Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Book Review: Blue Sun, Yellow Sky by Jamie Jo Hoang

Title:  Blue Sun, Yellow Sky
Author:  Jamie Jo Hoang
Genre:  Travel, Contemporary Romance
Publisher:  HJ Publishing
Release Date:  December 11, 2014

From the Back Cover:

Hailed as "One of the best technical painters of our time" by an L.A. Times critic, 27-year-old Aubrey Johnson is finally gaining traction with her work. 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 struggles to make sense of her crippling diagnosis. But on her journey she finds a deeper understanding of herself and her life-sometimes fragmented and complex, but always with relentless truth.

Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble 

My Review:

I read a lot of books.  So I'm frequently looking for a book that is different.  I found one here with Blue Sun, Yellow Sky.  This wasn't quite a romance book, although it had a bit of romance in it.  It was more of a life adventure book that made me think about what I would do if I was suddenly told that I would lose my vision in a few weeks time.  Perhaps I would do the exact thing that Aubrey did and travel around the world, taking it all in.  I enjoyed the bits of travel to different countries, especially when seeing the world through the eyes of an artist... noticing the little things as well as the grand and majestic and finding things that triggered memories.  Actually, this book reminded me somewhat of "Eat, Pray, Love".  

Although I truly enjoyed reading this book, there were a couple of things that bothered me.  I didn't understand why Aubrey didn't tell her best friend Jeff that she was going blind.  Halfway through the book I yelled out "TELL HIM!" at which my husband peeked over the top of his computer screen and asked "Tell me what?".  "Not you", I responded, "HIM!" as I pointed to the book.  "Oh", replied my husband as his nose disappeared back behind his computer.  And Jeff certainly had trouble opening up to Aubrey on a number of issues.  Those things made the characters feel a bit flat to me.  And lastly, I didn't quite understand about Aubrey's disease, Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP).  From what I have seen of RP, it takes years for it to develop to the point of total loss of eyesight.  It generally starts out at night blindness and later develops into a sort of tunnel vision, effecting the periphery vision.  That's not the way it was described in this book.  Maybe I'm wrong on that.  I'm not a doctor. Anyway, the cause of her pending blindness wasn't really pertinent to the story.  It could have been a brain tumor or something else.  The entire concept was that Aubrey was an artist who was just finding her way into the art world, just getting that big break and becoming famous, when all of that was suddenly being taken away from her.

On a positive note, I have to say that Jamie Jo Hoang has a fascinating way of describing the world around her.  Through her words, my vision of all the places that were traveled were very vivid in my mind.  She had an uncanny way of making you feel that you were right there traveling along with Aubrey and Jeff.  I wanted to throw on a backpack and trek up that mountain with them!  And the knowledge I gained about art was fascinating! 

This was a very thought provoking book.  It was also a book about courage, personal strength, optimism and independence.   

*Disclosure:  A complimentary copy was provided by the author for the sole purpose of an honest review.  All thoughts, opinions and ratings are my own.

My Rating:

About the Author:

Jamie Jo Hoang is the author of BLUE SUN, YELLOW SKY. Her driver's license says she lives in Los Angeles, but she tries to escape to foreign lands as often as possible. She is a writer, thinker, explorer, lover of tea, certified advanced diver, and never far from an ocean. 

She blogs about her life and travels at: Tweets at: @heyjamie. And posts pretty pictures on Instagram as @heyjamiejo.


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