A Different Blue



“Once upon a time, there was a little blackbird, pushed from the nest, unwanted. Discarded. Then a Hawk found her and swooped her up and carried her away, giving her a home in his nest, teaching her to fly. But one day the Hawk didn’t come home, and the little bird was alone again, unwanted. She wanted to fly away. But as she rose to the edge of the nest and looked out across the sky, she noticed how small her wings were, how weak. She was trapped. She could fly away, but where would she go?”

Going into this book I thought I had a pretty clear idea of how this was going to go. It’s a sad thing when most books follow the same plot scheme. Thankfully, and sadly, I was wrong.

This was not what I was expecting. It was far from anything that I had at first believed it would be.

It was beautiful and tragic and full of hope, heartbreak, and hate. And it was good. Just that: good. I didn’t love it as I expected. It wasn’t amazing, as I thought it would be. It was just good.

Amy Harmon’s writing style was beautiful. I loved the way she used her words, the stories she would weave into the story and the way the tales flowed throughout. I loved it so much so that I read the entire book in one go, staying up till the wee hours of the morning to finish it.

So, what went wrong? I truly do not know.

I felt like the story dragged in places. It was a long book that could have probably been shorter if certain parts were removed. It also could have kept its length if more things actually happened in it.

Another problem I had with the novel was its lack of subtlety. Like it was sometimes hitting you over the head with the points it was trying to make, with the emotions, it was pushing you to feel. I did not appreciate that.

Then there were the characters. It’s sad to say, I know, but I felt very little for them. If I don’t relate to a character then the plot really doesn’t matter to me. I have loved books with awesome characters and little plot. I have hated books with awesome, action-packed plots and poor characters. And I didn’t care for any of these people.

Blue Echohawk, our main character with an awesome name, was abandoned as a child. Her mother left her under the care of a stranger whom she went on to call her father. Once her ‘father’ died, she was taken to live with her estranged ‘aunt’. She feels unloved, unwanted, and discarded. Those are her actual words by the way. So, what is a girl to do if not wear clothes so tight that they cut off her circulation, and so much makeup that she actually looks like a different person. Then, of course, go sleep with every guy that looks her way, just for the feel of being touched?

The thing is though, that I didn’t mind that. I understand why she felt compelled to do so. I really do. I just didn’t care for her.

Then there was Mr. Darcy Wilson. Mr. Perfect. Mr. Holier Than Thou. He’s a British history teacher come to live in the U.S. His family is rich and he once had the chance to be a doctor. Of course, he turned it down and joined the Peace Corps to teach English in Africa (where in Africa? Who knows because people treat Africa like a country and not a large continent with many countries within it). Anyway, he went to ‘Africa’. He learned some life lessons, which he is happy to throw about at any moment’s notice, and came to the U.S. to teach history in some high school because that’s his passion, I guess. Oh, and he’s handsome. And only 22 years old.

I didn’t care for him either. I didn’t care for pages upon pages of his history lessons. I didn’t care for his wisdom. For his random quotes of Dante and Dickens and all those other dead authors.

I didn’t care for the chemistry between the two. They have a student-teacher relationship. Then a sort of brother-sister. Then they are friends. Every once in a while, it’s almost a paternal relationship. Then some awkward ‘I love you but I don’t deserve you’ sort of thing. And then they are in love.  No, I just didn’t buy it.

Also, Manny & Graciela. I had almost forgotten about them, probably because they disappear 1/4 into the novel and we never hear from them again. Seriously, what was their purpose? Were they there for Blue to learn a lesson or something? They deserved better. Or they just shouldn’t have been included.

So, do I recommend? Sure. I say this all the time, but just because it wasn’t for me, it doesn’t mean it won’t be a good book for others. I enjoyed it. It entertained me. It was well written. And it is possible that what bothered me, will be what others love. So, yes, I recommend. Just make sure you know what you are getting into.

**I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.**

{A Different Blue by Amy Hermon was originally published on March 29, 2013. A new edition will be published by Spencer Hill Press on May 30, 2017}

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