Thursday, January 06, 2011

REVIEW: Artichoke Hearts by Sita Brahmachari + Giveaway

Artichoke Hearts
by Sita Brahmachari
Pages: 272
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Publication Date: 7th January 2011

Mira Levenson comes from a chaotic, artistic and outspoken family where it’s not always easy to be heard. As her beloved Nana Josie's health declines, Mira begins to discover the secrets of those around her, and also starts to keep some of her own. And she can’t stop thinking about mysterious Jidé, a boy who is clearly also keeping some secrets...

Mira is your average twelve-year-old girl. She's approaching that thing I like to call 'teenager-hood' and it's not all that easy. In fact, sometimes it can just get a bit too much. She's busy watching the life be sucked out of her beloved grandmother, slowly (although Nana Josie is very lively at times!), thinking about how to deal with the strong feelings she has begun to have for the handsome Jide Jackson, and writing all about it in a journal as part of a project for the writing club she goes to.

I really like the characters in this novel. Mira is the kind of girl we can all relate to, she has such a thing about her that just makes you want to sit down, relax, and listen to everything she has to say. I though Millie was great - such a cute, fun character, and I loved her name, Millie Lockhart. Like Pat Print said, it really does sound like the author of a best-selling romance novel! And definitely one I'd buy!

Nana Josie was my favourite though; she's creative, quirky and has a sense of humour that will leave you shaking with laughter. She knows her death is coming, but she's happy, she's making the most out of the time she still has left, and not letting anything get her down. I really liked how the author showed this; Sure, we lose loved ones, but we don't die along with them. Life is a precious thing and we should make the most of it while we can, before it's too late.

I love how Nana Josie embraces the fact that she's an artist; The whole idea with the coffin is fantastic: Nana Josie is painting it, so that they can burn it with her inside after she's passed away. I could literally picture what she had painted, Brahmachari wrote in such exquisite detail. 

I wasn't expected to enjoy Artichoke Hearts as much as I did, because this is not the usual type of book I read. I have to confess, I didn't actually know what an Artichoke was! I knew it was a type of food, but no details. Well, like they say, you learn something new everyday!

I don't know why it was, but near to the end of the book, I had this wave of nostalgia. It made me feel sad and I wanted to cry buckets because I just got what was happening, what had happened, what was right in front of my face.. le sigh.

I'd like to say the tears that fell from my eyes were from the fact that it was quite late and I was tired, but I guess you guys can probably see through that story! Reading this book, you wouldn't guess that Brahmachari is a first time author, she has a true knack for telling stories. The imagery in some of the scenes is extraordinary, beautiful and touching.

Artichoke Hearts is a novel about love, loss and so many other things. It's a novel that made me look at things in a different light; more positively, and it brought hope to me, hope for everything I had ever thought twice about. The issues Brahmachari wrote about were dealt with in the most skilful, in-depth fashion. A beautiful debut that I hope will make a difference in British young adult fiction. And hey, if this is what's thrust at us in January, I really look forward to what else 2011 has to give us!

I have one extra copy of Artichoke Hearts which means..giveaway time!
To enter, leave a comment beginning with 'I'd like to read Artichoke Hearts because..' and leave your answer. That's it! Please leave an email address I can contact you or I won't be able to enter you!

You don't have to be a follower, but if you like what you see, it will be appreciated! UK address only, please! Sorry, I'm totally broke but I just had to give a copy of this away!

Ends 27th January.



  1. i would love to read artichoke hearts because your review has made it sound awesome!! kirstylouiseconnor (at)

  2. I'd love to read Artichoke Hearts because of your brilliant review! And because it looks really sweet and I love the cover! :D

  3. I'd like to read this because it sounds like something I would really enjoy. The whole artistic thing is great too as I love the arty stuff [other than art, that is! Meaning drama, music etc].
    If you say it's good, it must be and I would love to read it :D
    the-beaucoup-review [at] hotmail [dot] com

  4. smileycicely(at)

  5. Hi Iffath, that sounds such a lovely story. I'd love to read about Nana myself. Great review :)

    Theslowestbookworm at gmail dot com

  6. I would love to read Artichoke Hearts because i have heard amaziong reviews about it and also the cover artwork is just beautful which makes it look even more interesting!


  7. I would love to read Artichoke Hearts because it reminds me of food and love! Two of my favourite things.


  8. Hm ... well, I'd like to read Artichoke Hearts because it looks like one of those inspirational books that will make me think way after I finally put it down.

    Anyways, thanks for the opportunity to win it!

    apereiraorama @

  9. I've heard great things about this one!
    Happy Readings

  10. I haven't heard about this one before. After your review, I long to read it. Millie Lockhart sounds like such a sweet girl.


  11. I would love to read Artichoke Hearts because it sounds a heartwarming, inspirational story. Your review is really good and I think this book sounds just up my street. It looks one of those books where it really makes you think and keeps you on the edge of you seat...

    Thanks for giving the chance for a giveaway! :)

  12. Forgot to leave my e-mail address:


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