Published by Sourcebooks on 01 February 2013
Genres: Contemporary (No Romance Focus), Young Adult
Place(s) Traveled to: Butler, Pennsylvania
First Line: I am soaring free.
Related Posts: Comic Book Cool Guest Post // Author Interview + Contest (09 Feb 2013)
Blaze by Laurie Boyle Crompton is one of those books that I didn’t know much about before starting to read it. Oh I glanced at the synopsis and I was intrigued by the cover but I hadn’t heard any buzz about it. It was nice to just sit back and let the story unfold without having many expectations on what was going to happen. Would it be a love story? A revenge piece? Or maybe a mystery of some sort. And in some ways it was all of these things and in others it was none.
Blaze is your typical teen trapped by events to be her brothers chauffeur, as a little sister I can sympathize with how unfair this was for her as I think back on the things my older siblings had to do for me. I have no regrets though…its good to be the younger sibling sometimes. =) So Blaze has this extraordinary name but lives an ordinary life. Somewhere along the way she fell in love with her dads comic book collection and it sparked this obsession with them. She was also blessed with an ability to draw so naturally the two loves blended.
She then makes a mistake and has regrets and even though the mistake wasn’t entirely her own she, more than anyone else, has to deal with the consequences. Because sometimes life is just that cruel and unfair. If I was in Blaze’s situation I probably would have died on the spot and then maybe begged to be home schooled or something. But Blaze didn’t do that. She faced things in the only way she knew how…her art. Which then lead to more things happening that would have killed me all over again. So luckily Blaze is made of sterner stuff than I am.
Blaze is a story where its easy to fall in love with the main character. She is you. She’s the you that you want to be and the you are. She’s also the you that you glad you aren’t. She’s funny and sad and I just loved reading her journey. I yelled at the pages as she was about to make a mistake and I cringed when that thing happened with her friends in that store. I cheered on her successes and I loved how she interacted with her little brother and his friends. I loved how she was able to rise above things while you, as a reader, know how much of a struggle it is for her.
This isn’t your average contemporary read where a girl meets a boy and then they find there happily ever after. Its definitely more realistic than that. The events that happen to Blaze can, and have, happened to many a high school student out there. And I loved how real and raw it could be. People need stories like this to know that not all relationships are going to be grand epic loves. Sometimes they are short and fleeting. Sometimes they are soul crushing. And sometimes they are just so epically messy that the only thing you can do is try your best to forget.
I think what would have made this book better for me was if the egalley I read contained some of the artwork that is in the finished copy of the book. I really need to get myself to a book store so I can check it out in full. I enjoyed this book but I didn’t fall head over heels in love with it either. Maybe it would have been different if I had the whole reading experience. But it was more than just the missing artwork that was off and I’ve love to tell you what it was. But try as I might I haven’t been able to put my finger on it.
I liked Blaze and all the other characters (with two notable exceptions). I liked the story although, admittedly, it was a little predictable. Blaze was well written and plotted and I really liked the world that Laurie Boyle Crompton created. I enjoyed the story and I am looking forward to seeing what else Crompton comes up with next. If you are looking for a book with lots of drama, prose and depth then move on. But if you are looking for a fun contemporary with a little drama, a little romance, and some smelly thirteen year old boys then you might have the right book for you with Blaze.