Friday, August 14, 2015

The Blue by Lucy Clarke

Title: The Blue
Author: Lucy Clarke
Publisher: Touchstone
Release Date: August 11, 2015
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / B&N / Indigo
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 crew member, 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. 

Though they aren’t what I typically gravitate to, I enjoy a good mystery or thriller every once in a while. Granted it often leads to me having to turn on all the lights in my house, but I still enjoy reading them. When I was told about Lucy Clarke’s The Blue, I was intrigued and having now read it, I’m happy to report it was plenty mysterious.

When they meet the crew of The Blue, Lana and her best friend Kitty feel like they have found the freedom the have been looking for traveling across South East Asia. It doesn’t take long for them to feel right at home from the yacht. Spending their days exploring remote islands in the Pacific and their nights on the deck drinking with the crew. But during the passage from the Philippines to New Zealand, things change. When one of the crew goes overboard, everything starts to fall apart. No one knows exactly what happened that night, and soon everything that The Blue was is unraveling.

As someone who reads primarily YA, good thrillers can be hard to come by. I guess it’s hard to get as dark and twisted as you can with more adult books. That’s all to say that there aren’t as many thrillers in YA as I would like. It’s not YA, but when I heard about Lucy Clarke’s The Blue, my curiosity was piqued. I wanted to find out more about this story featuring a group of young travellers sailing on a yacht in the South Pacific. Like with any good mystery, the synopsis didn’t necessarily give me much to go on, but it was just enough for me to want to know more. And so I started reading. And the way the story was told, alternating between the present and the past, made it so I just kept reading. Every time I thought I was going to be getting an answer to one of my million questions, the story would switch timelines and I would have to keep reading to find out more. I know, being forced to read more is such a hardship. The story was engrossing. I got caught up in the mystery, trying to figure out what exactly happened on the night that one of the crew members went overboard. And I wanted to know why Lana wasn’t on The Blue anymore, what caused her to leave the yacht behind when she seemed so happy on board. Like I said, I had a a lot of questions while I was reading. And those questions got more than answered. And that ending. I did not see that coming. At all. And it kind of left me rethinking everything I had just read. In a good way.

Despite jumping back and forth in time, the main focus of the story was definitely Lana. Out of everyone on The Blue, she was whose story the reader is following. Because of that, it honestly felt like at times Lana was the only sane person on the yacht. After one of the crew members went overboard, she was the only one who wanted to find out what happened, who wouldn’t just let go of the fact that one of them had died. Or at least that’s how it felt cause I didn’t really know what was going through all the other characters’ minds. Where I knew pretty much everything about Lana, I didn’t really know much about the other characters. All I really had to go one was whatever Lana thought about them. And that just added to the element of mystery in this story. There was definitely a “who did it” element to the story, and the answer to that question was revealed one little bit at a time. And that ending I mentioned? Even when Thought I had a handle on just who everyone in this story was, I had to go ahead and re-evaluate it all. The bottom line is that if you decide to read The Blue, be prepared to completely re-evaluate everything you think you know about someone every time a new piece of information is revealed about them.

Even though it’s not a book I would necessarily pick up on my own, I really enjoyed reading Lucy Clarke’s The Blue. The story was engrossing and the mystery kept me on the edge of my seat. If you’re looking for a good mystery this summer, this is the one.

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