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Review of Blues Harp Green by Nicole Schubert

See full issue for 2017 08-21
by Kate Ashley

The Rundown

Sixteen-year-old Francie Mills is tired of her ordinary suburban life. She hates her all-girls school, is constantly annoyed at her parents, and just really really wants some excitement to come into her life. And with her father’s drinking getting worst by the minute and her mom not doing anything about it or him, Francie finds solace in tennis. Knee injury be darned, she’ll do anything to be great at it. Because tennis is the only secure and safe aspect of her life. That is, until she met Chet Jones.
Lead singer of a garage band called Blues Harp Jones, Chet was unlike any boy Francie has ever met. Funny and charming, he gets her and makes her feel more than ordinary. Along with tennis, Francie lets Chet into her safe bubble. And like tennis, she will take risks to see him and his band play. With a determined mind and new friends she made along the way, goth Stella and her aspiring auteur brother Eddie, Francie takes the plunge and sees where these feelings will lead her.
BLUES HARP GREEN has a fairly simple premise great for Young Adult fiction. But for most part of the book, it was merely somewhat good. Music, tennis, teenagers and their families. These were all good subthemes, all with different flavors unique to the others. But they just didn’t seem to go well with an underdeveloped and unlikable character like Francie.
A character that readers would be sympathetic to is not an issue. There are plenty examples of an initially unlikable characters that the reader would slowly and gradually root for. But not Francie. From the start and up to the near-end, you don’t really see her changed. And while, for the record, Francie did have the entire single-minded determination and hotheadedness typical of a teenager down pat, it is incredibly difficult to see past her frequent emotional outbursts. Nothing is heightened anymore because she is often in a heightened emotional state. The same can be said with the other characters.
BLUES HARP GREEN could have been an entertaining read. But it fell short of emotionally connecting the characters to the readers by being, ironically, unnecessarily too emotional in some parts of the story. But, there is something to say with what Francie learned at the end and it will leave you pondering about human connections. The story could have had more of that.


The Recommendation

Music, tennis, teenagers and their families. This book is for those who like reading a little bit of all of these. And if you like reading a book about human connections, give this book a try.


The Rating Reviewer Rating: 2.5 Stars

2.5 Stars (out of 5): Needs work. This book has promise, and with the help of an editing team, it could easily be reworked into a professional manuscript.

The Pros & Cons

Pros: Humor, Prose
Cons: Character Developement, Predictable, Very Short

The Links

More about Blues Harp Green on UBR

The Reviewer

Kate Ashley

Kate is a female carbon-based life form in her late teens with a lifelong dedication of finding the One True Unicorn… or Unicorns, if there are many. She can be found blogging at Plethoric Thoughts.

Visit Kate Ashley‘s website.

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