transcend death? In this book it seems it can and it's a pleasure to read for that.

The bright and breezy first person narrative carries you along, making you want to read on. And, the good news for reluctant readers is that reading this book isn't an effort; it's a joy. Anna is smart and witty and immediately she feels like a friend. You care what happens to her and you want to find out what happens next.

Coping with Chloe is an engaging read that children will enjoy. The themes of loss, bullying and first love are important ones to explore."

Jennifer Thomson, writer and book blogger

"There are few books that can be read by a range of ages but this is one of them. This book is based upon an interesting idea and is well written. An enjoyable read I'd recommend it to anyone."                                

Reviewer, Amazon UK, 2011

"A brilliant read."

Reviewer, Amazon UK, 2011

"Coping With Chloe is a light and easy read that is powerful, heart-warming and AMAZING!"

Ella GE, book blogger on Everything + Anything + Life

"Coping with Chloe is a gripping book about 12-year-old twins, Anna and Chloe. When tragedy strikes and Chloe is killed in an accident, Anna’s journey of grieving is not easy as she struggles to cope with life after her sister’s death. Anna still finds that Chloe talks to her and helps her with dealing with the school bully, Lisa. At many points in the book, I wondered if Anna is keeping Chloe psychologically alive or whether she is really there…

I think that Rosalie Warren has done a brilliant job in writing this book; the thought of death and grieving makes you think that it is a heavy read, but Rosalie has a magnificent way of making it funny at times as well as embracing the happy memories in Anna’s mind. It was very difficult to put this book down once I finished reading the first page. I would be very keen to read more of Rosalie Warren’s books in the future."

Heena Pala - aged 12

Anna and Chloe are twins, and nothing, even the death of Chloe, can separate them… until Joe comes along. This is when life starts to get hard for Anna. From divorced parents to the school bully, nothing is going right for Anna.

At one point in the book, Anna gets a phone call from Chloe, threatening to tell Anna's class mates all of her embarrassing secrets if Anna doesn't let Chloe be Joe's girlfriend. This is an important scene in the book because it gives you an idea of how distressing experiences can affect your behaviour towards others, as it shows us how Chloe's death has changed her from a quiet, understanding girl to a heartless ghost.

Later on in the book, an old man at the park threatens to sexually abuse Anna, but Chloe comes to the rescue at the last minute. This may make the reader want to reinterpret their understanding of Chloe. At the beginning of the book, she is depicted as a shy, creative girl. Throughout the story, we see her transforming into a selfish brat, who seems to be stealing Anna's life. The final impression of Chloe, which we see in this scene, is a courageous, caring hero.

In this book, the Rosalie Warren writes in first person, from Anna's perspective. She deals with the issues of death, depression, physical abuse and the threat of sexual abuse in a light, almost comical way, but despite her style of writing, the plot is devastatingly sad and I found myself developing very strong opinions about the characters.

This is a captivating book in which romance and paranormal meet. It is full of unexpected twists and will leave readers grieving with its accurate portrayal of teenage life and the problems a teenage girl may face.

I would rate this book four out of five because it will keep readers drawn in the whole way through. I would recommend it to girls who are ten or older.

Reviewer, Guardian.

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