C.G. Drews's Reviews > Ramona Blue

Ramona Blue by Julie   Murphy
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really liked it
bookshelves: contemporary, read-2017, young-adult

This book hugely features swimming, teenage confusion, and delicious food --> all things I can entirely get on board with. However I admit it was pretty predictable and it was loooooong. Like I did totally care about the characters, which made the book enjoyable, but I would've been keen for some more....plot.

+ So the characters were CLEARLY the best here.
It's very very character driven and follows Ramona Laroux who is super poor, works like 3 jobs, believes she's never leaving her little tiny town and has very blue hair. And there's like STACKS of minor characters and while at first I was like: "WOAH WHO IS WHO", but the end I really loved them all and felt they were complex individuals! (Gotta admit I love Saul who's favourite audience to his shenanigans was....himself. Bless Saul.)

+ I also loved the discussions on sexuality!
Ramona is gay but...she isn't sure what label she has. Or even wants. Because she's always loved/kissed girls but then Freddie comes along (childhood friend who is suPER sweet) and well. WELL. Well well. (Freddie literally the sweetest bean of all so like: FREDDIE.) I also think it's important to have LGBTQIA+ books that talk about still finding out who you are. Because for a lot of people it isn't clear cut. And sexuality can be fluid. I have no idea if it's good rep, so definitely go read reviews from people in the know (!!) but I thought it was respectful and interestingly presented. (And also it actually spoke up for people who are bi/pan and do have girl/boy romances. It doesn't make you less gay to end up with a boy, and from discussions I've seen on twitter, I think that gets erased a lot?)

+ Also plenty of diversity!
Freddie (love interest) was black, and most of the minor characters were on the LGBT+ spectrum. Ramona's sister, Hattie, had a teenage pregnancy. Romana is extremely poor (ALSO EXTREMELY TOL). And one of the excellent minor characters has two mums.

+ BUT IS IT JUST ME OR IS ANYONE ELSE THINKING OF RAMONA QUIMBY.
You know?? Beverly Cleary!? Ramona and Beezus?! HENRY HUGGINS. I'm stuck here excuse me.

+ Massive food appreciation.
Freddie is like: I exist to cook for you and I am totally pleased with him right now.

+ I do confess there is just...not...a lot of plot.
Like basically none. And what things did unfold I found totally predictable. IT WAS WELL WRITTEN THOUGH. But I did find it a smidge of a drag at the beginning because everything was painfully obvious and I ended up lying upside down on my bed while reading to stay interested and nearly killed myself with blood running to my head. So. IDK, peoples, the bookworm life is dangerous.

+ I did like Ramona but I didn't understand her.
Always a bit awkward when the protagonist + me end up having an eyeball stare-off combination and then I'm whispering, "but why are you doing that it makes no sense you blue haired onion". Because I'm completely empathetic. I KNOW. Anyway her blue hair was absolutely awesome. So there's that. But like when the (view spoiler) Honestly the ending was fine and good, but it left me feeling a bit "eh".

Aren't you glad you're here to read my highly eloquent reviews? I know, I know. I'm amazing.

ALL IN ALL: It's a really nice contemporary that has a rambling tone and basically covers a whole year. Ramona was a great protagonist! I think she had a lot of relatable struggles with figuring out WHO she was. And I love love looooved her and her sister's close bond. <3 Freddie was the sweetheart of the century and food tho. Personally for me? Just a little too predictable and slow.
So ENJOYABLE but not memorable.
But if you loved Tash Hearts Tolstoy I'm like soooo sure you'll eat this one right up.
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Reading Progress

October 14, 2016 – Shelved
October 14, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
October 12, 2017 – Started Reading
October 12, 2017 –
12.0% "Look so far they've eaten eggs Benedict and croissants and ordered a chocolate cake and I AM ON BOARD WITH THE FOOD REPRESENTATION."
October 12, 2017 –
37.0% "Either contemporaries are AMAZING or else nothing freaking happens and I fall off my bed and nap on the floor."
October 12, 2017 –
75.0% "OMG THIS BOOK IS GROWING ON ME SO MUCH. Also the sister love is intense and good and yes."
October 13, 2017 – Shelved as: contemporary
October 13, 2017 – Shelved as: read-2017
October 13, 2017 – Shelved as: young-adult
October 13, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-7 of 7 (7 new)

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message 1: by Melanie (new)

Melanie Stockman Your sentence with " blue haired onion" is going to be my new insult to characters lol it has me laughing too much


message 2: by Clare (new)

Clare Snow Ramona Quimby is all I can think of - she's all grown up!!


message 3: by em_is_reading (new)

em_is_reading i think bi/pan/any non monosexual representation is very important,,, but you have to be careful because stories where lesbians "find the right guy" are problematic so really it depends on how carefully and respectfully it's written.


C.G. Drews @Malanie: EXCELLENT.

@Clare: Omg I did think of that... 😂😂


C.G. Drews @EmkayReads: Of course! I don't feel qualified to really discuss the topic though. I do see lots of bi/pan women on twitter talking about how they get erased as "no longer queer" if they end up with a guy. And that's obviously problematic too, and I've never seen a bi/pan book address that. Ramona was in no way not attracted to girls at the end. (In fact her mother was waiting for her "find the right guy and not be queer" so the book DID discuss how frustrating and horrible Ramona found that.) Anyway! Rambling!


Tejasvi (Parchment Magic) The first thing I thought of when I saw this was Ramona Quimby too!


Carly McCunn Totally agree with you when it comes to the plot, and you’re actually hilarious I love this review.


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