Ramona Blue by Julie MurphyRamona Blue by Julie Murphy

Ramona Blue

byJulie Murphy

Hardcover | May 9, 2017

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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.

Julie Murphy's debut contemporary young adult novel, Side Effects May Vary, is out from Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins and was well-received by Kirkus, School Library Journal, VOYA, Booklist, Seventeen Magazine, and Teen Vogue. Dumplin', Julie's sophomore novel has received glowing reviews including two stars from Publishers Weekly, Bookl...
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Title:Ramona BlueFormat:HardcoverDimensions:432 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.33 inPublished:May 9, 2017Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062418351

ISBN - 13:9780062418357

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from heartwarming and beautiful read Perfect for fans of Rainbow Rowell and so very true. This story is about adolescent discovery and Ramona is forced although not complaining to rush through her years. She's an old soul she grasps what life is about where her family and loyalty lies and never veers away from it. I loved all the characters their friendship, love and loyalty for one another through thick and thin. A heartwarming and beautiful story about the realities of life and findings and curiosity and realization. I highly recommend this book.
Date published: 2017-09-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Equal parts heartbreaking and enlightening, tough and joyful, infuriating and delightful. Ramona Blue has a beautiful balance of all the good and bad that its protagonist endures in this third novel from Julie Murphy. Ramona was a character I instantly connected with. She has a really good grasp of who she is and what she can and can't do. It's heartbreaking, honestly, because there are so many things holding her back and she recognizes them with one of the most realistic attitudes I've ever seen in a YA contemporary. Ramona's a force to be reckon with and she's one I'd gladly take on because her love is so worth it. As a sister, a daughter, a friend, a lover, Ramona fiercely has your back. There are numerous topics explored in this book that never feel like they're just there to tick off boxes. Sexuality, race, familial relations, class, teen pregnancy, economics - all these things are touched upon in a respective matter; always encouraging discussion, but calling people out if they're crossing a line. Overall, Ramona Blue is fun and informative, and I highly encourage everyone to pick it up this summer.
Date published: 2017-08-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great exploration Although it doesn't have much to do with Hurricane Katrina, it was a well-written book.
Date published: 2017-07-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Ramona Blue Ramona’s sexuality is handled thoughtfully and in addition to that there’s some really great family struggles and friendships. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-06-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Ramona Blue Ramona’s sexuality is handled thoughtfully and in addition to that there’s some really great family struggles and friendships. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-06-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good read I enjoyed this book and think that the author did a good job in showing how sexuality can be fluid and how a person doesn't necessarily have to label themselves. I did have some issues with the pacing and think it could have been a bit shorter and some of the characters were quite frustrating. But overall it was a good read with a diverse set of characters, strong friendships and a slow building romance that for once wasn't insta love
Date published: 2017-06-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful Story of Sexual Fluidity 4.5/5 *I received an ARC of this book through Indigo Books and Music in exchange for an honest review* I really enjoyed this. Great choice for the #diversitybingo2017 challenge. Apologies if I can’t order my thoughts properly but there was a lot of stuff this book did right that I really appreciated. While people are concerned that “the lesbian magically becomes straight”, there is on-page dialogue of Ramona questioning her feelings and trying to figure out how she wants to identify now that she is romantically interested in Freddie. This is different from other LGBTQIA+ stories in the sense that Ramona has already come out to everyone, but now she is discovering that she might have mislabelled herself and in fact might not want to put a label on her feelings. At the beginning of the story, the potential love interest Grace is involved with Ramona during the summer while also having a boyfriend back home. Grace is the “straight girl” who is trying to figure out if she likes girls, and Ramona already knows she likes girls but is trying to figure out if she might also like boys. Our main character makes it very clear to everyone that she is the one calling the shots and that she is allowed to change and doesn’t have to label herself for anyone else’s sake. There was no insta-love and her relationship with Freddie felt very sweet and natural and realistic. There is ON-PAGE usage of protection, her repeated verbal consent before the two have sex (which is wonderful and so important, especially in YA), and discussion about non-heteronormative sex and the fact that school systems are quite non-inclusive with their sex education programs. Ramona also has a very strong relationship with her sister Hattie, and with their mother mostly out of the picture she has become the main support of the family. She rejects the possibility of moving elsewhere because she is worried about her sister and soon-to-be niece and how things are going to right themselves in the near-future. They live in a trailer park due to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and it’s very rare to have the main character of a teen novel living close to/beneath the poverty line. Ramona has had to grow up quickly and struggles to accept the possibility of leaving her city. I really liked her as our main character and thought that her inner monologue was unfiltered and raw. This dealt with some important topics in a very tasteful way and I appreciated the fact that it didn’t have a happily ever after. I've already staff-picked this and can't recommend it enough. #plumrewards #indigoemployee
Date published: 2017-06-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Fall in love with a person, nor a gender Ramona Blue, by Julie Murphy, is tall and blue-haired and her life is a challenging one. Her family are survivors from Hurricane Katrina, where they lost everything and now live in a trailer that's too small for them, let alone her sister's 'baby-to-be' and unreliable baby daddy. There's a mostly absentee mom, everyone works multiple jobs and Ramona sees where her life is going...nowhere. Then, in her last year of high school, she meets a boy from her past. And for a girl who thought she had figured out her sexuality, he is a surprise. So is s the pool, which might offer her a way out. #HarperColins #IndigoEmployee #yswordss
Date published: 2017-06-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from FANTASTIC! I picked up this book with no knowledge of the synopsis (a tactic I've been doing recently just to spice things up)...To my surprise, this book ended up being one of the best reads I've had this month! (May has been hype for books)! On that note, this story does include a LGBTQ perspective which is phenomenal since #DIVERSITY...It also deals with very real issues that involve, family dynamics, sexuality and personal growth. It was all around a great read and I would even recommend it to parents since it involves so many diverse dynamics that young teens and even young adults - need!
Date published: 2017-05-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A Great Read I really enjoyed "Ramona Blue" - it introduces an established gay protagonist who re-examines her sexuality when her childhood friend comes back to town (a twist on the usual LGBTQ protagonist thinking they're straight and then realizing maybe they're not). I like that the author doesn't treat Freddie as a means to "cure Ramona's gayness", but instead introduces a very basic concept of pansexuality without calling it such (it would have been great if this was more of a focus though). While I got absorbed by the book, it falls short of a 4 star read for me. I could identify with Ramona and her fear of leaving her small town, but I felt there was something lacking from the plot - it plateaued without any real rise or fall. Based on the synopsis, I thought there would be more of a focus on her swimming and where it would take her, but those parts felt rushed and pushed off to the side for more trivial romantic antics. Overall, I'm glad I read it, and it's a much better book than Julie Murphy's previous book "Dumplin'", both in terms of story and characters. I was sucked into Ramona's life and the town of Eulogy.
Date published: 2017-05-09

Editorial Reviews

“In a wonderful, complicated way, Ramona Blue turns the queer coming-of-age trope on its head.”