Title: Out of the Blue
Author: Sophie Cameron
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.
I saw this book on the shelf at my local library and I’ll freely admit that the reason I picked it up initially was for its beautiful, mysterious cover. As soon as I was finished with The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue yesterday, I started Out of the Blue and was pleasantly surprised. This is Scottish author Cameron’s debut novel, and I really enjoyed it, more than I was expecting. The prose was lovely, and the plot was a little bit vague, but I think it added to the charm of it all. Thoughtful, beautifully written, powerful and sad, Out of the Blue was a wonderful debut, and I can’t wait to see what she has up her sleeve for next year! A wonderful addition to the angel genre and canon of young adult literature.
Jaya is over the whole mysterious phenomenon that have caused winged beings to fall to their deaths to the Earth. Ever since the death of her mother, her once close-knit family has fallen apart, with her father and sister scrambling to calculate when the next Being will fall, obsessive in their pursuit of answers and fame. But Jaya is drowning, both in grief and the unshakable certainty that her mother’s untimely death is her fault. Her already tumultuous life is further turned upside down when a Being falls right in front of her eyes. Panicked and desperate, she hides the Being, driven by a strange urge to protect the angel, whom she names Teacake. Things are further complicated by the appearance of Allie and Calum, two kids fighting against the people’s exploitation of the Beings, and Jaya is drawn to them, in spite of herself. But when Teacake is stolen from the trio, Jaya must put aside her own complicated feelings to save her, risking everything to do so.
Like I said, this book was an exciting, pleasant surprise; it was an angel story unlike anything I’ve ever read before. It was a short, sweet, and sad story that had me crying before it was over. The prose was beautiful, if a little sparse, and I was immediately drawn into this new version of the world, where angels falling to Earth is a (mostly) normal occurrence. The pacing was really nice, and the short chapters helped it move it along quickly. I really liked Jaya and her voice, she was a really strong and flawed main character, as well as Calum and Allie. I especially liked the way the author portrayed Allie’s cystic fibrosis. But even more than that, I loved Teacake; her character was so sweet and endearing. The portrayal of cults, too, was really fascinating to me. And that ending made me cry so hard! At times it got a little confusing, which is why I didn’t give it a full five stars, but I think my favorite part of it all was that Cameron left the question of the afterlife (or lack of one) so vague. I really liked that part of it. I’m looking forward to more from this promising Scottish author, Out of the Blue was a pleasant, bittersweet surprise that really had me thinking about the state of the universe. Beautiful! The bottom line: Beautiful, bittersweet, and brilliant, full of love, grief, and deep questions, Out of the Blue was a surprising, thoughtful debut that I really loved! Next on deck: The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton!