Rating: 3 STARS
How I got this book: April 'Book Box Club' Subscription
Ten days after Jaya Mackenzie’s mum dies, angels start falling from the sky. Smashing down to earth at extraordinary speeds, wings bent, faces contorted, not a single one has survived.
Hysteria mounting with every Being that drops, Jaya’s father uproots the family to Edinburgh intent on catching one alive. But Jaya can’t stand this obsession and, struggling to make sense of her mother’s sudden death and her own role on that fateful day, she’s determined to stay out of it.
When her best friend disappears and her father’s mania spirals, things hit rock bottom and it’s at that moment something extraordinary happens: An angel lands right at Jaya’s feet, and it’s alive. Finally she is forced to acknowledge just how significant these celestial beings are.
Set against the backdrop of the frenzied Edinburgh festival, OUT OF THE BLUE tackles questions of grief and guilt and fear over who we really are. But it’s also about love and acceptance and finding your place in this world as angels drop out of another.
There were one or two things in this book that didn't sit well with me, so I'm going to talk about the things that I did like first.
This book was a 'surprise' book as it was part of the April 'Fallen Angels' book box subscription from Book Box Club. You can check out my unboxing to find out what angel related goodies were inside this months' box.
I was really intrigued by this fantasy-esque story that takes place in Edinburgh. I liked the setting, I think the backdrop of the Fringe festival was really well explored and works well alongside the fantasy elements of this story, and I enjoyed the Scottish narrative.
This book is very diverse, and I love that it was both culturally and sexually inclusive. It features a lesbian character, a bi character (yay!), characters of colour, and disability.
I think the author does an excellent job of tackling quite a lot of difficult subjects in such a short novel (279 pages) including; loss, grief, abuse, disability, mental illness, and faith, and yet it still remains a very teenage YA novel full of teenage antics, plenty of junk food, new friendships, and self-discovery.
Jaya is a great protagonist. She's strong-willed, gay and not ashamed to be who she is. She's struggling to come to terms with her mother's death and blames herself. At the same time, she's juggling with a father who's channelled his grief into an obsession, almost leaving his children to care for themselves, a younger sister she can't face after the loss of their mother and the mysterious disappearance of her secretive ex-girlfriend. All the while, mysterious 'Beings' that look like angels are falling from the sky.
Jaya's character comes on in leaps and bounds during this book as she deals with difficult situations and her own grief and pain exceptionally well. I truly wanted her to find peace.
The friends she makes along the way are colourful, complex and beautiful, making the underlying story really beautiful.
I really enjoyed the description of the 'Beings' - they were beautiful to imagine.
The main issue that I had with this book was the ending. It felt rushed and in a way, incomplete. I just don't feel as though this was properly resolved. In my opinion, a lot of things were also left unexplained and, to me at least, it seemed to take away from the book by leaving so many unanswered questions that it almost felt like the book just ended accidentally with a missing chapter/epilogue which would have been helpful. The last line is the most confusing.
There was so much crammed into this story that I felt a little more resolution at the end would have been nice to avoid the unsatisfied feeling I had when I put this book down.
There were a couple of other things I struggled with but I don't want to give anything away as I'd still recommend this book to fellow lovers of YA/Fantasy looking for more LGBT representation.
But, that's just my opinion. Read the book and let me know what you think!
Tunnocks teacake anyone?
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Book addict, film mad, music lover, business owner, aspiring writer and mum (not necessarily in that order), living in the UK.
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