Published by HJ Press, self-published on April 25, 2015
Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration.
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Hailed as “One of the best technical painters of our time” by an L.A. Times critic, 27 year-old, Aubrey Johnson's work is finally gaining traction. But as she weaves through what should be a celebration of her art, a single nagging echo of her doctor’s words refuses to stay silent—there is no cure. In less than eight weeks Aubrey is going blind.
Traveling on a one-way ticket around the world with childhood friend Jeff Anderson, Aubrey is in complete denial. But a blindfolded game of tasting foreign foods in China jolts her into confronting the reality of her situation. So begins her quest.
In this adult coming of age story, Aubrey starts out at odds with her crippling disability and has a hard time accepting help. But on her journey she finds a deeper understanding of herself and her life—sometimes fragmented and complex, but always with relentless truth.
As an artist, Aubrey sees everything around her through a creative lens, paying attention to every single detail as she takes in these new-to-her places. It was so nice to get wrapped up in her perspective as she and Jeff, her best friend from childhood, travel around the world. The dialogue was laid back and natural, similar to the way I speak with my own friends. I enjoyed the easygoing banter between Aubrey and Jeff as they reconnected.
Aubrey likes to be in control; you see it time and time again throughout the novel. So it was difficult for me to understand why she’d spend the majority of the time she had left—with her sight—on a trip like this. Preparing for her inevitable blindness would have given her some control. That’s some major denial!
The bulk of the story consists of Aubrey and Jeff’s trip around the world. Once the trip was over and Aubrey returns home, the book fell a little flat for me. The storyline from that point on simply felt too rushed to be believable. She loses her sight completely and is living on her own and doing normal things in an astonishingly short amount of time, with not enough explanation as to how she adapted so quickly. That transition wasn’t fleshed out well enough for me, making the last portion of the novel feel unrealistically hopeful and happy.
The ending aside, overall Blue Sun, Yellow Sky was still a very nice read. I didn’t have to think too hard, and I was able to thoroughly relax and enjoy the book. I appreciated that so much. The storyline itself was predictable from start to finish, but you know, sometimes that is just fine. This would make a good beach read!