Book Review: The Blue

Posted June 22, 2015 by Kara in book review, Kara / 0 Comments

Book Review: The BlueThe Blue by Lucy Clarke
Published by Touchstone on August 4th, 2015
Genres: adult, contemporary
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon

In the tradition of Alex Garland’s The Beach, a spine-tingling adventure novel about a group of friends whose journey around the world on a yacht turns from a trip to paradise into a chilling nightmare when one of them disappears at sea.

A group of friends.
A yacht.
And a disappearance-at-sea that turns paradise into a chilling nightmare.

Lana and her best friend Kitty leave home looking for freedom—and that’s exactly what they find when they are invited onto The Blue, a fifty-foot yacht making its way from the Philippines to New Zealand. The crew is made up of a group of young travellers bitten by wanderlust, and it doesn’t take long for Lana and Kitty’s dream of sea-bound romance to turn into reality.

Both women fall under the hypnotic spell of The Blue, spending their days exploring remote islands and their rum-filled nights relaxing on deck beneath the stars. But when one of their friends disappears overboard after an argument with another crewmember, the dark secrets that brought each of them aboard start to unravel.

At turns gorgeously scenic and entirely haunting, The Blue is a page-turning thriller about friendship, freedom and wanting to leave the past behind.

Two years ago, Lucy Clarke penned one of my favorite contemporary novels of all time: Swimming at Night. It was a story that resonated with me and became memorable for all the right reasons. The characters, the locations, the atmosphere, the writing…pretty much everything. So when I found out that she was writing a book set in the Philippines and New Zealand that had a thriller bent to it much like SaN, I was anticipating it hardcore.

And oh, how I wish I had loved it like I loved that book. But it was not meant to be.

The first thing that comes to mind was how much I disliked the characters. All of Lana’s shipmates were either obnoxious, shallow, or pretentious. Lana herself I didn’t mind, but I felt no connection to her whatsoever. On top of that was her relationship with Denny. I just felt no chemistry there. They supposedly had this close bond that the author mentioned at the end of the book, but I never felt it because there was all this telling rather than showing.

I take that back. There was ONE character I liked (Joseph), but View Spoiler » So that was fun. Then again, if that had not happened there would have been so plot. So.

The writing felt a bit stilted in places, though that was more at the beginning. So I either got used to it, or it evened out and got better. I think it was more of the latter, and I have to remember that this was an ARC and it was probably still going through edits at the time I read it.

I loved the tension, but the pacing felt up and down for me. Something creepy would happen, and then there was a whole lot of nothing for a bunch of pages, then something would happen again, then nothing. On and on it went until the end. I was not amused. I was under the impression that this was a thriller, but it didn’t feel very much like one at all. The writing was all just so uneven.

I loved the setting, but I never felt like I was there–never felt the beauty.  This is the complete opposite of how I felt with the author’s first book. Like I said, I didn’t hate it, but I expected so much more considering I pushed this author’s debut on everyone. I ended up giving it three stars because I finished it and enjoyed it to some degree, but not much more than that. I’m sad.

Of course I will give her another chance with the next book. Not all books are hits with every reader.

Kara Sig Plant

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