Author: Steven James
Series: Blur Trilogy
Release Date: May 2014
Reviewer: Jessica Higgins
A fast paced thriller for teens by a master story teller. James knows how to tell a great story.
Daniel Byers is an all American kid living in a small isolated town in Wisconsin. When the body of a high school freshman is found in Lake Algonquin Daniel is shocked by how he is affected by her death. Then he starts seeing things. Everyone believes that Emily Jackson’s death was an accident but before long things start looking differently for Daniel. At her funeral he has a vision of her and his world starts to come apart. He is convinced that her appearance to him is more than just a dream or hallucination, Daniel begins to look carefully into her death and the more he looks the harder it is to distinguish what is real and what is fantasy. Daniel confides in his friends but even that isn’t enough to keep him from questioning his sanity. What is real and what is a Blur and how can he tell the difference?
Steven James is a master story teller. It doesn’t matter what story he is telling, it is always worth the time to read it. When I heard he was doing a Young adult series I was excited, there are not nearly enough YA books out there that are worth the time it takes to read them. James weaves a compelling story that will keep even reluctant readers turning the page. The chapters are short which helps quicken the pace. Every time you are ready to put it down you see how short the next chapter is and think it wouldn’t hurt to read just one more, which always turns into more than just that one. There is no tricky language or anything that makes it confusing to keep going. The main character Daniel is one of those kids that in high school everyone wants to be friends with but unless you are in with that group it rarely happens. But here, James made Daniel popular yet relatable. A little unbelievable at times but something nice to strive for.
With all the books out there it is hard to find a clean good read to recommend to kids but this one can be recommended without thinking twice about it. Even though you are dealing with finding who murdered a young girl there is never anything graphic or any harsh language that would be inappropriate. Wish there were more writers like Steven James.