Rating – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Genre – YA/NA
This book is in my top 5 surprise books of the year – I loved the sound of it, I’d seen good reviews about it, but I still didn’t fully know what to expect. So I went into No Number Nine not really knowing what to expect, and I came out of it with a fuzzy feeling in my chest and a stupid grin on my face.
What It’s About
Holly was the older, beautiful, talented sister and she was loved by all she met – none more so than by her little sister, Pip. But when Holly dies in a hockey accident, Pip is left to navigate her grief alone; she cuts off all ties with her friends, she stops playing hockey and can’t stand to watch it, and the only solace she finds is when she sleeps with her dead sister’s husband.
Pip is a shell of a person when she moves to Germany to become a au pair for a wealthy family – a family who, unbeknownst to her, live and breathe hockey. As her feelings for the family grow, so does the chance that her identity will be revealed, and Pip struggles to keep her Before life separate from her After.
What I Thought
Pip can be incredibly frustrating at times – there were moments where I just wanted to shake some sense into her, but mostly I just wanted to give her a great big cuddle. She was hurting so much, and she made such bad choices, but I still loved her, which really is the mark of a fabulous character. Because who wants to read about a perfect person?
Pip definitely gets stronger as the book goes on, which was incredibly heartwarming. Initially, the book had a very sad, wistful feeling to it – Pip’s sadness and hopelessness practically seeped through the pages. I loved seeing her grow, though; I loved seeing her settle into her new life, fall in love and begin to move on with her life.
She also has an incredible friend in Nadine, who totally makes up for her lack of screen time by being a full-on riot whenever she’s around. Nadine is the kind of best friend everyone should have fighting their corner – she never gives up on Pip, and would do anything to help her.
There is a bit of romance (Leo is an absolute dream) but it’s not overpowering at all – it did, however, have me smiling like an absolute goon, and I wish we could have more Pip and Leo time.
Leo’s brother, Billy, also needs a mention; he’s your typical player-but-actually-has-a-big-heart, and his brotherly love for Pip is adorable. Seriously, their banter!
I’m absolutely over the moon that F. J. Campbell put this book on my radar – I loved it all, and I can’t wait to see what F. J. does next.
*I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review*