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Blog Tours book reviews

Blog Tour: Blue Running by Lori Ann Stephens

Published: December 2nd, 2021
Publisher: Moonflower Books
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Coming-of-Age Fiction
Format: Hardcover, Kindle, Audiobook

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for this compelling dystopian thriller. Thank you to Sofia at Midas PR for the invitation to take part and to Moonflower Books for the gifted ARC.

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SYNOPSIS:

In the new Republic of Texas, guns are compulsory and nothing is forgiven. Blue Running is a gripping coming-of-age thriller for fans of Station Eleven and Thelma and Louise.

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.

Blue Running pulls no punches. A fast-paced, page-turning, chilling book which looks unflinchingly at what the future could hold.

A novel for both adults and young adults, Blue Running is gripping and addictive from the first page. Readers will cheer for Blue and Jet in their pell-mell rush for freedom.

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MY REVIEW:

“I didn’t know where I was running. I just knew who I was running from.”

Blue Running is a compelling coming-of-age novel that is like reading a dystopian version of Thelma & Louise.  In the new Republic of Texas it is compulsory to carry a gun, residents are prevented from crossing into America by the Wall, abortion, homosexuality and Islam are illegal and many crimes are punishable by death.  

After the accidental death of her best friend, fourteen-year-old Bluebonnet (Blue) Andrews is accused of murder and goes on the run, determined to find her mother who left on one of the last flights out of the Republic.  When Blue meets Jet, a secretive girl who is also on the run, the two decide to travel together, forming an unlikely bond and protecting each other from traffickers, gangs and the law.  Will the pair make it to America safely?  Or will they be caught or shot down before they get there?

I don’t often read dystopian fiction, but this book’s synopsis really piqued my interest.  All the same, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading, but ended up totally gripped and immersed in this well-written thriller.  The new Republic is brilliantly imagined and feels sadly believable.  It was far too easy for me to see how a part of the US could end up subject to such a regime and also suffering such lawlessness.  

Blue and Jet are great characters who are easy to root for and I was all-in, absorbed in their dangerous journey and desperate to know if they made it to safety.  Neither girl has had an easy life and they are both all alone in the world and facing literal life and death situations when they meet.  Jet is a little more worldly than Blue and I was glad she found someone with that wisdom to help her in her travels.  

A compelling, tense and moving story that deals with some sensitive and difficult topics, I would recommend this refreshing and riveting debut.  

Rating: ✮✮✮✮✰

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MEET THE AUTHOR:

Lori Ann Stephens is an award-winning author whose novels for children and adults include Novalee and the Spider Secret, Some Act of Vision, and Song of the Orange Moons. Her short stories have appeared in Glimmer Train Stories, The Chicago Tribune’s “Nelson Algren Awards,” and other literary presses. A lifelong Texan, she’s seen the best and worst of her home state and has come to the conclusion that Texans are truly fabulist at heart. She teaches creative writing and critical reasoning at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. 

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BUY THE BOOK:

Waterstones*| Bookshop.org*| Amazon*
*These are affiliate links

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Please check out the reviews from the other bloggers taking part in the tour.

Thanks for reading Bibliophiles ☺️ Emma xxx

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