Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy

About (Goodreads)

From Julie Murphy, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dumplin’ and Side Effects May Vary, comes another fearless heroine, Ramona Blue, in a gorgeously evocative novel about family, friendship, and how sometimes love can be more fluid than you first think. Perfect for fans of Rainbow Rowell and Morgan Matson.

Ramona was only five years old when Hurricane Katrina changed her life forever.

Since then, it’s been Ramona and her family against the world. Standing over six feet tall with unmistakable blue hair, Ramona is sure of three things: she likes girls, she’s fiercely devoted to her family, and she knows she’s destined for something bigger than the trailer she calls home in Eulogy, Mississippi. But juggling multiple jobs, her flaky mom, and her well-meaning but ineffectual dad forces her to be the adult of the family. Now, with her sister, Hattie, pregnant, responsibility weighs more heavily than ever.

The return of her childhood friend Freddie brings a welcome distraction. Ramona’s friendship with the former competitive swimmer picks up exactly where it left off, and soon he’s talked her into joining him for laps at the pool. But as Ramona falls in love with swimming, her feelings for Freddie begin to shift too, which is the last thing she expected. With her growing affection for Freddie making her question her sexual identity, Ramona begins to wonder if perhaps she likes girls and guys or if this new attraction is just a fluke. Either way, Ramona will discover that, for her, life and love are more fluid than they seem.

My Thoughts
I loved this book so much! I’m a big fan of Julie Murphy. Not only because her books are fun and unique, but also because of the Mississippi aspect. Mississippi, my home. When I find a book, or series, set in Mississippi I buy it, read it as fast as possible and then recommend it to anyone who will listen. Ramona Blue is a book that will go at the top of my Mississippi books list.

Set in Eulogy, MS Ramona Blue is a unique person. Tall with blue hair. Everyone knows who Ramona is. She’s hard to miss. In backwoods MS, being a super tall, dyed blue hair lesbian is something that wouldn’t go unnoticed. She knows who she is and isn’t ashamed. But things take a sharp turn when her childhood friend comes back to town. Ramona starts to question who she is and if she’s gay, straight, or bi.

I loved Ramona! She’s a strong, female character that I love reading about. I would for sure read another book about her adventures in college (hint hint lol). What I couldn’t get passed, was that she felt like her family and all their problems were her responsibility. She’s 17 and living like she’s 30. Working as many jobs as she can and worrying about who’s going to take care of her sister’s baby. Her sister is a whole other piece of work. Her sister is pregnant and selfish. I could not stand her. I really hoped she’d move away or something. I just can’t with her.

I was SO FREAKING HAPPY with the ending of this book. I know we all know people who deserve goodness in their lives. Ramona is one of those people. I know she’s a fictional character but seriously, the shit this child goes through is way more than most adults go through. Her dad works his ass off but still doesn’t make enough so Ramona and her sister pitch in. But somehow, Ramona has become the backbone of the family. Almost like she had to take the role of wife, or the other adult, so the family could eat, live, breathe. It broke my heart. She’s so young and no child should have to work harder than their parent to make lives better for those in the same house. Which I know kids do, but the world shouldn’t work that way. Her mom is also a POS (piece of shit), her sister and mom get along…wonder why (hmm).

Freddie comes along and Ramona’s whole world gets shook. I really like Freddie and Ramona together. They challenge each other, learn from each other, make each other better. Just like a relationship should. It’s nice to see how Murphy makes worlds collide, especially in a setting like MS. A white girl and black boy. Lesbian with a straight boy. It’s something only a creative, out of the box person could write.

I like that Ramona finally gets it. Her sister choosing her loser baby daddy over her finally breaks Ramona. And she decides to take her life into own hands. It’s great. I cheered for her! I was so proud of her for getting it.

It’s a great book to read. It explores sexuality, race, social classes, and life in general. It’s a refreshing story about a girl trying to find herself.

5 out of 5 stars!

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