Close Your Pretty Eyes

Close Your Pretty Eyes Eleven year old Olivia has been in care since she was five and is just beginning her nineteenth placement Her new home is a secluded farmhouse centuries old where she slowly bonds with her foster f

Eleven year old Olivia has been in care since she was five, and is just beginning her nineteenth placement Her new home is a secluded farmhouse, centuries old, where she slowly bonds with her foster family But the house holds dark secrets Olivia discovers that it was once a notorious baby farm, where unwanted children were left to die She becomes convinced that the plaEleven year old Olivia has been in care since she was five, and is just beginning her nineteenth placement Her new home is a secluded farmhouse, centuries old, where she slowly bonds with her foster family But the house holds dark secrets Olivia discovers that it was once a notorious baby farm, where unwanted children were left to die She becomes convinced that the place is haunted She is desperate to save her new family from the ghosts The danger is real but does it come from the twisted mind of a very disturbed child

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    348 Sally Nicholls
Close Your Pretty Eyes

  1. Sally Nicholls is a prize winning British children s author She was born and grew up in Stockton on Tees On finishing school, Nicholls chose to travel around the world Her first novel was Ways to Live Forever.

812 Reply to “Close Your Pretty Eyes”

  1. Sometimes the rating system feels very inadequate I didn t really like this book in the sense of having a pleasurable reading experience in fact, it was an almost horribly painful book to read However, I still feel obligated to give it four stars in order to acknowledge that it does a number of things really well First of all, it is extremely readable and I could hardly put it down after the initial chapters Although the content may not be emotionally appropriate for many children on this , the [...]


  2. Trigger Warning Discussion of physical, emotional and verbal child abuse and its aftermath Descriptions of PTSD, including flashbacks and dissociation Nothing graphic.Oh My God.I wish I had written this.Olivia s mental space is so brilliantly crafted She has PTSD, and her therapist says she has symptoms, but she says they are superpowers Because being able to hear things others can t hear is good, and always being aware means she can see things coming, and she can almost read minds because she s [...]


  3. Close Your Pretty Eyes is the story of Olivia, an eleven year old girl who has lived in numerous foster homes after being taken away from her abusive mother Her sixteenth home is an unusual one an old farmhouse that was once home to the notorious baby murderer Amelia Dyer Olivia starts to see and hear strange things and it soon becomes clear that Amelia may still be around, and it looks like she has dark intentions This book easily gets five stars just for how brilliantly written it is Sally Nic [...]


  4. I saw this book recommended on a blog about children s books and I had read another book by this author, so I decided to give it a try It is very well written, but is quite sad The eleven year old protagonist is mentally scarred by having been abused by her real mother as well as a foster mother, and then shuttled from foster home to foster home Her defense is to behave as impossibly as she can It does give you a respect for people who foster children It can t be an easy job There is a little gh [...]


  5. This wasn t the best book ever It was easy to read but for me the story just didn t work The main character is an eleven year old who believes she is evil as she has been rejected from so many foster homes etc The problem is she behaves badly to preempt any disappointment The actual issue of the hurt done to her is convincing, but the attempt to link it to the discovery of a ghost in final house she stays in is much less convincing There is a temptation to say same old same old with the explorat [...]


  6. I found this book really really good to read It had thriller aspects, dramatic aspects and emotional heart strings being tugged chapters It was a very very very good book, i sat for hours reading it today, it was just wonderful I liked it being written from a young persons perspective, it made it easier to read and understand where she was coming from I liked the chapters going back in time periods as well, i usually hate books that do that, but it was easy to follow and i felt by the end of the [...]


  7. This book is not for the faint of heart The main character is a mentally damaged child and we experience the story through her underdeveloped sense of self There s no holds barred in this book Olivia suffers constantly, makes others around her suffer, and physically harms herself The ghost story adds even horror to the mix and I think this author knew the killing of babies and children made sure the story was as disturbing as possible.



  8. This heart breaking story is told in the viewpoint of 11 yr old Olivia Each chapter is focussed on a period in her short life, or people that have fostered her The reader discovers along the way why Olivia has had 16 foster homes, primarily because of her own shocking, rebellious, destructive behaviour But these behaviours are all safety mechanisms she has built in defence of the hurt and betrayal she has experienced along the way Eg When she misbehaves, steals, spits, lashes out with words or f [...]


  9. 4 stars Nicholls took a sensitive subject which most authors don t write about and added a paranormal twist to it which made it even unique Olivia s keen sense of everything around her was an interesting ability to explore and the story behind it was heartbreaking Plus, with the addition of an old portrait of a creepy women, I found myself on the edge of my seat.Although this book may be classified as middle grade , I still enjoyed it for what it was and I liked that Nicholls didn t go out of h [...]


  10. I ll say, Sally Nicholl s does not flinch from difficult topics Ways to Live Forever which I think very highly of dealt with an eleven year old boy dying of cancer The main character of Close Your Pretty Eyes is an abused eleven year old girl in the foster care system who has many severe behavioral and emotional issues Not only that, but she believes the ghost of a baby farmer wants her to murder the baby in the house Needless to say, though the main character is eleven, I would be careful about [...]


  11. Books can break your heart That was something I learnt early on Sometimes they break your heart with one or two enormous impacts that shatter your heart into a million pieces Other times it tears it up into a couple of pieces And sometimes, just sometimes, it breaks your heart all the way through steadily hammering at your heart until it crumbles.That is what happened in Close your pretty eyes.Close your pretty eyes is the story of eleven year old Olivia She has spent her life moving from foster [...]


  12. I idly read the first couple of pages of this and the next thing I knew I d read the whole book in one sitting, because it was SO engrossing Eleven year old Olivia has been in care since the age of five, after being taken away from her violent mother, and it s left her a miserable ball of rage But now she s being fostered by a kind new family can they make it work Within a few pages, my heart was already breaking for Olivia She s been through so much, and is so scared all the time she doesn t kn [...]


  13. It only took Sally Nicholls one page for me to love this book, the very first page when Olivia says something went wrong when she was born She was born evil she believes which is why her mother hated her These are only a few paragraphs but already I wished I could fix her life.I read this book in one sitting and I will admit there were tears threatening to escape rather frequently Now, while I loved Olivia I didn t always like her, at times she s really awful but that makes her so believable She [...]


  14. I m really glad I didn t know Amelia Dyer was a real person before I started this Or, rather, I sort of remember that I did know but I m glad I hadn t looked her up because this picture is terrifying I was reading this at night in a pitch black Yorkshire village I thought, it can t be that scary, it s a kids book, right WRONG This book is creepy It scary on a paranormal level, and distressing on an emotional level A brilliant blending of real life and fictional horrors I honestly think this is t [...]


  15. This book had a profound effect on me, and I couldn t write a review immediately because of this.11 year old Olivia is on her nineteenth foster placement, and by now she is a very disruptive and nasty child The book pulls no punches about what the effects of living with such a child are, and what it must be like to have her in your class But then, each chapter about the present alternates with a chapter about her previous placement, going back in time, and you begin to understand what makes Oliv [...]


  16. There is no obvious ticking clock, no punchy hero s call but there is a lot of heart I loved this book because of its authentic voice.I thought this would be a scary ghost story where a little girl had a call to arms to stop the ghost and save the day But this story is so much than that It s a damaged child s externalisation of all the hurt she s experienced in her short eleven years Nicholls uses the ghost story to act as a means for Olivia to express all her terror into something real Her mem [...]


  17. Not an easy read It is quite dark as it deals with abuse of a child and the profound effect that it has on her Before I started the book I thought it was of a ghost story but that plot line is only a side story Instead we really get to see how the main character feels and why she reacts so badly to many situations in her life It is so well written that you empathise with her while wanting to make her realise that she is SO wrong Very frustrating Overall it is a bleak book and not easy to read f [...]


  18. It falls somewhere between young adult and adult In a way it reminds me of Room because as readers we definitely know than the narrator protagonist and it deals with serious issues such as abuse But at the same time it was super creepy and maybe the narrator was reliable in some aspects It kinda broke my heart with all the things Olivia experienced in the past It s very dark Well written with very realistic characters I didn t give it five stars because I wanted a little to the ending but I ca [...]


  19. I loved this book it was about a girl called Olivia and this is her 16th foster placement everywhere she s been she s been kicked out nobody has ever loved her At this placement she is staying with the Iveys with Jim Ivey and his children There is a ghost haunting the house who s name is Amelia Dyer from the Victorian Era she used to pretend to adopt children because families would pay a lot in those days and then kill them This story was creepy and really quick to read even though the text was [...]


  20. Close your Pretty Eyes is a brave and bold book because the protagonist is immediately dislikeable and at times difficult to identify with However each of her actions are fully explained and justified through Sally Nicholls s clear character development and Olivia s backstory Olivia becomes, as a result, an authentic protagonist who happily doesn t undergo a Disney makeover at any point, but instead she stays true to herself The ghostly subplot about baby farming was also carefully constructed a [...]


  21. This is a very, very well written novel The spookiness of it, absolutely the heartache, and the way it evoked blind hope in me that things would get better for Olivia made it a painful treat to read Olivia s voice is utterly believable The insights in this story have actually changed some of my opinions and understanding of certain behaviours The characters stayed very alive in my mind, even when I wasn t reading, and I doubt it will be a story that fades from my forethought quickly.Beautiful an [...]


  22. What is this What is life This is Children s Fiction I LOVED IT.This is exactly the kind of book that I was looking for to justify the fact children s fiction can be creepy and scary and gruesome for adults itself Maybe it s because we can look past the childish ness in Olivia s tone I honestly can NOT imagine a girl this affected I feel so bad for her But i am really happy that she recognized the fact that she like Daniel and Harriet I am so so sad.


  23. the book is well written as in view spoiler i don t even know whether the ghost of amelia dyer is only a figment of olivia s imagination or not hide spoiler olivia was clearly suffering from a very serious trauma from the abuses she suffered from her mother and a foster mother strangely, she was not committed to an asylum i have mixed feelings about olivia i pitied her but at the same time i loathed her.


  24. Although I liked this book, I hated Olivia Glass The girl is an absolute state a turmoil mind caused by her abusive, alcoholic mother Olivia continues through out the book to blame every grown up for wrong doing and is unable to accept responsibilty for her own violent temper attacking all those trying to support and help her I don t think I wish to keep this book, but I am happy to have read it.


  25. Is there really a ghost Or is it like the narrators superpowers , the painful effects of childhood abuse The actions and motives of a child shaped by bad parenting and abuse are shown believably, yet without making us lose sympathy for the eleven year old as she tells her story I d like a sequel, where we see of the slow healing and dangerous failures, and ghostly discoveries.


  26. This was one of those special reads that had me gripped at page one and then I couldn t put it down and when I finished and put it down I sort of sat there for a while, still deep in the story and pondering and mulling it all over It is indeed a very powerful book in ways than one Loved it Whole heartedly loved it.


  27. Bizarrely I d read a novel a year ago centered on the same Victorian baby farmer featured here, hadn t realised it was a focus in this novel when I chose it Well written crossover fiction, gritty and true to the ups and downs of the UK care fostering system The false narrator aspect adds a childlike quality to some tough, adult themes.


  28. Before I comment on the actual book can we talk about how gorgeous this cover is Anyway, this was very well written and I really felt for the main character It is pretty sad and can probably be really triggering to people who experienced abuse Overall, I liked it, I did want an ending though and I didnt get one so


  29. Brilliant All grown ups should read YA Children s books, especially if they are as good at portraying real kids like Olivia A darkly humorous, revealing and truthful story about a foster child s inner workings set around a ghost story Once again, Brilliant


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