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Blog Tour: Review: Blue Sky Days

Blue Sky Days

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Purchase: Amazon
Release Date: January 17, 2012
Publisher: Self-Published
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Author for Blog Tour
Special: 2012 Debut Author Challenge
Rating: Guilty Pleasure
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About the Book:
A year after graduating from high school, nineteen-year-old Emma Ward feels lost. She has spent most of her life trying to please her frigid, miserable mother - studying hard, getting good grades, avoiding the whole teenage rebellion thing - and now she feels she has no identity beyond that. Because she spent so many years working hard and planning every moment of her life, she doesn't have any friends, has never had a boyfriend, and basically doesn't know who she is or what she really wants from life. Working two part-time jobs to save money for college hasn't helped her make decisions about her future, so she decides it's time for a change. She leaves home to live with her free-spirited, slightly eccentric Aunt Daisy in a small town that makes Emma feel like she's stepped back in time.

When Emma meets Nicholas Shaw, everything changes - he's unlike anyone she's ever met before, the kind of man she didn't even know existed in the 21st century. Carefree and spirited like Daisy, Nicholas teaches Emma to appreciate life, the beauty around her, and to just let go and live. Between Daisy and Nicholas, Emma feels like she belongs somewhere for the first time in her life, and realizes that you don't always need a plan - sometimes life steers you where you're meant to be.

Life is wonderful, an endless string of blue sky days, until Nicholas is diagnosed with cancer, and life changes once again for Emma in ways she never thought possible. Now it's time for her to help Nicholas the way he's helped her. Emma will have to use her new-found strength, and discover along the way if love really is enough to get you through.
It was infatuation at first sight. An infatuation that quickly turned into love, but at that moment I didn’t know what love was.

Too perfect. Those are the best two words I can muster to summarize the whole experience. And, unfortunately, that did set me back some. The lack of true conflict in the characters, the almost cliche character growth, and the instalove romance, while adorable, the chemistry basically believable, has a giant absence of real turbulence in the relationship, which morphed this story into a mostly surface read, a cute romance to warm the heart that missed the mark in being genuinely, unquestionably profound. And that struck me as Blue Sky Days' biggest issue. Although, Blue Sky Days has select scenes that properly evoked emotion (I mean, I cried), there isn't a natural flow that creeps into the heart and grants a full-on picture of raw and true emotion. Landry had the pieces, but I kept feeling as if they didn't quite fit in that beautifully, just-right sort of perfect way that makes a novel a grand addition to our bookshelves.

We sense emotions whipping and tumbling under the surface of the main character, Emma, and through her inner turmoil, it's easy to become sympathetic to her plight. However much we've been exposed to it in other main characters we've run across before. But from the moment Emma walks through her Aunt Daisy's door, there never seems to be that required authenticity to make every character entirely believable. We have a difficult time buying into everyone's endless easygoing nature, because, let's face it, we all have bad days. That's what makes us human. Instead, we are merely given simple characters that don't quite leap off the page. Mild interest is sparked when we meet the remaining cast members of the book, as we know that we're not going to receive any reactions and encounters and emotions true to human nature. And while we may fall in love with Noah, the romantic lead, he too never strikes us as anything other than imaginable. A product of pure fiction too perfect to ever really exist. Where are his flaws?

The conflict of cancer is a scary leap in the story. Though, the characters handle the ensuing events with equally scary grace that doesn't feel very genuine or completely suitable to the situation. Even as we pour tears for Nicholas' fate, we wish to feel a deeper pain, one that rips us of our hearts and shatters us as powerfully as the other novels who've tackled the same plot dilemma. And with a sweet, however predictable ending, Blue Sky Days is another novel that perfectly depicts the true meaning of its Guilty Pleasure rating. A novel that needs much more substance, Marie Landry's Blue Sky Days is a better start to a writing career than most, but failed to incite spectacular emotion and a memorable aftertaste.


Jess said...

Unfortunately, I agree with a lot of your review. The novel had so much potential and a great set up but it was just a bit too perfect. I'll be interested in seeing what Landry writes next though.

Marie Landry said...

Thank you for taking the time to read and review the book, Asher, I appreciate it. 

Liz R said...

I can see why "too perfect" would put people off. It would me - I am very much a character person, and if I don't find them believable, or if they're too flawless and amazing - I can't relate, and I enjoy the book less. Still might give this one a go, but thanks for the review - I'm more prepared now.

Asher_Knight said...

Yes, it did have a lot of potential but I couldn't enjoy it as much as expected.

Asher_Knight said...

I had fun reading it. It was a sweet book. Thanks for letting me be a part of the blog tour!

Asher_Knight said...

Yes. I need dynamic characters with flaws, otherwise the novel doesn't feel 'real.' And I couldn't relate very well. You could enter to win an e-copy over here, if you want to give it a whirl.