Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Blue Jay by Michelle Schlicher

The Blue Jay

The Blue Jay by Michelle Schlicher
Print and e-book, 207 pages
Published: September 20, 2015 by Michelle Schlicher

A debut novel about a young woman and a young boy scarred by abandonment who find they share an unlikely bond.

Josie McCray was eight years old when her mother left. Now a young teacher, she guards her heart carefully but finds herself pulled to mentor a child in need.

Payton Runnells was 12 when his mother left. Now in foster care, he’s slow to trust anyone but senses that Josie might somehow understand the grief that grips him.

As Josie and Payton lower their walls and forge a friendship, they begin to open themselves up to all life has to offer.


My thoughts about The Blue Jay ~~ 

First of all, don't you just love this cover? I know I do! 

And then the story is just amazing! I fell in love with Josie and Payton and I loved watching their relationship grow. What a great friendship they had and they were really good for each other. 

Josie's mother left when Josie was just 8 years old. No explanation, just walked out of her life. That's got to be tough on a little girl and how could she not put walls up around herself to protect her heart? 
'But your mother always had a piece of herself that she kept hidden away. When I first met her, she was a firecracker, but she would also get quite morose at times, and I would have a hard time trying to snap her out of it. It was like she went away in her mind for a bit. She always came back, but as time went on, it took longer for her to find the cheery part of herself again.'
Josie is a good teacher and she loves her job, but she feels like she wants to do more with her life so she starts thinking about becoming a mentor. She is immediately drawn to Payton's story, which is so similar to her own. Payton's mom left him standing outside of school when he was just 12 years old. 
'She didn't stop - why didn't she stop.'
As Josie and Payton get to know each other and start to build some trust, they teach each other so much about life, love, and forgiveness. Their experience is an example of mentoring done right. It's not all smooth sailing but they are there for each other. And they learn so much from one another.  
'She was finally living it, finally a participant and not just a spectator.'
I also loved the relationship that Josie had with Louis, an older gentleman she meets on a plane. Louis has cancer and the two of them develop a friendship while he is in the hospital undergoing his treatments. He has lived a long life and is a very wise man. He becomes a great friend to Josie. 
'Change was happening all the time. She couldn't stop it. And, really, she didn't want to.'
There is only one negative comment I need to make about The Blue Jay. The story was fabulous, with great characters. I just wish it would have been a longer story, so that I could have spent more time with everyone and could have watched their relationships develop even more. Ok, so maybe that's not so negative. 

Anyway, great job Michelle, on your debut novel. I look forward to reading more of your stories. 

I received a copy of The Blue Jay from the author in exchange for my honest opinion. 

About the author

Michelle’s debut novel, The Blue Jay, was released in September 2015. Michelle Schlicher is an American fiction writer and the author of The Blue Jay.

A graduate of Iowa State University, she subsequently worked for the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau for six years in the communications and marketing department. During that time she became involved with a local mentoring organization, which had a huge impact on her life and became the foundation for which The Blue Jay is based.

Michelle grew up in Iowa and still resides there with her husband and two children.

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