“An Uncommon Blue” by R.C. Hancock“An Uncommon Blue” by R.C. Hancock https://www.readerviewskids.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/AnUncommonBlue-673x1024.jpg 673 1024 Reader Views Kids Reader Views Kids https://www.readerviewskids.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/AnUncommonBlue-673x1024.jpg
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An Uncommon Blue
Independently Published (2019)
Reviewed by Megan Weiss for Reader Views (01/2024)
“An Uncommon Blue” by R.C. Hancock is the first book in a Young Adult science fiction series called “Colorblind.” In the book, we are introduced to Bruno. Bruno is a teenage rugby star living in Telesphore. In Telesphore, social status is determined by what color a person’s palm glows. Blue is the most valued color and the symbol of the elite. People of other colors are deemed inferior and are even segregated into different neighborhoods to keep the Blue population “pure.” If two people touch palms, then the colors mix. When Bruno accidentally kills a royal soldier to save a young boy with a different color palm, he is forced to confront everything he was taught to believe. Is color really what defines human beings? Or is the life of a Red or Green just as important and valuable as a Blue?
“An Uncommon Blue” is a great novel for young adult readers who like science fiction that also shares a real-world, close-to-home message. With a poignant, thoughtful analysis of prejudice and discrimination, it is a book that will hit home with many young readers in today’s sociopolitical climate. The concept of different classes having different colors is easy for young adult readers to visualize, yet at the same time is a stark reminder that our own world does the same thing with skin color.
By seeing and understanding why what the elite Blues are trying to perpetuate is wrong, readers are enabled to better see and understand these same wrongs in their own environments, perhaps taking the first steps in fighting back against such injustice. Bruno grows from a privileged, snobbish boy to a young man who is mature and open-minded enough to question things. He always struggled with these concepts he felt were wrong but was taught by his parents and the Blue society to think were right. This gives readers an example of the importance of forming their own ideas and beliefs, independent of what is perpetuated around them.
Sadly, there were some major formatting issues that disrupted the flow of “An Uncommon Blue.” As poignant and thorough as the author’s plot, characters and world-building are, it was disappointing that the same detail was not given to the book’s presentation. Additionally, there were times when I had some trouble following what exactly was supposed to be happening. This may have been due to the pace accelerating too quickly, but there were times when I felt like I had to go back and read a scene two or three times to completely understand what was happening, why it was important, and how that scene was meant to lead to the next event in the book.
Overall, R.C. Hancock’s “An Uncommon Blue” can easily be a big hit with a young adult and teen audience. I think readers in the age range of 13 to 17 would best be able to identify with Bruno and the way he learns to understand that just because a perceived elite group wants certain beliefs and practices to be right, it does not mean that they truly are the right things to do.
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