Carlyn's Reviews > Born Blue

Born Blue by Han Nolan
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Jan 24, 11

bookshelves: books-read-in-2011
Read in January, 2011

Born Blue had interesting characters and a pretty good storyline, but it was honestly a let down. Although it took me less than a day to read through the book, I found myself re-reading lines, and then re-reading them again because the writing was so odd. It wasn't bad, per say, but it was different in the sense that barely any of the book was written in proper English. The first sentence is "In my first memory, I be drowning." The book did catch me there, and I was confused by that line so I continued reading. In the end, though, I was very disappointed.
Leshaya, or Junie...whatever the heck her name is...annoyed me. Don't take it personally, Leshaya/Junie, most female characters annoy me. However, this girl just rubbed me the wrong way. She was just completely irritating! Mistake after mistake, burning bridge after bridge, following in her heroin addict mother's footsteps - it was a nightmare! Throughout the entire book, I was just hoping for someone to teach her how to speak properly. By the end of the book, I ended up translating each sentence into proper English; if I hadn't done that, I'm not sure if I would have been able to make it through the book.
There were about three redeeming qualities/parts to this book, which made it worth reading. The first redeeming quality was the characters. Just one, really. Paul, who is the first person to teach Leshaya how to read music and play the piano. He was possibly the only character that I felt a connection to, no matter how many times Leshaya went on about Harmon and "the girls" and all the however many guys she slept with.
Another redeeming quality was Leshaya's determination. That's possibly the only thing I didn't find annoying about her. She was dedicated to her dreams, and followed them; she refused to let anyone get in her way or tell her that she wasn't good enough to become a famous singer.
The third, and - in my opinion - the last redeeming quality was the ending to the book. I'm not going to say it, because that's a spoiler, and I wouldn't want to give anything away to those of you who plan to read it so that you might judge it for yourself, but it was possibly the only thing I was happy with.
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message 5: by Danielle (new)

Danielle It sounds like the author was trying to use dialect as a part of characterization and story-telling but failed at doing so. :( Darn. I normally like that technique.


Carlyn Danielle wrote: "It sounds like the author was trying to use dialect as a part of characterization and story-telling but failed at doing so. :( Darn. I normally like that technique."

I know that Nolan was trying to do that, but I just wasn't enjoying it very much. I'm sure that Nolan did it well, but it just wasn't my cup o' tea, y'know?


message 3: by Danielle (new)

Danielle My apologies. Only meant to express my disappointment that one of the techniques in this novel was not working for you, and from how I read your review, was not executed very well.


message 2: by Carlyn (last edited Jan 24, 2011 07:44PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Carlyn Danielle wrote: "My apologies. Only meant to express my disappointment that one of the techniques in this novel was not working for you, and from how I read your review, was not executed very well."

No need for apologies.
Maybe it was executed poorly. Honestly, I haven't read many books in which the dialect of the main character is the format in which the whole book is written, so I'm really not sure. All I know is that I didn't particularly enjoy the writing in this book.
Do you have any favorites that are written that way?


message 1: by Danielle (new)

Danielle I recommend my ultimate favourite novel: Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh; and Push by Sapphire, the inspiration for the film Precious.


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