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Little Boy Blu Paperback – November 16, 2014
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• First person POV through the eyes of an isolated and naïve boy (whose age we don’t really know until nearly halfway into the narrative) meant that we could only know what he knew, which wasn’t much. On one hand that allows the reader to discover the world as Blu discovers it, but on the other hand, it gave the author an excuse to leave out huge pieces of information that would flesh out characters and context. Strings were left dangling, answers to major obvious questions are never answered.
• The ease with which 3 isolated children accept and become absorbed by modern conveniences was unrealistic. Within days, these kids who have never seen a TV, electric lights, or even a paved road are deftly managing cell phones, game devices and driving cars and 4-wheelers.
• The potential to explore the consequences of egregious exploitation by reality TV was barely skimmed. An opportunity lost.
• The mystery of who is posing a threat to the family, to me, was very transparent, eliminating most of the suspense. If this was intended to be a mystery/thriller, it failed on that score.
In spite of those shortcomings, I would have been able to give a moderate 3 stars except for my biggest complaint, which is a spoiler of sorts, so Don’t Read Further if you don’t want to know:
At the very end, backlash from the reality show has a reporter (who is black) confronting the mother about her choice to not give her babies a medication that would reverse this medical anomaly that can place their health at risk, and also make the blue skin color disappear. She turns the argument against the African American reporter as if the entire question is about skin color – would he take a medication to turn him a “normal” white color. And everyone cheers – Blue is Beautiful!! Ignoring the fact that 5 of her blue babies had died in infancy – we’re not just talking skin pigment here, we’re talking about life. I was enraged at this tactic and closed the book angry.
Isolated all his life from the everyday world, when will Blu realize that his blue skinned siblings are the abnormal ones instead of thinking that his own white skin makes him an anomaly?
I definitely recommend this book... hard to put down.