ARC Review: The Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart by Lauren DeStefano

PeculiarNightofBlueHeartThe Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart by Lauren DeStefano

Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on September 13, 2016

Genres: Fiction, Childrens, Middle Grade, Fantasy, Paranormal

Pages: 208 Format: ARC Source: BEA

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

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 acquired this ARC from the publisher at Book Expo America. This does not impact my thoughts and opinions in any way.


I loved Lauren DeStefano’s first middle grade story last year and knew I needed to read her next one, The Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart. Marybeth and Lionel, despite their differences, have become the best of friends living at an orphanage. When a paranormal occurrence interrupts their day to day life, the two of them must take matters into their own hands to save the day.

Sometimes a simple story can be so utterly beautiful, and Blue Heart does just that.  DeStefano wraps Marybeth and Lionel up in a worry inducing mystery that causes both of them to test their boundaries. It really tells the tale of friendship, what people will do for each other. It also opens the readers’ eyes to a children’s perspective of being an orphan and how they survive each day.

It’s the two MCs that truly make this narrative so gripping and endearing though. Lionel, my strange little boy, feels closer to the wilderness outside his door than the children at the orphanage. Marybeth is a a sweetheart, kind to all, and when she’s possessed, she’s still fighting to be that person. The gentleness and concern shared by both of them was so agonizingly perfect, I don’t know if I’ll ever be over it.

Honestly I think Lauren DeStefano’s superpower is making me weep over and over again. Her writing is so easy to get into, painting such stunning portraits and settings. The words just dig underneath my skin and crack me open. It’s almost inexplicable, the way it affects me, and it actually happens more so in her middle grade novels. I had tears streaming down my face before I’d even hit the fifty page mark.

Overall I really loved The Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart by Lauren DeStefano. A story of friendship and loneliness, loss and grief. It held me captivated and the characters immediately found their way into my heart. This one definitely had my emotions all over the place and my tears were certainly worth it. I definitely recommend this one across the board and hope people enjoy it just as much as I have.

So are you excited for The Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart? Do you prefer simple or complex stories? What other authors continue to destroy your emotions? Let me know all of your thoughts in the comments below!

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