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Book Thoughts: Ramona Blue (Julie Murphy)

Murphy, Julie - Ramona Blue

★★★★★★☆

Title: Ramona Blue
Author: Julie Murphy
Genre: Fiction/Contemporary/YA   Pages: 408
First published: 2017
Edition: Paperback, published by Balzer + Bray in 2018

Standing over six feet tall with unmistakable blue hair, Ramona is sure of three things: she likes girls, she’s fiercely devoted to her family, and she knows she’s destined for something bigger than the trailer she calls home in Eulogy, Mississippi. 

Man, I have so much love for this novel.

The main character, Ramona,  is simply wonderful. We follow her as she negotiates love, family and friendship in small town Mississippi and it was very well done in my humble opinion. The story made me think about how we see ourselves and how others perceive us. What if our feelings are opposite of what we think we know about ourselves? It was something Ramona struggled with and it struck a chord with me for some reason.

This book made me realise that as a society we do not consider heterosexuality to be part our personality, but being gay somehow is. It is part of how we identify ourselves and others. So, when this part of our identity is not what we thought it was, what then? I do not think I have ever read another book that deals with this particular trope.

I adored the relationships in this novel, the friendships as well as how Ramona related to her parents and sister. There was so much love there and I guess in this case the term ‘heart-warming’ is very appropriate. The emphasis was on those relationships more than romantic relationships and I enjoyed that. The romance was quietly understated and I liked that.

The ending was a ok for me. It did not blow my mind, but neither did it disappoint me. It was fine.

I would happily recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys contemporary YA. It was not too sickly sweet or too hard hitting. It was just right.

6 out of 7 stars