A collective of bibliophiles talking about books. Book Fox (vulpes libris): small bibliovorous mammal of overactive imagination and uncommonly large bookshop expenses. Habitat: anywhere the rustle of pages can be heard.
To begin, I’ll just let you know that I have a very close connection to this book. Not only is Lisa a fellow Book Fox, she has been my friend for a lot longer than the Bookfoxes have been around. We’ve been emotionally invested in each others writing and actual lives for a very long time. I’m the Eve in the acknowledgements at the start of the book. I’m not apologising for this only letting you know. One of the fabulous things about blogging is the ability to do whatever you like, review whatever you want and ignore all protocols, whatever these may be.
Now that’s out of the way, please try and forget it and listen closely as I tell you about the summer romance of the year!
Blue is the story of Iris, a surfing addicted sixteen year old who lives for the joy of catching the ultimate wave. She’s just broken up with her troubled boyfriend, Daniel who cheated on her with her friend. She’s a bit mixed up and withdrawn when gorgeous, talented pro-surfer Zeke appears at her yoga class. He’s sex-on-legs and she has difficulty understanding why he has any interest in her at all. But Zeke has his own issues and passions run high as they spend an incredible summer together in the water and out of it.
I love Iris and Zeke. They’re so right for each other. Neither of them are very good at talking about what’s going on in their heads, what they’re thinking. They are such physical characters that whenever they’re faced with a problem they either run or train or surf to get over it. They are entirely a match made in heaven. Of course, this also means their relationship is beset with problems from the start, each tiptoeing around each other, not saying what they feel or want. Typically teenage and utterly authentic. They are so alive on the page.
Iris is at times a bit solitary but she’s chilled and laid back and to me this is why Zeke is so drawn to her. He lives a hectic, glamorous life touring the world in the spotlight and to him Iris is the calm he so badly needs and wants. This says a lot about Zeke, that he knows himself well enough to know what’s good for him. And that he’s found it in Iris. Blue isn’t just about Iris and Zeke though. There are so many wonderful characters in the book. Iris’s best friend Kelly is adorable. Zeke’s brothers are gorgeous, but also beset with their own issues. Daniel, Iris’s ex is troubled and suffering. Blue is chock full of wholly individual and deeply and originally characterised people you just have to get to know. I loved them and definitely would have moved in the live with Zeke’s family in a heartbeat.
The setting of Newquay in Cornwall is beautifully described, I feel as though I’ve been there. I desperately need to go. And throughout there are references to protecting the coastline, small mentions of treating the environment properly, of respecting the ocean. I loved that. There are some serious messages dropped in as asides that I hope readers pick up on. The glorious descriptions of surfing though are addictive. I wanted to re-read passages over and over again when they were out on their surfboards and how it felt to be part of the waves. I am well aware that at my advanced out-of-shape condition I will never experience this in reality…but I have in my head and it was awesome! You learn a new language too on reading Blue, I am so up on surf-speak now that I figure I could easily mingle with the surfers as long as I could borrow a body. The way Lisa has blended in the surfing talk adds tremendously to the authenticity.
I won’t give away any spoilers but there were a lot of unexpected twists and turns in Blue. Lisa sets you up to expect one thing to happen and then floors you with another. I will totally admit to both sobbing uncontrollably and air punching within the same page. Blue is a real emotional rollercoaster (or wave rider) of a story. There are so many peaks and troughs in the plot and in the emotional pull that you flip pages frantically absolutely needing to know what happens next.
Passion. It’s definitely all about passion in Blue. Not just relationship passion but passion for life, for being active, for making a difference and a lot of passion for surfing. There’s not a lot of lazing about in Blue. Even the beach bonfires involve multiple sports games. This is an ideal summer read because you can enjoy being active whilst lying flat out on your sun lounger. Once you’re finished you are both emotionally and physically drained.
I absolutely adored Blue and can totally guarantee it is The Summer Romance of the Year. It should be mandatory on your packing list for summer holidays. Or if you’re staying at home this summer, even better because Blue is a book you can escape in, a story you can live inside for a while and which will stay with you long afterwards. And no book gets better than that.
P.S…also I totally recommend you follow Lisa on Twitter ( @theseasection ), because she tweets the most incredible surfing photos.