Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Book Review: Small Blue Thing by S.C. Ransom.


Product details:
Publisher: Nosy Crow Ltd.
Paperback, 320 pages.
Release date: January 13th 2011.
Rating: 3½ out of 5.
Ages: 11+
Source: Received from publisher for review.


Celebrating the end of exams with best friend Grace, 17 year-old Alex rescues a swan caught on a wire in the Thames mud and finds an extraordinary bracelet. Through its disturbing and compelling powers, she finds Callum, a soul locked in a half-life of sadness and mystery following a terrible accident, and his persuasive and sinister sister, Catherine. As Alex and Callum grow closer despite the enormous obstacles to their love, the dangers mount until Alex must risk everything to save Grace and Callum must risk everything to save Alex.

Small Blue Thing the debut novel from British author S.C. Ransom is a ghostly tale that will appeal to younger readers looking for something a little spooky with their romance. It’s roots may be set firmly in the ever-popular paranormal romance genre, but Ransom’s novel offers the reader something a little different both in it’s theme and setting.

Small Blue Thing is set in London, and follows the story of animal-lover Alex, who, while attempting to rescue a swan, discovers a mysterious bracelet, which leads her to Callum, a beautiful boy who she falls instantly in love with. The feeling is mutual, and so all should be perfect, save for the fact that Callum is a dirge - a ghost who is caught in a strange half-life of misery, suffering and sadness. Alex and Callum can never truly be together, and in addition to this the only way for Callum to find happiness and escape his never-ending existence of misery is to feed off the happy memories of humans. Should Alex trust him with all that she holds dear, or is there something more sinister at work here? Things get interesting, especially when Callum’s shady sister Catherine enters the fray.

The premise of Small Blue Thing is interesting and unique and it is always good to see authors try something a little different when writing paranormal romance. While the characters here are older teenagers, this one is geared towards a younger readership, and it’s certainly age-appropriate. The relationship between Alex and Callum is sweet and innocent, while there is a definite emphasis on the importance of friendship, which I liked. All the characters are well-drawn here, and I particularly enjoyed reading about Alex’s relationship with her best friend Grace and brother, Josh. It’s also refreshing to see a parental influence in this one. Parents are so often lacking from young adult novels, or have a negative influence when they do appear, so it’s nice to see that Alex’s parents are supportive, never overbearing and always there for her.

The story itself was a little slow-moving for my tastes, and a little repetitive in places, but I will say that this one largely redeemed itself for me with a most brilliant and surprising ending. Everything is now nicely set up for the next book in the series, Perfectly Reflected, publishing June 2011. Overall this one is a solid debut. S.C. Ransom has an engaging writing style, and in Alex, she has created a female protagonist that younger teenagers will warm to and root for in her quest to be with Callum.

Watch the trailer:



18 comments :

  1. I really want to read this one, it does sound like a very unique story and very sweet. I don't think it's available in US yet though. =(

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  2. I'm glad you reviewed this one. I'm not sure if it's for me, but I think I might give it a try now. Thank you for your review.

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  3. This one sounds perfect or my classroom. I'll have to check and see when this one comes out in the US. Great review!

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  4. This definitely sounds sweet, but I have to ask - how are all these MCs suddenly completely and hopelessly in love right away?!?! haha

    Great review, Leanna :)

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  5. @Melissa - Lol! I ask myself that same question all the time. Yep, it's true love after five minutes again, but thankfully this girl doesn't ditch all her friends as soon as that swoonsome boy arrives on the scene!

    @Christina - totally appropriate for your classroom. I'm not sure if this one has a US release though.

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  6. I love the cover of this book.

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  7. This sounds really good. I like how you said there is an emphasis on the importance of friendship in Alex and Callum's relationship. Definitely want to check this one out. Great review :)

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  8. Oh I love a surprise ending! Especially when a book has been a bit slow in places and then it just wows you at the end:) Glad to see there is a positive parental influence in this one, you are so right about parents being largely absent from a lot of YA books! Fantastic review as always Leanna!

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  9. I really like the sound of this one and the trailer just made me want to read it more. Great review!

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  10. I am like you when it comes to pacing, but if the end is worth the it then all is forgiven. Great review, thanks

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  11. I love when the ending takes you by surprise! I don't mind a slow pace so much if the overall story is great. You are right about how parents are usually depicted in YA novels - this is something that has always bothered me.I am glad to see that parents are shown in a positive light in this book.

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  12. I honestly thought I was getting a review copy of this one. I didnt - I want it :D

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  13. Oh I didn't realise this is the first in a series. Despite not knowing very much about the plot, I picked this one up while I was out this morning. Glad to see a positive review of it on coming home :)

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  14. Can't say that I've heard of this one, but I have added to this my TBR because this one sounds strangely rather interesting to me. And you've definitely intrigued me even more with mentions of a surprise ending. I must add though that I think the cover makes the book look as if it's targeted for a much older audience, but that's just me. Great review Leanna!

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  15. I like reading debut novels. This cover is absolutely gorgeous!

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  16. i've read it it SOOOOOOOOOO cool i cant wait for the next one... did i mention im 12???

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  17. does any one know when the 2nd 1's out

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  18. Glad you enjoyed the book, Matilda! :) The second book (Perfectly Reflected) is out now!

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