Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Girl Called Blue by Marita Conlon-McKenna

Larch Hill is the only home Blue knows. She arrived there just a few days old, wrapped in a blue blanket. Her one hope is to find her mother or father and have a family of her own. Fostered out several times, Blue finds it difficult to fit in. Is there no one out there who really wants her? No one who can really love her? Blue must put up with the orphanage, with the distant and strict care of the nuns. She does have her friends, Mary and Jessie and Molly and Lil, but they're not family. They're not enough. In her heart, Blue is desperate to find out who she really is. The closed file in stern Sister Regina's office holds the secret of her identity. And that is forbidden territory...
WARNING: This review may contain some slight spoilers.
Have you ever heard of the Great Famine? If you're not from Ireland you probably won't know much about it.  Unless you have read Under The Hawthorn Tree by Marita Conlon-McKenna. That is a brilliant book, one of the best and most popular children's historical fiction novels (in Ireland). So I knew from the first moment A Girl Called Blue would be fantastic too. And it definitely did not disappoint.

The characters were great, all very believable. Blue was lovely and I felt sorry for her and the rest of the kids at the orphanage being stuck with the horrible Sister Regina. Arghhhhhh, Sister Regina. She is among my Most evil book characters, right up there with Lord Loss from The Demonata and Voldemort from Harry Potter. She was just unbelievably mean and cruel. It's awful to think that back in the olden days, it was legal for children to be beaten. I'm so glad that has changed now!

The other characters I liked were Molly and Sister....ohhhh I forget her name! And I borrowed the book off someone and have already given it back, so I can't even go check! Argh! Well, it was the really nice nun. (there was only one, so if you've read the book you'll know who I'm talking about. Even if I don't!)  Anyway, Molly was really cute and really sweet, and Sister No-name was very kind and caring. They were both great additions to the story.

I have a couple of complaints. Number 1 is to do with the blurb and Amazon description. (This is where the spoilers come in!) It really doesn't describe the story. Only about three or four chapters are associated with Blue finding her mother, yet the blurb makes it sound like it's the most important thing in the story! Which it's not, because Blue doesn't ever find out who her mother is, because the file doesn't say. (Spoilers finished) My other complaint is I felt sometimes that the author was trying to hard. I mean that  in the way that she was trying too hard with the writing if you know what I mean. OK, that's not a good explanation! Let's say, for example, I thought the author used substitutes for said too often when  just 'said' would have done, or sometimes the word that was used didn't fit in with what the character was saying. 

Just one more thing! Sorry for all the complaints! I know this is a strange one, but I thought in a lot of chapters, they weren't rounded off properly. Not in the way that there was a cliffhanger, but just the sentence that Conlon-McKenna used just didn't do it for me. Sorry readers, you probably have no idea what I'm on about! It's hard to explain, OK?!

I would give this book 4/5. I really liked and enjoyed and would recommend it. There was a really surprising twist about halfway through, so kudos to Marita for that! But it wasn't gripping and that's what it loses points for I understand that maybe this wasn't the aim of this book to be unputdownable, but still, it would have been nice. Bye! x

Source: Borrowed
Pages: 224
Age Group: 9+
Official Publication Date: 16 Mrach 2004
Publisher: O'Brien Press
Author Website: I don't think there is one! But if anyone knows of it, please let me know. Thanks : D

1 comment:

  1. Sounds interesting, I will try and read it sometime. Cool review! :-)


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