Friday, June 28, 2019

Book Review: BLUE VALENTINES by Laura Moe

The long-awaited sequel to BREAKFAST WITH NERUDA has finally arrived! Scroll down for my complete review.

by Laura Moe
July 9, 2019

Description from Publisher:
On the verge of graduating high school, with no solid plans for his future, Michael has two options. He can either remain in Rooster, Ohio and attend a local college, or accept a scholarship to a summer workshop in Seattle, where he has a chance to meet his biological father. Will he make the right choice? While he struggles with his options, Michael discovers the ties that bind him to his girlfriend Shelly may be slowly unraveling.

About the Author:
Laura Moe is a radio host and YA author. Her novel, BREAKFAST WITH NERUDA, is listed as NYPL's 50 Best Books for Teens in 2016.

My Review:

BLUE VALENTINES by Laura Moe is a captivating read from beginning to end.

The main characters from Moe's previous novel, BREAKFAST WITH NERUDA, are revisited in this newest novel. Michael and Shelly must navigate the waters of first love and the choices that must be made after high school. The characters explore new avenues that force them out of their comfort zones and discover who they want to become in the future. Change often is uncomfortable, but it also can be exciting. As one character explains to Michael, "Sometimes a man has to leave home to find himself. You're safe here. You know when you wake up today is going to be just like yesterday and tomorrow. But you don't truly value that security until you go away and face a little danger."

Michael takes the leap into the unknown, as he describes in the novel, "In the last twenty-four hours, I have contacted my unknown father, taken my first flight clear across the country, ridden a train in an enormous city, listened to poetry by a famous poet, smoked a joint with a stranger, and am about to sleep with my girlfriend in her ex-lover's bed. How messed up is my life now?"

While the novel totally captivated me from beginning to end, the lingering issue I had with the story was the amount of drinking and drugs. I thought the book could have been titled HEARTBREAK HANGOVERS. ;) But that's a personal issue of mine. Many readers could argue that experimenting with alcohol and drugs is simply a part of growing up. I disagree. I believe there are healthier and safer ways to transition into adulthood. 

Michael asks himself in the novel, "Am I the architect of my misfortune?"

One of my favorite lines from the book:
"Everything grows gray, as if Shelly snatched up all the colors and took them with her."

BLUE VALENTINES by Laura Moe is a terrific tale of teens exploring their options after high school and deciding what matters to them most: love, friendship, self-discovery, family, and more.

[I received a free early copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion.]

1 comment:

  1. When one is young and in good health, I say it's always good to try an adventure or you will end up regretting it. When one is my age (aka not so young at all) it depends on one's circumstances. For me, it's better to stay put.