Monday, 4 March 2019

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Review: Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron

Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron

Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron


Published: 22nd March 2018 | Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books | Source: Publishers via NetGalley
Sophie Cameron's Website

When angels start falling from the sky, it seems like the world is ending. Smashing down to earth at extraordinary speeds, wings bent, faces contorted, not a single one has survived.

As the world goes wild for angels, Jaya’s father uproots the family to Edinburgh intent on catching one alive. But Jaya can’t stand this obsession and, still reeling from her mother’s recent death and the sudden disappearance of her ex-girlfriend, she’s determined to stay out of it.

Then something incredible happens: an angel lands right at Jaya’s feet - and it’s alive...
From Goodreads.

Book Depository | Wordery | Goodreads

I received this eProof for free from Macmillan Children's Books via NetGalley for the purposes of providing an honest review.

Trigger Warning: This book features cults, abuse, suicide ideation, suicide, and kidnap.

Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron sounded like such a great story, but I finished feeling disappointed. While the story isn't bad, for me, it was only merely ok.

Jaya is still struggling after the death of her mother nine months ago, while her father has become obsessed with the falling angels - winged beings appearing in the sky out of nowhere, falling at an alarming rate, to crash into the ground, broken, wounded, dead. No-one knows where the angels are coming from, and for a while, most thought it signalled the end of the world. But after several months and nothing changed - except for more angels - people began to get back to their normal lives. Except for those intent on making money out of selling the angels blood, the Standing Falling, a cult who believes the angels are a sign of God's wrath, and Jaya's dad, who is intent on catching one alive. He thinks of pretty much nothing else, and spends all his time researching, and then moves them to Edinburgh for the Summer, certain that his calculations are right, and the next angel will fall in Edinburgh. What surprises Jaya is that he's right - the next angel does fall in Edinburgh, and fall's in her presence, getting caught in a tree that saves her life. Jaya can't think of doing anything other than helping - saving - this angel, and keeping her safely out of the hands of those who would do her harm. But it's difficult to hide an angel, especially one who doesn't speak English. With the help of Allie and Calum, two siblings she's made friends, they try and get the angel, who they name Teacake due to her love of the biscuits, do all they can to mend her wing, keep her hidden, and hopefully get her home. But there are those desperate to get their hands on a live angel - Jaya's dad included - and keeping Teacake safe may be more difficult than they realise.

My main issue with the Out of the Blue is that it's kind of predictable. If you've seen E.T., then you roughly already know what's going to happen. We may not know when or how, which kept me reading, but you know what. And so the story isn't surprising, and doesn't feel that new. I found I really liked Teacake, even though she can't really communicate. I felt for this creature who has no idea where she is or what's going on, and no way of leaving because of her wounded wing, and having to stay in small spaces, when she is so used to the great outdoors and spreading her wings. There is some lightness in the story with Teacake being able to memorise lyrics and phrases she hears on the radio, and tries to communicate with the shipping forecast.

Out of the Blue is kind of beautiful in how it looks at grief. Jaya isn't over it, and believes it was all her fault. But she's unable to process her grief, to talk about it, when her dad is completely obsessed with the angels. They're all he cares about. He quit his job, and now he's uprooted them to Edinburgh with no thought to what Jaya and her little sister, Rani, want. He doesn't pay much attention to them, he barely listens to them unless they're talking with him about the Beings, as the angels are called, and his research. They're not being properly looked after, and Jaya is angry. So angry! He has forgotten about them, and they no longer have a mother. She's drowning in her grief, and she needs her dad, but he might as well not be around either. What she doesn't see is that her dad's obsession is rooted in his own grief, and is his way of dealing with it. It's not healthy, obviously, and he could do with some help, but Jaya is the child here, and she doesn't get it.

Out of the Blue is quite diverse. Jaya is gay, and she and her sister are biracial; half British-Sri-Lankan, half white Scottish. Allie is bisexual, and has cystic fibrosis, which affects her throughout the story.The romance between Jaya and Allie is a real slow burn, and it's kind of cute, but impeded by Jaya's confusion over her ex, Leah, who left with her mum without a word a few months ago. She's not quite over her, which is a problem in getting things going with her and Allie.

The ending left me feeling kind of disappointed. It was quite sweet in regards to Jaya's story and Teacake's story, but in the grander scheme of things, we get no answers whatsoever. I would have liked more answers in regards to what is going on as a whole, and a conclusion, but we don't get them.

So yeah, it's not a bad story, and I'm sure a lot of people would enjoy it. I just knew what was going to happen, and was hoping for more, so felt a little disappointed. It was just ok. But do read some more reviews before deciding whether or not you'll read it.

Thank you to Macmillan Children's Books via for the eProof.

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