Blue by Lou Aronica
Publisher: Fiction Studio
Genre: fiction, fantasy
Trade paperback 394 pages
Book Source: the author
My Rating: 80/100
Chris Astor is a man in his early forties who is going through the toughest stretch of his life. Becky is Chris's fourteen-year-old daughter, a girl who overcame enormous challenges to become a vibrant, vital young woman - and now faces her greatest obstacle yet. Miea is the young queen of a fantasy land that Becky and Chris created when Becky was little, a fantasy land that has developed a life of its own and now finds itself in terrible, maybe fatal trouble. Together, Chris, Becky, and Miea need to uncover a secret. The secret to why their worlds have joined at this moment. The secret to their purpose. The secret to the future. It is a secret that, when discovered, will redefine imagination for all of them. Blue is a novel of trial and hope, invention and rediscovery. It might very well take you someplace you never knew existed.
This was an interesting yet tough story for me to read in some respects. On the one hand you have this lovely young girl Becky with an incredible story of survival, who discovers the fantasy world she created with her Dad to escape difficult times actually exists. On the other hand, Becky is caught in the middle of her parents divorce, and I must admit, I wasn't crazy about either mom or dad. Becky's mom Polly is just ridiculous, and her father Chris is not a very strong person. That is about all I can say about those two people. Becky was the highlight of the story as well as her fantasy world Tamarisk. The story alternates between here and Tamarisk and I found myself skimming the parent parts to get to Beck'y parts.
In Tamarisk we meet Miea, who is the Queen and she has some problems of her own to deal with. Yet, Miea takes time out of her busy and difficult day to listen to Becky and show her the world she has created. I really got a feel for Tamarisk and it's inhabitants and it was a very fun and interesting world. Becky also get to show more of herself in that world which was another reason I liked those parts.
The other thing that I wasn't crazy about, was that early on in the story, I figured out the ending. The ending may not be happy, but finding out so early made the remainder of the story a bit boring for me. It is not spelled out, but the writing is clearly on the wall. The ending itself although sad is sweet and hopeful when you think about it. It is also an event no one should have to go through. My last quibble, is that some of the dialogue in the story was a bit clunky or not quite right, but that is kind of minor.
Overall I like the idea for the story and some parts of it, but the journey to get there not so much. I do feel bad to say this wasn't my cup of tea, because I think the writing of this story was a very personal journey for Aronica; possibly cathartic. I know Aronica drew from very personal and passionate issues to write this story, and this made the book and this review difficult to write. Aronica's personal stake is the reason why I finished it.
Honesty is what you expect from me and that is what you are getting. Just because I didn't like it, doesn't mean you won't like it either. So, if the summary blurb above intrigues you, give this book a go.
As a counterpoint to my review, here are some other reviews I found on online:
Confessions of an Overworked Mom
Mel's Books and Info
Niki's Book Reviews
And a blog tour by Pump Up Your Book, here's the home page
For more information about Lou Aronica, Blue, or about Fiction Studio his creative development company, please visit this website: http://www.fictionstudio.com/Fiction_Studio_site/Home.html
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