Blue Riley has wrestled with her own demons ever since the loss of her mother to cancer. But when she encounters a beautiful devil at her town crossroads, it’s her runaway sister’s soul she fights to save. The devil steals Blue’s voice—inherited from her musically gifted mother—in exchange for a single shot at finding Cass.
Armed with her mother’s guitar, a knapsack of cherished mementos, and a pair of magical boots, Blue journeys west in search of her sister. When the devil changes the terms of their deal, Blue must reevaluate her understanding of good and evil and open herself up to finding family in unexpected places.In Devil and the Bluebird, Jennifer Mason-Black delivers a captivating depiction of loss and hope.
|Product dimensions:||5.70(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.30(d)|
|Age Range:||13 - 17 Years|
About the Author
Jennifer Mason-Black has published short stories in The Sun, Strange Horizons, Fireside Fiction, and Daily Science Fiction, among other publications. Devil and the Bluebird is her debut novel. She lives in Massachusetts. jennifermasonblack.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Devil and the Bluebird based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Thank you to NetGalley and Katie Tull from ABRAMS Books for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I was actually really excited for this novel. I loved the concept after reading the synopsis and requested it, both on NetGalley and through the publisher, ABRAMS Kids. I want to start off with saying that the eGalley was formatted terribly. I’m not just talking about the sentences being split onto different lines. I’m talking about full sentences and paragraphs being out of place. I switched to my physical copy and was glad to find that it was not the same case. This novel fell a little flat for me. The story had so much potential. At the start readers find out that Blue Riley is summoning a crossroads demon (or Devil as they call the woman in the novel). Being as obsessed with supernatural lore and ghost stories as I am I was super stoked for this. The woman tells Blue that she will make a deal with her: She has six months to find her sister. To seal the deal the woman kisses her and steals Blue’s voice. The woman tells her that her boots will help her find her sister. The beginning of the book was great. It was what drew me in and what kept me reading. However, from the second Blue left home to find her sister I was disappointed. First off there isn’t really a reference to time in the novel, except for a few, very sporadic spots. Secondly, at the beginning of the novel Jennifer Mason-Black put so much emphasis on the boots being able to lead her to find her sister, except for the fact that they don’t. Supposedly the boots are supposed to tell her where to go, but all readers get from them is that they make Blue’s feet hurt. I expected more from this concept and got nothing. The last thing I want to touch on is that the genre of the novel was confusing. So many events happen throughout the story. It felt cluttered. It felt like the author had all these ideas and couldn’t decide which ones to settle with so she decided on all of them. Nothing added up for me. Also I felt like the ending wasn’t very believable. It felt too convenient. I did enjoy the novel, just not as much as I thought I was going too. It felt like it needed something different to make it stronger. I am looking forward to seeing what she comes up with in the future and seeing how it differs from this novel.
This debut is beautiful in every sense of the word. The writing is beautiful. The story of love and hope and humanity is beautiful. The roads of America, with all their scars and possibilities are beautiful. The people, each one so richly drawn, are beautiful and tragic and often more beautiful because of their strength to persevere through tragedy. I have been a traveler many times in my life and I have relied on the kindness of strangers. I know the power that these types of connections can hold and Mason-Black delivers an emotional and realistic portrayal for what that might look like for one girl in the world alone. The magical realism elements of this story only deepen the power of Blue’s journey and made me ask What if? so many times while reading. The fictional (and often magical) world she creates is beautiful. Beautiful is a word I will forever associate with this debut. Seventeen-year-old Blue sets off on a journey to find her sister who left home two years ago. Blue’s journey begins as a mission to save her sister and repair the family that was lost when their mother died seven years ago. But ultimately, Blue’s journey is one in which she finds herself, discovers her strength and regains (literally) her voice. On the road, Blue gathers the kindness of strangers and builds a new kind of family out of the people she meets and learns to trust. The message of this book is beyond powerful: that we are all connected, that our individual stories (and songs) matter, that we are all interdependent. The tension in this book is like the chorus to a song; it is always there, pulsing and ready to come to the forefront. Blue meets dangerous people in her journey and she meets travelers who have been victimized in the most horrific ways. Debut author Mason-Black does a phenomenal job of exploring so many of the underlying issues that drive children from their homes and force people to a life of homelessness or wandering. Blue makes a deal with the devil at the crossroads but it is along the back roads and highways of the United States that she discovers what that deal really means. This is a journey YA readers shouldn’t miss. The writing is lyrical and the story will stay with you the way a favorite song stays with you.