The Blue by Lucy ClarkeThe Blue by Lucy Clarke

The Blue

byLucy Clarke

Paperback | August 11, 2015

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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 crewmember, 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.
Title:The BlueFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:336 pages, 8 × 5.25 × 0.7 inShipping dimensions:8 × 5.25 × 0.7 inPublished:August 11, 2015Publisher:Simon & SchusterLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1501122487

ISBN - 13:9781501122484

Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Blue A somewhat frustrating read as Lana consistantly refused to hear people out, it’s one of those things where conversations would have solved problems, and the romance didn’t feel as fully developed on the page as it might have been. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-05-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Review from This is the Story of My(Reading) Life What a satisfying thriller, mystery type read. As you guys know I don't read a lot of them. But a while ago this one caught my attention mostly because of the cover and that it takes place on a yacht sailing around south east Asia and the pacific. What an awesome setting. Obviously I'm going to keep this vague. But the characters on the yacht all had those mysterious backgrounds that really kept me wondering what the hell was going on. Plus the writing had a bit of a lyrical feel to it, which really added the the tone of the book. Even known mystery readers out there, like myself, will find this an enjoyable read.
Date published: 2015-12-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A thrilling read! Firstly, I would like to thank Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with an Advance Reader’s Copy of The Blue by Lucy Clarke as well as photos that were taken by Lucy herself while she was doing some research for the novel. Psychological thrillers are one of my favourite genres to read and when I was offered an ARC of The Blue and reading its synopsis, I was more than excited to read and review it. As I had never heard of The Blue or Lucy Clarke previously, I went into The Blue blindly in hopes that I would enjoy the ride, and I definitely did. The Blue tells the story of two young women, Lana and Kitty, who have recently decided to travel around the world. While in the Philippines, they run into a group of friends who have also been travelling the world uniquely on their own private yacht. Lana and Kitty decide to join the group for as long as their money will last. As the plot thickens, we find out that there is a lot more to learn about each of the friends living on the yacht, Lana & Kitty included. The writing style was solid throughout the entirety of the novel. Lucy Clarke knows how to give just the right amount of detail. Nothing irritates me more than having too little or a ridiculous amount of detail. The Blue had just that perfectly right amount. I’ve never been to the Philippines, I’ve never been outside of Canada to be quite honest, but yet I found it very easy to visualize cruising on a yacht and exploring islands along the ocean. I love when a story travels between two timelines, especially within a psychological thriller because it gives that sense of before and after. I really enjoyed the aspect of flipping back and forth between the "before" with Lana & Kitty’s experience on the yacht and the "after" with Lana now living in New Zealand while trying to figure out the events that took place to make Lana decide to leave the utopian lifestyle. Almost every chapter left you with the sense of needing to continue reading in order to figure out what was going on. There were definitely a fair amount of twists and cliffhangers throughout the entire novel that kept me entertained and making guesses. None of them were extremely mind blowing, but they were enough to keep me intrigued. The characters all felt really well thought out and worked well together to form an interesting cast. Everyone on the yacht had stumbled upon one another in unique ways and it was interesting to know that none of them knew each other very well before joining the group. This detail also made it really hard to determine how genuine each person was which always makes for a fantastic psychological thriller. You learn a lot about each character as you read through each chapter and everyone knows I’m a sucker for a great origin/back story. I feel as though Lana, Kitty, Joseph, Aaron and Denny had more detailed pasts than Heinrich and Shel. I wish I could have learned more about all of these characters, especially Heinrich. What I love most about a psychological thriller and what I think makes one successful is an unpredictable turn of events. Although the twists and turns throughout the novel were rather subdued, I did not predict the ending. I tried and I had my theories, but I was definitely incorrect and I’m glad that I was! Not only did I not see the ending coming, there was an epilogue that left me with chills and goosebumps. I highly suggest reading The Blue if you are fond of psychological thrillers, mysteries and suspense. The Blue tells a story in such a way that you feel as though you are living through it. As I stated earlier, I have never been outside of Canada. I have travelled from the East to the West coast, but The Blue has left me with a need to travel overseas, although…I may steer clear of yachts for a while.
Date published: 2015-11-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Paradise can suddenly turn very dark indeed Ever wanted to go sailing with with a group around the Philippines? But how well do you know the others in the crew? This has to be the ultimate travelling adventure as ever depicted in a novel. Lucy Clarke has captured every essence of a sailing experience, of the unparalleled sense of freedom being out in the open waters – from the whip of a sail, to the salty sea to the notion of a passage and cooking on board and swirled it together, with strange sea faring companions to create THE novel of the summer, if not the year. It’s all so simple yet very very clever – a boat sailing into paradise – how can life get any better? Where the group takes the vote, tasks are divided and the rum and fish are plentiful…but there is a dark shadow looming and in the remote ocean, no one can hear your call for help.. The tension – from the floating body at the start of the book, to the reasons why Lana had to leave – are built up slowly and steadily, with more ups and downs that the ocean itself. So evocative and so realistic, I felt seasick with fear by the end. I can’t rave about this novel enough. Lucy Clarke has researched every last detail of a sailing trip, life on board, the calm waters with tension rippling underneath, unseen – for now. We show the locations of the novel on our website and it's a journey that really takes you places in more ways than one!
Date published: 2015-09-28

Read from the Book

The Blue 1 now The paintbrush slips from Lana’s fingers, turning through the air as it falls. It clatters to the floor at the foot of the easel, splattering tiny flecks of blue acrylic paint against her ankle. Lana doesn’t glance down, doesn’t notice the spots of paint that decorate the small tattoo of a wing inked on her ankle. Her gaze remains fixed on the radio that sits on the windowsill, her fingers raised as if still holding the brush to the canvas. That silver box of metal and wires holds the entire sum of her concentration as she focuses on the voice of a news presenter. “. . . has sunk a hundred nautical miles off the north coast of New Zealand. The yacht—The Blue—was believed to have left Fiji eight days ago with a crew of five on board, including two New Zealanders. A search-and-rescue operation has been launched from the Maritime Rescue Centre at the Bay of Islands. The Coast Guard has described the sea state as moderate with wind speeds of up to twenty knots.” Lana blinks, struggling to absorb the information, as if it’s rain running off hard, scorched earth. Her gaze bores into the radio, willing it to disclose something more, but the newscaster has already moved on to the next story. She turns on the spot, lifting a hand to her head. She feels the cool silk of her headscarf keeping her hair off her face. It has been eight months since she stepped from that yacht, her skin tanned, her feet bare, a backpack heaved onto her shoulders. She’d walked along the shoreline with dark hollows beneath her eyes and hadn’t looked back. She couldn’t. As she turns, she catches sight of herself in the long mirror that leans against her apartment wall. She stares: her face has paled, and large green eyes glare back at her, wide with questions. Was Kitty still on board after all this time? Had she stayed even after Lana left? It’s possible that Kitty could have returned to England. Lana tries to picture her riding the Tube with a script in her hand, glossy dark hair loose over her shoulders, her lips painted red. But the image won’t form, not clearly. She knows that Kitty wouldn’t have left the yacht, because how could either of them go home after what’d happened? It has been eight months since they’ve last seen each other—the longest time in their friendship they’ve ever spent apart. She thinks about Kitty’s e-mails still sitting unread in her in-box. At first, they came in thick and fast; then there were gaps—a few days, sometimes a week. Lana began imagining the patterns of the yacht as it sailed through remote island chains, wondering what was happening on board, who Kitty was spending her time with. Eventually, with her head too full of images, she stopped reading the e-mails. Stopped thinking about Kitty. Now a beautiful memory gusts into her thoughts, bright as a kite. She and Kitty, eleven years old, sitting cross-legged on her bedroom floor braiding friendship bracelets. “This is yours,” Kitty had said, holding up a slim cotton bracelet woven with turquoise and yellow threads—Lana’s favorite colors. Kitty tied it firmly over Lana’s wrist, using her teeth to get the knot in exactly the right position. When Kitty pulled away, there was a small smear of strawberry lip gloss on the back of Lana’s wrist. In return, Lana had braided a pink and white bracelet for Kitty, and the two of them had held their wrists side by side and made the promise, “Friends forever.” Lana had worn her bracelet for eighteen months, until it had faded and frayed to a dishwater gray. It had eventually snapped in the bath, so she’d picked it out and dried it over the towel rail. Then she’d put it away in her memory box with the photo of her mother. Friends forever, they’d agreed. A guilty heat crawls across Lana’s skin as she thinks of that failed promise: she’s cut Kitty out of her life, like slicing a bowline and letting a boat drift out to the open ocean. •  •  • Lana waits desperately for another news bulletin. She needs to hear exactly what’s happening out on the water—whether the crew have made it to the life raft, whether any of them are injured—but the radio station is playing a soft rock song that comes strumming into her apartment. She paces to the windowsill and snaps off the radio. She stays by the open window. Outside, the morning light is thin and hazy, a salt breeze drifting into the room. She pushes up onto her tiptoes, peering beyond the tree line to where she can glimpse the sea. It’s one of the reasons she agreed to rent the apartment, with its cracked wooden floorboards and noisy electric heaters that she has to huddle against in the depths of the New Zealand winter to feel any warmth. Now that summer is on its way, she’s grateful for the wide windows that let the light flood in, as she sets up her easel in front of them so she can paint before work. She’s made a life of sorts here: she has a job, a place to live, an old car. Her days may not be filled with friends and laughter and noise as they once were, but perhaps it’s better this way. Sometimes she thinks of her father back in England, in his tired terraced house, spending his evenings alone doing the crossword or watching the news. After all those years of riling against his quiet routines, the irony of how her life has taken on the same lonely rhythm as his hasn’t escaped her. She writes to him every couple of months—just brief letters to reassure him that she’s safe—but she never includes her address. She’s still not ready for that. Lana arrived in New Zealand eight months ago now, stepping from the plane into the start of autumn, shivering in a sun-bleached cotton dress, her salt-matted hair loose over her shoulders. She’d had a backpack on her shoulders and $500 left of her savings. She’d spent that first night in an Auckland hostel, lying on a bunk with her eyes closed, waiting to feel it sway and shudder. If someone had walked into her dorm, laid a hand on her shoulder, and asked, Are you okay? Has something happened? she would have told them—told them everything: about the canvas backpack thrown from the side of the yacht, drifting in the sea like a body; about how a horizon curves and wavers when there is no land to break it; about the red sarong pooled on the floor of the cabin, soft beneath Lana’s feet; about a kiss in a cave carved from limestone; about how you can look at your best friend and no longer recognize her. But no one had asked. And as the minutes had crept into hours, and the hours stretched through the night, Lana had pushed down each of those memories, sealing them off. When dawn had arrived, she’d showered the salt from her skin, letting the water run long and hard, marveling at its seemingly endless supply. Then she’d pulled on her dress, followed by her backpack, and started to walk. The rubber V of her flip-flops rubbed between her toes; she’d been barefoot for weeks. She’d stopped at a sidewalk café and ordered breakfast and a coffee. As she’d wolfed down a salty bacon-and-egg bagel, a car had pulled up with a surfboard strapped to its roof and a handwritten sign taped to the back window, reading FOR SALE, $500. Lana had gotten up from her table and asked the car’s owner, a young Spanish guy whose visa was expiring in two days’ time, if he’d take $300. He said if she dropped him at the airport first, she had a deal. Afterwards, she’d driven north with no map, no plan, and no one sitting beside her. It had been odd to be behind the wheel of a car after so long, and she kept oversteering into bends, having grown accustomed to the yacht’s helm. The speed and smoothness of road travel unnerved her so much that she’d wound down all the windows to feel the wind against her face. On that first drive across New Zealand, she’d passed serene dark lakes, endless undulating vineyards, and staggering hillsides, eventually arriving at the coast. That’s where she’d pulled up—on a gravel path that overlooked a bay. She’d parked facing the sea and watched as the waves rolled in, beaching themselves on the shore. When the sun had lowered itself into the sea, she’d climbed onto the backseat, pulled out her sleeping bag from the bottom of her backpack, and wriggled into it, lying with her neck cricked against the door. If anyone had asked, Why New Zealand? she could have told them that she’d always wanted to travel here—but that would have been only part of the story. The truth was, Lana had always known that the yacht was going to return here eventually—just as she’d known that New Zealand was where he was from. Perhaps she’d been waiting all these months because, no matter how hard she tried to forget, she still wasn’t ready to let go of The Blue.

Editorial Reviews

“Two girlhood friends join the laid-back crew of a yacht exploring idyllic islands. Smooth sailing? Ha! Lagoon swims and boozy nights turn sinister in an atmospheric thriller.” —People “Vivid imagery, increasing tension, and smooth prose immerse the reader in the rhythm of the ocean and the isolation of life at sea. Fans of psychological suspense will be taken in by Clarke’s (Swimming at Night; A Single Breath) fact-paced and engrossing read.” —Library Journal “The Blue is worth staying up all night for. A thrilling plot, perfectly rendered scenery, and characters as real as your best friend—or your worst enemy. … It will make you want to drop everything and sail away. Spellbinding.” —Marissa Stapley, bestselling author of Mating for Life “[Clarke] paints brilliant images of physical surroundings and takes readers on an emotional journey as she explores the fragile bonds that connect each crew member to the others. … The narrative is punctuated with interesting, unpredictable plot twists that keep coming until the final page.” —KIRKUS REVIEWS “[An] intriguing tale of nautical misadventure … Clarke handles the joys, challenges, and chores of sailing with easy confidence and does just as fine a job with her misfit crew and their easily upset equilibrium.” —Publishers Weekly “An intriguing and twisty thriller.” —Sunday Mirror “A twist-filled novel.” —Closer “A gripping thriller, packed with unexpected twists, turns and complex secrets. … The ultimate beach read.” —Cosmopolitan, Book of the Month “A gripping page-turner.” —Bella “Tense and atmospheric, The Blue begins as an exotic adventure and turns chilling as tragedy and secrets unfold on the open sea. Clarke vividly depicts the ocean voyage in this immersive tale—both the beauty of an idyllic escape and its descent into something more sinister.” —Laura McHugh, author of The Weight of Blood “I found The Blue an immensely engaging and enjoyable novel which became increasingly compelling as I read on, building tension and throwing up unexpected twists and turns right to the very last page. A perfect summer read!” —Susan Elliot Wright, author of The Things We Never Said