The Sunday Times, on The Year of The Rat.

‘A feel-good novel that does not flinch from the rawness of grief’

The Guardian, on The Year of The Rat.

‘A strong new voice’

Daily Mail, on The Year of The Rat.

‘Impressive and moving’

Kath, Sensitivity and Flair, on The Year of The Rat.

“I knew that I would like The Year of the Rat when I cried a few pages in. Nothing particularly sad or bad had happened (apart from the death of Pearl’s mother, but that was a predetermined event just before the book takes place) but all the emotional that the characters were feeling came over me like a wave. Everything Pearl and her family goes through and feels is raw and real and carries you through the story.

So much admiration has to go to Clare for writing so well, and this is honestly fantastic for a debut novel. I have a feeling big things are coming for her. I have so little to fault this book on, and as soon as it’s out I’m going to be recommending it to everyone I know, teenagers and adults alike.

Without any doubt it’s 5/5 stars from me.”

Lily Golding, The Whispering of the Pages, on The Year of The Rat.

“I think the thing that struck me most about this book was how realistic the emotion was… it is a very honest picture of what many struggling teenagers have to face. You will definitely need tissues when reading this book, but it’s worth the tears.”

Bee, Waterstones Cardiff, on The Year of The Rat.

“A surprisingly bitter sweet, life-affirming story about loss, grief, and family dynamics. Yes it had me bawling my eyes out at times but it also made me laugh. The main character, Pearl, seems real and the author didn’t shy away from showing the more grim sides of losing someone close to you. At times I wanted to shout at Pearl for being selfish, but Furniss managed to always show why exactly Pearl was behaving the way it was. She created some beautiful imagery which made the book read like a film, and I can totally picture some beautiful scenes in my head already.

It’s refreshing to read some John Green-like material that isn’t John Green and is set on this side of the Atlantic Ocean.”

Gem Routledge at Waterstones in Birmingham, on The Year of The Rat.

“I just wanted to say I read the Year of the Rat – I started reading it on Wednesday morning on the bus to work and by midnight Weds I’d finished.

I absolutely loved this story! Pearl was a brilliant narrator, she was full of raw emotion and this shone through and even in the bits that were sad there was an underlying feeling of hope. The sensitive issues were dealt with very well and the humour of her mum helped temper down any bits that could have been a bit too sad. With each month that passed she was forced to deal with her new reality and this in turn helped her character develop as she dealt with her flaws.

I enjoyed that it showed how grief affects different people in different ways and that it doesn’t just affect those directly effected, but everyone those people know too.

I can’t wait to get this book in stock, our customers who love realistic fiction such by authors like John Green and Erin Lange will really enjoy this story.”

Linda Newbery, Armadillo, on The Year of The Rat.

“A striking and assured first novel.”

Fritha Lindqvist – Head of Publicity, Hachette Children’s Books, on The Year of The Rat.

“It’s really a very special book that made me cry on both readings. I just love the conversations between Pearl and her mum – so moving, so funny and bittersweet. A powerful and moving story about death and life and the wonderful mother-daughter relationship.”

Stylist, on The Year of The Rat.

“Beautifully written with a dry sense of humour.”

Amber Kirk-Ford, Mile Long Bookshelf, on The Year of The Rat.

“To put it simply, The Year of the Rat will slice through your heart and then tug on the strings. The remarkable, dramatic and terrifyingly realistic plot will draw you in like cheese luring a mouse to a trap, and once you’re immersed in the story, you can’t escape. Gritty, empathic and thought-provoking, don’t expect this book to be a delightful, cosy read, because it’s not. The Year of the Rat will throw you straight into cruel reality, and I think this novel will stay with me for a very long time. A must-read.”

Jenny, Wondrous Reads, on Jenny, Wondrous Reads.

“The Year of the Rat is already a strong contender for best YA debut of 2014: I laughed, I cried and I never wanted it to end.”

Steve Voake, author, on The Year of The Rat.

“Funny, heartbreaking and ultimately uplifting, this life-affirming story signals the arrival of a major new talent. A simply wonderful book.”

Julia Green, author, on The Year of The Rat.

“Beautifully observed, funny and poignant, The Year of The Rat will be loved by all its readers.”

Meg Rosoff, author, on The Year of The Rat.

“The Year of The Rat is a sensitive, beautifully written book.”

Malorie Blackman, author, on The Year of The Rat.

“A truly amazing read.  This story will linger in the mind long after the final word has been read.  Highly recommended.”