Sunday, February 11, 2018

RAMONA BLUE by Julie Murphy

Ramona Blue

Having read and enjoyed DUMPLIN' by Julie Murphy, I was excited to read RAMONA BLUE. It did not disappoint. The characters were well-developed and I became attached to them immediately. Ramona's story is no doubt the same as many teens out there which makes her current and relatable.

Facts about Ramona - 1) she is over six feet tall, 2) she lives with her father and sister - her mother left them years ago, 3) her sister is pregnant, and 4) she is pretty sure she's a lesbian, but events unfold that leave her questioning just where she fits in sexually.

Uber responsible, Ramona works hard to add money to the family's stretched budget. With her sister pregnant, Ramona knows she will have to pick up the slack for the baby daddy's lazy attitude. Ramona doesn't have aspirations beyond high school because she's pretty sure her life will just be continuing as has already been established.

The summertime love of her life, Grace, leaves to returns to her own family's home with promises to keep in touch, but Ramona knows that since Grace has not officially "come out" chances are slim that the relationship will survive the long distance. To block some of the pain of their separation, Ramona spends even more time than usual with Freddie. Their close friendship begins to show signs of more than just a platonic connection. Add that to the other confusing things in Ramona's life, and this teen reflects the angst of multiple teens, not just those who live in Eulogy, Mississippi.

With references to Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans tourist attractions, and small town living in Mississippi, RAMONA BLUE has a little something for everyone. The action isn't of the roller coaster variety, but more like typical day to day drama that touches all our lives at one time or another.