Release Date: 5th June 2014
Edition: UK e-proof, review copy
Surfing is sixteen-year-old Iris’s world, and when the ultra-talented Zeke walks into her life, it soon becomes her passion.
Over one amazing summer, as she is drawn into his sphere, she experiences love, new friendships, but also loss, with an intensity she never dreamed of.
But is Zeke all he seems? What hides beneath his glamorous and mysterious past? When Iris decides to try for her own surfing success, just as her ex-boyfriend comes back into her life, she will test her talent, and her feelings for Zeke, to the limit...
I have to admit that when I first saw Blue floating around the blogosphere, I wasn’t that fussed. And then the reviews started coming in and I couldn’t resist. Boy, am I glad I listened to my fellow bloggers on this one!
Blue immediately captured my attention with the mention of hot, tattooed surfer boys and it didn’t stray once, even when it became so much, much more than hot boys. Though, of course, Zeke was definitely highly appealing. Thankfully he’s more than a pretty face: a professional surfer who practices yoga, is a vegetarian, an adrenaline junkie, a shaky history and a large, chaotic family. I really love his family and how large a part they played in Blue – it’s lovely when a family environment is shown so genuinely and touchingly in a novel. The secret in Zeke’s mysterious past was one that thoroughly surprised me. It was of a nature I wasn’t expecting and I thought it was brilliant; it gave him an edge, a history and a depth that made me even surer he was perfect for Iris.
Surfing isn’t something I’d immediately associate with England, and nor is this summery, sunshine-fueled contemporary; they seem more the stuff of USYA, but Lisa Glass did an incredible job. She brought the genre home and it sits on out Cornish shores perfectly. I want more of this kind of UKYA, and I hope lots more of it will be written by Glass. The bite of the cold sea, the strange lingo of surfers and heat of summer love took me away from my dreary lunch hour in miserable Horley and I was very reluctant to go back to work.
Even though Blue is an ode to surfing, it doesn’t look at the sport through rose-tinted glasses. The loneliness and pressure of pro-surfing is a big issue in Zeke and iris’ relationship and shaped Zeke’s life for the past few years and it’s not shied away from. Neither is the real danger and terrifying power of the ocean; it demands respect and caution, as well as love, to spend so much time in it and I really enjoyed reading the character’s cautionary tales of it. Alongside this runs the yearning that Iris and Zeke have for surfing and being in and near the water, the passion they feel for their sport and the celebrity status pro-surfers acquire, there’s a really nice well-rounded and immersive vibe to the surfing world. Through in the way these characters talk – a dialect? Slang? Something else in entirely? – and you really do have a whole new world, but one that actually exists. And one I’d like to visit. If only I had an ounce of balance, coordination or muscle...I am a strong swimmer though!
Blue is a touching and addictive debut about surfing, family and love and I sincerely hope the whisperings of a sequel are true.
Thanks to Quercus and NetGalley for the review copy.