By Any Other Name


How did I get it?:
It was a gift!


I picked up the book and thumbed through the pages. Names in alphabetical order, names with meanings, names I knew, names I’d never heard of. How to pick? Nothing that would stand out, nothing that would link me to the past –those were the instructions. The past. As if everything that had gone before this moment was buried already.

Holly is fifteen years old, but she’s only been “Holly” for a matter of months. Because of something that happened, she and her family have had to enter witness protection and have all assumed new identities. All, that is, except her sister Katie, who is autistic. Starting at a new school mid-term is hard enough at the best of times, and Holly has no clue who she is any more. Lonely and angry, she reaches out to friends – new and old. But one wrong move will put all their lives in danger.


I was kindly sent this book by my Secret Santa, and I’m only just getting around to it! You know what it’s like being a bookworm and having far too many books to read! I haven’t read Laura Jarratt’s debut Skin Deep, but I hear that it is very good! Maybe it’s another book to add to my ever-growing TBR list.

By Any Other Name follows Holly, who is in the Witness Protection programme after experiencing something terrible. The reader learns little snippets throughout the book, but it is not until nearer the end that the full story is revealed. By Any Other Name essentially is about identity and making sense of who exactly we are. Holly finds it particularly hard to start over, she yearns for her old self and her old friends. She feels really out of place in her new environment. Although our reasons for starting over are completely different, I could understand where Holly was coming from. From living in many different places due to my father’s job, I could somewhat relate to Holly about how hard it is in a new town and starting from the beginning again.

I was really impressed by Laura Jarratt’s characters. At first, I didn’t find Holly very likeable, but when she started to loosen up a bit, I began to understand and relate to her more. I also thought Joe was a great character. His appearance made people judge his character, but there was a lot more to him than first met the eye. Holly’s little sister Katie is a fantastic character. I think it’s really important that we do have characters with autism and other conditions in literature. I always find it fascinating and want to know much more about them. I loved the bond between Holly and Katie. Holly was incredibly protective over her little sister and I found that heart-warming.

By Any Other Name didn’t take me long to read. I felt like sometimes the pace slowed right down, but keep with it, as it speeds up towards the end when everything starts to fall apart!

Would I recommend it?:

2 thoughts on “By Any Other Name

  1. I have read Skin Deep and absolutely loved it. The characters and emotion were just beautiful. Hadn’t really kept a check on Laura Jarratt so was glad when I saw this post, reminding me that her books are out there!
    I’ve never read a Witness Protection story before so this one looks really interesting. Great review! 🙂

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