Friday, 22 May 2015

The Twice-Lived Summer of Bluebell Jones, by Susie Day

Reviewer: JW Hicks author of Rats

What we thought: Book of the month? No. Book of the year, more like.

This wonderful book should be read by parents and children alike. It offers a true to life description of teen angst that stirs memories for older readers, and gives younger readers comfort in knowing others feel as they do.

The characterisations are pitch-perfect: the magnificent Bluebell, a convincing teenager; Tiger her lesbian sister portrayed deftly and sympathetically, and the open minded parents who are so accepting of the vagaries of life and love.

This book relates Blue’s joyous discovery of who she is and what is really important to her. As well as the joy, you will experiences an undertow of sadness, and a hello-what’s-coming feeling that keeps your eyes glued to the page. I must say I beamed when Blue admits, ‘I don’t want to be anyone else. I’m ready to be me.’

On Bluebell Jones’ thirteenth birthday she wishes she was a real teenager, to be as grown up and confident as older sister,Tiger. The answer to this heartfelt wish? The appearance of her doppelganger, Red: a dyed-hair, cool-dressing vision of her fourteen year old self, come to help her achieve her wish. A vision no one but Bluebell can see.

With Red as a guide and predictor of false steps, Bluebell is able to make friends with Fifties-obsessed Fozzie, Dan the Donut, and the mysterious, top-hat wearing, Merlin. She even finds the confidence to rename herself Blue, ride the Red Dragon roller coaster... and fall in love.

But when Red refuses to reveal the name of Blue’s expected sibling, Blue suspects her of holding back other future events.

She’s right, Red is hiding something – something major.

You’ll enjoy this if you like: Brian Keaney’s YA novels. The Bones by Michael Prince.

Avoid if you don’t like: Teen angst and pitch-perfect parenting.

Ideal accompaniments: A garden lounger under a shady tree, a plate of buttered, fresh baked scones and a big box of tissues.

Genre: YA

Available from Amazon

Read all you need to know about Susie Day at

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