Blue Sky Days by Marie Landry
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
A year after graduating from high school, nineteen-year-old Emma Ward feels lost. She has spent most of her life trying to please her frigid, miserable mother - studying hard, getting good grades, avoiding the whole teenage rebellion thing - and now she feels she has no identity beyond that. Because she spent so many years working hard and planning every moment of her life, she doesn't have any friends, has never had a boyfriend, and basically doesn't know who she is or what she really wants from life. Working two part-time jobs to save money for college hasn't helped her make decisions about her future, so she decides it's time for a change. She leaves home to live with her free-spirited, slightly eccentric Aunt Daisy in a small town that makes Emma feel like she's stepped back in time.
When Emma meets Nicholas Shaw, everything changes - he's unlike anyone she's ever met before, the kind of man she didn't even know existed in the 21st century. Carefree and spirited like Daisy, Nicholas teaches Emma to appreciate life, the beauty around her, and to just let go and live. Between Daisy and Nicholas, Emma feels like she belongs somewhere for the first time in her life, and realizes that you don't always need a plan - sometimes life steers you where you're meant to be.
Life is wonderful, an endless string of blue sky days, until Nicholas is diagnosed with cancer, and life changes once again for Emma in ways she never thought possible. Now it's time for her to help Nicholas the way he's helped her. Emma will have to use her new-found strength, and discover along the way if love really is enough to get you through.
Blue Sky Days is a sweet, emotional love story. Emma has spent her life trying to please a controlling, emotionless mother. At 19 years old, she decides she is ready to take charge of her life and make changes, so she leaves home and moves to another town to stay with her Aunt Daisy. Aunt Daisy is much younger than her sister, and Emma has always had a good relationship with her. Emma almost instantly feels at home in Riverview and meets Nicholas the day after she gets there. She has never had friends or a boyfriend, so it is a new experience for you. But she falls in love with Nicholas right away, and they spend almost all of their time together. When Nicholas is diagnosed with cancer, Emma is there to support him with no hesitation.
Emma seems very mature for a 19 year old, and a few times, it seems like she is having too much reflection and self-realization for her age. There are many expressions of love that may be considered to be "cheesy," and this is even pointed out in the story. However, at the same time, it is just sweet that they feel such a connection to each other. This is a story of changing your life, falling in love, and supporting the one you love during the hardest of times. I enjoyed reading this story. You would like this book if you enjoy sweet love stories. You might not like this book if you enjoy fast paced stories.
A copy was provided by the author for review.
Fun Facts about Blue Sky Days - Guest post by Marie Landry
*I wrote the first draft of Blue Sky Days in 2004 when I was 20. It was only about 34,000 words and I knew it needed a lot of work, but I had no idea what to do with it, so I put it away. During the next seven years, I thought about it a lot, even as I wrote other stories and novels. When I finally brought it out again early in 2011, it seemed to take over my life. I thought about the characters night and day; they always seemed like real people to me, but they became even more real during those months of rewriting and revising. I tripled the word count, and came away with a story I was really proud of. But it did totally consume my life—I’d be doing something else and would hear Emma’s voice in my head, or picture Nicholas doing something, and would have to write it down and then work it into the story.
*Riverview, the setting in the book, is a fictional place in Canada.
*Emma has never done any traveling. She’s never been outside the province, let alone the country.
*I don’t like to name main characters after people I know, but I try to work in the names of some of my favorite people for minor characters. Emma’s middle name is Hazel, after my Grama who passed away in 2011 and was one of my best friends; the husband of the widow who owns the general store was named James, after my brother Jamie, who I’m very close to; and Emma’s dad was named Paul because that was my dad’s middle name.
*When I wrote the book in 2004, Emma’s last name was Stone, but when I started working on the book again in 2011, I realized there was an actress named Emma Stone, so I had to change her last name.
*Blue Sky Days was originally an adult contemporary romance, but after becoming a book blogger and falling in love with young adult books, I made a lot of changes and turned it into a YA book.
*Emma had never had a best friend until moving to Riverview.
*I’ve always pictured Sam, Nicholas’s dad, with a southern accent for some reason…even though he’s Canadian.
*Emma’s favorite band is U2.
*The painting I describe in Nicholas’s hospital room is actually a painting I own. When I was 17, I went to France on a school trip and my best friend and I were wandering around Nice one night and saw an artist on the streets painting with spray paint and sponges. It was the most incredible thing I’d ever seen—the paintings were gorgeous, and if I hadn’t seen them done with my own eyes, I’d never have believed he did them with spray paint. We each bought a painting, and mine is one of my most prized possessions.
About the author:
You can find Marie on her blog, Twitter, and Facebook.
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Giveaway is open internationally. This giveaway will run until midnight EST on January 25. Must be 13 or older to enter. Winner will be chosen using Random.org. Winner will be emailed and this blog post will be updated to include the name of the winner. Winner has 3 days to contact me or a new winner will be selected.
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Winner: Laura M.
Winner: Laura M.