by Lou Aronica;
Editions: Paperback 400 pages, ebook
Published January 8th 2011 by The Fiction Studio (first published December 3rd 2010)
Source: review copy
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.– Goodreads blurb
Book tour stop brought to Butterfly-o-Meter Books by Pump up Your Book.
Ok, so I’ll just come right out and say it: I got teary-eyed a few times reading this novel, I couldn’t help it. Aside the obvious reasons regarding the story, it had to do with the fact I read in sessions and not all of it in one go, and the emotional grip of the story returned each time I got back into it – a really good sign.
One of the things I felt very touched by is the fact this novel revolves around the father-daughter relationship and how it’s affected by Becky’s parents divorce and her mother’s, uhm, let’s call them grab-y ways. I’ll explain myself without giving away too much of the plot. I really loved the fact that the author was interested in that part of it, many of the stories about divorce I’ve read focused on how mom and her daughter/son/kids make do after the big D event, so I loved to idea of reading about the other side of the story this time.
Becky’s parents get a divorce, something that’s not exactly a rare occurrence sadly. Chris, her dad, is crushed by the turn of events, and he doesn’t really manage to get over it. I really liked him as a character and my heart went out to him, it just broke my heart to read about him watching those DVD’s. Becky’s mom, Polly, has no issue whatsoever in not only getting over the family breakup (that she calmly brings on), but getting married right away to this really fun guy Al (too nice a guy for her, if you ask me; ever notice how really nice people tend to find a less-then-lovely partner?). Al’s daughter and Al himself seemed lovely, and I liked them both.
As it’s obvious by now, Polly I disliked. I really disliked her and had absolutely no second thoughts about it, not even near the end. She had this live-and-crush-dreams sort of attitude, and I was literally cringing every time Polly sprouted one of her deep-philosophy-on-life pearls. Bleh. Being disillusioned is one thing, but trying to bring disillusion to your kids is a whole other matter. Polly lost faith in dreams, in feelings as well if you ask me, I’m not going to blame her for that but I am certainly not going to like or admire her for it. She seems sort of self-oriented in her decisions and behavior, something I personally dislike.
I’m on team Chris, no question about it.
Chris and Becky have built together this fantasy world by doing storytelling together when Becky was younger and sick, I completely loved the idea.
The fantasy world angle was really interesting, and I liked how it worked to resolve some issues between Chris and Becky; but, I am sad to say, I think I would have actually liked this novel more if it had focused more on the contemporary drama then on the fantasy world part of it. This comes from someone who really likes dramatic plots and conflicted, hurt, beautifully damaged characters and their evolution in new circumstances. Let’s say that between watching a Lord of the Rings/Harry Potter type of movie or a The Hours/A Single Man type, I’ll always go for the second option, you know? So this is the perspective I have on things. I found the fantasy world to be interesting and smart, and loved the concept of it and how it was connected to the plot, but I would have loved it more if the emphasis would have fallen more on the family dynamics and those characters.
I will mention the ending, because it was…well. It’s sort of open, meaning you can interpret it in at least two very different ways, it can be a very sad ending or a relatively positive one. You can be the idealist, the dreamer, or you can be the realist, the down-to-earth person, you can be Chris or you can be Polly let’s say. And while I disliked Polly and liked Chris, in this I will not take either one of their perspectives on it. To me it’s a bitter-sweet ending, not happy and not hopeless either. Loss and hope go hand in hand, who am I to say one is greater then the other?
All things considered, I say give this a read. It’s a great idea, moving, well written, with lovely (or in
Polly’s some cases, bleh) characters, and an interesting ending. Try it, see what you think about it and let me know how you interpret the ending, I’d love to hear about it. 🙂