Tuesday 30 November 2021

Blue Running by Lori Ann Stephens Blog Tour

 I'm quite partial to a coming of age story.

Many I'm used to reading focus on teenagers and some sort of romance with a little drama thrown in for good measure.

However author Lori Ann Stephens has written something. Blue Running is her debut novel in the UK and what a story it is.

What I'd describe as a dystopian YA thriller, Lori certainly knows how to grab a readers attention.


Fourteen-year-old Bluebonnet Andrews is on the run across the Republic of Texas. An accident with a gun killed her best friend but everyone in the town of Blessing thinks it was murder. Even her father - the town's drunken deputy - believes she did it. Now, she has no choice but to run.

In Texas, murder is punishable by death. There's no one to help her. Her father is incapable and her mother left the state on the last flight to America before the secession. Blue doesn't know where she is but she's determined to track her down. First she has to get across the lawless Republic and over the wall that keeps everyone in. On the road she meets Jet, a pregnant young woman of Latin American heritage. Jet is secretive about her past but she's just as determined as Blue to get out of Texas before she's caught and arrested.

Together, the two form an unlikely kinship as they make their way past marauding motorcycle gangs, the ever watchful Texas Rangers, and armed strangers intent on abducting them - or worse. When Blue and Jet finally reach the wall, will they be able to cross the border, or will they be shot down in cold blood like the thousands who have gone before them? Some things are worth dying for.

This is a book that had me intrigued by the blurb and by the time I'd read the opening two pages, I just knew I had to know more about Blue and just where her journey would lead.

Blessing is where Blue resides.

All residents carry guns (including many children). This is considered the norm but to Blue this isn't the life she wants to lead.

This is a fourteen year old who dreams of finding her mother after her leaving for a better, safer life many years ago. This is also a teenager who wishes for freedom from the hand she's been dealt.

I felt for Bluebonnet instantly.

A drunk cop for a dad, little money to survive, which also spirals to her not having any friends. She is essentially an outcast.

And after an unfortunate incident with her firearm, Blue finds herself on the run. But not just running from her misfortunes, she's running towards her dreams.

Blue Running is what I'd describe as unique.

Our main protagonist is at times naive but she is also determined and brave. I was in awe at her tenacity and willingness to carry on regardless. For someone so young, she didn't lack in belief to do and be better.

I don't want to describe this as simply a coming of age story because in reality by the end of the tale, Blue still has a lot of growing up to do as she's yet to experience so many things. This is really a story of a girl who is simply trying to survive in a corrupt and dangerous world. 

Tough lessons are learnt but amongst all the hardship, there is goodness to be found.

Kindness is in the least expected places and brighter days are there for the taking.

By the time I finished this novel, I felt hopeful and inspired. The feeling that there's more to life if I only had the courage to climb over the walls that I put up inside of myself.

Highly recommended!

If you don't believe me, why not follow the rest of the blog tour for more insights into this gripping novel.



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