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The Blue Star (Jim Glass #2)

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  705 ratings  ·  170 reviews
Seven years ago, readers everywhere fell in love with Jim Glass, the precocious ten-year-old at the heart of Tony Earley's bestseller Jim the Boy. Now a teenager, Jim returns in another tender and wise story of young love on the eve of World War Two. Jim Glass has fallen in love, as only a teenage boy can fall in love, with his classmate Chrissie Steppe. Unfortunately, Chr ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published March 10th 2008 by Little, Brown and Company (first published January 1st 2008)
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2666 by Roberto BolañoSir Gawain and the Green Knight by UnknownUnaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa LahiriNetherland by Joseph O'NeillAmerican Lion by Jon Meacham
New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2008
59th out of 100 books — 25 voters
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingThe Book Thief by Markus ZusakThe Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
Top 100 New Classics
200th out of 236 books — 410 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,219)
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Frank
In his essay "E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction," David Foster Wallace argues that irony, as a literary strategy, has lost the subversive power it once had to refresh our sense of life's possibilities in the face of a bland commercial mass culture. Irony has lost its power, according to Wallace, because it has been co-opted by that very same mass culture that experimental fiction writers like Barthelme and DeLillo used to use irony to attack. Wallace goes on to speculate that in the f ...more
Louis
Aug 26, 2008 Louis rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoyed Jim the Boy
Jim the Boy was a true delight, a wonderfully understated book that I treasure years after reading it. News of a sequel made me both excited and nervous. Excited because of how much I enjoyed Jim; nervous because of losing the simplicity of the earlier book. The Blue Star retains a great deal of the charm of Aliceville, North Carolina from the original novel. At the same time, the outside world forces its way into his life as he approaches adulthood. The book is set in 1941. The fact that Jim is ...more
Lori
ARC from Regal

Funny thing about me and reading, When books are part of a series, I have to read them one right after the other. I don't like to squeeze other books in between them, unless of course they are already 12 novels long and I've only just discovered them (then it becomes a bit like chocolate - tastes good for the first 3 or 4 pcs, then just gets to be sickening and depressing)... OR they are still being released, in which case, I have no choice but fill the time from one release date t
...more
Pam
Tony Earley creates timeless stories in the early to mid 20th century that captures the cadences of life in a palpable way that isn't sappy or nostalgic. The Blue Star covers the senior year of Jim Glass on the eve of WWII in a small town located in rural NC. I found the clear, unadorned, succinct prose-style a welcomed change to the often overly self-conscious and pretentious writing that most post-modern authors affect. His style struck just the right tone and timber for a story that centers a ...more
Louisa
I am so glad I picked this up in the airport in NYC. Now I have to read "Jim the Boy" the
first in this series. It is a coming of age love story. The writing is
great but very accessible. I read the entire book on my flight back home.
My mom would have loved this one as historical
fiction was a favorite of hers...
Quiltgranny
Another winner of a story by Earley. I feel like I am listening to a story being told around a pot bellied stove when I read his books.
Chad Sayban
Jim Glass’ senior year was supposed to be simple. But his life in a small North Carolina town in 1941 has become anything but simple. He is supposed to be with Norma, but he doesn’t love her – or right now even like her. He wants to be with Chrissie, but she is dating a guy Jim hates who has left for the Navy. On top of that, Chrissie won’t even look in his direction. For Jim, time may be short because the winds of war are blowing and he will need his family to guide him through life and politic ...more
Connie  Kuntz
Sep 01, 2009 Connie Kuntz rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who like a simple love story that isn't simple
Recommended to Connie by: I like the author
It is 1941 and Jim is a brooding (but not cynical) senior in high school in rural North Carolina. He is a thoughtful, friendly young man with a stern but loving mama, three uncles who adore him, charming friendships and a car dubbed "The Major." Jim is hardworking and is considering where his life will take him now that he is a senior in high school.

On the first day of school, he falls in love with a beautiful girl, Chrissie Steppe, who is obligated (broadly defined) to Bucky who is fighting the
...more
kelley
The story of “Jim the Boy” continues in the sequel “The Blue Star”. Jim is now a senior in high school preparing to graduate. I appreciated the fact that the author gave him characteristics common to young men of that age. Jim was obnoxiously aware of himself and the girls around him. Being a senior he had the attitude that he was the top dog in the school and behaved accordingly. His friends were equally obnoxious.
This story is a love story, not a romance novel, but the story of a young man dis
...more
Brian Gatz
Three stars is about as high as one goes for contemporary fiction--we're not running a review service here, so late and early we're forced into choosing between the best of everything and the best of what's right now: those two bodies may or may not overlap, but probably do not. Anyway, I've just seen Tree of Life, which is about boyhood in Texas, and thought I'd come back to this book, which is about adolescence in North Carolina. The two share a belief in the sensory world: the Malick film obs ...more
Ron Charles
In 2000, Tony Earley published a delicate, daringly uneventful novel called Jim the Boy. His short stories in Harper's and the New Yorker had already attracted enthusiastic praise, but this first novel about a sensitive 10-year-old in a small North Carolina town inspired ferocious devotion. I thought it was one of the best books of the year; I tried to read chapters to my family but kept getting too choked up. Newspapers ran adulatory author profiles of the modest Vanderbilt professor, and there ...more
Kelly Ohl
I have to say it took me a little while to get into this book but when I did I found it worth it even though this is the type of book that I wouldn't have normally picked out for myself to read. I am glad, however, that this book was sent to me because I really did have a great experience reading it.

The time frame is on the eve of World War II and Jim is now a senior in High School. Jim has broken up with his long time girlfriend Norma, and has become smitten with a half Indian girl named Chriss
...more
Rebecca Brothers
So you don't always have to read the first book first. I heard Tony Earley speak at the Conference on Southern Literature back in April of this year in Chattanooga. He was humble and funny and I loved hearing him talk about his upbringing and how it influenced his writing. I loved that last part most because I'm a vain at heart and he said it was his second grade teacher who identified him as a writer and made him think of himself as such for the rest of his life. I love to pretend that all teac ...more
Tony
Tony Earley- The Blue Star (Little, Brown and Company 2009) 4 Stars

Jim Glass is learning what it is like to grow up. He has found a girl that he loves with just one problem, she has a fiancé overseas. Jim must now learn what it is like to not have what he wants most, to be just friends with the girl of his dreams. With World War II just starting he must consider doing his duty and signing up. Meanwhile his best friend seems to have problems of his own and Jim must try to keep him from getting hi
...more
Dale
I have an emotional connection to Tony Earley's Jim the Boy and now this book, The Blue Star which brings the story of Jim Glass up to his graduation from high school at the beginning of WWII. My connection comes, I think, from Jim Glass being a contemporary of my parents, who grew up in rural America, were children during the Depression and whose lives were changed forever when my father went off to fight in the War right after leaving high school.

Jim the Boy is a wonderful book. I found it al
...more
Gaby
A portrait of life in America on the eve of World War II, The Blue Star tells the story of Jim Glass Jr during his last year of high school. From among the well-to-do families in his small town, Jim has recently broken up with Norma Harris. Jim finds himself in the awkward position of being fascinated by his friend Bucky's girl friend Chrissie Steppe. But his friend, Bucky Bucklaw Jr. is in the Navy, surely courting Chrissie Steppe would be out of bounds.

When Jim digs deeper into the relationshi
...more
Nic
I absolutely fell in love with "Jim the Boy" and was both eager and reluctant to follow him into adolescence. This novel begins with his crush on an exotic "part-Indian" girl who poverty has not given a lot of choices. As Jim learns about her life, and sees the hard choices made by others around him, he realizes how easy his own has been. Set in World War II, "The Blue Star" also shows rural America under the shadow of the war overseas as the sacrifices and choices of whether to serve start hitt ...more
Bobbi
I absolutely loved this book, although I strongly recommend that you read Jim the Boy first. Each book is short and they perfectly complement each other. They're the first two of a trilogy; the third is not yet complete as I was heartbroken to discover after reading both.

Jim is now seventeen (he was ten in Jim the Boy) and is continuing to discover his world. He lives in (very) rural western North Carolina and has not had to struggle financially as many did during the thirties. Jim's father die
...more
Karima
"You have to choose to be a good man," Uncle Zeno said. "You have to choose every minute of every day. As soon as you don't, you're lost..."
Stunningly simple. Tony Earley's style is unadorned but TO THE POINT. The point being your heart.
Here's another example, it describes Jim (he has just graduated from high school) accepting a cup of coffee from a neighbor, even though he doesn't like coffee:
"He wrapped both hands around the cup and felt the heat crawl up his forearms. The attendant beauty an
...more
Robert
This continues the earlier ok, "Jim the Boy." Jim is now a young man, a high school senior in the Class of 1942. The great events shaping the world are also shaping Jim, as he begins to look at the world through a man's eyes. Things taken for granted as a small town boy look different now, and a man's responsibilities are different. This is a coming of age novel in a time still well within the recent past. Things are familiar but appear as though viewed through a soft veil. It is a gentle story, ...more
Henry
More like 2 and 1/2 stars. Earley overwhelms every scene he creates with context and detail, which can be distracting. The story is simple enough, but the piling-on of physical description can make you weary. Fortunately, when he's in the head of the principal characters, the story moves along and pleasantly so. Ultimately, he does capture the world of non-urban USA post-depression (as I've heard it to be from many) and that makes it a nice read.
Anne
I really enjoyed Earley's coming of age novel, Jim the Boy, about 10-year old Jim Glass growing up in North Carolina in the 1930s. In The Blue Star, Jim is in his senior year of high school, and the country is on the verge of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Jim finds himself struggling against what his family assumes he will do with his life - marry the school goodie two shoes and get a job nearby - and what he wants from life. He falls inexplicably in love with a mysterious half-Indian girl and le ...more
Karen
This sequel did not quite reach the 5 star rating of its predecessor, Jim the Boy, although still a good read in its own right.

There is something about the gentle prose of Tony Early that keeps me genuinely invested in the lives of the characters, so much so that I would definitely welcome a third book about Jim and his family and friends.
Katie
This title was on a few "best novels of 2008" lists, and because I am on a committee to help choose the BPL's selection for best novel of 2008 I read it. I've had Earley's Jim The Boy on my bookshelf for a cuople of years, but find the cover (very similar to this cover)a bit offputting ... it's very retro in a flannel shirt wearing John Boy Walton kind of way. Fortunately I think that The Blue Star is beautifully written, it sets a complex setting without seeming the slightest bit complicated. T ...more
Brenda
I really liked this book. It took me two days to finish it. It was based on a boy/young man who lives in the mountains during the time around the bombing of Pearl Harbor. It is based on his love of a young girl he knows from school who lives up the mountain, and in is a situation where by she can't return his love. You'll have to read it to find out why. This book was a simpler easier read than some, kind of a written story of The Waltons with less characters involved. It has that kind of feel. ...more
Corny
Mar 21, 2008 Corny rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Corny by: Read previous book ,Jim, the boy
For fans of Richard Russo,this may be of interest.It is another small town book, this time in North Carolina during the days leading up to and after Pearl Harbor. We see the world of that day through the teenage eyes of Jim Glass, the protagonist of an earlier novel in which he was growing up in the Depression. Now the shadow of war hangs over the town as Jim is about to graduate. Not much happens here. However, the descriptions and the dialogue are redolent of an earlier, more innocent time. So ...more
Diana Sanderson
The Blue Star catches up with Jim the boy, now 17, and dealing with the agonies of life: senior year, girls, competition for girls, and war. Once again, Tony Earley imbues Jim with such realistic qualities it's nearly painful to read. A wonderful story. Now I need to pester Tony to continue Jim's story because he left him at a precarious moment in his life.
Ron Estrada
Fantastic. The author takes us right into the days just prior to and after December 7th, 1941, through the eye of a high school senior who is also dealing with the usual teenage issues that span any time period. It's beautifully written and a real tear jerker. I hope he writes another. Cant just leave us hangin'!
Sarah
Another novel that made me laugh and cry! Am I emotional this summer or what? I really wasn't expecting to like this adult novel simply because of the cover, but I was pleasantly surprised. Jim (the same Jim in Earley's Jim the Boy) is now a senior in high school. He broke up with Norma, the girl his mom wanted him to marry. And now he's fallen in love with Chrissie, who is 1/2 Cherokee, poor as dirt, and has beautiful, shining black hair. But Chrissie is the fiance of Bucky who is currently ser ...more
Joe
A good sequel to a great first book, The Blue Star continues the story of Jim in rural N Carolina. The writing remains excellent though I was to as moved as I was in Jim The Boy.

In the first novel, it seems to me that Earley began with a sentiment and feeling that he wished to elicit in the reader. The plot became a vehicle for leading the reader to these wonderfully nostalgic areas of wonder and innocence. In Blue Star, the plot takes a more central role. The nostalgia for me wasn't there.. Per
...more
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