Blue Sky Days
Emma had her life planned out in meticulous fashion. She spent her entire high school career working hard and earning stellar grades, grades intended to land a spot in college that would lead to a successful career. But she decided to take a year off, to earn her way through college, and discovered she had lost herself along the way. Realizing she should do something about it, Emma decided to spend the summer in Riverview, with her aunt Daisy. That decision changed her life, forever.
It's hard to be nineteen, and even harder to discover yourself after years of striving to meet someone else's idea of perfection. But with the help of free-spirited Daisy, Emma starts to learn that life is about more than perfect grades and isolating yourself from the world. When she meets Nicholas, Emma realizes that so many of her ideas and perceptions of life were so wrong - but that changing them is so very easy. Nicholas introduces her to his friends - Vince and Maggie - and the three give Emma her first taste of what it means to be young and free. And loved. As summer winds down, Emma is faced with another decision: stay in Riverview, or go back to her old life. She stays, and digs her roots deeply into the foundation of love and support she's found. And she needs every bit of that loving support a short time later, when Nicholas is diagnosed with leukemia. The next months are a struggle, but Emma, Nicholas, and their "family" of Daisy and Sam (Nicholas's dad), Vince and Maggie, rely on each other and the fierce power of love to get through the valley and back into the sun.
Blue Sky Days is a beautiful story, but was a difficult read at times. The first half is fun, and I loved watching Emma grow. I remember being nineteen, and how hard it is to see who you really are in the world, trying to find your place. Emma and all the characters are drawn neatly, fleshed out with a life and spark that made me wish they were true. Once the fight for Nicholas's life began, it got harder for me to read - leukemia, and cancer in general, has ravaged so many near and dear to my heart. Landry does a wonderful job making it real, not glossing over the hell of it all, but emphasizing the importance of family - of togetherness - of Love. (And, thankfully, she doesn't totally break my reader's heart either!). A well-written, moving story about growing into yourself, and finding out first-hand the amazing power of love.
eBook provided by author for review.