I would like to thank author Jamie Jo Hoang for my copy of this book. Jamie is a very lovely lady and I am very happy to share my review of this book with you.
Hailed as “One of the best technical painters of our time” by an L.A. Times critic, 27 year-old, Aubrey Johnson’s work is finally gaining traction. 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.
Travelling 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 starts out at odds with her crippling disability and has a hard time accepting. help. But on her journey she finds a deeper understanding of herself and her life—sometimes fragmented and complex, but always with relentless truth
So, to start this review firstly I have to say….. I loved this book, this book is amazing, you should all read this book straight away!
Aubrey is a brilliant painter, established and recognised in art galleries as extremely talented. Then she gets the news that she has a medical condition called retinus pigmentosa, in other words, she is going blind and there is no cure. Worse still, it will happen in 6 to 8 weeks. Aubrey decides to do something at this time, quite extraordinary. She decides to spend the next 6 weeks travelling the world with an old school friend Jeff.
The story is about overcoming challenges and living life to the best that you can. Aubrey is an inspirational character. She is brave, yet identifiable. The author writes Aubrey in a realistic way, she doesn’t just accept her condition and enjoy her travels. This is a journey of self discovery and as we travel on Aubrey’s journey with her, the reader will experience an explosion of their senses through your own imagination of the authors words. I could imagine the markets in India, the saltiness of the Dead Sea and the exhaustion of hiking to Machu Picchu.
Some highlights of Aubrey’s travels include an Indian market where she and Jeff feed each other very strange foods while blind folded and unknowing of what is going into their mouths. We also see the artistic side of Aubrey as she still paints as she travels. Painting and art are ingrained in her, as she revels in the amazing colours that she can buy in the market. Dairylide yellow and dioxaxine purple! As I mentioned, an explosion for the readers senses! Aubrey does one painting with a blue sun and a yellow sky, hence the book title. We hear her reflections on this and gain further understanding of her character.
We also hear a bit of history about the places that Aubrey visits. This book has everything!
As a British reader, I really liked that the author added in a bit about British / American speech. Aubrey and Jeff meet some British travellers, and they speak about the ‘strange’ things that British people say. This made me smile. 🙂 (especially because the author is American).
This book is so lovely that I have taken some quotes to share with you. I found them an extremely enjoyable part of the book, but also inspirational. I hope you do too.
“Everything that’s broken was beautiful at one time. And our mistakes make us better people”.
“Everything in life, our thoughts, our emotions are always fragmented. For me, art brings it all back together. With any kind of art you can feel something and empathise with it on a very deep level without having to put restrictive words to it”.
And my favourite quote of the book, which really sums up the whole story for me:
“Just because you can’t see the stage, doesn’t mean you can’t dance on it!“. How amazing is that.
Thank you Jamie for your wonderful words. This is a book, I will be keeping and reading again and again. I loved it!
And here is the book trailer clip. If my review doesn’t make you want to read this book, then this trailer really will……