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Ramona Blue Hardcover – May 9, 2017
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From the Publisher
Meet the Author
Julie Murphy lives in North Texas with her husband who loves her, her dog who adores her, and her cats who tolerate her. After several wonderful years in the library world, Julie now writes full-time. When she’s not writing or reliving her reference desk glory days, she can be found watching made-for-TV movies, hunting for the perfect slice of cheese pizza, and planning her next great travel adventure. She is also the author of Dumplin’ and Side Effects May Vary.
- 2 Starred Reviews
- Named one of Bustle '16 Young Adult Novels to Read in 2017, According to YA Authors'
- Named one of Popcrush's '10 Most Anticipated Young Adult Books of May 2017'
★ “An exquisite, thoughtful exploration of the ties that bind and the fluidity of relationships, sexuality, and life.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
★ “Julie Murphy knows a thing or two about navigating the worlds of girls on the brink of self-discovery.” (Booklist (starred review))
“A must-have work that will resonate with teens” (School Library Journal)
“Julie Murphy delivers a fresh and glorious love story that addresses all the complexities of one’s heart. Ramona Blue’s discovery of limitless love is total beauty.” (Adam Silvera, New York Times bestselling author of More Happy Than Not)
“Ramona Blue is Julie Murphy’s best book yet. It’s hilarious, it’s heartfelt, and it’s so, so real. I just wish I’d had this book to read during my own teen years!” (Robin Talley, New York Times bestselling author of Lies We Tell Ourselves)
“Murphy creates a place that feels deeply real…a great setting for a coming-of-age story, as Ramona realizes that she’s capable of more than she imagined and that some categories are more fluid than she’d thought.” (Publishers Weekly)
“In a wonderful, complicated way, Ramona Blue turns the queer coming-of-age trope on its head.” (Brightly)
About the Author
Julie Murphy is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dumplin’, Puddin', Ramona Blue, and Side Effects May Vary. She lives in North Texas with her husband who loves her, her dog who adores her, and her cats who tolerate her. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading, traveling, or hunting down the perfect slice of pizza. Before writing full time, she held numerous jobs, such as wedding dress consultant, failed barista, and, ultimately, librarian. Learn more about her at www.juliemurphywrites.com.
Top customer reviews
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Julie Murphy gets into complex issues regarding poverty, race, and sexual identity without being preachy or condescending. It's simply a good story about kids who are not cis, white, petite, middle class.
One note, in case kids or parents are reading this who are in the same situation as Ramona: You don't need to be an athlete to get scholarships for community college. Community colleges have foundations and scholarships just like 4-year schools do and they have financial aid counselors who help kids like Ramona get Pell grants and private scholarships. At my local high school, which has mostly low-income students, basically, every kid who applies for a scholarship from the community college's foundation gets something. Lots of aid goes out to older students, too. Community colleges have programs that can help you get a well-paying job without having to go to a 4-year school. So, thank you Julie Murphy for putting the wonderful, amazing option of community college in your story! I don't know if I have ever read a book that did, so thank you!
Right when I read the synopsis, I knew there was no way I would not love this book. And having completed it, I can now say that is true!
I am a sucker for a novel that tackles complex sexuality, identity development, family dynamics, class, SES, race... this novel does it all, and in a way that serves each topic of sensitivity justice.
Ramona is such a lovable character. She's real, raw, resilient, and strong. She is parentified, and has to fulfill a caregiving role in her family to keep everything running smoothly-- without a single complaint. She deserves time for her self, time to be selfish, and time to refine and develop who she's truly wants to be. That is what this novel is. It tackles her struggles with who she wants to be, while incorporating the trauma, disaster, and complex adolescent dynamics to truly exemplify the realness of Ramona.
“.. the idea that I’m someone’s best friend fills my rib cage with summer.”
This novel is a beautiful coming-of-age story that is exquisitely written with a main protagonist who is so well developed and three dimensional that I was rooting for Ramona Blue from that very first line until the very last one and you will too. I loved that there was so much diversity in this book across all aspects of life. From race to sexual orientation to socioeconomics to educational opportunities this book had it covered. I related to Ramona on so many levels. From her impoverished childhood to her epic work ethic to coming to terms with her sexual identity when she realizes she may not fit in the one box where she always identified to her fierce loyalty to her loved ones to the delightful cast of characters who make up her life.
“ … disappears from my life like the most careful burglar, leaving not even the whisper of a fingerprint behind and stealing only parts of me I can feel and not see.”
A big part of Ramona’s journey comes with this enlightenment she has about her own sexual identity. I love the care with which the author handled this topic. The author identifies as bisexual and it’s important for the queer community to have bi-voices writing these stories. By now most of us have realized that sexuality is fluid and so is our emotional connection to other humans. I spent the first 28 years of my life identifying as straight and then I met my wife and that whole notion turned upside down. My idea of who I thought I was completely changed when I fell in love with this person who just happened to be a woman. Does this make me bi, lesbian, queer? Maybe I identify as all of the above.
“Fate is mine to pen … I choose.”
Another thing that struck me with this story was the nuanced portrait of a small Mississippi town still feeling the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. We see these tragedies unfold across our TV screens, but we don’t really know what happens to the people who lost everything. Where do they go from there? Who do they become? How does this shape Ramona’s thoughts about her life and her future?
All in all this was a perfect novel for me. The pacing, the plot, the story, the writing, the characters, the diversity which included gay characters who weren’t silly caricatures. Ramona Blue had it all. I highly recommend this book. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, your heart will break and then burst open with love and hope. Bravo, Ms. Murphy!
Most recent customer reviews
“I hate this idea that boys are thinking about sex nonstop and girls are thinking about - what? Stationery and garden gnomes? No.Read more
Review: So much love for RAMONA BLUE. I went into this book expecting a romance or a story about being queer and questioning, but RAMONA...Read more