Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Review: Small Blue Thing by S. C. Ransom

Celebrating the end of exams with best friend Grace, 17 year-old Alex rescues a swan caught on a wire in the Thames mud and finds an extraordinary bracelet. Through its disturbing and compelling powers, she finds Callum, a soul locked in a half-life of sadness and mystery following a terrible accident, and his persuasive and sinister sister, Catherine. As Alex and Callum grow closer despite the enormous obstacles to their love, the dangers mount until Alex must risk everything to save Grace and Callum must risk everything to save Alex.*

I like heroines that take shit from no-one, and happily stick it to the patriarchy. I’m happy to say that “Small Blue Thing” is one of those books.

Alex starts off as your ordinary teenage girl with an ordinary crush. Then, by the will of magic coincidence, she finds a bracelet that allows her to communicate with the people who died in the river, and finds her real soul mate. Standard, yes?

What sets this story apart from all the other tales of ghosts falling for humans and vice versa is how strong Alex is. Seriously, the girl has two different boys supposedly try to pressure her/trick her into doing something she doesn’t like, and she immediately and dramatically enforces some boundaries. It’s impressive, because of how rare this is in YA fiction. I applaud C. S. Ransom for making her heroine so firm in her decisions.

Another thing I loved was how friendship was portrayed in this book. Alex and her best friend Grace fill the dynamic of socially-awkward-girl-meets-energetic-and-outgoing-friend, but they also genuinely care for each other. No boy will stand between those two, that’s for sure. I’m incredibly happy there are still friendships like that portrayed, because honestly, there’s a deficit of those.

If there’s one thing that I didn’t like, it is how quickly Callum and Alex start talking about love. Honestly, from now on, if newly-met people start telling each other how much they’re in love before the book’s passed its halfway mark, I’ll go bananas. There’s just no way to take them seriously.

Instalove aside, I’d say that this is definitely one of the better paranormal YA’s out there. And, as an added bonus, it’s a fairly creepy story, what with these strange half-ghosts that form their own secret, tight-knit society. It’s worth checking out, for that at least.

*Image and synopsis courtesy of Goodreads.

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