Ramona Blue

Ramona Blue

Book - 2017
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Ramona was only five years old when Hurricane Katrina changed her life forever. Since then, it's been Ramona and her family against the world. Standing over six feet tall with unmistakable blue hair, Ramona is sure of three things: she likes girls, she's fiercely devoted to her family, and she knows she's destined for something bigger than the trailer she calls home in Eulogy, Mississippi. But juggling multiple jobs, her flaky mom, and her well-meaning but ineffectual dad forces her to be the adult of the family. Now, with her sister, Hattie, pregnant, responsibility weighs more heavily than ever. The return of her childhood friend Freddie brings a welcome distraction. Ramona's friendship with the former competitive swimmer picks up exactly where it left off, and soon he's talked her into joining him for laps at the pool. But as Ramona falls in love with swimming, her feelings for Freddie begin to shift too, which is the last thing she expected. With her growing affection for Freddie making her question her sexual identity, Ramona begins to wonder if perhaps she likes girls and guys or if this new attraction is just a fluke. Either way, Ramona will discover that, for her, life and love are more fluid than they seem.--Page 4 of cover.
Publisher: New York, NY :, Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers,, [2017]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780062418357
Branch Call Number: Y FIC MURP
Characteristics: 408 pages ; 22 cm


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I'm probably always going to 4 or 5 star anything that Julie Murphy writes. I'm not an "uplifting story" kind of girl, but darn it if Julie doesn't tug at my heart strings everytime I pick up one of her books. She writes about real Teen content and struggles, but always seems to develop the characters to persevere with the most positive attitude and outlook on life in the midst of what can seem deeply overwhelming. Despite a lot of the obstacles that the 6' tall, blue haired character deemed "Ramona Blue", she still seems to keep a positive attitude and outlook on life. After losing her home and her relationship with her mother after Hurricane Katrina, Ramona is still living in a FEMA trailer with her father who always does his best, and her pregnant sister whom she is closest to. Ramona knows that she likes girls, but things get even more complicated for her when her best childhood friend, Freddie comes back into town and causes her to question what she thought she knew about her sexuality before.

Feb 19, 2019

Initially, I was a little bothered by the romantic plot line, but, I do think highlights the complexities and potential fluidity of sexuality, and I liked that Ramona's queerness was reasserted even as she developed feelings for a boy.

Along with that? The friendships and teen angst were on point, as was the main character's internal struggle between pursuing her own happiness and being there to help her family.

Jul 17, 2018

Why is it that even a book about a lesbian has the main character falling in love with a boy?

Nov 08, 2017

Quick, but moving read about a girl who finds stability in what has often been an unstable life.

KCLSRacheal Sep 03, 2017

Fresh, endearing, and beautifully written tale of 6'3", blue-haired, fiercely loyal Ramona Blue. She's got a lot on her plate going into senior year- she just got dumped (kind of), her family's just scraping by, her sister's pregnant, and an old friend just unexpectedly moved back to town. There's so much good stuff in here about love (both romantic and familial) and breaking out of the limits we set on ourselves.

JCLBeckyC Aug 17, 2017

Julie Murphy is one of the best contemporary realistic fiction authors out there. I listened to the audio version of this book, and it's fantastic. The narrator is a perfect fit for Ramona's voice. I wish I had known Ramona Blue when I was in high school. I'da crushed on her so hard. Or maybe I'da crushed hard on Freddie. OK, I admit it: I'da crushed hard on both of them. That's kinda the point of the book - it's OK to feel confident in your love for all the characters.

This novel is full of memorable quotes, but this one resonates with me the most: "It makes me feel uncomfortable, but I’m starting to think that maybe the gist of life is learning how to be comfortable with being uncomfortable."

Highly recommended to anyone looking for a realistic romance that is sex-positive about teens on the brink of adulthood.

nmaryann Jun 26, 2017

One of the most tender and powerful coming of age stories I have read in a while! A story about responsibility, sisterhood, old friendships, the complexities of sexual identity, heartache, race, and the meaning of home.

Ramona “Blue” Leroux is forced to grow up quickly in the post-Katrina world of Eulogy, Mississippi. Ramona's year is full of challenges, opportunities, and experiences that give her hope for the future.

ArapahoeMollie Jun 16, 2017

This is one of those books that I wish would have lasted forever. Figuring out who you are and being ready to move on are HARD CHOICES and Ramona is a great example to teens who are struggling with similar issues.

May 27, 2017

What a wonderful book. I was enchanted by these characters, by Ramona, their town and their struggles. I'll admit that there wasn't any extraordinary about the story in that there were a lot of common character traits that one would see in other novels. However, I was captured by the humanity of it all, the honest of Ramona and her life was beautifully portrayed.

I had WAY too many feels during this book which is a good thing but sometimes hard to process when I was devouring it. When I read a book within a day, that isn't a graphic novel, it means something. The diversity was powerful because it was a part of the story but it wasn't the whole story. The sexual, racial, and economic diversity was well-portrayed and respected. I believe the story showed a wide array of diversity and perspectives.

It was a great book. I loved it. I want to delve back into Ramona's world, and while it might have been tied up nicely, it offers hope which I can't help but love especially in times like this and it's a gift.

samcmar May 20, 2017

I really loved Julie Murphy's Side Effects May Very, despite it being such a polarizing novel. I have yet to read Dumplin' (seriously, I need to get on that), and skipped my way to Ramona Blue, a book that had some polarizing conversations up until it's release.

Truthfully, I found the novel very engaging throughout. Yes, this book, looks at Ramona's sexuality, and yes it looks at the idea of how she doesn't want to label herself entirely one way or another. But I think that is just a fraction of what this story is truly about. This story is about self-sacrifice for family, sisters in a bind, and importantly, Ramona trying to figure out who she wants to be and if she wants to stay in Eulogy for the rest of her life.

I think Julie Murphy does an amazing job walking the reader through Ramona's journey. Ramona is a complicated character who is trying to figure out what is the right course of action regarding her family, as well as herself. I loved her as a character, and I constantly found myself empathizing with Ramona because I found her easy to connect with. I've done a lot of what she has in terms of putting others over myself, and like Ramona, there's no regret. It's interesting to watch Ramona's complicated life grow and transform throughout the course of the story, and that made it all the more engaging.

I also loved Ramona's friends and I thought they were wonderfully developed. I found Grace frustrating at times, but I also feel like I could understand where she was coming from when it came to her feelings for Ramona. Her feelings for Freddie in the story are conflicting, but I think it also shows how Ramona is growing, and I think there's an interesting conversation presented in this book about labeling one's self. There is no man saving Ramona in this story, or no man changing who she is -- that's not the discussion this book is presenting. The conversation that is apparent is about learning who you are and who you want to become. If I am being honest, the romance wasn't a huge deal breaker for me like it was others -- I liked it, but I adored the parts about Ramona's self-discovery and her family life more.

Ramona Blue is a wonderful story about growing up in a situation where you are forced into adulthood at an early age. It's about discovering oneself and trying to figure out who you want to be. There is is so much depth and complexity to this novel, and I think despite the controversy, people should read it before making a judgement call.


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JCLBeckyC Aug 17, 2017

"Maybe it’s not all the little labels that make us who we are. Maybe it’s about how all those labels interact with the world around us. It’s not that I’m gay. It’s that I’m gay in Eulogy, Mississippi. It’s not that I’m tall. It’s that I’m too tall for the trailer I live in. It’s not that I’m poor. It’s that I’m too poor to do and have everything I want. Life is a series of conflicts, and maybe the only resolution is accepting that not all problems are meant to be solved.”

JCLBeckyC Aug 17, 2017

“It makes me feel uncomfortable, but I’m starting to think that maybe the gist of life is learning how to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.”


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