Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Blues for Zoey by Robert Paul Weston

Blues for Zoey
by Robert Paul Weston
Razorbill (Penguin Canada)
ISBN: 978-0-14-318328-0
Suggested Ages:  13+  (Sexuality - tastefully and not graphically done)
Buy from Indigo

Description: Kaz Barrett isn't saving for college. Every penny he earns working at the sketchy Sit'N'Spin Laundromat is for his mother. He plans to send her to a top-notch (and very expensive) sleep clinic in New York. His mother suffers from an extremely rare neurological disorder that causes her to fall asleep for days at a time. Both he and his kid sister, Nomi, worry that one day, maybe tomorrow, their mother will fall asleep and never wake up ...
At the start of summer, everything seems on track. Come September, Kaz will have earned all he needs and more. However, when anarchic, pink-haired Zoey walks past the laundromat's window, Kaz's ordered life begins spinning out of control. Smart, mysterious, and full of music, Zoey is unlike anyone Kaz has met … but there's another side to her that he can't quite figure out. When he goes looking for answers, he finds a whirlwind of lies, half-truths, and violence.
And in the eye of the storm, he'll discover that you really can't con an honest man ...

The Good Stuff
  • Honest, gritty and real, none of the characters feel like caricatures
  • Fast paced - will also appeal to reluctant readers
  • Kaz is a likeable,  and more importantly,  a life like believable character that you cheer for, and on many occasions want to slap him upside the head for (sorry I'm a mom and when teens do stupid crap in books I just want to give them a slap upside the head)
  • Sexuality is used in a simplistic, realistic and age appropriate way - bravo, this is not often done well in YA
  • Liked the fact that the story wasn't wrapped up too neatly.  More a hopeful ever after than a happy ever after
  • Consequences for action - characters actually learn a lesson without the author making it an in your face moral lesson (again this is often not done well in most YA - yup please remember I am a 43 yr old Mom)
  • Intriguing opening chapter had me hooked in right away
  • Chapter heading were cute
  • As a mom of boys I giggled at the mention of blue angels
  • Coming of age tale with an emphasis on grief, friendship, meaning of honesty, forgiveness and change
  • Just really felt a connection to Kaz and wanted to give him a hug (no not in that creepy cougar way - he just felt like someone I wanted to be a mom to)
  • As a Mom (and former teen) I really felt the sexuality part of the book was brilliantly done.  It was so honest (trust me, first time, is never the best time, sorry Dave) I know some parents might have a hard time with the sexuality, but please Mom and Dad, try to remember how you felt when you were a teen.  This is how it is (Plus - Condoms were mentioned -- so hey safe sex lesson too)
The Not So Good Stuff
  • Back story wasnt delved into enough for my taste, but than again, I think it will be perfect for a reluctant reader who gets irritated by too much back story
  • Wanted more

Favorite Quotes Passages

"Is it just me or does the word google, when used as a verb, sound like masturbation?  Example: I'll bet Topher Briggs googles himself, like, ten times a day"

"You mean like seeing me walk past a laundromat and thinking "Check it out, it's the new messiah" Because trust me, you've definitely got the wrong person."

"First, there was the actual, official (and almost certainly disastrous) first time, and then there was something much better. The first time you actually knew what you were doing."

4 Dewey's

I received this from Penguin in exchange for an honest review

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