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A Thousand Shades of Blue
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A Thousand Shades of Blue

3.45  ·  Rating Details ·  154 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
A sailing trip to the Caribbean might sound great, but sixteen-year-old Rachel can't stand being trapped on a small boat with her family. She misses her best friend and feels guilty about leaving her older sister Emma, who lives in a group home. Her father is driving her crazy with his schedules and rules, her brother is miserable, and there is never anyone her own age aro ...more
Paperback, 231 pages
Published October 1st 2008 by Orca Book Publishers (first published January 1st 2008)
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Apr 23, 2009 Melody rated it really liked it
First off, I'm a sucker for books set on sailboats, as this one is. Secondly, I like protagonists who are a little awkward, unsure of themselves. Rachel is certainly not finished, but she's heading in the right direction. The broken sister and the troubled parents kind of pile it on, but somehow it manages to work without being too heavy-handed. I liked the story, I liked the characters, and the writing took me to the deck of the 'Shared Dreams' and left me looking into the water. Nicely done.
Rebecca McNutt
A Thousand Shades of Blue is a portrait of a dysfunctional Canadian family as they sail from Ontario and learn a lot more about themselves and each other than they ever dreaded. It's a lot better than I expected it would be, and the author really has a talent for describing scenery and characters.
Hanna Kollmorgen
Oct 13, 2013 Hanna Kollmorgen rated it really liked it
I personally really like this book. It portrayed a year long journey with a family of problems. They couldn't even sit down together at the dinner table with out giving each other mean looks. And when they found out they were going to be together for a year, on a boat, they were utterly surprised. The daughter and son were so upset. Not to mention they had a disabled sister that they would have to leave back at home. Towards the middle they begin to talk more then they ever had before and they w ...more
Aug 05, 2011 ♥Justine♥ rated it liked it
This book was really good. (view spoiler) ...more
Books and Literature for Teens
A year long voyage to the Bahamas may sound like the dream vacation, but to Rachel it is a disaster waiting to happen. Ever since Rachel's sister moved out, her parents have been fading away. Rachel's distrait father is suddenly trying to "patch things up" by taking them on this sailboat adventure; and Rachel's mom is becoming more distant than ever. Fake even. When their boat's rudder is cracked, Rachel and her family is stuck in Georgetown where Rachel and her brother Tim are once again faced ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jennifer Wardrip
Jan 31, 2009 Jennifer Wardrip rated it really liked it
Reviewed by Andrew S. Cohen for

Rachel is a sixteen-year-old daughter trapped on a year-round sailing trip aboard a small boat with her dysfunctional family.

Her dad, a child psychologist more in tune to the problems of his patients than his own children, suggested the trip to repair the rift between the family. However, Rachel feels guilty leaving her mentally-impaired older sister behind, along with missing her friends.

Rachel's parents continue to fight on the trip, her brothe
Jun 18, 2014 Austinbenevides rated it really liked it
When I first picked up this book, I thought it was going to be a boring, same old book like any other one but I was wrong. This book followed a family that had many issues and followed them as they sailed across the sea to try and bring their family closer. Little did they know this trip would only make things worse. I liked how the author used the thousand shades of blue as a metaphor to describe the setting of the story and showed the different emotions of the story. I think it really helped g ...more
Dec 20, 2016 Cindy rated it really liked it
Today I have a book for you called A Thousand Shades of Blue by Robin Stevenson. I first picked up this book because of the beautiful cover design, but as soon as I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down. The story is told by Rachel, a sixteen-year-old girl whose family decides to sail from their home in Canada to the Bahamas on a family trip as a way to bring their family closer together. Angry at missing her junior year of high school and leaving her disabled older sister behind, Rachel is ...more
Roan Jaca
Jun 03, 2016 Roan Jaca rated it it was amazing
I really love this book. I'm not fan of reading but this book is amazing. This book is about a journey of a girl that has family problem. Even if they live in a same roof they feel separated. They couldn't even sit down together at the dinner table with out giving each other mean looks. Then when they found out that they're going to be together a year in a boat they're really surprise and their children are so upset especially the one of their daughter because not to mention they have another da ...more
Rachel is a typical Canadian teen whose family happens to be disintegrating. Her parents, eager to bring the family back together (and save their marriage) decide to take Rachel and her brother Tim on a year-long sailing trip from their home in Hamilton, Ontario to the Caribbean. Along the way, Rachel discovers that the greatest challenges aren't necessarily navigating the waters of the Caribbean, but those of her own family's rapport, communication and entrenched relationships with one another. ...more
Caitlín (Ink Mage)
Jun 16, 2009 Caitlín (Ink Mage) rated it it was ok
Shelves: nautical
The cover is pretty (though the floating-girl silhouette is odd).
But the story was your typical "Oh no, my family has PROBLEMS. I'm going to act out because I have to feel in control of something. Oh look, my sibling isn't as much of a looser/nerd/weirdo as I thought. Maybe my parents aren't, either. Hope lives on!" but set on a boat. And for taking a family sailing trip, they didn't even sail very much.
It wasn't bad, but it wasn't anything special, either. If you want to read a book that also i
Jun 23, 2010 Andrea rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010
I picked up this book without really knowing what it was going to be about but I ended up liking it. I ran in to the library 10 minutes before closing to find something to read that was not baby related. As a result I grabbed this off the shelf without having time to look at it much or get much of an idea about it. Additionally, it turns out that this is a YA book that was mistakenly shelved in the adult section. Anyway... I liked the story and the characters for this book. It was a really fast ...more
Lincolnwood Public LIbrary
Aug 28, 2009 Lincolnwood Public LIbrary rated it really liked it
A refreshingly realistic look at a family struggling to stay together and a young girl trying to find her place in the midst of it all. 16 year old Rachel is stuck on a small boat with her family for an entire year--her father had thought it would help make the family closer. While on the trip, Rachel tries to reconcile her feelings about leaving her older, mentally disabled sister behind and come to terms with the fact that she knows her mom is having an affair. Rachel's emotions will ring true ...more
May 25, 2009 Caroline rated it really liked it
A refreshingly realistic look at a family struggling to stay together and a young girl trying to find her place in the midst of it all. 16 year old Rachel is stuck on a small boat with her family for an entire year--her father had thought it would help make the family closer. While on the trip, Rachel tries to reconcile her feelings about leaving her older, mentally disabled sister behind and come to terms with the fact that she knows her mom is having an affair. Rachel's emotions will ring true ...more
Nov 03, 2009 Alexis rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009
This book had an interesting location that added a great dimension to the plot. Sixteen-year-old Rachel is conflicted when her family decides to sail around the Bahamas for a year. She doesn't want to be held on a boat with her family, which is basically falling apart. There are problems in her parents' marriage and tensions within the family unit. I liked this book because it was extremely realistic and there was a lot of material packed in. Rachel's voice was accurately depicted and the detail ...more
Aug 08, 2011 Tammy rated it really liked it
A Thousand Shades of Blue is a gripping book of family ties. Rachel is incredibly unhappy and lost in her messed up family and just wants it to be better again, which is hard when her sister, Emma, who kept them glued together, has moved into a group home. Rachel’s sadness turns to dread when, of all things to do, her father and mother decide to pull Rachel and her brother; Tim, out of school a year to “fix the family” however, it makes the family worse, or does it? Rachel starts to feel closer ...more
Aurora Batty
Jul 25, 2016 Aurora Batty rated it liked it
I am guilty of choosing a book based on their cover. This edition had a lovely cover. I did read the blurb before checking this book from the library and found it interesting enough to pick up.

This is a coming of age story about a teenage girl out on a year long family sailing trip. The family relationships are strained and uncomfortable, will this trip bring them closer or rip them apart.

The story gets to a slow start but it is truly a good story. There is even a hint of mystery and romance m
Jan 11, 2015 Linden rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Adult readers

Rachel's parents decide the famliy needs a year-long sailing trip to the Bahamas to give them quality time together. The reality is that life for Rachel and her younger brother Tim include a lack of privacy, closer contact with their parents' tensions and precious little of the expected beach life the trip would seem to promise. And worst of all, Tim and Rachel discover something that threatens to do more than rock the boat they are living on.
May 13, 2014 Sarah rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. There was this pull to it that got me hooked immediately... But I didn't quite understand the plot of this story. Was it Rachel trying to survive her own life, her family problems or what? In my opinion, the plot wasn't explained very well, but overall, it was a great read.
Shawn Bird
Jul 25, 2012 Shawn Bird rated it really liked it
I quite enjoyed the writing in this story of a 16 year old girl stuck for a year on a sailing boat with her parents and 12 year old brother. It's one of those 'bring the family together' trips that tend to be traumatic for all concerned. The events and emotions are believable. I am thinking a trip to the Bahamas would be nice. But I think I'll fly.
Amy Barton
Jul 25, 2009 Amy Barton rated it it was ok
Shelves: i-own, disliked
This book was average, broken family, troubled teenage girl...But I liked how Robin Stevenson used the shades of water as a metaphor for the way Rachel's family interacts. Other than was pretty average. Sorry about my horrible reviews.
Sep 04, 2014 Rachellared rated it liked it
I actually quite enjoyed this book. I picked it up without having any idea what it was about except for the sailing theme and I read it while on a sailing trip. I found myself really liking this book and relating all the sailing activities back to what I was doing on the sailboat.
Alana Mcconnell
Aug 03, 2014 Alana Mcconnell rated it liked it

Was very good. But didn't have that extra something to bring it up to a 4.
May 03, 2016 Caitlen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, dnf
Zzzzzzz. So boring. The writing skipped over so many details and became confusing.
Sep 30, 2009 Julie rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
This was okay, it was the story of a girl and her family who spend a year sailing a ship from Canada to the Bahamas and back. I wasn't absorbed by it or sucked into the story, but it was okay.
Apr 12, 2009 Dare rated it really liked it
It was a good book and i love the ocean and bahamas so thats why i read it and its more of a loving story than an ocean book!Its a good book though!
Jul 11, 2010 Jess rated it liked it
I liked it although it could have maybe been more involved. It was a little bit predictable although probably pretty true to life.
Jan 23, 2012 Six rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ultimate-faves
A very good book. It kept me reading the whole way through.
best book ever
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Book Review 1 4 Jun 12, 2015 11:54AM  
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Robin Stevenson is an award winning Canadian author of 20 books for teens and children. Her newest book is her first work of non-fiction-- PRIDE: CELEBRATING DIVERSITY AND COMMUNITY ( 2016). Robin lives on the west coast of Canada, with her partner and son. When she isn't writing, she edits books and teaches creative writing classes and workshops.
More about Robin Stevenson...

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