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Dark Blue: Color Me Lonely

Review

Dark Blue: Color Me Lonely

Melody Carlson has created an emotional touchstone resource for
female teen readers in her series titled True Colors. A prolific
author of over seventy books, and mom to two grown sons, Carlson
has taken a reminiscent look back at her own teen years to write
this story. The result is terrific, and young adults will find
Carlson's fiction closer to "true" life than they might
anticipate.


The story's primary message is based on the excruciatingly painful
emotion of loneliness and how it can overwhelm, undermine, and skew
the ability to function in a healthy way. Kara Hendricks is a quiet
girl, but when outgoing Jordan Ferguson takes her hand (way back in
kindergarten) and announces her loyalty, Kara and Jordan become
best friends for the better part of eight years. Fast forward to
high school: Jordan now announces to the still shy and reticent
Kara that she's going to try out for the cheerleading squad. Kara
is abhorrent but supportive. Shockingly, Jordan does not make the
team, to Kara's clear relief. The following year Jordan will not be
dissuaded and tries out a second time; she makes the team, to
Kara's obvious discomfort.


What follows is not so unusual in the basic fictional formula,
where two former best friends take their separate paths --- one's
heart is broken (the one left behind) and the other moves on to
better and brighter things. This story aptly describes the
day-to-day heartaches that Kara experiences as a friend no longer
needed or wanted in Jordan's now-popular social set. While the book
could read blandly and predictably, Carlson does some creative
wordplay and continually draws readers smack-dab into Kara's
volatile emotional journey, thus ensuring a lively, engaging read.
Using such emotionally charged phrases as "...another part of me is
dark blue, and I feel buried alive in a deep and bitter grief," and
"I am lonely. Unspeakably lonely. And there is this dull empty ache
inside of me. Sometimes I think it might actually kill me. But
perhaps that would be a relief," Carlson successfully gets her
readers' attention.


DARK BLUE: COLOR ME LONELY follows Kara though the school year as
she works to survive her emotional funk. She meets new people,
slowly engages with them, and learns about true friendship. In the
midst of her deepest feelings of despondency, Kara reaches out to
God and makes a connection with Christ --- her now "best friend."
The author explores Kara's newfound faith tenderly yet with a frank
transparency that works well with the current tempo of the entire
text. Young adults will not only appreciate the candor with which
this topic is explored, they'll find themselves seeing social
situations in a whole new (and enlightened) way.


   -







Reviewed by Michele Howe on October 18, 2011

Dark Blue: Color Me Lonely
by Melody Carlson

  • Publication Date: December 19, 2003
  • Genres: Christian, Fiction
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: NavPress
  • ISBN-10: 1576835294
  • ISBN-13: 9781576835296