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The Other Side of Blue Paperback – April 4, 2011

22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"In her memorable first-person voice, filled with the minute observations of a young artist, Cyan sketches out with believable detail the beautiful setting, the unspoken family tension, and her fragile recovery of hope after loss."—Booklist

"Readers will be compelled by these wrought family relations, and the mystery will keep them moving forward. A beautiful novel."—Childrens Literature

"Artful writing and beautiful imagery combine to create a study of the various portraits of grief."—Kirkus

"Cyan’s present-tense narration is fluid, restrained, and perceptive, and it’s balanced effectively between telling the story and conveying her grief and frustration. . . . There’s a smoothness and clarity here that recall Zibby Oneal or Frances O’Roark Dowell, and fans of those writers as well as readers drawn by family dramas with a bit of mystery will relish a sojourn on the island with Cyan."—Bulletin

About the Author

Valerie O. Patterson holds an MFA in Children's Literature from Hollins University, where she twice received the Shirley Henn Award for Creative Scholarship. She has also won a Work-in-Progress Award for her writing from the SCBWI. Valerie is an attorney in her day job and lives with her husband in Leesburg, Virginia.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (April 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547552157
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547552156
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,005,155 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Beckie Weinheimer on October 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Valerie O. Patterson's The Other Side of Blue reads like a fine oil painting. From up close one is memorized by her beautiful imagery and metaphors. Then if the reader steps back they can see the carefully crafted words and images forming a picture, a story filled with hurt, loss, and unanswered questions. And finally if one studies this delicate portrait completely, they can find a glimpse of Cyan's glimmers of hope illuminated through the many hues of blue.

Obviously a lover of color and of words, Val has used both with the skill of a fine crater to paint the story of Cyan, a young teenage girl who is struggling with the loss of her father and her anger towards her mother. Her story takes place on the Island of Curacao in the Caribbean, which I've never been to in real life, but feel like I have because o the vivid descriptions throughout The Other Side of Blue. A great read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Book Addict VINE VOICE on October 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The death of a parent for a young person is never easy but Valerie O. Patterson has portrayed the subject in a sensitive and touching manner. Cyan - named for the color blue - has returned to the vacation island of Curacao in the West Indies. A year before, her father drowned in a boating accident so the trip holds many painful memories and questions for Cyan. She and her mother are alienated, perhaps over the death of her father but also on the suspicion that the parents were having maritial difficulties even before the drowning. To complicate matters, Cyan must host her soon-to-be step-sister, Kammi who is the perfect little princess. Patterson has addressed many common teen issues, such as, jealously between step-siblings, blended families, strained relations between parent and child, as well as the ever-present quest for answers to unanswerable questions. I believe that many young female teens would enjoy this book and it would be a good additon to school libraries.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sexysmurf VINE VOICE on September 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I found this book to be rather enjoyable given it's content. I thought the author had a good way of showing us the issues that mother and daughter can face when the father dies. Cyan was like many girls I knew growing up: chubby, frustrated, didn't like her mom, missed her dad and full of assumptions. All in all, I would recommend this book, especially if you like to dive into the child/parent emotional side of things
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Grandma GG VINE VOICE on September 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Fifteen-year-old Cyan and her artist mother have returned to their annual vacation beachfront rental in Curacao where Cyan's father drowned the summer before. There is no tenderness nor kindness between mother and daughter who, since the drowning, are barely able to tolerate one another. Cyan's mother appears to be moving on with her life and is already planning her remarriage. Joining them for part of their vacation is sweet, beautiful, hopeful, thirteen-year-old Kammi who is to be Cyan's step-sister. The relationships between these three women are complicated, but very believable, and form the core of this book. This is a beautifully written story of forgiveness, reconciliation and recovery against the backdrop of a summer paradise. Cyan reaches out and retreats, much like the tides, as she comes to terms with her father's death. Valerie O. Patterson writes descriptively of the colors of sea, sand and sky, and even more so about the colors of the heart. Parents should be aware "The Other Side of Blue" is written for young adults and has some sexual content appropriate for that age group, but not for younger readers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By citymom VINE VOICE on September 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
15 year old Cyan and her artist mother have returned to the island of Curacao the year after Cyan's father's deadly boat accident. The two are barely speaking and Cyan's mother is engaged. They are joined by Cyan's beautiful and soon to be step sister.

The action is tight and contained, much like a painting, and the result a splendid wash of feeling and color. Although written for young teens it is a valid piece of literary fiction for all ages.
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Format: Hardcover
I love a good island drama, and Valerie Patterson's remarkable YA novel "The Other Side of Blue" delivers the kind of tropical punch that leaves me giddy with wonder. Set on the island of Curacao in the Caribbean Sea, fifteen-year-old Cyan returns with her mother to their annual summer retreat where her father mysteriously died in a boating incident the year before. Her grief has deepened to an interminable anger that no amount of sand, sun and seafood can calm. As the emotional gulf between Cyan and her mother widens, Cyan suspects there is more to her father's death than she's been told. Her mother, a renowned artist who has agreed to marry an affluent admirer, invites Cyan's future step-sister to the island, a Cinderella-like girl named Kammi who is two years Cyan's junior and everything Cyan is not (thin, sweet, and happy). The visit exacerbates Cyan's insecurities and self-defining role as the ugly step-sister. She becomes possessive, dismissive and jealous, a bratty killjoy in full bloom. Meanwhile, Kammi wins everyone over, including the island boys, while Cyan searches for more clues about her father. Holding the key to new information about the incident is Mayur, a proud local boy from a wealthy family who taunts Cyan yet pulls at her desires and insecurities. Their frosty interactions heighten Cyan's sense of confusion. When Cyan states, "I am not interesting in Mayur. Absolutely not. Maybe," she is acknowledging the depths she'll inevitably go for acceptance and comfort. While Cyan's behavior often works against her, her thoughts and actions accurately reflect a depressed teen working through a profound loss. This is a masterfully rendered portrayal of grief and the reason why this book leaves such a powerful, enduring impression.Read more ›
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