Blaze by Laurie Boyle Crompton
Release Date – February 1, 2013
Publisher Website - Raincoast Books
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 309 pages
My Rating- 2.5/5
**Obtained for review from publisher**
Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Blaze is tired of spending her life on the sidelines, drawing comics and feeling invisible. She's desperate for soccer star Mark to notice her. And when her BFF texts Mark a photo of Blaze in sexy lingerie, it definitely gets his attention. After a hot date in the back of her minivan, Blaze is flying high, but suddenly Mark's feelings seem to have been blasted by a freeze-ray gun, and he dumps her. Blaze gets her revenge by posting a comic strip featuring uber-villain Mark the Shark. Mark then retaliates by posting her "sext" photo, and, overnight, Blaze goes from Super Virgin Girl to Super Slut. That life on the sidelines is looking pretty good right about now..This review is a weird one for me. There are parts of this book I really enjoyed, and other parts that I couldn’t get into at all. The writing is fine, and the characters were certainly believable. I kept going back and forth between a 2.5 and a 3 star rating, and ultimately had to go with my original feeling.
There is no other reason other than this book was simply not for me. I was disconnected from the story, the characters, and it impacted my overall enjoyment. The writing lends itself perfectly to the quirky vibe of the story, and was enjoyable. I would try other novels by this author as I think perhaps it was this particular book was not a good match with me.
Blaze is a fairly typical teenager girl with a fairly typical teenage problem - highschool rumours, and the unfortunate realization that the guy you were into is a bit of a jerk. She’s comic book obsessed, and I loved her geeky traits. She seemed nice enough, a little too trusting, but a good friend and older sister. She seemed to have two sides to her though. This tough confident side, and the meek, unsure side. She wavered and couldn’t make up her mind until things had already gone too far. I know plenty of people like this, so it was believable, but her personality seemed at odds sometimes.
Mark, the charming heart breaker. He seemed fine at first, but since you know, even before it happens, that it won’t end well it was easy to dislike him immediately. I can see where Blaze, an inexperienced girl with a crush, could be taken in by someone like Mark.
Communication is such a large part of the story. Communicating what you really want, and not taking things at face value. These are all things that we hopefully learn to do as we grow older. Blaze is given an eye opening lesson the hard way. She realizes that all the other people who get gossiped about may not be what everyone says they are.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen worse friends than the ones Blaze has. One of them proceeds to take a sexy picture of Blaze without her permission, and text it to Mark. Blaze gets upset, but not nearly as much as she deserves to. It’s a huge breech of trust and friendship and is just awful. Worst. Friends. Ever.
This novel really could be a ‘how to’ manual for making wrong decisions. I wouldn’t have minded so much if it had been presented another way. Blaze made me want to shake her, and explain to her why her actions were not a good idea. From hooking up with Mark, right up to her revenge plan it snowballed until I felt second hand embarrassment for her.
I adored Josh, Blaze’s younger brother. He’s smart, caring, and a voice of reason. It’s too bad Blaze doesn’t listen to his many warnings about his seemingly perfect coach. The brother/sister relationship is perfectly written and was one of my favourite parts of the novel.
Quentin, who in my opinion is the true love interest in the novel, is a sweet comic book shop worker who catches Blaze’s eye. Their banter is fun, and flirty. It contrasts the earlier interaction with Mark, showing just what a true connection is like.
While I didn’t love it, there is still a lot here to enjoy. I am sure others will devour it and hope for a sequel. In the end it was more of a disconnect with me, and the fact that perhaps I am not the right reader for this book.