Friday, 5 May 2017

Review: Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy

by Julie Murphy
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: May 9th, 2017
Purchase: [Amazon] [Chapters/Indigo]
Ramona was only five years old when Hurricane Katrina changed her life forever.

Since then, it’s been Ramona and her family against the world. Standing over six feet tall with unmistakable blue hair, Ramona is sure of three things: she likes girls, she’s fiercely devoted to her family, and she knows she’s destined for something bigger than the trailer she calls home in Eulogy, Mississippi. But juggling multiple jobs, her flaky mom, and her well-meaning but ineffectual dad forces her to be the adult of the family. Now, with her sister, Hattie, pregnant, responsibility weighs more heavily than ever.

The return of her childhood friend Freddie brings a welcome distraction. Ramona’s friendship with the former competitive swimmer picks up exactly where it left off, and soon he’s talked her into joining him for laps at the pool. But as Ramona falls in love with swimming, her feelings for Freddie begin to shift too, which is the last thing she expected. With her growing affection for Freddie making her question her sexual identity, Ramona begins to wonder if perhaps she likes girls and guys or if this new attraction is just a fluke. Either way, Ramona will discover that, for her, life and love are more fluid than they seem.

I wholesomely believe that Julie Murphy's RAMONA BLUE is the book to read this year. Drop everything you're doing and pre-order it or make a pit-stop at your nearest bookstore/library and pick this beauty up.

If you don't know who Julie Murphy is, she's a book-writing splendor. Her debut, DUMPLIN', was highly received by readers and critics all over the world. It focused on the tale of self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson who adores everything Dolly Parton. She was an inspiring character through-and-through, and by reading her story I found myself resonating with her on a level I didn't think possible. It was a powerful story about loving yourself, bullying, and love, and when I officially learned of Ramona Blue, I was hoping for something just as powerful!

“I love you, too,” I whisper back with my lips already pressed into hers. She tastes like SpaghettiOs and the cigar we stole from her dad’s portable humidor. Her lips are chapped and her hair dirty with salt water from our midnight swim just a few short hours ago. I feel her dissolving into a memory already."

Ramona Blue is just as inspiring, powerful, and moving as Dumplin', or rather perhaps even more so. Protagonist Ramona is a larger than life character who is positive she knows who she is. She knows what she wants to do in life, where she plans to be in the future, and is positive of her attraction towards girls. However, when her old friend Freddie returns and invites her to swim, Ramona finds herself being attracted to him in ways she never thought she would. In this, Ramona begins to question every aspect of her life, her fluid attraction, and her responsibility towards her family.

Ramona Blue floored me. I, honestly, haven't felt so inspired from reading a book in a long time, and Julie Murphy's Ramona Blue brought up many important topics worth discussing. Ramona's need to take care of her family and keep things together resonated deeply with me, and I absolutely adored how every character throughout the story was realistically imperfect. Additionally, and I don't mean to preach, but Ramona is the character many of us need/needed during our teen years. Someone who was unafraid to face the world, and someone who challenged herself. I truly adored Ramona's journey and I hope you will, too. Ultimately, Ramona Blue was the feel-good and realistic book many of us need. It was human, it had perspective, and it completely blew me away. It's an absolute must!

4 / 5 Cupcakes

This title was provided to the blogger by the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review. No payment was received/accept in exchange for this review/post. The blogger requests that this review not be reposted or edited without the blogger's permission. The thoughts and words expressed in this review/post are explicitly the blogger's.


  1. I love Julie Murphy's characters, they're all real people, or at least they feel that way when you read their story. I love that she doesn't stick to stereotypes, she writes about individuals, and she always focuses on family on some level, and it's always diverse!

    Lovely review!

  2. This story blew me away too! I didn't really know what to expect, but since I enjoyed Julie's first two books, there was no question I'd read this one. I had no idea I'd love it as much as I did. I completely agree with you that Ramona is the type of character a lot of people will need and this is the type of book many people will need.

  3. I can't wait to read this book! I have been hearing so many good things about it!