Official Review: Blue Summer by Jim Nichols

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Stephanie Elizabeth
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Latest Review: Blue Summer by Jim Nichols

Official Review: Blue Summer by Jim Nichols

Post by Stephanie Elizabeth »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Blue Summer" by Jim Nichols.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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While serving his sentence in a correctional facility, Calvin Shaw laments over the adversity that led to his incarceration—unresolved grief, addiction, and a tragic accident that ripped through his family many years ago.

Calvin was just a boy when his father was killed. His mother, Betty Shaw, was bitter and resentful about being widowed and left to raise their three children on her own. Much to the Shaw kids' dismay, she swiftly found a replacement by the name of Randy Pike. Pike was a despicable man who liked to drink and demanded respect by belittling and torturing the kids. Calvin's only reprieve was through his weekly music lessons.

His father's death opened the door to more tragedy and drove Calvin to self-medicate with alcohol to suppress a painful memory.

Julie, the barn, and Pike—it had been eating at him for years. What happened on that fateful day?

Blue Summer by Jim Nichols is a heart-wrenching story about one man's struggle to come to terms with his past. It is told from the first-person perspective and follows Calvin Shaw as he stumbles through life—desperate to seek refuge from the memories that haunt him. The chapters portray different periods in Calvin's life and do not follow a linear path. Still, the author has expertly woven ever-changing timelines into the story without confusing the reader.

My favorite part of this multidimensional book was the added layer of music; it added substance and contributed to Calvin's character evolution. Perhaps the only silver lining in his desolate life was his unwavering love and aptitude for playing the trumpet. His passion for music resonated with me—not because I have the same interest, but because I share the ability to escape reality through a creative outlet. I admired his capacity to tune out all of the negative noise in his head and let the melody whisk him away.

It was fascinating getting to know Calvin at various stages in his life—as a boy, through adulthood, and during his incarceration. I was especially impressed with the author's ability to overlap Calvin's thoughts from one chapter to the next.

While I have read many excellent books, very few have left a profound impact on me. After reading this immersive story, I have acquired a greater understanding of the world. It's enabled me to recognize the relationship between unresolved grief and addiction. Needless to say, I could not find anything that I disliked about the writing. Even more, it was professionally edited, which is why I have chosen to give Blue Summer four out of four stars—a perfect rating for an enthralling story.

If you are a reader who believes in the healing powers of music, this book would be an excellent choice. I would also recommend it to those drawn to flawed characters, particularly ones who are grappling with grief. I would not recommend the melancholy tale to young readers; the book is riddled with profanity and deals with some heavy-hitting topics like suicide, abuse, and addiction.

******
Blue Summer
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FABIAN_BATS
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Post by FABIAN_BATS »

Wow! that's a lot to take in. Your review summarizes the book quite nicely. I want to know more about Calvin and his journey. I have a passion for music also, and can relate with the protagonist in that regard. I look forward to reading this. Thanks for your review.
Fabian

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Stephanie Elizabeth
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Latest Review: Blue Summer by Jim Nichols

Post by Stephanie Elizabeth »

FABIAN_BATS wrote: ↑
15 Sep 2020, 06:44
Wow! that's a lot to take in. Your review summarizes the book quite nicely. I want to know more about Calvin and his journey. I have a passion for music also, and can relate with the protagonist in that regard. I look forward to reading this. Thanks for your review.
Thank you :)

Nqobile771
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Post by Nqobile771 »

What a sad childhood he had! Unresolved trauma has a way of eating at one's soul. Thanks for the captivating review.
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Olgamiell
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Post by Olgamiell »

Sad and difficult, yet very meaningful story. I'd love to read it. As you pointed out, it looks like one of these books that leave an impact long after one finishes to read them. Thank you for your review, it's a great one!

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Aurelia_2020
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Post by Aurelia_2020 »

Your review is wonderful. I gathered that someone's past may have a bad influence on their current and future lives especially if it wasn't pleasant. Seems like a very informative book.

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Post by Pluma »

It’s great that the author managed to incorporate all the different elements of the story without making it confusing for the reader. I’m intrigued by the subject of music and how it was woven into the storyline, along with all the other impactful topics. It sounds like an enthralling read. Thank you for your thorough and interesting review!

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SamaylaM
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Post by SamaylaM »

The premise of Blue Summer sounds so tragic! Calvin's story through the years and the incorporation of music intrigues me. Thank you for mentioning the professional editing as well. A great review! :)

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Stephanie Elizabeth
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Latest Review: Blue Summer by Jim Nichols

Post by Stephanie Elizabeth »

Nqobile771 wrote: ↑
15 Sep 2020, 07:48
What a sad childhood he had! Unresolved trauma has a way of eating at one's soul. Thanks for the captivating review.
Thanks for your comment :)

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