~ The Blurb ~
A year after graduating from high school, nineteen-year-old Emma Ward feels lost. She has spent most of her life trying to please her frigid, miserable mother – studying hard, getting good grades, avoiding the whole teenage rebellion thing – and now she feels she has no identity beyond that. Because she spent so many years working hard and planning every moment of her life, she doesn't have any friends, has never had a boyfriend, and basically doesn't know who she is or what she really wants from life. Working two part-time jobs to save money for college hasn't helped her make decisions about her future, so she decides it's time for a change. She leaves home to live with her free-spirited, slightly eccentric Aunt Daisy in a small town that makes Emma feel like she's stepped back in time.
When Emma meets Nicholas Shaw, everything changes – he's unlike anyone she's ever met before, the kind of man she didn't even know existed in the 21st century. Carefree and spirited like Daisy, Nicholas teaches Emma to appreciate life, the beauty around her, and to just let go and live. Between Daisy and Nicholas, Emma feels like she belongs somewhere for the first time in her life, and realizes that you don't always need a plan – sometimes life steers you where you're meant to be.
Life is wonderful, an endless string of blue sky days, until Nicholas is diagnosed with cancer, and life changes once again for Emma in ways she never thought possible. Now it's time for her to help Nicholas the way he's helped her. Emma will have to use her new-found strength, and discover along the way if love really is enough to get you through.
~ My Thoughts ~
I added Blue Sky Days to my TBR list back in January of 2012 because I fell in love with the blurb in the cover immediately. I hadn’t bothered to read the book description again before starting in on it and to tell you the truth was a little devastated to find that Nicholas, this unbelievably kind, caring, and chivalrous character who I fell in love with had Cancer. I’m glad though because if I had of read the blurb before starting and remembered that Nicholas would get sick, I don’t know if I would have enjoyed the first half of the novel so much because I would be too busy waiting for the other shoe to drop!
Blue Sky Days was an absolutely beautiful love story, but also a true emotional rollercoaster. It was fun, heartbreaking, and uplifting all at once. I am not the kind of person who tears up during an emotional read but there was just something about this novel, perhaps I just loved the characters too much, that had me alternating between smiling like a fool and reaching for the Kleenex box. This is a book that you will want to read over and over again simply because of the range of emotions that it plays on!
I absolutely loved the characters in this novel. It was a real joy to watch Emma as she grew both in her confidence but also in her acceptance of the fact that her relationship with her mother was not healthy and despite her best efforts was most likely not going to change. She went on a journey during this novel and I was so happy to see the character that she became. Nicholas was a truly inspiring character. His live life to the fullest attitude was refreshing and it was so nice to see a male lead that was actually worth swooning for. He was kind, compassionate, full of life, positive and most importantly treated Emma (and everyone else for that matter) with the upmost respect and dignity. I always feel the need to point out these traits in male characters when I see them, because it seems like these sorts of characters are currently not the norm and in my opinion not seen enough! The secondary characters (if you can even call them that because they felt just as much a part of this novel as Emma and Nicholas) were also wonderful to read about and nicely developed. Daisy is the kind of aunt or friend that just about everyone would love to have in their life. Emma was so blessed to have a family member like Daisy to love her unconditionally while she searched for those things that were missing her life. I have rarely read a book where I loved the characters as much as I did in Blue Sky Days.
At first I thought that some of the language felt a bit formal or forced but as I read on I realized how well it fit with the description of this small sleepy town and the characterization of Nicholas. But I did have a few reservations about the narrative style as I was reading, but they didn’t really hinder my love of the story at all. At times I felt as though I was being told the story, rather than shown what was happening. I love to be able to lose myself in a story and part of the fun in that is being made to feel as though you are actually there – a lot of the time I felt as though the story were being recounted to me by Emma in a passive way so that I couldn’t really be present in the story. And that really is my only read complaint about this lovely novel.
At the end of the day, I believe that when it comes to a good book, and a great story, it all comes down to what you felt when you were reading – or if you were able to feel anything at all. Blue Sky Days definitely had me feeling an extremely wide range of emotions and for that reason I just couldn’t put it down. I brought my Kindle everywhere with me for few days that I spent reading this novel because if I had a free moment I had to be reading about Emma and Nicholas. I loved the genuine characters, the tight family bonds, the sweet story line and the fact that this book made me smile, a lot! If you are looking for a beautiful contemporary fiction novel full of love, laughter, and emotion I highly recommend that you check out Blue Sky Days, it is a book not to be missed!
I received an e-book of Blue Sky Days from the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.