Ramona Blue
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.

Ramona Blue Details

TitleRamona Blue
Author
FormatHardcover
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 9th, 2017
PublisherBalzer + Bray
ISBN0062418351
ISBN-139780062418357
Number of pages432 pages
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary, Glbt

Ramona Blue Review

  • Reagan
    November 30, 2016
    how can you not understand the negative ramifications that writing a book where a lesbian finds the 'right guy' and is magically Not A Lesbian anymore is going to have.....like its literally an idea that actively harms ACTUAL lesbians oh my god Edit since yall wont leave me tf alone: okay so even if this book does come out and isnt lesbophobic (which i highly doubt b/c guess what yall just cause someone is bisexual or 'queer' doesnt mean they cant be lesbophobic) the use of the 'lesbian falls fo how can you not understand the negative ramifications that writing a book where a lesbian finds the 'right guy' and is magically Not A Lesbian anymore is going to have.....like its literally an idea that actively harms ACTUAL lesbians oh my god Edit since yall wont leave me tf alone: okay so even if this book does come out and isnt lesbophobic (which i highly doubt b/c guess what yall just cause someone is bisexual or 'queer' doesnt mean they cant be lesbophobic) the use of the 'lesbian falls for a guy' trope in the blurb is gross and disgusting and yall can shout about sexuality being fluid all you want but at the end of the day the idea that a lesbians sexuality can change to include men is harmful in very real ways or are we all just going to ignore the very real reality of corrective rape backed by the idea that lesbians can change to like men edit again cause guess what im still pissed: so its childish and immature to preemptively rate a book one star b/c i find the blurb insulting and offensive but when people are rating it five stars b/c they cant handle criticism against a book that isnt even thiers its okay? jfc
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  • Adam Silvera
    November 30, 2016
    Official blurb: "Julie Murphy delivers a fresh and glorious love story that addresses all the complexities of one's heart. Ramona Blue's discovery of limitless love is total beauty."I love love love love this book. There's a scene toward the end I can't stop thinking about. For those who want a hint, I'll just say (view spoiler)[#SwimsuitAndBikeChapter (hide spoiler)].
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  • Shelly
    November 30, 2016
    I have pre-emptively given this book 5 stars because I see the GoodReads rating is so low. I’m aware that this book is being lowly rated for its potential queer representation and I’m going to speak about that for a bit. RAMONA BLUE is about Ramona, a lesbian teen who (based on the GoodReads description) discovers that perhaps she may have feelings for a boy she bonds with over a shared passion for swimming. Because sexuality is fluid, I do think readers deserve a chance to read the novel first I have pre-emptively given this book 5 stars because I see the GoodReads rating is so low. I’m aware that this book is being lowly rated for its potential queer representation and I’m going to speak about that for a bit. RAMONA BLUE is about Ramona, a lesbian teen who (based on the GoodReads description) discovers that perhaps she may have feelings for a boy she bonds with over a shared passion for swimming. Because sexuality is fluid, I do think readers deserve a chance to read the novel first (or at least a few pages of it) before deciding for themselves whether or not they view the representation as harmful. Not everyone will agree but I do think having different representations of sexuality will allow teens to find a place in literature for (literally) whatever they are going through. If you know me, you know I have spoken out against harmful representations about LGBT characters but I don’t think that will be the case with RAMONA BLUE (when I read it, I can update my review). For more thoughts on this (and probably better than I can say), please read Tristina Wright’s twitter thread as well as Hannah Moskowitz’s twitter thread (as linked by Tristina).
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  • Janie
    December 1, 2016
    From the premise alone, I'm already pretty irritated, especially coming from an intensely religious background. This is the type of thing in which the traditional homophobes pervading my youth would rejoice, as a weapon to combat lesbianism and female attraction towards the same sex in general. Ultimately, whether or not this is intended to be a discussion of bisexuality, it's being presented in an awful and dangerous way. The last thing the lesbian community needs is more fascination placed on From the premise alone, I'm already pretty irritated, especially coming from an intensely religious background. This is the type of thing in which the traditional homophobes pervading my youth would rejoice, as a weapon to combat lesbianism and female attraction towards the same sex in general. Ultimately, whether or not this is intended to be a discussion of bisexuality, it's being presented in an awful and dangerous way. The last thing the lesbian community needs is more fascination placed on the already-overemphasized Erica Moen-esque narrative of "I was a lesbian, but then I met the perfect man and now he and I are married!" It is hard enough for young lesbians, who generally must with copious amounts of compulsory heterosexuality and blatant homophobia, and are constantly being told "you just need to find the right man," without this insipid storyline saying the same thing. It is is hard enough for young lesbians, who are being told to doubt themselves from nearly every possible avenue, without MORE voices being added to the clamor. The last thing young lesbians (ANY lesbians) need is a story affirming that "it's okay for women to end up with men." Hell, that's the last thing bisexual women need, too. We all know it's okay for women to end up with men. All we've ever heard, our entire lives, is that it's okay to end up with men, and that we SHOULD be ending up with men, and that we WILL end up with men. A story which addresses how it is okay to buck "lesbian identity" and end up with men anyway is always going to be a useless, actively damaging story. Hope this flops.
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  • Cesar
    October 18, 2016
    Edit 2/24/17So the synopsis has been changed! The plot doesn't seem to be bad as it was before. And for those of you wondering, it wasn't Murphy who wrote the synopsis. I'm sure the publisher wrote it. So don't take out your anger on her. Also, to the people who rated it 1 star without reading it: I haven't read it. You haven't read it. Stop whining.***********************************Edit 12/28/16A while ago, I found out that Julie Murphy is going to revise the synopsis for Ramona Blue. Which is Edit 2/24/17So the synopsis has been changed! The plot doesn't seem to be bad as it was before. And for those of you wondering, it wasn't Murphy who wrote the synopsis. I'm sure the publisher wrote it. So don't take out your anger on her. Also, to the people who rated it 1 star without reading it: I haven't read it. You haven't read it. Stop whining.***********************************Edit 12/28/16A while ago, I found out that Julie Murphy is going to revise the synopsis for Ramona Blue. Which is a good thing because the plot could've been written differently. I'm glad Julie is staying strong through out the hate she's been getting and wish her nothing but support. ***********************************After the cover was released and we got the synopsis, I've noticed that some people aren't happy of what the book is about. The thing is, these things do happen. Though we don't hear about it often, it's there. There are people who identify as straight and may later realize that they are bi or gay. And with gay people, some realize they are bi. Keep in mind, this happens to some people. There are those who are 100% gay or straight and have never felt attraction to the opposite or same sex. It doesn't happen to everyone, but it's there. With bisexuality, you could have a preference for one gender over the other but still have feelings towards the other. A bi girl is still bi if she's with a man and she's still bi if she's with a woman. So don't judge until the book is released and you have read it.Obviously I'm not going to mark it as read or give it 5 stars since it hasn't been released yet.And here's a video that pretty much explains how some people who are gay realize they're bi. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWcvo...So before you go and give this book a one star because of the synopsis, understand that these kinds of things happen. People are still understanding themselves even as adults. Some realize it later than others and that's OK.
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  • Dahlia
    December 10, 2016
    A weird thing to need to open with, but hi! I have read this book. So, let's begin the review now, and yeah, it's gonna be on the longer side with a lot more summary than I ever write, for what I hope are obvious reasons.Ramona Blue is a sister, daughter, friend, out lesbian, waitress, papergirl...lots of things, living in Eulogy, MS, a town that gets shaken up by tourists in the summer. As the book opens, she's watching her summer love, Grace, head back home, and dealing with the fact that her A weird thing to need to open with, but hi! I have read this book. So, let's begin the review now, and yeah, it's gonna be on the longer side with a lot more summary than I ever write, for what I hope are obvious reasons.Ramona Blue is a sister, daughter, friend, out lesbian, waitress, papergirl...lots of things, living in Eulogy, MS, a town that gets shaken up by tourists in the summer. As the book opens, she's watching her summer love, Grace, head back home, and dealing with the fact that her newly pregnant sister's babydaddy is moving into the trailer in which the family already doesn't fit. All the talk of sexuality surrounding the book would have you believe that romance is its core relationship, but surprise! It's not. More than anything, this is a sister book, and Ramona's sister, Hattie, comes first and foremost in her life, even when Ramona knows that'll mean a lifetime of sacrifice, especially since she opted to have the baby the family that's already struggling to make ends meet can't really afford. Their mother lives elsewhere, and mothering isn't really her forte; they see her once or twice a month. Their dad is one of those awesome YA dads you love to love, and she's especially grateful for him since two of her best friends, who are siblings and both gay, haven't had the same luck with their parents' acceptance (or lack thereof.) (And yes, she's not even the only lesbian in the book.)While Ramona deals with trying to keep a long distance relationship going with Grace, her childhood friend Freddie reenters her life when the grandmother who raises decides to live out her days back in her fave tourist town. Freddie's also trying to keep a long distance relationship going, and as they both struggle through that, they find their friendship growing and growing, until they realize they're each other's best friends, and then they realize they're actually more.Now, if you're interested in how things play out regarding her sexuality, go ahead and click open the spoiler:(view spoiler)[Here are things explicitly stated by Ramona in the book before getting with Freddie:1) I am a lesbian2) I am not looking for "the right dick"3) Straight is not and has never been the default for me or something I've wantedAnd after:1) How to identify is more complicated for me now, and nothing feels quite right. 2) I don't know about IDing as a lesbian anymore, but I don't know about not IDing as one anymore, since other than you I only like girls and I imagine if I dated someone after you, it would be a girl3) I am not comfortable IDing as bi, either, because I think you're probably the only exceptionThings Ramona never says:1) I am straight now2) I like boys now 3) I want to be fixed 4) You fixed me (hide spoiler)]Okay, so, hope that quells all the curiosity about that. Now, onto the actual review.I loved this book, which is actually about clawing your way out of the tiny box you've put yourself into in every way, and it's also about Mississippi getting quietly fucked by Katrina and the way that instilled its cracks in her family and her life and her future. Ramona has convinced herself she can't be anything but someone who lives in Eulogy forever, waitressing to take care of her and her sister, living in a trailer, and, yes, dating girls, too. But throughout the book, people show her that she's only as pinned in as she thinks she is, that there are other paths for her regarding her education and making money, and that she is not her sister's keeper and that her relationship with her mother might have more room for growth than she thought and that she doesn't have to settle in love for girls she doesn't want because she's afraid of what it means to want the guy she does. That she can grow as a swimmer, grow as a friend, grow as a person. That she can be more without leaving the past behind. And I thought it was pretty damn great.
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  • Gillian
    December 2, 2016
    Full disclosure: I have not read this book, but I'm preemptively rating it five stars merely to combat the slate of negative ratings based off a synopsis the author didn't even write. Certainly, the trope of a lesbian being "fixed" by the "right man" is an extremely dangerous trope. I'm in no way invalidating how harmful and offensive that mindset is. I do not believe that a lesbian can be "turned" straight or is "just going through a phase". But I also don't believe that a queer girl who has no Full disclosure: I have not read this book, but I'm preemptively rating it five stars merely to combat the slate of negative ratings based off a synopsis the author didn't even write. Certainly, the trope of a lesbian being "fixed" by the "right man" is an extremely dangerous trope. I'm in no way invalidating how harmful and offensive that mindset is. I do not believe that a lesbian can be "turned" straight or is "just going through a phase". But I also don't believe that a queer girl who has not solely been attracted to others girls is any way less valid than a "gold star lesbian" (UGH, is that offensive). I'm willing to guess, based on what I know of the author (who is self-identified bisexual), that this book does not feature that "fixed lesbian" trope, and instead explores how labels and sexuality can shift. ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU ARE SEVENTEEN YEARS OLD.Also, we don't KNOW if her label shifts. Sexuality is black and white for some and a million shades of gray for others. Some people have fluid sexualities. Some people don't get their label right on the first try. Some people identify as lesbian but have been in love with men before. Point is, sexuality is an individual thing, especially when it comes to labels. All queer stories are worth telling, including this one. There are very YA few books about bisexual identity, and this one is needed.Bisexuality is not lesbophobic.The synopsis has a level of ambiguity that clearly offended a lot of lesbian readers. The publisher is rewriting it with the input of the author, so I urge people to wait and see if this is actually a book that deserves the kind of criticism it gets. For now, maybe just assume that it's a portrayal of an individual teen trying to figure herself out in a world that makes it pretty damn hard (proven by how overtly biphobic a lot of the negative reviews have been), which is pretty much Julie Murphy's forte.
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  • The Bookavid
    December 1, 2016
    Unacceptable to see bigots trying to tank this book before publication. Every queer experience is valid and sometimes people's orientations, or the ones they identify with, change. Accept that or get out. I would've needed this book as a teen and I'm making damn sure it will receive the attention it deserves.I wasn't planning on buying it, but yeah... now you bet I'm preordering and telling all my friends. So thanks!
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  • Hannah
    November 30, 2016
    I haven't read this yet, but neither have you.Cut it out.
  • Abbey
    November 30, 2016
    As a lesbian, please stop thinking you're progressive for writing us as falling in love with men. It's disrespectful and dishonest. If you want a book about a bisexual person, write a book about a bisexual person. I hope you read this and feel ashamed, Julie Murphy.
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  • Meghan
    December 1, 2016
    hope this dumbass book flops and I never have to hear about this stupid straight girls "turning lesbians" fantasies again. reading that description alone was like murphy vomited chew, chili, and homophobia directly onto my computer screen and then forced me face first into it. lesbians aren't just bi/straight girls who haven't connected with the right guy yet or just aren't being open minded enough about the future of "who they could become". honestly when will straight people shut up about us f hope this dumbass book flops and I never have to hear about this stupid straight girls "turning lesbians" fantasies again. reading that description alone was like murphy vomited chew, chili, and homophobia directly onto my computer screen and then forced me face first into it. lesbians aren't just bi/straight girls who haven't connected with the right guy yet or just aren't being open minded enough about the future of "who they could become". honestly when will straight people shut up about us forever and just let gay people right gay characters without feeling the need to but in or correct us. all you straight people pulling this sound like idiots to gay people.(changing labels is all good and fine but this "lesbian suddenly doubts herself for mediocre fuckboy" schtick is undoubtedly a homophobic trope and never stands to add to a positive narrative for bi women. lesbians have practically no representation unless it ends in death or realizing we actually *do* like men or some other crap, so there's really no way for a straight woman to do this respectfully.)
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  • Batgirlwoman
    December 1, 2016
    Lesbians should not be erased for the sake of bi/pan representation. The premise of this book reinforces harmful myths about lesbian sexuality. The author should be ashamed as well as anyone defending her. It's clear that lesbian voices don't matter to anyone in the so called queer community.
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  • Milijana
    December 1, 2016
    First, lesbianism is not a fluid sexuality, stop spreading that lie and confusing people. Second, the author could have used any other word for the protagonist to identify with: bisexual, questioning, queer (the most popular these days) and everything would have been ok, yet the choice fell on lesbian. This is the biggest issue so far, because combined with the synopsis it feels like another attempt at redefining the word lesbian so it includes a possibility for men to be romantic partners somew First, lesbianism is not a fluid sexuality, stop spreading that lie and confusing people. Second, the author could have used any other word for the protagonist to identify with: bisexual, questioning, queer (the most popular these days) and everything would have been ok, yet the choice fell on lesbian. This is the biggest issue so far, because combined with the synopsis it feels like another attempt at redefining the word lesbian so it includes a possibility for men to be romantic partners somewhere along the way. No, just...no. This is not a possibility nor should anyone try to convince us otherwise. Use whatever other word you want for this, and leave the word lesbian to lesbians.
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  • Stormy
    September 23, 2015
    Bisexual women exist :) Sometimes they end up with men :) Sometimes they don't ID as bi from the beginning :)
  • Di Lamington
    December 4, 2016
    Lesbian goes for a dude? She has blue hair? Name is Ramona? Such a unique genre, much original; I hope the line 'I'm a little bifurious' is in there somewhere, or 'your hair is such a warm colour' ahahahahaIn all seriousness tho, when only %34 of wlw characters in the media are lesbians but lesbians represent %84 of character deaths? When I can think of SEVERAL books with this exact story line? Like you think bisexual erasure is bad, try lesbian erasure.
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  • Katy (Queen of the trash nerds)
    December 1, 2016
    "My sexuality is not fluid. My sexuality is a brick labelled lesbian that I will use to defend myself."
  • Weezie
    November 18, 2016
    2ND EDIT: Giving this a preemptive 5 stars because y'all are acting like a bunch of asshats with no home training trying to tank a book before it even comes out. Y'all do realize this is what those Nazi fuckers did to Laura Silverman right?? Y'all just put yourself in the same category as them. EDIT: I feel like I need to explain my initial reaction and explain a few things. I do know that sexuality is fluid and that people can discover new things about their gender and sexuality as they grow. I 2ND EDIT: Giving this a preemptive 5 stars because y'all are acting like a bunch of asshats with no home training trying to tank a book before it even comes out. Y'all do realize this is what those Nazi fuckers did to Laura Silverman right?? Y'all just put yourself in the same category as them. EDIT: I feel like I need to explain my initial reaction and explain a few things. I do know that sexuality is fluid and that people can discover new things about their gender and sexuality as they grow. I have done that myself. My initial reaction to this comes from a place of distrust- this is a sensitive topic that has to be handled as such. Too many times lesbians are invalidated with "Just wait until you meet the right man!" and that's how this synopsis reads to me. I'm withholding any further judgement and ratings until I've read the book for myself in its entirety. I do understand the outrage so many people have expressed but I also know that a synopsis can be misleading. Read the book before you decide.And for the love of God, please stop bashing Julie Murphy, you unholy heathens.
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  • Aimal (Bookshelves & Paperbacks)
    December 3, 2016
    Giving this a pre-emptive boost. There are no ARCs out yet, and the negativity is based off a vague synopsis. A girl who likes girls finds herself having feelings for a boy- so, she's bisexual... and bisexuals exist. Their voices are important too. And considering this is an #ownvoices novel, and Julie's dealt with sensitive topics beautifully in the past, it's unfair to try & tank the novel because of the synopsis... which is also being rewritten.I understand how harmful the lesbian-convert Giving this a pre-emptive boost. There are no ARCs out yet, and the negativity is based off a vague synopsis. A girl who likes girls finds herself having feelings for a boy- so, she's bisexual... and bisexuals exist. Their voices are important too. And considering this is an #ownvoices novel, and Julie's dealt with sensitive topics beautifully in the past, it's unfair to try & tank the novel because of the synopsis... which is also being rewritten.I understand how harmful the lesbian-converted-when-a-right-man-comes-along trope is. It's gross and disgusting and should never, ever exist. But we don't know if this book employs that trope. The author has said that she will rewrite the synopsis and make it clear that it's a book about a girl who is bisexual...If you're complaining about this book erasing lesbians, I'm a little concerned because simply implying that a girl attracted to both girls and boys is "lesbian-erasure" is erasing bisexuality. Do not attempt to erase the sexual identity of so many teens all over the world. You're not being woke, you're being biphobic.
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  • Julie
    November 30, 2016
    I have not ready this book, but since it's being bombed with 1 star reviews and Julie Murphy is getting death threats, I wanted to send it some love. I'm ALL ABOUT a book where a girl realizes she's not a lesbian, she's bisexual, because labels change!ETA: Honestly, I worried a bit when this book's premise was announced. But then I remember that I trusted Julie to handle this respectfully! And I remember that I thought I was straight for 20 years and so, so many other people thought they were st I have not ready this book, but since it's being bombed with 1 star reviews and Julie Murphy is getting death threats, I wanted to send it some love. I'm ALL ABOUT a book where a girl realizes she's not a lesbian, she's bisexual, because labels change!ETA: Honestly, I worried a bit when this book's premise was announced. But then I remember that I trusted Julie to handle this respectfully! And I remember that I thought I was straight for 20 years and so, so many other people thought they were straight or gay or lesbian for years and years and years because those are the only identities we really talk about. Pan, bi, ace, trans, intersex, and so many other queer people are excluded from conversations about queer identity, and so is the process of realizing how they identify. If we can have stories about characters discovering they're gay or lesbian, why can't we have books where they discover they're actually bi or pan? And maybe consider it's not in the blurb because the blurb is a few paragraphs and the book is several hundred pages so it's not super easy to cover everything.
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  • Isa
    December 1, 2016
    The issue with this book isn't that it possibly addresses bisexuality or "pansexuality." It's the idea constantly pushed that lesbians can like and love men, that our boundaries must be broken. The way the synopsis is worded is disgusting, and all of the homophobes on here are too.
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  • Laura Silverman
    November 30, 2016
    Stellar writing as always from a fantastic, kind-hearted, and wonderful author.
  • Rebecca Croteau
    November 30, 2016
    At various points in my life, I have identified as straight, a lesbian, and bisexual. Most currently, I call myself queer, because it's an umbrella term that embraces the fluidity of my sexuality. As a kid, I was convinced that it had to be one or the other; since I liked boys at all, I was obviously straight; when I fell for a girl, it was clear that I was a lesbian. And then, over time, I learned that it was nothing like so simple. From another author, I would be very very very concerned that At various points in my life, I have identified as straight, a lesbian, and bisexual. Most currently, I call myself queer, because it's an umbrella term that embraces the fluidity of my sexuality. As a kid, I was convinced that it had to be one or the other; since I liked boys at all, I was obviously straight; when I fell for a girl, it was clear that I was a lesbian. And then, over time, I learned that it was nothing like so simple. From another author, I would be very very very concerned that this wouldn't be handled well, but given that Julie Murphy is the brilliant mind behind Dumplin', I'm so excited for this book that I'm approaching giddy. Kids like me deserve a story, and deserve to understand that choosing to label their sexuality is not a lifetime commitment. Labels are fluid, and they change, and that is okay.
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  • Lilian Halcombe
    December 8, 2016
    Apparently the author is rewriting the blurb for the book so us mean lesbians won't be so upset with her. I think she still misses the point. The "lesbian meets the right guy" trope is one of the most harmful stereotypes that directly affects our lives on a daily basis and she has still gone ahead a written a book that uses it. Want to be original? Write a YA novel that has a lesbian character who doesn't sleep with/date a guy and isn't conflicted about her sexuality. Those just don't exist beca Apparently the author is rewriting the blurb for the book so us mean lesbians won't be so upset with her. I think she still misses the point. The "lesbian meets the right guy" trope is one of the most harmful stereotypes that directly affects our lives on a daily basis and she has still gone ahead a written a book that uses it. Want to be original? Write a YA novel that has a lesbian character who doesn't sleep with/date a guy and isn't conflicted about her sexuality. Those just don't exist because authors out there love the old homophobic tropes.
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  • Eri (Airy Reads)
    November 30, 2016
    Adding a rating preemptively because people suck and this author doesn't deserve the harassment she's received. Edit: adding more in-depth reasoning for reasons. Sexuality is fluid and while I understand that f/f representation is very shoddy in YA and thus this elicited a powerful response, I don't believe that sending death threats or rating this book 1 star before it even comes out is a legit response. Also, being a teenager means you're still discovering yourself and this book represents a f Adding a rating preemptively because people suck and this author doesn't deserve the harassment she's received. Edit: adding more in-depth reasoning for reasons. Sexuality is fluid and while I understand that f/f representation is very shoddy in YA and thus this elicited a powerful response, I don't believe that sending death threats or rating this book 1 star before it even comes out is a legit response. Also, being a teenager means you're still discovering yourself and this book represents a facet of that and if you don't understand that, what are you even doing reading YA.
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  • Katrina Leno
    December 1, 2016
    Sexuality is fluid. Bi people exist. (WHEN I read this book I will update my star rating if it happens to be a less than 5 star read for me. I doubt it will be because I have read Julie's previous two books and know she's a kick ass writer. I don't usually rate books before I read them but in this case I can't stand by and watch a book attacked before it's even been read.)
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  • Shauna (b00kstorebabe)
    February 17, 2017
    I'm rating this book 5-stars to offset the biphobic reviews further down, but I'd say it's 4-stars actual. Ramona Blue's protagonist is a 6'3" gay teen living in Southern Mississippi in a beach town. Her life is spent going to school, working to help support her family, and hanging out with her best friends, Ruth and Saul and her sister, Hattie. When her childhood best friend moves back into town, their friendship picks up right where it left off. Over time, she realizes that her feelings for Fr I'm rating this book 5-stars to offset the biphobic reviews further down, but I'd say it's 4-stars actual. Ramona Blue's protagonist is a 6'3" gay teen living in Southern Mississippi in a beach town. Her life is spent going to school, working to help support her family, and hanging out with her best friends, Ruth and Saul and her sister, Hattie. When her childhood best friend moves back into town, their friendship picks up right where it left off. Over time, she realizes that her feelings for Freddie might be more complicated than she originally thought, which leads to some major introspection. I related to this book so much that I found myself crying through parts of it that weren't even supposed to be make you cry. I felt Ramona's futility at her financial situation and her frustration over her friends lack of understanding so well. I understand her poverty, how she feels like an impostor when she visits a nice neighborhood. I understand why she feels that she can't leave her town, a town she has outgrown. "My sport–the special skill I've developed my whole life–is surviving, and that doesn't leave much for Cinderella dreams."The characters in this book were incredibly vivid, but my favorite is Freddie, a biracial boy with curly hair and freckles. It's clear from the first time that we see Freddie that Ramona has complicated feelings about him. Those feelings are further complicated when she finds herself holding hands with him and that feeling "like aloe on a sunburn." This leads to some very uncomfortable conversations and feelings. She feels like she's lying to Freddie (at first), like she's somehow betrayed her (also gay) best friend Ruth. She doesn't know if this means she's bi, or if this is just a fluke. Ramona herself sums it up perfectly, "Love doesn't disappear when you give it away, and new love doesn't make old love any less legitimate."All she really knows is that although Ramona identifies as gay, she found home in a sweet, freckled boy. Another thing I loved about this book was the way that everyone is called out. There are obvious examples, especially from Ramona's mother, but nobody is unproblematic. When Freddie finds out that Ramona is gay, he says some pretty awful shit out of ignorance, but as Ramona says "It's not like I think he's some bigot. He's ignorant, and sometimes ignorance is as dangerous as bigotry." Likewise, after Ramona and her friends do something that's not exactly legal, Freddie calls Ramona out for putting him, a black kid, in a situation that could end up with him being shot. Ramona quickly realizes how she messed up and apologizes. That being said, some of the bigoted things expressed in the book were hard to read, even though they were called out. I do have a couple issues with the book, namely a few phrases that should just not be used in 2017 (like "Oriental" for one, and describing someone with a mustache as looking like a pedophile), but as the book is in the arc stage, I'm hoping those things are edited out. Ramona Blue is an incredibly nuanced and well-written book, with intersections of race, class, and sexuality. It's not quite fluffy, but it's incredibly realistic.
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  • Abby
    December 2, 2016
    So would it be okay for me to write a book about how a bi woman cheats on her girlfriend with a man? Or how about a book where a bi woman sleeps around with women but only wants to date/marry a man? Those things happen all the time in real life.
  • Ava
    March 26, 2017
    THIS BOOK. Pay absolutely no attention to the low rating on Goodreads. It's because a large amount of biphobic people were misled by the synopsis and rated it 1 star without listening to reviews of people who ACTUALLY read the book. This book deserves so many more stars than that. It's about a girl who is discovering her sexuality. She thinks she's lesbian, but then starts to question. Sexuality is fluid, and we need more YA books that explore it. RAMONA BLUE does exactly that, and does it perfe THIS BOOK. Pay absolutely no attention to the low rating on Goodreads. It's because a large amount of biphobic people were misled by the synopsis and rated it 1 star without listening to reviews of people who ACTUALLY read the book. This book deserves so many more stars than that. It's about a girl who is discovering her sexuality. She thinks she's lesbian, but then starts to question. Sexuality is fluid, and we need more YA books that explore it. RAMONA BLUE does exactly that, and does it perfectly. It is NOT a book about a guy who turns a lesbian straight. It is a book about a lesbian who realizes she's not as sure about her sexuality as she used to be. It's about family. Ramona, the main character, has very different relationships with her mom, sister, and dad, and each is explored in the book. It's about swimming. We rarely see YA books in which the mc does a sport where it's mentioned more than once, and swimming is a big part of Ramona's life in this book. As a swimmer, I adored it. It's about friendship. Ramona has a unique, real group of friends, and I loved it. It's about growing up poor, and how that affects your entire life. And yes, it's about romance. There IS a boy. That's not all the story is about. It's so much more than that. Give RAMONA BLUE a chance. If you do, you'll read a book you'll absolutely fall in love with.
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  • Mary H
    November 30, 2016
    Post-reading thoughts:I want to do a full review, but I just finished reading Ramona Blue and the five stars stand. Not only does Julie (or any character except Ramona's mom, who is shouted down as being wrong each time) NEVER say that Ramona is in need of fixing (particularly by a boy) or that being lesbian is just a phase, it's just a really fantastic book. And FYI the romance isn't even the major part of the book. The writing is lovely, and Ramona drops so many wonderful truths about life tha Post-reading thoughts:I want to do a full review, but I just finished reading Ramona Blue and the five stars stand. Not only does Julie (or any character except Ramona's mom, who is shouted down as being wrong each time) NEVER say that Ramona is in need of fixing (particularly by a boy) or that being lesbian is just a phase, it's just a really fantastic book. And FYI the romance isn't even the major part of the book. The writing is lovely, and Ramona drops so many wonderful truths about life that it was impossible not to love every sentence, paragraph, and page. Definitely highly recommend. Stay tuned for a full review.Pre-emptive review 11/30/16:I have not yet read Ramona Blue so this is a pre-emptive 5 star. However, I loved both Julie's other books, and I am confident I will love Ramona as well. See, Julie is a talented writer who treats every character and theme with care and sensitivity. Although I now see why the summary may not be worded in the best possible way, I believe in Julie's writing. She made me fall in love with a bratty and generally unlikeable cancer survivor and a confident-but-sometimes-not fat girl and a whole host of complex and dynamic secondary characters. Julie is a lovely human being who is kind and fierce and loyal. She's unapologetic about who she is, but she's also honest and apologetic when she makes a mistake. Did you know that when Julie erroneously used the phrase spirit animal in Dumplin, she apologized to the Native community and asked her publisher to work with her to correct the error? AND THEY DID?? I'm not saying this to canonize Julie or absolve her from all mistakes past, present, and future. I'm saying this because I believe in Julie. I hope this book will honor LGBT voices. I'm going to give it a shot, and I hope you will too.
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  • Jess
    October 15, 2016
    15/10/2016 One of only two out lesbians in her small town...As Ramona falls more in love with swimming, her feelings for Freddie begin to shift as well.... I swear to god if this is a book about a lesbian falling in love with a boy I'll rip my hair out.(nice cover tho)
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