Review: Ramona Blue

As I previously mentioned, I’m using my time between semesters to get caught up on some reviews!

And I’m very excited about this one!

It’s Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy!

I loved Julie’s first two books and when I read the description for Ramona Blue, I knew immediately that this would become a favourite.

Here’s the blurb:

Ramona was only five years old when Hurricane Katrina changed her life forever.

Since then, it’s been Ramona and her family against the world. 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. But juggling multiple jobs, her flaky mom, and her well-meaning but ineffectual dad forces her to be the adult of the family. Now, with her sister, Hattie, pregnant, responsibility weighs more heavily than ever.

The return of her childhood friend Freddie brings a welcome distraction. Ramona’s friendship with the former competitive swimmer picks up exactly where it left off, and soon he’s talked her into joining him for laps at the pool. But as Ramona falls in love with swimming, her feelings for Freddie begin to shift too, which is the last thing she expected. With her growing affection for Freddie making her question her sexual identity, Ramona begins to wonder if perhaps she likes girls and guys or if this new attraction is just a fluke. Either way, Ramona will discover that, for her, life and love are more fluid than they seem.

I remember being so excited when I read this description. I’ve written on this blog about my own sexual identity and how I believe sexuality to be fluid. So I’m all about books that explore themes like this, so the idea of a book where a girl who identifies as a lesbian falls for a guy was a story I just had to read. I loved this book before I even opened it.

Ramona’s story, and more like it, are some we need more and more of in queer YA. Stories showing sexual fluidity need to be more common to reflect the realities of teens who experience similar feelings.

This story is just so honest. But Ramona and Freddie’s relationship is far from the only thing at play here. We also see Ramona’s relationships with her friends and family, especially the bond she has with her sister, Hattie.

We also see a teen who is trying to find herself, in more ways than one. Not only is she discovering a new part of her sexuality, but she’s also trying to navigate the small town world she’s always known and all the other options that may exist out there for her.

Basically, Julie Murphy has written one hell of an amazing novel! You won’t want to miss this one!

Ramona Blue is available now.

Note: I received a copy of this book from HarperCollins Canada in exchange for an honest review.

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