Book Review: The Blue by Lucy Clarke

The Blue
The Blue by Lucy Clarke
Release Date: 30th July 2015
Publisher: Harper
Buy: Paperback  Kindle
Rating: 
5 star

 

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They had found paradise.
What would they do to keep it?
With a quick spin of the globe, Kitty and Lana
escape their grey reality and journey to the Philippines.
There they discover The Blue – a beautiful yacht,
with a wandering crew.

They spend day after languorous day exploring the pristine
white beaches and swimming beneath the stars, and Lana
drifts further away from the long-buried secrets of home.

But the tide turns when death creeps quietly on deck.

A dangerous swell of mistrust and lies threatens to bring
the crew’s adventures to an end – but some won’t
let paradise go…whatever the price.

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When Lana discovers a shocking secret about her Father, she and her best friend Kitty decide to escape the drudgery and disappointments of life and head off travelling.
Whilst they’re in the Philippines, fate (in the form of a runaway chicken) takes their journey onto a very different path as they meet Denny. Originally from New Zealand, Denny is also travelling and it’s not long before he introduces Lana and Kitty to his fellow group of travelers. Taking an immediate shine to Lana and Kitty, Denny’s co-travelers Aaron, Heinrich, Joseph and Shell invite them back to ‘their place’. Their place turns out to be a 50 foot yacht called The Blue. The crew are living on The Blue, sailing around from place to place and stopping whenever the fancy takes them. It sounds to Kitty and Lana like the perfect life, so naturally they are overjoyed when they’re invited to join Denny and his friends on The Blue.
Life is good on board. Everyone has to chip in and do their fair share of the work, and ofcourse there are rules to abide by, but Lana and Kitty quickly fall in love with the set-up. Who wouldn’t love waking up on the ocean? Spending nights drinking on deck under the stars, swimming in the perfectly clear sea whenever you fancy, it’s a million miles away from the lives they’ve left behind.
However, it’s surprising how quickly the dream starts to turn into a living nightmare. Things kick off when the yacht sets sail on a passage to Palau and its announced that Joseph won’t be joining them. But why? Everyone starts acting oddly and it soon appears that each and every crew mate is hiding some secret or other. Not knowing who she can trust anymore, it’s not long before Lana is desperate to reach land and escape the group of people she once considered friends.

Having read and enjoyed Lucy Clarke’s previous two novels, The Blue was a novel that I was naturally going to pick up at some point. However, when I was offered the chance to review The Blue and I read the synopsis I knew from the offset this this novel was going to be something VERY special. And boy, oh boy, oh boy, it was.
The format in which the story is told helps to pull you in to the story right from the offset. It’s set partly in the present day and partly in the past when Lana and Kitty first joined The Blue.
Living in New Zealand in the present day, it’s clear that something shocking has happened to Lana to cause her to leave the yacht – but what? It’s impossible to imagine, especially seeing as how great things were when Lana and Kitty first boarded.
Lucy Clarke’s writing is absolutely amazing. The way in which she sets the scene is incredible. You will have no trouble envisaging the foreign places that Kitty and Lana visit – the sights, the people, the smells, the sea. It was all brought to life in such a vivid way I could practically taste the salty sea air. It’s amazing how authentic this novel feels. You can really tell the amount of research that Lucy has put into writing The Blue. The places that she has visited and brings to life so we can experience the same thing through the power of words is incredible.
The characters that Lucy has created here in The Blue are truly something special  and I love the fact that it’s impossible to tell who you can trust and who you can’t. I will admit to becoming truly paranoid about mid way through this novel, so I can’t even imagine how Lana felt, effectively trapped on a yacht with no escape from any of them. Just thinking about it makes me feel claustrophobic and the way that Lucy plays upon the tension simmering just beneath the surface of the characters relationships is fantastic.
I love how so many themes are explored in this book. Friendship, family, loyalty, regrets, love and then there’s the incredible mystery at the heart of the story. You will NOT be able to put this book down once you set sail into the story you will actually start to resent life for interrupting your reading time. You will just have to know what happens, there’s no question about it.

Completely unpredictable, I never guessed how things were going to pan out and I love it when a novel can keep me guessing right up until the very end. Tense, exciting and full of atmosphere, The Blue really is a stand-out novel for 2015. It’s a story that you must sail away with this summer…

A huge thank you to to Jamie at Harper for sending me a copy of The Blue to read and review. 

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Lucy Clarke USE 2012 c James BowdenNovelist, traveller, and fresh air enthusiast, Lucy Clarke is the author of three novels.

Lucy graduated from university with a first class degree in English Literature, but it wasn’t until she was on a six month road trip across the US and Canada, that she decided she’d love to be a novelist.

Many twists and turns later, Lucy’s debut novel, The Sea Sisters, was published (HarperCollins, 2013). It was a Richard & Judy Book Club choice, and has been published in ten countries.

Since then she has released two more novels, A Single Breath (HarperCollins, 2014), and The Blue (HarperCollins, 2015), both published to international acclaim.

Lucy is married to a professional windsurfer, and together they spend their winters travelling, and their summers on the south coast of England.

Lucy Clarke | WebsiteTwitterGoodreads |

 

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