Image Credit : The Blue Star
This was a last-minute purchase at the bookstore. I was drawn to the story that the jacket promised, and little did I know that the Blue Star is a sequel to Tony Earley's debut novel, Jim the Boy. Not that it mattered because the Blue Star is a quaint, old-worldly, gentle story that almost makes you wish that it is not 2010 but 1941 - a time when the world was confused yet stoic amidst the ravages of war, and love really held meaning for a 17-year old boy. After having taught 1000s of kids, I, at least, didn't come across many of them who loved their girl as passionately as Jim Glass does in the Blue Star. Not in the 21st century, certainly. I see more of today's kids near my workplace - with a cigarette in their hands, in their pockets, in their wallets, rolling marijuana like it was the next health supplement, and using the most wonderfully eloquent language to describe everything from their parents to their car to their classes to their teachers. That language is so eloquent it has only four words. Where do we find Jim Glass or Chrissie Steppe or Norma these days? Sigh.
Critics have variously described this as young-adult fiction, but I think an adult would just as well read it and love it. Jim is an evolving character and Tony Earley captures his teenage confusion perfectly. What I loved was Jim's shy adoration of Chrissie - their struggles to be together - and the strong ties that bind everyone together in a small town. The dialogue was witty at times, sentimental at other times, but always easy to read and fluid. The story moved along at quick pace, and I always found myself wanting to reach the next page. Does Jim win over Chrissie? Or will Norma come in the picture? What about the three uncles? What about the looming presence of the War? All these and more kept me turning page after page. When I reached the end, I looked at the page almost in disbelief and asked Earley, "What? No more?" Please, Mr Earley write more about Jim Glass. And I certainly am going to pick up Jim the Boy.
Don't miss this book if you are in the mood for something light, fun, sweet yet mature. It promises serious reading without making you feel you exercised your mind to hell.
Verdict : Lovable ol' book.
Rating : 4/5
PS: Before anyone attacks me over my comments on today's kids, let it be known that I do not brand all of them as evil or bad or unworthy or whatever label you can tag them with. My comment has purely to do with personal observation formed on personal experience, and will only remain subjective at that, and is never intended to be a generalization.
And I can't resist - this has nothing to with a book but this wedding dance was one of the most-watched videos on You Tube last year. It is adorable, cute and really makes a wedding seem real fun!