Blue by Lisa Glass

Blue by Lisa Glass
Publisher: Quercus
Genre: Contemporary, YA
Length: Full Length (373 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Hawthorn

Surfing is sixteen-year-old Iris’s world, and when the ultra-talented Zeke walks into her life, it soon becomes her passion.

Over one amazing summer, as she is drawn into his sphere, she experiences love, new friendships, but also loss, with an intensity she never dreamed of.

But is Zeke all he seems? What hides beneath his glamorous and mysterious past? When Iris decides to try for her own surfing success, just as her ex-boyfriend comes back into her life, she will test her talent, and her feelings for Zeke, to the limit…

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Iris is at first a very ‘girl next door’ character, which makes it easy to identify with her. She’s heartbroken over breaking up with her boyfriend; she just wants to wallow in her misery and stay holed up in her house. Then she meets a boy who seems too good to be true, and her entire world changes. We get to see Iris reveal new layers of her character and new depths of her surfing talent. She makes great progress through the novel, and blossoms into a poised and committed surfer and a beautiful personality.

The gorgeous boy she meets, Zeke, has done most of his growing up before we get to meet him, but that’s okay, because he is now mature enough to inspire and guide Iris. And he does that wonderfully. The amount of surfing knowledge that Ms. Glass wrote into his character makes him a believable champion, a great sportsman, and a very inspiring individual. He’s just what Iris needs, and that’s why their relationship works so well. It’s worth noting that apart from the external conflicts that hinder their relationship, at least at the beginning, there are also strong inner conflicts that help the reader become even more invested in the story.

I loved how the secondary characters were all well-written, with distinct personalities, and how Ms. Glass created relationships between them that felt very real and genuine. Kelly was the kind of a positive, spunky person I’d love to have for a friend. The interaction between the Francis brothers (and pretty much the entire family) is a joy to watch; and Nanna is a very special individual.

The only thing I’d have liked to see in the story but didn’t is more of the relationship between Saskia and Iris. I liked Saskia from the get-go and I was hoping for the girls to become fast friends. I think if they had, the final conflict would have been even more intense and consequently the resolution even more emotional. However, that’s more of a personal wish than an actual weakness of the story.

The pacing of the novel is flawless, with the last forty pages turning into an utter emotional rollercoaster. The descriptions of surfing, the waves and nature are so breathtaking you can smell the brine and feel the sun on your skin. The language and writing style are equally authentic. Surfing slang and Cornish expressions abound, so I learned quite a few new words.

Regardless of whether you like surfing, or even if you don’t know the first thing about it, you’ll grow to love it after reading Blue.


  1. Great review. I love YA novels and I’ll definitely read this one.

  2. This one is a great choice. 🙂

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