May 26, 2018

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Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron | SLJ Review

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redstarCAMERON, Sophie. Out of the Blue. 272p. Roaring Brook. May 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781250149916.
Gr 9 Up –When the first Being crashed to Earth in December, it was brushed off as a hoax. Nine months later, by the 87th incident, the phenomenon has reached cult status around the globe, and Jaya’s father has become a true Wingding, ignoring his children and devoting his life to researching each occurrence in order to be present at the next one. He rents a flat for the family in Edinburgh, where he has determined the next Being will land. Jaya, who has been caught in her own personal hell since her mother’s death, finds her life changing even more when a Being survives its Fall in front of her. Jaya decides to find a hiding place in order to try and help the angel-like creature. She reluctantly enlists two other teens, siblings Allie and Calum, and they name it Teacake. The group’s interactions with Teacake and the Standing Fallen cult present a smart social commentary in a well-written and engrossing story of death, grief, and friendship. Readers will enjoy Jaya’s emotional journey as she tries to atone for the certainty that she is to blame for her mother’s death by saving Teacake. This is a smart balance of realism and fantasy with well-rounded characters. Allie has cystic fibrosis; her recent brush with death and her burgeoning romance with Jaya, who is Sri Lankan and white, add more layers to the group’s dynamic and the novel’s weighty themes of life, death, and the miraculous. VERDICT A first purchase for high school and public library collections.–Betsy Fraser, Calgary Public Library, Canada

This review was published in the School Library Journal April 2018 issue.

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