Review: Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron
‘It was our 9/11, our Princess Diana, our JFK. You’d always remember where you were when you heard about Being No. 1.’
Ten days after Jaya’s mother died, Beings started falling from the sky. Over the course of eight months 85 Beings fall, and no one knows where they’re coming from, who they are or why they’re falling. The worst part? Every single Being has died on impact. They’re physically unable to answer the questions on everyone’s lips.
Jaya’s father takes her and her sister, Rani, to Edinburgh for the summer, convinced that he’s figured out the exact time and place where the next Being will fall. But although he’s got the location spot on, his timing is a few days out… Which is why Jaya is the only one who sees the Being fall.
And this one? She’s alive.
I think you’ll agree that Out of the Blue has an utterly unique premise, but I was apprehensive before I read it. It’s been years since the YA angel trend and I wasn’t sure it was ready to make a comeback.
However, this is not your stereotypical fallen angel story. Yes, the Beings can be described as fallen angels – they have huge, shiny wings and fall from an unknown location in the sky – but there’s far more mystery to the Beings. In fact, the paranormal aspect of the plot is left open-ended.
If you’re hoping to read this to find the answer to the question of whether heaven exists, you’re out of luck. Sophie Cameron doesn’t preach or force her opinions on her readers, even though she’s writing about a subject which is bound to spark discussions about religion and the afterlife. Out of the Blue gives you the opportunity to explore your thoughts on these subjects, and with each of the characters having different thoughts on the matter you’re bound to find someone who you agree with.
The Beings are one of the least interesting aspects of Out of the Blue, which is saying something because they’re utterly fascinating! But this novel contains so many different things which aren’t commonly tackled in YA (specifically single father families, which I can only remember seeing featured in a handful of YA novels) that there’s bound to be something that appeals to everyone.
I often have trouble getting into stories that feature magical realism, but I was drawn in by Jaya’s sexuality: lesbian relationships are still underrepresented in YA, and it’s refreshing to encounter a character who is so matter-of-fact about their orientation. Jaya’s sexuality wasn’t a plot point, it was just a fact about her. I highly appreciated that.
There is definitely potential for the story to be continued, and I sincerely hope that it is. Well, in some ways it already is: Cameron’s wife has created an interactive Map of the Falls site, which will eventually be updated to contain descriptions of each of the Beings. That’s dedication for you! Fingers crossed that these little descriptions will eventually be extended into novellas, because I would love to read more of the Beings stories.
If you’re interested in learning more about Out of the Blue, check it out on Goodreads. If you decide to buy a copy, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link: I’ll earn a few pennies from your purchase. Thank you!