Posted in 4 Stars, Book Review

REVIEW: Devil and the Bluebird by Jennifer Mason-Black

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Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal/Urban
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publication Date: May 17, 2016
Formats Available: Kindle, Hardcover

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 mementoes, 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. 

MY RATING: 📚 📚 📚 📚

This book’s description, along with the lovely cover, stole my attention almost immediately. I loved the idea of a modern approach to the devil at the crossroads myth and the soul selling motif, although I was a little worried about the execution. I shouldn’t have been. Jennifer Mason-Black’s writing is strong and soulful, and even though readers know nothing about Blue when the book opens, it’s difficult not to connect with her in the very first chapter.

There is an episodic nature to this story that some will not like, but I rather enjoyed. Blue is forced to trust strangers on her cross-country odyssey, and is exposed to both the kindness and cruelty human beings are capable of. I hope this is part of a series, because I’m definitely interested in learning more about some of the minor characters in Devil and the Bluebird, particularly Steve and Dill.

While this book is listed as a YA novel, it’s rather dark in places and I probably wouldn’t personally recommend this to readers under 16. If strong language is an issue for you there is some present, although fairly infrequent.

As a note for interested readers, there are LGBT elements in this book. There are a few trans characters, as well as mention of a lesbian/bisexual relationship. These don’t really play into the main plot much, but I know some people like to list books with LGBT characters, so I wanted to mention that.

The only reason I deducted a star was that the pacing was a little slower than I would have liked. Overall though, this is a fantastic read and I hope to see more from this author soon.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Author:

Olivia Ard is the author of women's fiction trilogy The Bennett Series and Readers' Favorite 5-Star recipient 'Tis the Season. She is pursuing a second degree in sociology. She and her husband JD live in Central Alabama, where they await their miracle baby's arrival this November with joyful expectation.

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