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Blue Sun, Yellow Sky by Jamie Jo Hoang
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Blue Sun, Yellow Sky

by Jamie Jo Hoang

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The Short of It:

How much does what you see, impact who you are?

The Rest of It:

This is a question I’ve asked myself over the past few months. The eye issues, the eye injury and then my fear of going blind have all played a role in my anxiety over sight. My father lost his vision at the same age I am now and it’s been a fear of mine for a very long time.

So what do I do? I accept a book for review about a young artist who is going blind. Sometimes, books find you at exactly the right point in time.

Aubrey Johnson, a talented artist, is told by her doctor that she has retinitis pigmentosa and will be blind in a mere six to eight weeks. Stunned by the diagnosis, she decides to join her old friend Jeff on a last-minute trip around the world.

Aubrey’s situation is made more complex by the fact that she’s a painter and to a painter, being able to see and being able to render colors properly on the canvas is an absolute necessity. This is why the trip is so important to her. At each destination, she attempts to recreate the scenery before her and at times, she’s terrified of the end result because as each day passes she has slightly less vision than the day before.

What’s great about this book is that it’s hopeful and not at all sad or depressing. Aubrey’s panic over losing her sight is tangible but at the same time, she tries hard to reinvent herself as an artist. It helps that she has supportive people around her and there is an increased level of appreciation for visiting a locale, knowing that you will never see that place the same way again.

I loved the trip around the word (China, India, Israel, Jordan, Brazil, Peru). Aubrey and Jeff stop to visit with old friends and slowly, Aubrey comes to the realization that all is not lost.

If I had one criticism to offer, I’d say that the ending came up a little too fast for me. I wanted to spend a little more time with Aubrey but other than that, I enjoyed the book very much. It gave me a lot to think about and reminded me to appreciate what I have. Ultimately, it’s a feel good story and we can all use a story like it once in a while.

You can buy the book for your Kindle now but the paperback comes out later this week. This is her first novel!

For more reviews, visit my blog: Book Chatter. ( )
  tibobi | Apr 21, 2015 |
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"Hailed as 'One of the best technical painters of our time' by an L.A. Times critic, 27-year-old Aubrey Johnson is finally gaining traction with her work. But as she weaves through what should be a celebration of her art, a single nagging echo of her doctor's words refuses to stay silent-- there is no cure. In less than eight weeks Aubrey is going blind. Traveling on a one-way ticket around the world with childhood friend Jeff Anderson, Aubrey is in complete denial. But a blindfolded game of tasting foreign foods in China jolts her into confronting the reality of her situation. So begins her quest. In this adult coming-of-age-story, Aubrey struggles to make sense of her crippling disability. But on her journey she finds a deeper understanding of herself and her life-- sometimes fragmented and complex, but always with relentless truth"--Page 4 of cover.… (more)

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