Today I’m going to be taking a short break from my #AsianLitBingo challenge and instead review an amazing book that’s coming out really soon! Thanks to Epic Reads, I was able to grab an ARC of Ramona Blue at YALLWest, although this doesn’t any way influence my review etc.
Ramona Blue comes out on this Tuesday, May 9, and I highly encourage you all to grab a copy of it, or even preorder it! (Pssst, there’s a preorder campaign with lots of fun swag going on.)
I’m aware that there was initially some controversy regarding the synopsis of this book and that it contained some poorly worded and offensive language. Fortunately, I believe that has been rectified since, and that this is the updated version: 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 give this book a 9.5 star rating!
You may be wondering about all the high ratings I’ve been giving out. While I may be a bit generous with ratings, especially diverse ones, the fact of the matter is that I’ve just been really blessed with so many wonderful reads recently. Ramona Blue is another such book, and it breaks my heart that it has a much lower Goodreads rating than it deserves due to the aforementioned controversy. This is really such an important and wonderful read.
One of my favorite things about this book were the family dynamics. Too often in YA literature, poor families can be extremely unsupportive of each other, which obviously not at all the case in real life. Ramona’s family is not like that all! It warmed my heart to see how much Ramona’s family cared for each other, especially Ramona and her sister. That is reason number one why I love Ramona. Reason number two is that Ramona is a character who has such a strong drive and very little self pity. When she knows she wants something, she will go for it full force. Freddie, our love interest was so swoon worthy. He is such a gentleman!
Other reasons why I loved this book: the book touches on other important issues such as racism. Also, the friendships in this book are so unique and heartwarming. The main reason why I think everyone should read this book? Ramona Blue sends a really important message that sexuality is fluid and that it is okay to be questioning your sexuality. I know that some people were hesitant at the idea that a guy comes in and “fixes” lesbian, BUT THIS IS NOT THE CASE. Nowhere in the book is there any mention or even undertone that this a valid statement nor possibility whatsoever. The way this book is written instead sends such a positive message about not needing to restrict oneself to a label. This book is NOT lesbian being “turned straight by a guy” but instead about a lesbian discovering that she is not as sure about her sexuality as she was before.
I’m desperately hoping that I was coherent and clear enough to encourage you all to read this book when it comes out. It has so many positive and important messages, and I really hope you put this on your immediate TBR list!