I was sent a copy of Blue by Lou Aronica for review.
Blue is a YA fantasy that introduces us to a family that's been broken by a child's serious illness, divorce, and a loss of communication. Becky, daughter of Polly and Chris, battles her way through a horrible illness as a young child. Her father, Chris helps her through this time by helping her to create a fantasy world, Tamarisk, to mentally escape to. The details of this world they build together is amazing and I loved watching Becky discover all the games, creatures, smells, and sounds that she and her father created once she discovers that she can actually go to Tamarisk, that it, in fact, exists. Sadly, however, the real stress of dealing with this illness has caused Becky's parents' marriage to reach its breaking point and somehow Becky and her father lose that connection they had with each other as well as Tamarisk.
I didn't like the parents, Polly and Chris. Polly was an overbearing, hypocritical, controlling toad of a woman and Chris was a weak, pathetic, clueless mess of a man. These two were such perfect caricatures of so many divorced couples that I've seen, the power and control games that get played and nobody bothers to notice that the child gets caught in the middle and ends up lost and confused. Polly and Chris couldn't have been more true to life, and while I didn't really like either of them, I understood them and their place in this story. Their one redeeming quality was that they did genuinely love their daughter. Becky was such a brilliant character. The depth of friendship she shared with Lonnie, the easy relationship she had with step-father Al, and the hope she was always willing to reach for made me really connect with her. I loved reading the slow process of Becky's reconnection with her father and the surprise and delight Chris felt at having that communication with his daughter back again. It was beautifully written.
I absolutely loved this story. I was hooked from the very beginning and there wasn't a single point where I ever lost interest in what I was reading. The novel flows easily from one chapter to the next, the plot is clearly laid out, and while I figured out long before the ending where it was headed, it didn't take away from how much I enjoyed getting there.
I found only one fault with Blue, there were a couple of chapters about Gage, seemingly some sort of God-like being maybe. These chapters were a little awkward and confusing and personally I just didn't get it. But they were a very small part of the story and overall I loved this book so much that it didn't even matter that I didn't understand Gage.
Blue is definitely an emotional roller-coaster, with flawed realistic characters, an extraordinary elaborate fantasy world, and a plot that will tug at your heart strings, this novel is one that I will certainly read again. I hope that Lou Aronica returns to the world Tamarisk for future novels.
Rating 5- Amazing, beautiful touching story.
Sound like a book that you’d love to read? Be sure to stop by my blog tomorrow when Lou Aronica will be making a guest post and I’ll be giving away a copy of Blue to one lucky follower!!