Review/ The Perculiar Night of the Blue Heart

Review/ The Perculiar Night of the Blue HeartThe Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart by Lauren DeStefano
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on June 6, 2017
Pages: 224

From New York Times bestselling author Lauren DeStefano comes a gorgeous tale of friendship found and fought for against a haunting danger. It's just right for fans of Serafina and the Black Cloak.
Lionel is a wild boy, who doesn't much like to be around other people. He'd rather be a purring cat or a wolf stalking the woods.
Marybeth is a nice girl. She doesn't need to be told to comb her hair or brush her teeth, and she's kind to everyone at the orphanage... Lionel most of all.
Different though they are, Lionel and Marybeth are best friends in a world that has forgotten about them. So when a mysterious blue spirit possesses Marybeth — and starts to take control — they know they must stop it before the real Marybeth fades away forever.

I am never left unsatisfied when reading a novel by Lauren DeStefano.  “The Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart” touched my very soul.  I love how Lionel and Marybeth, two children who couldn’t be more different from one another, find a way to bring out the goodness in each other, even though the world doesn’t see it.  What a wonderful world it would be if we could all find the good in our neighbours rather than the bad, the negative, or the differences. Any character that is willing to stand up and fight for the trueness and love in another will always be a champion read for me.

Lionel is different.  So different in fact that the people at the orphanage ignore him.  That is, everyone except Marybeth.  She is his friend and takes care of him simply by accepting who he is.  This bond will go a long way in cementing their friendship.  In fact, to the point of saving a life.

On a peculiar night, a blue light takes possession of Marybeth.  A girl who once obeyed all the rules, looked proper, and behaved accordingly, slowly becomes transformed by a force out of her control.   Her transformation is slow at first but as the light grows stronger, the changes happen faster.  Lionel notices these changes.  Sensitive to her movements, behavior, thought process, Lionel takes it upon himself to save Marybeth.  However, can he do so in time?  As this blue light force becomes stronger, the Marybeth he knows and loves slips further away.

This story had me holding my breath.  At certain moments, I actually had to remind myself to breathe.  “The Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart” was shelved in the 9-12 years age category, however, due to the topic of possession, I would recommend it for older readers, 12+. I believe that younger readers would have difficulty understanding the seriousness of the situation that Lionel and Marybeth find themselves in.  And this story deserves to be fully understood.