Book Review: Blues for Zooey
ashley | I’ve been reading some pretty heavy material lately, books about spiritual hikes or terrorizing trips deep below the ocean’s surface, or an underground railroad for abused women. I wanted to lighten things up a bit with a nice, easygoing read, so I decided to pick up Blues for Zoey by Robert Paul Weston because I loved the cover art and it seemed influenced by music. Nothing comforts me more than music.
What I hope for from books like this is something I don’t have to think too much about. But Blues for Zoey wasn’t a simple book. Weston turns a simple coming of age love story into a puzzle waiting to be solved. He uses that exact metaphor in the opening of the book. It’s not ground breaking, but it’s enough to set an otherwise expected story off to a unique start.
It’s told from the point of view of Kaz, a recently dumped high schooler who works part time in a laundry mat and has a severe aversion to seeing blood. His male perspective is refreshing and humourous, a typical teenage boy with typical teenage boy thoughts and obsessions. He definitely keeps a roster of interesting acquaintances which add some extra colour to the book.
I’m a real sucker for books about young, spunky, misfit girls and Zoey is exactly that. She had that I-Don’t-Give-A-Crap attitude that I love, she was a musician and a bundle of mystery. Though I found her to be a bit too mouthy sometimes, like overcompensating to pretend she’s more carefree than she is, overall I thought she was a pretty cool character and a vibrant interest for Kaz. And the mystery surrounding her makes up the bulk of the book, the thread that ties everything together.
The book also draws on some rare and quirky elements. His mother’s disease, for example. Not that diseases and health issues are something to be made light of, but bypassing a mainstream ailment adds another unique aspect to an expectedly simple but thankfully not story. The Big Daddy tv reality show, is another example. Weston comes up with some pretty strange ideas and it’s interesting to think that all these seemingly random tidbits fit together. But it’s a puzzle, remember. The pieces have to fit together somehow.
Things definitely take quite a curve towards the end, a curve into a bit darker territory, but I actually kind of enjoyed the surprised twist, even if I did put the pieces together before the big reveal. Blues for Zoey moved along at a pretty quick pace and the book itself isn’t very long, so it was exactly the kind of refreshing break I needed in a book.
February 8, 2015