The Book That Made Me: James Mayhew 17/07/19
Out of the Blue
Seventeen-year-old Jaya has lost a lot recently: her mother, who died in a freak accident, and her first girlfriend, who has moved away without warning. At the same time, angels – or winged Beings – start falling from the sky, and the world is changed forever by it. Jaya’s father is obsessed with catching one. But it is Jaya who finds Teacake the angel, wounded but alive. She joins forces with Allie and Callum to protect the angel from those who would exploit her.
This is a unique, charming novel by a powerful writer who moves easily between abrasive teenage wit and unsentimental, lyrical insights into grief. The magical realism is brilliantly handled; Teacake the angel is an especially memorable and totally convincing character.
This assured novel stands out for the quality of its writing and imaginative vision, among the many other books about teenagers dealing with grief.
While there is one swear word and one kiss, Out of the Blue feels well suited to young teenage readers who are looking for a story with emotional depth as well as pace, and which provides an opportunity for discussion around ethics, death and religion.