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Sibel Hodge is the author of No. 1 Bestseller Look Behind You. Her books are International Bestsellers in UK, USA, Australia, France, and Germany. She writes an eclectic mix of genres, and she's a passionate human and animal rights advocate.
Her work has been shortlisted for the Harry Bowling Prize 2008, Highly Commended by the Yeovil Literary Prize 2009, Runner Up in the Chapter One Promotions Novel Comp 2009, nominated Best Novel with Romantic Elements in 2010 by The Romance Reviews, Runner Up in the Best Indie Books of 2012 by Indie Book Bargains, Winner of Best Children's Book by eFestival of Words 2013, Winner of Crime, Thrillers & Mystery | Book from a series in the SpaSpa Book Awards 2013, Nominated for the 2015 BigAl's Books and Pals Young Adult Readers' Choice Award, Readers' Favourite Young Adult - Coming of Age Honourable Award Winner 2015, and New Adult Finalist in the Oklahoma Romance Writers of America's International Digital Awards 2015. Her novella Trafficked: The Diary of a Sex Slave has been listed as one of the Top 40 Books About Human Rights by Accredited Online Colleges.
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on Sep. 03, 2014 :
Sibel Hodge’s The See-Through Leopard combines an excellent story-line with a wealth of fascinating detail, taking readers from everyday England to the depths of the Kilingi Game Reserve in Africa, as a teenaged once-cool girl grows into a truly cool and wonderful young woman. Once obsessed about the quest for beauty, sixteen-year-old Jazz will find a different and deeper meaning to the word, in a story that flows convincingly, builds powerful emotional involvement, and bucks the trend of trivial young adult romance.
Author Sibel Hodge has a deft way with creating character, and readers are led to care about Jazz long before they learn her history. Depressed and lonely, she’s giving up on life. But soon both she and her readers are exploring a place as dangerous on the outside as Jazz’s heart inside, as beautiful as Jazz’s dreams, and as alluring as all that she’s lost. Hearing criticism all around, reading criticism into every sound, she’ll grow to see through other eyes and hear through other ears. Love grows with unexpected guises, from unexpected places. And this land with its dangers will prove as surprisingly beautiful and skittish as the girl with her demons.
A tale of life, death and romance, set in the wilds of Africa, contrasting the trivial cruelties of teens with the destruction wrought by poachers, the time-wasting addictions of Western riches with the wonders of the natural world, and the self-absorption of the beautiful with beauty that lies within, this novel is surely a classic; the best teen romantic tale I’ve read yet.
Disclosure: I was lucky enough to win a copy, and I offer my honest review
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Oct. 06, 2013 :
First off I love the imagery as the scenes with the native wildlife are told. The author does an amazing job of making the reader feel as if they are really there. Throughout the book she writes about the animals in a way that captures nature perfectly.
The author also does a very good job spreading the word about animal conservation and the more serious issue of animal poaching in a way that is realistic yet entertaining. It is clear that the author is highly passionate about these subjects.
Though not overly so for a YA book, because of the subject matter there are a few scenes that are a little graphic and can potentially be highly emotional for some readers, especially animal lovers. However, through these moments is when the authors message comes across clearest to readers and all the good moments in this book, of which there are plenty, make these more difficult moments worth the read.
This book also contains some very entertaining and funny moments.
The only problem I had with this book was an inability to understand and identify with the main character of Jazz. Overall I liked her but aside from the feelings about the leopard and her attitude towards conservation, I had nothing in common with her.
I also have some mixed feelings about the books ending. Although I was not particularly fond of the way the final chapter ended, I still really liked it in a way especially because its not how I expected it to end so it came as a surprise and it also did a really good job of reinforcing the real life issues presented in this book.
I would definitely recommend to any and all animal lovers but particularly those who have found themselves in the situation of bonding with an animal, either wild or domestic as a foster or caretaker whose job is now or has been in the past to prepare the animal they have bonded with for the new life that it would live upon leaving their care.
Besides the general message about poaching and animal conservation I think this book also serves as a good reminder for why animal fosters and those who rehabilitate wild animals do what they do.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Aug. 27, 2013 :
As a native of Africa this book touched me deeply. Sibel has done a wonderful job in raising awareness of the plight of African animals. Fuelled by the greed and vanity of the West, the superstitions of the East and the abject poverty in Africa, animals are being brutally poached at an alarming rate.
Don't be fooled however into thinking this is a boring, preachy book about conservation. The story starts with sixteen year old Jazz in the depths of depression about her scarred face and loss of her mother. This girl, disfigured on the outside and the inside, shunned by humanity and agonising over the belief that she was responsible for her mother's death, is dragged off with her father against her will to start a new life in Africa at the Kilinga Game Reserve. Here Jazz begins the slow journey to recovery. After a disastrous first meeting with Zach and an incident with a shallow, bitchy girl, Jazz takes off and serendipitously finds an orphaned leopard cub. The pair, both having lost their mothers, connect instantly. Jazz names the cub Asha and takes on the responsibility of raising her and re-wilding her. The process is documented on film and Jazz faces many setbacks including misrepresentation by the media, a horrific poaching incident and .....well I can't give everything away now can I?
The reality of danger in the African bush is realistically portrayed and there are some heart-stopping moments involving Asha, Jazz and Zach in situations of grave danger.
In this beautifully poignant novel, Sibel gently leads us through Jazz's recovery and return to normality. Some powerful lessons are learnt along the way. Without sermonising, Sibel has highlighted the importance of self love and acceptance but even more importantly she nudges her character along the path of recovery by turning her focus outwards. By caring for and nurturing Asha, Jazz heals and is finally at peace with herself. The result is a wonderfully happy outcome for Jazz beyond her wildest expectations.
I've rewritten this review several times and I still feel that I haven't done the book justice. You'll have to read it yourself. It will resonate with young and old alike
(reviewed the day of purchase)