Blue Sky Days by Marie Landry
“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.”
I was kind of taken by surprise by this quiet yet powerful debut. There was just something about Blue Sky Days—it wasn’t fast-paced or action filled—but it had the real life, close to the heart charm that makes it hard to put down.
Part of the appeal of Blue Sky Days was the writing. All throughout the book, Emma’s thoughts and feelings felt real, like something straight out of someone’s heart. Emma’s voice and also her character development were some of my favorite parts of the book. Watching Emma change from quiet, hard worker to a more carefree and happy person was enjoyable and slightly inspirational.
I loved Emma’s relationship with her mother—or better yet, lack of relationship. If you’ve read the book, you’re probably thinking I’m crazy right about now, but let me explain. As a person who knows what it’s like to have a mother that’s constantly disappointed and extremely frustrating, I can appreciate the relationship between Emma and her mother and the fact that it plays a big part in the story.
I also loved how the ending messed with my mind. I was so certain in my mind that the book was going to end one way and then it went it ended the completely opposite way.
There was only really one thing that bothered me about Blue Sky Days and that was how quickly Emma made new friends. It just seemed a little too fast to be realistic. But that one little detail didn’t take away much from my overall pleasure of reading the book.
Blue Sky Days is a great book worth checking out if you’re a fan of contemporary coming of age stories or if you’re looking for a YA book involving cancer. The book touched on a lot of real life issues and feelings, such as the overbearing mother and the need to find yourself. Blue Sky Days might not necessarily appeal to younger teens, but instead will more likely appeal to older teens and younger adults.
Source: ebook from author
*Note: As part of the book tour, each person who buys a copy of Blue Sky Days between January 17th and February 14th and emails Marie Landry proof of purchase at irishstar_83(at)hotmail(dot)com will be entered in a giveaway to win a book of their choice up to $12 CAN from the Book Depository.