Thursday, March 10, 2011

Jenn's Review: Blue

BlueSummary:  Do not begin this novel unless you are prepared to be moved, willing to open your heart, and available to the possibility that life can bring you magic.

Chris Astor is a man in his early forties who is going through the toughest stretch of his life. Not long before, Chris' world sparkled - he was doing significant work, he had a good home, and his young daughter brought him more joy than he ever could have imagined. Now, divorce and estrangement have left him confused and all too often alone.

Becky is Chris' fourteen-year-old daughter, a girl who overcame enormous challenges in her early years to become a vibrant, vital young woman. Her parents' divorce has left its mark, though, most significantly in her relationship with her father. Once, they told remarkable stories together. Now, they barely speak. Emotional detachment from Chris is not Becky's biggest concern, though.

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. Miea knows nothing of Becky and Chris. She only knows that her beautiful kingdom - a place of remarkably varied flora, dignified and distinctive fauna, and an ecology that works in symphonic majesty - is in terrible, maybe fatal trouble.

At the most challenging junctures of their lives, Becky and Miea discover each other and Miea shares this discovery with Chris. For Becky, it is nearly inconceivable that a place she created has come into existence. For Miea, it is nearly inconceivable that a child created her land. For Chris, it is beyond inconceivable that he is again sharing something important in his daughter's life. For all of them, it as though a world of opportunity has opened up before them.

But time is not on their side. In fact, time might be running out.

Together, they need to uncover a secret. The secret to why these 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. Do not, however, begin it unless you are prepared to be moved.

Review: I may be the first reviewer who is not over the moon about this book. I loved the concept of this book from the moment I read the blurb. However Mr. Aronica chose to take the story in a completely different direction than the one I imagined. I thought this book was going to be about the fantasy world coming to fruition, when really it's about a family torn apart by pediatric cancer.

Chris is struggling with his divorce and being separated from his daughter while Becky is ignoring signs that she's sick. While I felt for the characters, I don't think any of them really spoke to me. I empathized and even related to both Chris and Becky on some level, but they were never more than characters for me. There is also a muse character of sorts whose never really integrated or explained and whose entire purpose seems to be a plot device, the opening of the portal between the two worlds.

Also, I had a hard time engaging with the fantasy world due to the blatant foreshadowing of things to come in the real world. It took all my attention, and much of the joy out of reading this. I didn't have much interest in the world or the characters they'd created. The characters seemed underdeveloped and their story overextended. The symbolism was heavy handed and painted with broad strokes. There were no surprises in the plot. Once I got past the blurb, I could see clear through to the end.

Was I moved, as promised? Yes, I cried for an entire chapter. Was I glad I chose to read it? Not really. If you enjoy serious stories with a touch of whimsy, then you will probably like this. I am sorry to say, this is not my genre.

Final Take: 3/5



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