Blue Sun, Yellow Sky
By Jamie Jo Hoang
(Jamie Hoang, Paperback, 9781634433716, April 25, 2015, 316pp.)
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. To learn more about Jamie Jo Hoang, visit her website! This is her first novel!
Source: Sent to me by the author.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.
17 thoughts on “Review: Blue Sun, Yellow Sky”
That sounds like it had the potential to be sad – I’m glad to see it wasn’t.
Sounds like a wonderful book! I have some eye issues (nothing serious) and losing my sight has always been a somewhat irrational fear of mine.
I just read that Rosanne Barr announced that she will be blind soon due to illness. It’s a fear of mine given my dad’s health issues and loss of sight at such a young age. He was diabetic and did not manage the disease and had a load of other issues but it still scares me.
Hmmm…I might enjoy this one too. I understand your fears about your sight. I have those as well. Maybe because our world is tied up in the written word and we think, then what? Anyway, good to hear that this book gave you some things to consider and think over. It sounds very promising.
And eyesight seems like such a fragile thing. Many things are but yeah, I’m sure it has to do with books and reading and thinking what the heck would I do without them?
Oh, it sounds beautiful and tragic and definitely worthwhile! This wasn’t on my radar – and what a shame – so thanks! It’s definitely something I want to read. Wonderful review!
Ramona, I rarely accept novels directly from the author but I am glad I did in this case.
I’m so glad that there was a hopefulness in this one. I had no idea that your feared going blind for so long! Eyesight can be very fragile, and I’m glad that this book was not too much to take for you personally.
I’ve read a couple books about people with that eye disease, though they were not artists…It would be interesting to see how she coped.
I remember how difficult it was for my dad, even though it was a slow process and he had some time to prepare for it. Once his sight was gone, it was like he had to learn everything all over again. He actually got hit by a car TWICE because he refused to use his cane. I take this one medication for lupus that can cause eye damage. That is why I have to see the doctor so often because if the eye changes at all, I have to stop taking it and it’s really the only med for lupus to date and it’s actually an anti-malarial which just so happens to help with lupus.
Ti: First of all, thank you so much for taking a chance on an my indie book. Without bloggers like you it would be impossible to be a self-published author. I am especially humbled that you chose to read my book given your medical history and I’m glad you found the book uplifting! While doing the research for this book I read a lot of blogs written by blind people (and met a couple as well) and the one thing that they all had in common was a strong drive to not let it affect how they lived. They inspired me, and I hope Aubrey inspires others. And I cannot say this enough, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You for reading! =)
I can speak for a lot of bloggers, it helps us decide what to take or read when there is an excerpt available. I remember reading the excerpt and thinking, yes… definitely something I want to check out.
Thanks for the review copy. I enjoyed the book very much.
It sounds truly lovely!
Oddly, I just read a book where one of the characters is going blind. I’ll go ahead and tell you the title, even though this is a bit of a spoiler. (I hope you will forgive me.) It’s a very nice story: Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center.
Oh, no problem at all. I’ve heard of that one but had no idea what it was about.
Going blind is one of my biggest fears, but I have no reason for being so terrified of it besides loving to see things and read. This book sounds interesting, and I love the idea of a trip around the world for any reason, but this one is especially good.
It seems like a lot of us fear losing our sight. I suppose since we are readers we tend to think about stuff like this.I say… start up another book and make the best use of it. LOL.
Sounds like this is a very thoughtful book! Although my vision is just slightly bad, I worry too all the time about becoming blind. I also have hearing problems, so I worry about being deaf as well. It’s good to worry sometimes – I find I appreciate my eyes and ears better then, at least for a little while.