When Blue Mancini’s mother picked her name, it ended up being a self-fulfilling prophecy.
A year ago, Blue’s brother, Jack, was involved in a car accident that killed the father of her classmate, Maya Rodriguez. Luckily for Jack, he got out of a manslaughter charge and into a plea bargain thanks to the top-notch lawyer hired by Blue’s wealthy parents.
The fallout is now affecting Blue as Maya returns to school determined to carve out a pound of flesh from the only member of the Mancini family she can reach. On top of that, Blue has a demanding mother, a father who’s never around, a drama-addicted best friend, and a secretive new guy who’s determined to make Blue his own personal cheer-up project. It’s a perfect storm of misery.
When Maya’s social media taunts and in-person digs finally push Blue to retaliate, they find themselves in afterschool detention and forced into a project meant to foster cooperation and civility. As the layers of their tangled drama unravel, Blue learns more about Maya’s life—and her own sense of privilege—when secrets are revealed that cast a new perspective on everything in Blue’s world.
This may be my favorite read of 2021. High school junior, Blue, is as blue as her name. Her older brother, Jack, recklessly drove after a party and was involved in an accident that killed a man. A man with a wife and three children. The man may or may not have been partially to blame, but he’s dead. Though Jack was under the legal limit, he was also underage and drinking. Blue’s life is forever altered, but so is Maya’s, the daughter of the man killed, who also happens to go to Blue’s private school. Maya blames Blue for the loss of her father, even though Blue had nothing to do with the accident. The bullying at school as a result of Maya and her possy of friends is unrelenting, but as with everything, there are always two sides to every story.
After Blue and Maya get into a classroom altercation, they’re stuck in detention together where the school counselor is determined for them to learn how to co-exist in the school, forcing them to work together on a school club. It goes anything but smoothly, but Blue and Maya learn that neither of them is who they assumed the other to be, and that everyone has secrets they don’t want the world to know. And that includes Blue’s new boyfriend, Devon, who is hiding something so horrible, she isn’t even sure she wants to know what it is.
The story centers around Blue and Maya’s relationship. The way Maya treats Blue early on, I was hoping she wouldn’t get a redemption arc, but by the time I got halfway in, I was rooting for it. The author does an amazing job of creating sympathetic, yet flawed characters that pull at you. Blue may live in a big house and have lots of money, but she discovers her life isn’t so different from Maya’s after all. A strong subplot is her relationship with Devon, and it may go down in history as one of my favorite teen romances.
All the characters are amazing. I loved Blue and Devon from the very first scene. Neither is perfect, but they’re so easy to adore. Maya grew on me. She’s got a massive chip on her shoulder, but for good reason. She deals with racism, classism, and dark family secrets in addition to losing her father. She makes it hard to love her, but she still manages to dig her way into my heart through amazing character development and writing by the author.
Top Five Things I Loved About BLUE
1. Blue. She’s perfectly imperfect. She’s kind, but she still makes assumptions about other people. Her heart’s in the right place, but she still manages to say the wrong thing far too many times. She realizes she lives a life a lot of other kids don’t, but she still takes much of it for granted.
2. Devon. The boy with the dark secret who still manages to be so upbeat most of the time is my soulmate.
3. Maya. The life she’s lived, the secrets she keeps, the burdens she carries all shape who she is, and as I got to know her, my animosity toward her melted away and I just wanted to hug her.
4. Secrets. The secrets everyone carries slowly unfold at just the right pace to keep me turning the pages.
5. Plot. I absolutely loved the plot. The author did a masterful job of making me feel all the feels, even when I didn’t want to.
My favorite read of 2021 so far! Loved the characters, the story, the writing, everything!
I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
About the Book
Author: L.E. DeLano
Publisher: Gaze Publishing
Release Date: October 26, 2021
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo
About the Author
L.E. DeLano comes equipped with a “useless” Theatre degree that has opened doors for her in numerous ways. Though mostly raised in New Mexico, she now lives in Pennsylvania with two adventurous kids and two ridiculous cats. When she’s not writing (which is almost never), she’s binge-watching Netflix and planning road trips.
Her debut novel, TRAVELER was selected as a Keystone To Reading Secondary Book Award finalist for school year 2018-19 by the Keystone State Reading Association (KSRA) and also voted one of The 20 Most Beautiful Books in the World for 2017 by MTV UK.
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