Book Review: The Other Side of Blue by Valerie O. Patterson
By: Jasmin Christian
The Other Side of Blue, written by Valerie O. Patterson is a coming of age story with a twist. Cyan, a fifteen-year old girl, is a bit rebellious after her father’s death. Her mother is a very proper woman who loves art. This poetically written tale begs for the reader’s attention. With mystery added to the mix, it is not the usual coming of age story. Cyan spends her summer time on the island of Curacao with her stepsister Kammi. She is partial toward Kammi; never too excited when talking to her stepsister.
Her mom and Kammi are very nice in their interactions together. There is a negative relationship with her mom, especially after her dad died. They silently continue their lives, almost as if nothing had happened. Also her mom never tells her anything directly, she only makes strong implications. For example, when her mom tries to get her to stop eating junk. She says things like, “black makes you look thinner” or “I left a Lean frozen dinner for you.” One person on the island closest in age to the stepsisters is Mayur.
She (who is she?) thinks of him as a spoiled brat who enjoys bragging about himself. Kammi aspires to be a painter exactly as her new mother paints. Together Kammi and Cyan go on journeys away from their summer home. Along with coping with the loss of her father, she must learn to let hope in.
Mayur knows something that no one else knows in relation to Cyan’s father. Not only does he know but he has a piece of evidence as well. Cyan is curious to know “what he thinks he knows,” about her father. She must find ways to please him and get the information that he holds from her. Although she hates Mayur very much, she cares about her father too much to let that stop her. This is due to feelings that there was something more to her father’s death than a simple boat accident. There was a mysterious way in which the lawyer closed the case.
Cyan kept safe her father’s book the History of Language. She did not want her mom to throw the book away. The book was found at the site of her father’s deadly accident. He was a Language professor. Her mother shows clear irritation in wake of the numerous letters received about the death investigation. Cyan too will be a detective for the case. Her name is a paint color that is a shade of blue. Also cyan is her mother’s favorite color, though Cyan does not believe she is her mom’s favorite. Especially not when Kammi arrives. The color blue, as told by Cyan, is the first color seen when light breaks through darkness. For her, this fact is experienced metaphorically; she is looking for enlightenment until she discovers herself.