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Reviewed by Katherine Williams for Readers' Favorite
Blues Harp Green is a young adult novel by Nicole Schubert. The novel’s protagonist, Francie Millis - aka FM - is a 16-year-old girl who lives in LA. Francie’s dream is to become the ultimate tennis player. She tries so hard to focus on tennis and only tennis to distract herself from her father’s drunken ways. One day, Francie injures her knee and her tennis dreams suddenly fly out the window. She seems to lose herself until she finally meets Chet Jones, a charming yet quirky lead singer who makes her happy, just like tennis did. Chet and Francie discover that they have an amazing connection, although this connection can only keep Francie distracted for so long. No matter what she does, Francie learns that things such as a sport or a blossoming relationship ultimately cannot distract her from real life and how she is feeling. Even though that might not always feel right to her, the point is that she does not always have to have her whole life figured out and, honestly, that is okay.
Blues Harp Green is a refreshing young adult novel that will make you feel like a teenager again. Francie Millis is a fun, fresh voice that you will grow to love by the end of the novel. Through the classic young adult exploration of sexuality, alcoholism and even sports, Francie guides you through her life in a way that keeps you on your toes. You will want to give her advice, hug her, and even shake her throughout the novel, and I applaud the fact that the main character is so relatable. I also really enjoyed the fact that Francie was so focused on tennis. I believe the sports aspect is what sets this book apart as she not only deals with her family problems, but she also deals with her tennis problems. The other characters are also fun and well written; Chet and Francie have an undeniable chemistry that will set your heart on fire.
Nicole Schubert's writing is admirable as she does a very good job of creating the novel’s young adult tone. The pacing is quick but in a good way that makes you want to read the book in one sitting. She does a very good job of pulling the many emotions that teenagers go through into her narrative, noting not only the sad and confused moments, but also the happy and proud moments. The writing in this book does a very good job of sucking you in and keeping you focused on these characters’ lives, as well as making you feel attached to them and their stories. I suggest this to book to any teen or adult who is looking for a book about self exploration and discovering who you are. This book teaches you that even though it may seem like life is tough right now, no matter what happens, you will be able to get through it.