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Devil and the Bluebird

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  611 ratings  ·  142 reviews
Blue Riley has wrestled with her own demons ever since the loss of her mother to cancer. But when she encounters a beautiful devil at her town crossroads, it’s her runaway sister’s soul she fights to save. The devil steals Blue’s voice—inherited from her musically gifted mother—in exchange for a single shot at finding Cass.

Armed with her mother’s guitar, a knapsack of cher
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published May 17th 2016 by Amulet Books
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Hannah Moore No, this is not a romance. There is some very minor romance indicated, but the story is about family, not romance.

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Average rating 3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  611 ratings  ·  142 reviews

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Jun 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: client-books
I'm the agent for this book, and I loved it from the very first draft that Jennifer sent me. It resonated with me on so many levels: the music, Blue's sense of determination to set things right, and her complicated relationship with her sister, to name just a few. I'm so happy to see it with such a wonderful publisher, Abrams, and I can't wait for readers to get their hands on this amazing story. ...more
Dec 17, 2015 rated it really liked it

3.5 Stars rated up

Remember that the devil is the one who tells you to play a tune that’s not your own, and you can drive him right on out into the cold by playing what’s in your soul.

Devil and the Bluebird tells the story of Blue, a young 17 year old girl who has decided to try and locate her sister who she has not heard from in two years. In order to find her quicker and easier, Blue has decided to ask for the help of a mysterious woman at the crossroads. In return for a pair of magical boots t
Kali Wallace
Aug 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a stunning, enchanting story about music and magic and traveling the back roads of America to find answers you didn't know you were looking for. Blue is a fantastic character--determined but flawed, loving but hurt, grieving but still moving forward, still living--and I was aching for her the whole way.

But what I really love about this is how every single character--every single one, no matter how minor--is a fully realized character. Even if they only show up for a few pages, Mason-Blac
Mar 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, arc
The story kicks off right away: at the crossroads where 17-year-old Blue is about to make a deal with the devil.

(The synopsis reminded me of this great episode of Supernatural. Has anyone else seen this one?)

All she wants is to find her sister. When the devil (a gorgeous woman in a red dress) shares a passionate kiss with Blue, the deal is sealed: Blue now has six months to find her sister. If she finds her in time, both of their souls will be saved. If sh
Kathleen Glasgow
Aug 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
DEVIL AND THE BLUEBIRD hit all my YA buttons: teenage girl suffused with grief; musical themes; fantasy elements; struggles with loss and identity. Blue Riley is one of the most engaging teen characters I've read in a long time: she's quirky, intelligent, passionate, confused. Mason-Black does a beautiful job of maintaining Blue's voice throughout the book--she's never less than herself, even as she is struggling to figure out what that means. On the hunt for her runaway sister and in mourning f ...more
Karen Fortunati
Dec 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing

This arc blew me away on so many levels - emotion, story, structure, gorgeous and masterful writing. This is one of those books I despised putting down, leaving the world that Jennifer Mason-Black has so beautifully crafted. The story is unique - Blue believes she makes a deal with the devil: she'll risk her soul to find her missing sister. Blue sets off on her quest at a huge disadvantage - the devil has taken Blue's voice so Blue is arm
S.M. Parker
May 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most beautiful and haunting books I have ever read. The road Blue travels (the actual road and her own road to discovery) is unlike anything I have every experienced before. If you like your YA with folklore and music and strength and magical realism and kindness and fear and redemption, you do not want to miss this book. Full review to come!
Jen (The Starry-Eyed Revue)
An ARC of this title was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This review can also be found at The Starry-Eyed Revue.

Devil and the Bluebird was nothing like I was expecting and I may have liked it all the more because of it. You tell me there's a devil in the story, and I am so in. Plus, sister stories are always worth a read, having two sisters of my own and never really understanding either of them completely. And it should also be known that I can't say no to characters
Anne OK
Sep 23, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-reads
“If you dance with the devil, you’re going to get burned.”

The cover caught my eye so I read the blurb – and then I dove right in. It is definitely something a little different than my norm.

Blue is seventeen and on a road trip in search for her sister. She makes a deal with an unknown woman in exchange for help. The exchange presents many challenges. There is a cast of characters spanning the spectrum from good to bad to evil. The search turned into quite an adventure – sometimes dangerous and o
Sep 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
full review up here!

i was provided an arc of this book by ABRAMS kids, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to read this one. this is an odd, dark, captivating little book, and I would definitely recommend it to someone looking for something different! full review will be up soon :)
T.A. Maclagan
Jun 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A world of magical realism is deftly woven to create a novel in which the depth of feeling real musicians have for their craft and what it means to carry music in your soul can be felt by the reader. Devil and the Bluebird is a winning debut from Jennifer Mason Black.
Sarah Lemon
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
MOSQUITOLAND and ALL OUR PRETTY SONGS had a genius, country/folk child.
Leah Bobet
Feb 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes a book reminds me that it is possible to pour love through a page.
Esther Soh
Dec 16, 2016 rated it did not like it
I'll sum this book up in four words: extremely boring; messy prose.

"Don't you know what instruments do?" the woman asked. "They suck people in and continue to echo them out forever once they're gone. Didn't you ever wonder why some dusty old violin has so much power?"

I can feel that the author is trying. Trying really hard to tell us something. But the message always get lost somewhere in an attempt of sophistication. There are bits of good writing if I were to squint hard enough but mostly
Mar 29, 2016 rated it really liked it

**Thank you to ABRAMS Kids and Amulet Books for providing me a digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley for the purposes of review**

Did I ever mention I love stories with Faustian deals? Well, I love stories with Faustian deals. And here we have a YA novel that not only opens with our protagonist literally making a deal with a crossroads demon, but perfectly executes an introspective tale about the many winding journeys we take in life.

Let’s start with the opening, because it was the entire
Apr 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, ya, 2016
Huh. What a strange little book. More later when I can get my thoughts in order.
I liked Devil and the Bluebird. I really did! Mason-Black wrote some truly beautiful scenes that spoke to my heart: stuff about believing in yourself, the power of music, true love and friendship not being restrained to formal definitions... I even enjoyed her world building. (view spoiler)
May 10, 2016 rated it really liked it

The supernatural moments were sultry, devious, and insanely creepy. The kind of stuff that makes your skin crawl. I was crazy impressed with how terrifying these small scenes were. Chills. The devil is seductive, manipulative, playful, and yet, doesn’t seem inherently evil. She’s complex (I wish there was more of her and these teeny scary scenes).

Read more: https://youngadultbookmadness.wordpre...
Kat Helgeson
Feb 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Holy crap! I've never seen anything quite like this in YA. This genre just continues to amaze and astonish, and Mason-Black is at the forefront of that, pushing it into newer, more experimental, more daring areas. This book feels like something that might have happened to Johnny Cash when he was a teenager. I love it. I don't hand out five stars liberally, and this book earned every one of them. ...more
Ruth Lehrer
Aug 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing

A lyrical story supported by the rhythm of an invisible folk-rock band, DEVIL AND THE BLUEBIRD was a wonderful surprise. A poetic story about faith in yourself, selling out, and finding your way back to your soul. Mason-Black’s YA debut makes me eager for her next book.
May 27, 2017 rated it liked it
MAN, I should have liked this book so much more than I did. It's atypical in so many great ways, but I had so much trouble finishing it. I'm going to blame the book funk I've been struggling with for months, frankly.

A girl named Sapphire Blue and stolen voices and souls gone awry and music personified are just a few of the great pieces of this story's arc. I'd recommend this for fans of magical realism but also for those who like a good ole contemporary story.

Glad I read it even if it took me
Jun 21, 2019 rated it liked it
When I started reading, I felt great about this book. There weren't too many characters, the plot was very interesting and it sounded like something I've never heard before. But, as the book went on I started feeling kind of confused, there was just too many characters, I would sometimes get lost and have to reread the part where I got lost. Apart from that, I thought that the story was very interesting and the whole concept of selling your soul to the devil is scary to me. Also, Blue is such an ...more
Sep 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book came to me at the perfect time when I was in the mood for something different from the majority of YA I seem to be reading lately. Then again, it had me hook, line, and sinker from the beginning of the synopsis blurb even before I sat down to read the whole thing. The point is, I was feeling good about my chances that I would end up enjoying this.

And enjoy I did, because Devil and the Bluebird is a delightfully introspective tale about so many things, but I was particularly drawn to th
Alisi ☆ wants to read too many books ☆
This was a very good debut novel for this author. I know she writes short stories, but this is her first novel.

My only complaint is that I didn't feel like she was ever really in any trouble. She'd just move from place to place in such a way that it was almost deus ex machina. People would just show up, randomly, and be all helpful (even if they proved to be jerks or asses later.) There was really only one scene that might've been a bit chancy but even then...

Some of them verged on the ridiculou
Mason-Black has told a lyrical story about making deals with the devil and the ghosts that inhabit America. It's a story of music and family (both blood and not), and wandering, and finding the good and joy where one can. It is about being true to yourself, and making the music that can change a person's life, and the price of a soul.

This book was music, which is apt because of the running theme of music serving as a common language and an outlet for the soul. A lot of times, I finish a book and
Gary Anderson
Nov 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Bluesman Robert Johnson wasn’t the only musician to go down to the crossroads and make a deal with the devil. In Jennifer Mason-Black’s Devil and the Bluebird, 17-year-old Blue Riley takes her guitar and meets up with the red-haired woman in the red dress. Blue promises her soul for a chance to find her missing sister.

This sets Blue on a journey across America, alone, where she discovers the darkness awaiting young people living on their own, homeless and without means. She learns about human tr
Orphaned, and abandoned by her sister, a girl who is desperate enough to find her sibling makes a promise at the crossroads that steals away her voice. With only her mother's guitar and a pair of old boots to guide her, she sets off to find her sister and her voice. Every companion she meets has layers and is the opposite of one note. I felt at times cold and frustrated reading this book, which is exactly what the character was going through, trekking across the country in winter and not being a ...more
Emily Mitchell
Jun 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Oh my goodness gracious! Fantastic! Spectacular! Incredible! How grateful I am that my library just happened to have this on the new releases display for me to pick up on a whim. Easily the best 2016 release I've read so far, and a debut, no less. Not really spoiler-y, but something I greatly appreciated was the fact that though this is not marketed as an LGBT book, it has very essential LGBT themes within that took me so very pleasantly by surprise. (Transgender themes, as well, which is still ...more
Sep 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I had a few days to let this one sink in and I am sticking with my 5 star rating. This novel rocked. Blue makes a deal with the devil in order to find her sister Cass. As a result, she finds herself on an epic road trip across the US. How rare to find a story where the main character is not a special snowflake who has to save the world. Instead, Blue has nothing and is put into situations where she has to figure it out on her own. Blue consistently rises to the occasion.

If you are tired of the
andrea caro
Not one damn person in the reviews for this book gave a trigger warning for sexual assault and as such I'm going to be ending my night trying to overcome a panic attack. I resent authors who do not warn for this and I resent reviewers who don't either. DNF @ page 157. ...more
Jun 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A strange book that won my heart. More in depth review soon on/at The Book Wars.
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34 likes · 11 comments
“Remember that the devil is the one who tells you to play a tune that's not your own, and you can drive him right on out into the cold by playing what's in your soul.” 5 likes
“She’d given it away once; she never would again. Life took things from you: mothers, friends, sometimes even choices. But that wasn’t the same as giving parts of yourself away. It was her voice to use: to say no and yes and “I love you” with, to sing with, even to hold silent.” 4 likes
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