Andrea reviews RAMONA BLUE by Julie Murphy, Harper Collins, 2017. Ramona Leroux was only 5 years when her family faced Hurricane Katrina and its horrific aftermath. They all survived the devastation but her family unit was destroyed, leaving her father to take care of Ramona and her older sister, Hattie, after their mom took off.

Since the hurricane, Ramona has developed her own style as a teenager. She knows she is already going to get some looks being 6’3″ so she figures she might as well as stand out more by dyeing her hair bright blue and liking girls. In her small town of Eulogy, Mississippi, Ramona is not winning any popularity contests. She  is especially depressed knowing her girlfriend, Grace, has returned home after their summer romance. When Ramona thinks she can’t sink any lower, her childhood friend, Freddie, comes back into her life, fortunately. Freddie doesn’t really understand why his childhood best friend can like girls so he and Ramona begin a secret relationship, kissing in the dark and holding hands in private. All this affection from a guy leaves Ramona even more confused about her sexuality.

Told in the true fashion of a socially awkward teenager who has the most tender heart, Ramona Blue only thinks she is tough. She will surprise you with her sensitivity, but more than that, she will surprise herself.