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.
It's such an ambiguous cover, but the colors are gorgeous. Plus it peaked my interest as to what might be inside.
This seems like the type of story that is going to need tissues to go with.
Going into Blue I honestly really wasn't sure what I should expect. I knew that the main character's daughter was ill, and I was hoping that this wasn't just a sad book. I've never minded a bit of a tearjerker, but books like that are always a tough read. Happily, I was genuinely surprised at the way that Blue is actually written. Lou Aronica doesn't really dwell on the fact that Becky is sick, but instead uses it as a jumping off point for the rest of this beautifully written story. I read this 400 page book in one night. I just couldn't bring myself to put it down.
Story wise, this book is an absolutely superb mixture of realistic and fantasy elements. The world of Tamarisk is stunningly imagined, and Aronica's writing draws you right in to this fantasy world. The characters, the landscape, even the melodies that were said to exist in this land, were right there in front of you. I fell in love. Still, there is enough realism about the problems that Meia and her subjects face that you really begin to care for them as much as Chris and Becky. Did I mention this was superb? Really, I was so truly impressed.
Character wise, Becky is such a fantastic character in this book. She is extremely strong, kind and extremely likeable as a main character. Her interactions with the characters around her was what I enjoyed the most though. Becky's ability to be sweet one moment and snide the next is exactly what I would expect from a young adult character. As for her father, Chris was also extremely well written. Although I couldn't connect with him as much as I did with Becky, since I haven't been through parenthood or any of the trials that Chris had to face, I did appreciate how realistically he was portrayed. Watching him rebuild his relationship with Becky was heartwarming, and yes, I did need those tissues for a bit.
Blue is a book that really spoke to me. It is very much about rekindling relationships, and building them even stronger around a shared understanding. It is about hope, and remembering that imagination is everything. Blue somehow manages to be sad and yet uplifting at the same time. I definitely recommend this to all my readers. If you are a lover of the fantasy genre, you'll find Tamarisk fascinating. If you are not, you'll still fall in love with Chris and Becky. There is something to enjoy for every reader in this book. Guaranteed to leave you breathless.
Author: Lou Aronica
Publisher: The Fiction Studio
Pages: Paperback; 400
Source: Received for review.
FTC Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Final Rating: 5 Keys to My Heart