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Do you feel lost? Confused? Alone? (Circle one): Yes or No. The Church of Blue can help. We are not a cult.$5 for a holy quest is a good deal. Since sixth grade, Debbie Woodlawn has nursed a secret, heart-searing crush on her best friend, Lisa. But all those years of pretending to enjoy Full House reruns and abstinence rallies with Lisa go down the drain when her friend hDo you feel lost? Confused? Alone? (Circle one): Yes or No. The Church of Blue can help. We are not a cult.$5 for a holy quest is a good deal.Since sixth grade, Debbie Woodlawn has nursed a secret, heart-searing crush on her best friend, Lisa. But all those years of pretending to enjoy Full House reruns and abstinence rallies with Lisa go down the drain when her friend hooks up with Norman, the most boring guy at school. This earth-shattering event makes Debbie decide to do the unthinkable: confess her love to Lisa. And she has to do it tonight--before Lisa and Norman go past "the point of no return."So Debbie embarks on a quest to find Lisa. Guiding the quest are fellow students/detention hall crashers Emma and Tim, the founding (and only) members of the wacky Church of Blue. Three chases, three declarations of love, two heartbreaks, a break-in, and five dollars worth of gas later, Debbie has been fully initiated into Bluedaism--but is there time left to stop Lisa and Norman from going too far?...

Title : sparks the epic completely true blue almost holy quest of debbie
Author :
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ISBN : 20705520
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 266 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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sparks the epic completely true blue almost holy quest of debbie Reviews

  • Tarryn
    2019-01-19 20:30

    I've started conducting an unofficial survey of LGBTQ YA lit -- stories with lesbian protagonists, specifically -- in hopes of finding some novels that don't make being a gay chick seem like a horrible, traumatic ordeal. So many stories that deal with young girl-on-girl love are full of grim, punishing disasters of biblical proportions -- people lose their jobs, parents die in car crashes . . . its enough to make a young lesbian crawl right back into the closet!But S.J. Adams novel, Sparks, is a wonderfully refreshing, quirky, and genuinely funny tale of coming-out to your best friend -- and long-time secret love! Debbie Woodlawn's relationship with Lisa, her straight-laced, uber-Christian best friend has been based around Full House marathons and hanging out with an after-school group called Active Christian Teens. But now Lisa has an equally religious new boyfriend, and Debbie is forced to come to terms with her feelings for best pal. Helping her to gather the courage to talk to her friend are two awesome, quirky loners, Emma and Tim, who have successfully dealt with their own personal demons by starting their own religion -- the Church of Blue. Debbie's newfound spiritual leaders take her on a quest to confront her fears and tell Lisa the truth, but the people they meet and the random adventures that take place along the way open Debbie's eyes to a world outside the confines of a life spent being her best friend's sidekick. Bonus points for including an awesome soundtrack (the Mountain Goats, the Decemberists, & the Beach Boys - oh my!) and the obscure Full House episode references. I did chafe at a scene where Debbie "pays" for some dumb stoner guy's assistance changing a tire by kissing another girl -- ugh. But I appreciated how no one in this story acted like Debbie's sexuality was a huge, horrible, shocking problem. And the humor and authentic teen narrative voice was super engaging -- a breath of fresh air! Thanks, S.J. Adams for filling a much-needed hole in the world LGBTQ YA lit -- a funny, honest, sweet love story for young lesbians!

  • Jackson
    2019-01-02 19:28

    the VOYA review said there were too many "Full House" references, which obviously spoke highly of the book in my eyes (even though it didn't get a great review--maybe if it was a "Full House" fan who reviewed it that would have been different?)

  • Erin
    2019-01-10 19:47

    A promising premise ruined by infuriating writing, pacing and character construction. The main character states her real problem at the beginning of the book (that she's framed her whole life around her best friend/crush, Lisa) and yet spends the rest of the book doing the opposite of fix it. The whole "epic" journey to confess to Lisa dragged on. And then there's Lisa, herself. I have no idea what Debbie saw in her. She's barely in the book, but when she is she comes off as moronic, an opinion that only grew stronger by the end of the book. I seriously hated her character.I also didn't get how Debbie was pretty much in the closet at the beginning and yet seemed to have no problem with her new friends outing her at every second to total strangers. And finally, it is becoming a cliche that outcasts are uber welcoming and perfect friends-in-waiting to protagonists. Maybe I've just read too many fish out of water/ coming of age books lately but I'm getting sick of it. People who have no friends = good. People with friends = close minded, mean-girl/boy types. A little simplistic imo.Sorry about the rant. I read this book all at once on a flight and while it's got some interesting points on religion (loved Debbie's snark on organized religion, but again it's another overdone theme imo.) Also, extra points for the Full House references.

  • Brittany
    2019-01-01 00:46

    Debbie is in love with her best friend, Lisa. Lisa is really into church though and her new boyfriend. Lisa is so into her new boyfriend, that Debbie feels lost and alone. Enter Emma, Tim and the Church of Blue. Debbie isn't sure she really wants to try this new religion of Blue, but she does want someone to hang out with. Emma and Time seem to understand her and are ready and willing to help her take the leap and admit what her heart wants. But, with all the chaos of the actual quest to get there, will Debbie work up the courage, or even get an opportunity? Will Blue provide?This novel was fantastic. I loved Emma and Tim. Even if Emma was completely in denial about what was right in front of her. I loved that they had a list of tasks that they would check off as they went about their quests. Like mooning people and getting an autograph of someone named after a president. They were strange, but a good way to have fun. I really love it when people start their own religion in novels as a way to try to understand the world and themselves. I don't know what it is about it that makes me love it so much, but I do. Moira was FANTASTIC too. I really loved that she was a bit different than everyone else and on purpose. She was a time traveler, but one who just pretends she's in a different time period. It sounds fun. There were a lot of great characters in this novel, like the bowling alley skanks and their skank network. Debbie was an okay person I guess. I didn't love her Full House obsession. I know some teens who get hooked on old shows like that though, so it's not unrealistic. It was hard to understand fully her crush on Lisa, because she's not really in the novel too much. It seems like the point of the novel was not so much about Lisa at all, but Debbie realizing and excepting who she is by herself. Definitely check this out if you love funny novels that have a lot of driving and a lot of misfit characters.First Line:"My dad's a regular guy, and my mom's a total kook, so I guess I had a fifty percent chance of coming out normal. Leave it to me to screw it up."Favorite Line:"Broken hearts are fucking gross."Read more: http://www.areadingnook.com/#ixzz1xVa...

  • Kike Ogundipe
    2019-01-14 02:55

    I decided to read this book because I saw this book in a library and thought it was interesting, even though I don't normally read romance novels.This book is kind of a romance novel, comedy and adventure.I liked how the plot was very original compared to other romance novels I have read as most to me are quite boring and cliched. The fact that it had an interesting premise made more interesting to me. It was really funny and I read the book a second time and still found all the jokes hilarious. I enjoy comedy and I don't think any other book has made me laugh as much as this one. There wasn't anything I really disliked about this book and it made for an enjoyable read.I found Lisa a very interesting character as although the book didn't share any of her thoughts, when she reveals that she knew Debbie had a crush on her all along I wonder how she dealt with it for a lot of her life. I found it a very interesting situation to deal with and thought she must have been a very strong person to have her best friend crushing on her and have to turn her down.I really enjoyed reading Sparks and I would like to read more books like it.Kike Ogundipe09DUN

  • Nicki
    2019-01-14 21:55

    The only reason I gave this book two stars is because the author actually gave the book a decent ending. I thought for sure they were going to take the safe way out & make the main character get what she wants.This is a story about a girl who is secretly in love with her best friend. No one knows that she's gay so she can't really talk to anyone about how upset she gets when her best friend starts ditching her for her new boyfriend. The main character (whose name I have forgotten because the book is dumb) goes on a "holy quest" with two other kids who have made up their own religion called Bluism. Long story short, after a long day of completing "holy tasks" the girl admits to her friend she's gay, her friend says she knew all along but maybe they can change that by setting her up with a guy, and the main character moves on & finds someone else to date. Life didn't work out the way she wanted it to but it didn't have a bad ending either. The characters are dumb, the story is unbelievable, and the main character makes at least a million references to Full House. That's right. Full House...Did I mention this book is dumb?

  • mg
    2018-12-25 02:47

    Let me make this clear : These are five REALLY BIG STARS. I'm not sure I could have loved this book any more. Thank you Stonewall Awards for introducing me to SJ Adams, who may be one of the funniest authors I've read in a long time! I had more moments than I could count where I laughed out loud in the book and had to read a section to whomever was closest. (Which meant that if I was reading alone, there were many times I greeted my partner with passages of the book instead of a formal "Hello.")This book includes : humor, heartache, crushes, religion, spirituality, sexuality, Bob Dylan, and hilarious references to Nebraska. I think a host of people would appreciate this book, whether you're teen, or LGBTQ, or an book lover looking for a good read. It's fast; it's enjoyable; it should be read by all. (Unless you're offended by cussing and F bombs. In that case, have someone read it aloud to you and inserts the BEEPS where necessary. Yes, it's still worth it.)Oh, and those in central Iowa could appreciate it all the more because it takes place in Des Moines.

  • Ann
    2019-01-22 20:56

    This book drove me a little crazy, in a good way. No cliches here; Debbie is one-of-a-kind, and her quest is surprising because it's (almost) completely true. Of course, lesbian teens have thought and felt these things for ages, but seeing it written down in a book for young readers is exciting. You can ride this one all the way. Debbie's final realization about the best friend she's been crushing on for years is sane, not sugar-coated or just plain depressing. The best review for this book is by Tarryn (please read!). I even agree with her one caveat: "I did chafe at a scene where Debbie "pays" for some dumb stoner guy's assistance changing a tire by kissing another girl -- ugh." Which leads me to...I really don't think the author Adam Selzer (there--I'm outing him) needed to use a gender non-specific nom de plume for this book. The point being? I would find that really annoying if it wasn't such a great read.

  • A.M.
    2018-12-30 19:39

    I got halfway through this book and just couldn't go any further. It's a typical first-person perspective, self-absorbed YA novel with inane humor and dialogue. Maybe it's just my age ...

  • Angie
    2019-01-06 03:29

    I liked the concepts, but it wasn't very deep.

  • John
    2019-01-02 03:29

    One of the best contemporary stories I've read with humor. This is one of those books that's criminally under talked.

  • Laura Petto
    2019-01-22 23:32

    There need to be more books for LGBTQ teens. This is not a good one. Poorly written, one dimensional characters, unrealistic ending.

  • Ariel
    2018-12-23 23:38

    One of the least depressing/angst-filled YA lgbt novels I've read, which is honestly SUCH a relief. It was a fun read for me. I really enjoyed it, although the full house obsession was a bit much for me (because I've never watched it).

  • Emily Kassera
    2019-01-08 01:41

    I didn't like this book because it was prosaic or particularly complex. I enjoyed it for its honesty. The characters in this book talk like teens, think like teens, and act like teens. They say 'like' far too many times, swear for the risky hell of it, and turn simple events into melodramatic episodes. All of that is a part of this novel's charm. It's a quick read to pass along to a teen who's looking for exactly that. Zaniness mixed with just enough truth.

  • Laura Martinelli
    2018-12-24 23:48

    There are some books that I finish that I really like and then eventually pass along to my various friends. Then there are others that I have to stop halfway through, call one of my friends and go, “Okay, if this doesn’t suddenly start sucking, OH MY GOD YOU HAVE TO READ THIS.” So when I get the book about the atheist closeted lesbian in love with her incredibly religious best friend, who both living in a fairly Christian town, my first thought was, “Oh, I’m so giving this to my best friend.”Sparks is a quick little read that manages to be funny and sweet while being incredibly messy and complicated. When I got to the end of this, I was a little disappointed that it just ends with little resolution between Debbie and Lisa, but I think that it does feel more realistic. One of the issues that I have to mentally argue with YA (and fiction in general) is that there’s this expectation that everything needs to be wrapped up in a little bow by the end of the book (or there had better be a sequel), and yet that’s not how things actually work. I liked that even though Debbie confesses that she’s gay to Lisa, she still hasn’t gotten enough courage to confess the full truth to her yet.That said, this book is like Ferris Bueller’s… in Iowa and on LSD. Because I don’t think John Hughes could have ever dreamed of high school cultists who drag people on a holy quest to recover a missing backpack for $5, encountering time-travelers (no really, just run with me here) and snuggle-bunnies at the local bowling alley. While making sitcom references the entire time. It’s a zany wacky fun book that has a heart to it, and I did really enjoy it. Even though it’s a coming-out book and there’s coming-out drama, but it’s not like any other coming-out book that I’ve read before. As I said, I liked that Lisa not only accepts Debbie being gay, but she’s known longer than Debbie and that’s why they’ve danced around the sex talk.I really liked Debbie. I liked that she’s had all of these feelings bottled up for years and she just snaps one day. I kinda loved Debbie’s ineptness at trying to get herself into detention, and that she finally gives up and crashes it. And I also liked that this about Debbie finally seeing her town in bigger terms than just through Lisa’s eyes. I loved that her journey is this big madcap dashing around as soon as things look like they’re going south.There’s also the fact that although the teenagers do feel like teenagers. Tim and Emma’s entire relationship and the fact that they can’t spit out their true feelings to each, and Emma’s solution is to sabotage the poor girl who’s been chasing Tim for years. (Okay, I did not like that part, but it feels truthful.) I really liked the supporting cast of this, and if there were to be a sequel, I’d love to see more with them. Like Angela, because she was awesome, or even if Debbie and Meredith got together. (On a side note, the entire Full House angle of the book was a little gimmicky, but it does ring true that it would be appealing to a religious family. That said, I had to laugh when Emma is going through the Playlist of Blue, and they hit “God Only Knows” and Debbie’s reaction is “Wait, this is the Beach Boys?” I did watch Full House when I was little—I wasn’t a huge fan, but we watched it—and I had a similar reaction when I finally heard that song.)This is a fun little book, and I did really enjoy it. The only problem that I could see with it is that the plot is a little too rushed at times and the ending kind of just happens, but I did really enjoy this one. And it’s also nice because it does feel different in terms of the plot—it’s nice to read a coming-out book that’s not fraught with drama and everything ends up terrible but the protagonist is stronger for it. It’s worth checking out if you can get your hands on a copy of it.

  • Wandering Librarians
    2019-01-07 00:34

    Debbie has been in love her with best friend Lisa for ages, but has never told for fear of losing her. Now, Lisa seems to be considering going all the way with her new boyfriend. Debbie knows she doesn't have much of a chance, but she HAS to let Lisa knows how she feels. And so Debbie finds herself on a crazy adventure with new friends and devote Blueists, Emma and Tim, to track down Lisa before the night is over so Debbie can declare herself.I totally loved this. It was sweet, but with a tiny bit of an edge. It had fun, relatable characters that were a delight to read about. The whole "Church of Blue" things was weird at first, but then ended up being quite nice.I liked that all the action in the book takes place over one day. Just one day. And what a day it was! We get to see Debbie, through each crazy adventure that happens over the course of the evening, take it in and realize something about herself. By the time she actually manages to find and talk to Lisa, she is in a very different place then she was in that morning.Debbie comes to the realization that she has no idea who she is as a person. Lisa is religious and attends Active Christian Teens meetings, and Debbie has been spending her life trying to be the person that Lisa would want. The realization that Lisa is serious about Norman (yes, Norman) who Debbie thinks is a complete bore, sends her into a tailspin. She knows something needs to change. She needs to confess to Lisa, and then, whatever happens, become her own person. Debbie has lead her life like a character from Full House. Debbie has watched A LOT of Full House. She decides she needs some adventure and excitement, and where better to find it than in detention? So Debbie shows up in detention after school and meets Emma and Tim (also who just showed up in detention) and learns about the Church of Blue.The Church of Blue is a religion that Emma and Time made up. As the book goes on, we learn more about the reason Emma and Tim felt the need to make up a religion. But a main tenant of their religion is having ridiculous adventures to fulfill quests they make up. For example: Locate a guy with the same name as a U.S. president and get his autograph. See a naked person of each gender (live and in person) in the same place at the same time. Break something expensive.Emma and Tim agree to help Debbie track down Lisa to declare herself, and perhaps they will fulfill some of their Bluish quests as well. You'd think this would be easy, but Debbie has left her backpack at school with her phone, and her car keys are in Lisa's car, and now Norman, of all people, has her backpack and there's a note in it saying her real feelings for Lisa! So step one is get the backpack back, then find Lisa.Of course, hijinks ensue. While issues like homosexuality, sex and drinking are all present, nothing is ever gone into in detail or depth. This is not an Issues book. It's a buddy adventure road trip story. I don't think it would have been appropriate to do so. It just wasn't that kind of books. There are other books that do that. This one was very light and fun and things work out OK. Totally recommended.

  • Nicole Brown
    2018-12-24 22:32

    Go on a "holy" quest with Debbie, Emma, and Tim on a night none of them will forget.http://nicolewbrown.blogspot.com/2016...My dad’s a regular guy, and my mom’s a total kook, so I guess I had a fifty percent chance of coming out normal. Leave it to me to screw it up.-S.J. Adams (Sparks p. 1)The goth kids always looked about as depressed as I felt, so that was a possibility, but I didn’t think they’d let me hang out with them. It’s hard to get in with the goth crowd if you weren’t, like, born a goth. If I tried to hang out with them after years of being The Girl Who Hangs Out with Lisa Ashby, they’d probably call me a poseur or something. The cheerleaders on the other side of the hall probably wouldn’t let me near them, either. One thing I’ve got to give them credit for is that at least they have a formalized processed for joining their group—they have try-outs. The only other groups I could think of that have a process like that are the theater kids, who have auditions, and gangsters, who I always heard make you kill someone for their shoes or something.-S. J. Adams (Sparks p. 15-16)I’d driven all the way through Nebraska with Lisa once on the way to an ACTs Jamboree in Denver. Once you got past Omaha, driving through Nebraska is probably the single most mind-numbingly boring thing a person can possibly do. Other than hanging out with Norman Hastings. God, making that drive with him would probably create, like, a black hole on the interstate.-S. J. Adams (Sparks p 66)I was kicking ass and taking names and sending them in with two proofs of purchase and $2.95 for shipping and handling.-S. J. Adams (Sparks p 221)It was weird to think there were even people like me in Des Moines. In fact, the more I thought about it, the more it seemed like everyone in the world was a total weirdo. No one was normal, really. Maybe not even my dad.-S. J. Adams (Sparks p. 223)“I didn’t know the Beach Boys did songs like this,” I said. “I thought it was all songs about surfing and cars and like, sandcastles and stuff.” “Yeah,” said Tim, “they were kind of secretly awesome. The guy who arranged their songs said they were teenage symphonies to God. And some guy once said the strings on this song [“God Only Knows”] are proof of divinity.” “It was the guy from U2,” said Emma. “Either that or Elvis Costello. But if I see one more hipster on the Internet saying that their Pet Sounds is better than Abbey Road, I’ll pound them into sand and make a castle of my own.”-S. J. Adams (Sparks p. 227)

  • Shelley
    2018-12-30 20:37

    I wanted to like this more than I did. I mostly didn't like how it dealt with fatness. I also didn't really feel connected to any of the characters, maybe because the whole book takes place over the course of one afternoon that's just one event after another. And there weren't really flashbacks, just lots of references to Debbie and Lisa watching "Full House." The main character, Debbie, is pretty much completely unaware of pop culture aside from "Full House," because she's been in love with her best friend Lisa since they were kids, and Lisa is a Christian and so they just hang out together and watch it. But immediately in the story, Debbie is rejecting the Christianity, I guess because things are beginning to get more serious with Lisa and her boyfriend? Everything is coming to a head right at the beginning of the book, and the buildup is explained very quickly, and then the whole book is this girl who's always been "good"/boring going on kooky adventures with wacky characters. The characters seem more like caricatures...it's almost like Debbie is Alice in Wonderland, meeting all these different weirdos, and the only point of reference for life that she has is "Full House" episodes. So the fatness part: (view spoiler)[Debbie's main guide on her "holy quest" is Emma, whose backstory is that she had an eating disorder and low self-esteem and started sleeping with a bunch of guys, but now she has connected with Tim and they formed this religion together, so she's got a more healthy self-esteem and doesn't have random hookups and is now described as being overweight. She's in love with Tim but refuses to believe he feels the same because she's fat. So I guess her self esteem isn't entirely better. Emma is also in a battle with a popular girl named Heather, who seems really aggressive, but is actually just trying to talk to Tim directly, which Emma keeps sabotaging, and keeps making references to Heather being fat (both to upset Heather and make her seem less appealing to Tim), and reminding everyone that fat = ugly. Here's a quote I highlighted: "Maybe, but look at me," said Emma. "She's a bit chubby, but I'm the size of a small SUV. You could hollow me out and park me back in Oak Meadow Mills. I'd fit right in." "No," I said, "you look fine!"(hide spoiler)]Maybe I just didn't like Emma's body issues in contrast to Debbie's complete lack of body issues. I find a teenage narrator with no body issues to be mostly unbelievable. Maybe that's why I didn't feel a connection to Debbie at all. She just seemed too . . . blah.

  • RandomScholar
    2018-12-25 19:58

    At first I liked the idea of a few outcasts starting their own religion. I even thought it was cool that they took influence from Buddhism, until I noticed how cold and one-dimensional some of the characters were, like Lisa. Now don't get me wrong, I understand that Lisa was supposed to be the hopeless straight girl crush that every lesbian teen has at least once in her life, but I thought her character was extremely cold and heartless. As a lesbian, I have had my fair share of straight girl crushes and I have never met straight girls as cold and heartless as Lisa was in this story. Most of the straight girls I know would have had a better response to a lesbian's confession of love than "I knew all along" or "that's why I was always careful changing in front of you".....like really? Then why did Lisa have sleepovers with Debbie all those years if she knew Debbie wanted her all along? This book didn't explain that part, and never showed the "talk" that Lisa promised Debbie later on to explain more. I also found it hard to believe that just minutes after getting heart broken over a straight girl crush, Debbie would be so quick to just drop everything and try to have fun. I have never met anyone who got their heart broken and then decided to live it up that same hour like nothing happened. If the heart break in the beginning of the story was that painful, Debbie would have spent at least a few days moping around before deciding to change her social scene and try new things. I understand this is a comedy, but it doesn't seem like it accurately portrays what a person goes through when they get their heartbroken. It also doesn't seem like it portrays a healthy friendship if the "best friend" Lisa is such a cold hearted bitch who quickly dismisses Debbie in the end. Then again, that's just my opinion. I'm sure plenty of people will disagree. Go for it. I don't care. But this whole story just seemed like such an unrealistic portrayal of teenage lesbian heartbreak it shouldn't even be considered "lesbian teen fiction" it should just be considered "fiction".

  • Hannah
    2019-01-10 00:56

    Since I hadn't heard anything about Sparks before picking it up, and the whole Bluedaism and Quest and all of that sounded really weird and out-there, so my expectations for Sparks were not exactly high. Luckily, those low expectations made it even better when I ended up loving the book! The randomness of the plot that threw me off at first ended up being refreshing and entertaining - I'm so glad I gave this book a chance!The characters are what make this story so good. Debbie is an endearing character - she's a bit clueless and naive, but lovable nonetheless, and she's definitely easy to relate to. Emma and Tim are characters that I know will stay with me; they are quirky and unique, and I really appreciated their openness and honesty. The only character that is slightly underdeveloped is Lisa: our view of her changes towards the end, and I wish that had been explored in a little more depth.All that stuff about Bluedaism threw me off at first, reading the description, but I ended up loving it. This "religion" that Emma and Tim have created is so much fun to read about. They have come up with some ridiculous tasks, which made this quest hilarious and entertaining, and it made me want to know all about their previous quests and adventures, too.One thing that does need to be said, though, is that the whole made-up religion thing is kind of problematic. I personally didn't mind because I'm not a very religious person, but if you are, you might find parts of this story kind of offensive. Especially calling their religion Bluedaism and painting a statue of Buddha - a symbol of another religion - and appropriating it for their own purpose is disrespectful and problematic. I still really enjoyed the story, but just... be aware.I was really surprised with how much I loved Sparks, a novel that has been pretty much completely overlooked in the YA blogosphere. With lovable characters, a hilarious plot, and a heartwarming message, Sparks is a novel I really enjoyed. You should definitely give it a try!Reviewed at http://www.paperbacktreasures.blogspo...

  • Emily Elizabeth
    2019-01-22 21:55

    I must admit that I was probably predisposed to like this book as much as I did, seeing as I was in Debbie Woodlawn's exact position throughout much of high school: I was in love with my best (and virtually only) friend, who was unquestionably straight and who had slowly begun to drift away upon getting together with her first steady boyfriend. It hurt, but I eventually had to face the facts that I would not only never be in a romantic relationship with my friend, but I was probably going to lose her friendship altogether.That's why Debbie's story really appealed to me. Not only is it about her (holy) quest to tell her best friend Lisa how she feels, it's about figuring out who she is as a person apart from Lisa. When you've spent five years of your life devoted to being what you think another person wants you to be, you kind of lose sight of yourself in the process. Luckily, she has Emma and Tim, the founders of the Church of Blue, to help her find herself again.The book's ending is what got to me the most. It realistically sees Debbie rejected (however nicely) by Lisa and left with the task of rebuilding her life without Lisa at the center. It's sad, yes, but not overwhelmingly so, and Debbie's positive outlook on it all is truly inspiring. I can only wish that I had found this book back when my own hurt was fresh; I might have saved myself a lot more anguish.Now I must end this rambling review with probably my favorite quote from the entire book, just because it resonated so strongly with me and left me feeling just that much more hopeful for the future."I don't think there'll ever be a version of me that doesn't love Lisa, at least in some way or another. Even when I'm eighty, I'll want to know where she lives, what she's made of herself, whether she's happy. But the day before spring break, the thought of not being there with her at eighty would have made me feel like I wanted to die.And now I knew I could move on. I wasn't dying without her.I was busy being born." (p.256)

  • Lauren
    2019-01-15 22:48

    What I liked: Okay, so this is a "coming out" book but it is SOOO much more than Annie on My Mind! Debbie is a wonderful main character who, at the beginning of the book, feels like the "Kimmy Gibbler" of her own life and is desperately, hopelessly, all-the-way in love with her best friend Lisa, who is seriously dating the most boring boy in the world, Norman. There is just amazingly superb character development as Debbie rejects her old life of hiding in Lisa's shadow (as well as pretending to take Lisa's Christian faith as seriously as she does) and embarks on a holy quest to discover herself. Lisa's homosexuality definitely comes out of the closet, but the novel does a great job of showing that "being gay" is not Lisa's only characteristic or even her most important one. At the end of the day, really this novel is about having one of those world-ending, all-consuming crushes and not about being gay at all. And let's face it, we've all been there. It is an absolutely charming bildungsroman with plenty of humor and above all plenty of heart. Meh: There were maybe a few too many references to Full House for me. Much as I loved the show it started to feel almost like a crutch toward the end. I also thought the novel dragged just a little bit in the middle when the Church of Blue's wanderings seemed a bit pointless. Not the tightest, best-polished novel I've ever read, but the emotional depth of it more than makes up for it. Recommended: Upper Middle or High School (or Adults, it's really good!) I wouldn't go younger than about eighth grade because the main character is older (I think 16 or 17) there is a scene where she walks in on people having sex. Also there is some swearing (and homosexuality, obviously). It also is a little anti-church (at least the conservative Evangelical church) so make sure you are okay with that before you pick it up. I think it would be a good read-alike for fans of Paper Towns, Totally Joe, and older fans of Are You There God, It's Me Margaret.

  • Amber
    2018-12-29 02:41

    Bob Nebraska! I would give this book 800 stars if I could!This book has so much going for it. The humor is amazing and the heartache is believable. The take away when you close the book is "Wow! That was the best trip I've been on in a long while!"Debbie is in love with her best friend which happens to be a girl and the realization that her best friend is about to go all the way with a loser boy hits her in the gut, hard. SO hard that she looses it at school, hiding in the bathroom for the remainder of the day and making the decision to go to detention to see what kind of new friends she could make. Lo and behold she meets Emma, Tim and the Church of Blue! The Church of Blue is a made up religion that Emma and Tim put together; you go on epic holy quests that involve the most random things you can think of and it totally makes me think that my friends and I in high school would have all been part of the Church of Blue. Emma and Tim convince Debbie to embark on a holy quest that would allow her to profess her love for her best friend before the night is through. Debbie has no idea what she is in for, but she is about to learn, and find, that her world is so much more bigger, and wonderful, now that she is stepping out of the small closet she'd been living in. Some times in our darkest hour, the light shines brightest. Emma and Tim are not just background characters though, they hold their own in this story and while they help Debbie, Debbie helps them. This is one of those books that I could read over and over again until I can tell you all the ten (eight?) commandments! And if your still not sure you should read it, the Full House references alone make it worth it.

  • Librarymouse
    2019-01-03 22:42

    I liked this book a lot more than I was expecting to. I'd thought it was going to be about a whiny teenage protagonist who, well, whines... and instead I got Debbie, who starts out a little useless and then ends up kicking ass, taking charge, and learning to live her own life - all without any preachiness, heavy-handed moral lessons, or smarmy nonsense about 'being true to yourself' or whatever it is that the kids say these days.This was a very fun read. The plot starts fairly simple - Debbie has a crush on her best female friend and needs to finally tell her - but it quickly takes a series of zany twists and turns that are enjoyable to read. I really liked the supporting characters, who are a little weird, but convincingly so. Often when authors create 'quirky' characters they tend to be very one-dimensional, as though their only motivation is to show everybody just how quirky they can be. The characters here, though definitely odd, felt very real. I know people just like Emma, and Tim, and even Moira, to some extent, and it was great fun to read about them.I also felt that this was a very realistic portrayal of teenagers. The characters were emotional, and they did that thing that teenagers do where everything is a Big Deal and terribly important, but at no point did the characters in this book book descend into silly, whiny, melodrama as so many teenage protagonists are wont to do. There were a couple quirks that bugged me - by the end, the Full House obsession was getting to be a bit much, as were the constant references to Blue - but I think that all in all this was a great book.

  • Lisa
    2018-12-28 22:33

    Overall, I liked this book. I enjoyed that the story took place over the course of one day. The focus of the novel is that Debbie has romantic feelings for her best friend Lisa, and it was refreshing that all reactions to this confession were either positive or of the who-cares variety. Debbie is also obsessed with the television show Full House and (while that show does not even crack my Top 50 personal favorites) I appreciated her level of fan enthusiasm: making lists, referencing episodes in detail, and discussing the featured music. I also liked the personalities of Debbie's new friends and how easily they adopted her quest to Tell Lisa The Truth In Person. Even the pattern of Roadblock --> Overcoming Roadblock --> Another Roadblock --> Overcoming That Roadblock was predictable in a comforting way. You could tell that everything would work out in the end. (I was right!)The inclusion of the made-up religion didn't need to feature so heavily (or at all, really.) Every time it was mentioned (a lot!), it took me out of the story. Also, there was a lot of unnecessary references about going to the bathroom. Like, a character would just announce, "I have to go pee!" as a way to exit the scene. There was also talk of "poop" and "diarrhea". I KNOW YOU ARE HUMAN AND THAT IT IS NATURAL FOR HUMANS TO GO TO THE BATHROOM BUT THIS IS NOT ADDING ANYTHING TO THE PLOT.

  • Jesse
    2019-01-19 01:40

    Debbie has harbored a secret crush on her best girl friend, Lisa, since sixth grade. Tonight, with the help of her new friends (and members of the made-up Church of Blue) Emma and Tim, she is going to profess her feelings to her. Along the way the three Bluists complete tasks they've challenged themselves to while following the Commandments of Blue, such as taking all detours they encounter and always putting matters of the heart first.The themes of this story are important ones: being true to yourself, following your heart, recognizing great friendship when it's in front of you, and not being afraid to take the long way around. I had an overall positive experience with Debbie and Co., but the story itself was very young. The constant Full House references and cheesy prose put me off the story. I found myself skimming through the middle as I waited for the inevitable conclusion.Emma and Tim saved this story from being, well, boring. They were characters I felt like I'd never met before, and Tim's final affirmation of his Bluist faith (AKA friendship) was my favorite scene in the whole book. I will definitely be recommending this as a good story, but I'll make sure to mention that it is best suited for younger readers.

  • Emma Young
    2019-01-02 03:56

    S P O I L E R S!!!!!This was so gay and wonderful. I like the way the Church of Blue looks at the world. Bludaism has also inspired me to make up my own religion. I don't necessarily have a name for it but its everything I'd want in a religion. Debbie, I relate to her a lot. She spent a lot of her time pretending to be something she wasn't for the approval of Lisa, her crush. She also hid how she really felt about Lisa and kept her true sexuality a secret. I did the same thing. Except not for a single crush. I hid the fact that I was bisexual for a lot of different people. Like my peers, my family, my mother and father, my friends and especially society. But I'm over it now. I'm pretty open about it now. I mean, It's not the first thing i tell people, it's just something I say when the time is right or if someone brings it up in a conversation. All the characters in this book are pretty great. Of course Debbie is my fave but if I had to pick, Emma and Tim would come in as close seconds. This book was so good though!

  • Jenna
    2019-01-07 00:44

    I really, really liked this book. It was entertaining and odd-ball and Debbie was hilarious. Back to nano-ing, but will expand on this later. Loved the writing, pacing, plot, characters (although Heather seemed a bit 2-D). Wanted it to almost be longer, not for the ending but for the quest itself.Quotes!The whole idea of, like, declaring myself to Lisa, or whatever you call it, scared the heck out of me, but the only other option if I wanted to be with her was to murder Norman Hastings, then be there to comfort her while the cops looked for his head. It was becoming more and more apparent that even though I'd been telling myself I'd just tried to live lke I was in an old family sitcom to be more like Lisa, I was the only one of the two of us who had really bought into that whole fairy-tale world. I liked the idea of telling people I was Bluish. Thinking of myself as Debbie Woodlawn, the Bluist, made me feel a bit stronger, more like I had a purpose, than being Debbie Woodlawn, the weirdo who pretended to be a Methodist to pick up chicks.

  • Sarah Kathleen
    2019-01-20 20:37

    Debbie's been in love with her best friend Lisa for years, but now she has to tell her--before Lisa's boyfriend spills the beans and ruins her life. The only trouble is, well, everything. Before the night is over, Debbie will find herself in a janitor's garage, a cemetery, a new-age store full of middle-aged hippies, and a bowling alley. Fortunately, she's traveling alongside two new friends whose homemade religion is starting to make perfect sense.This book definitely had a smaller "scope" than I expected, for a book with Epic in the title. The majority of the action takes place over a single day, and the compressed time period means that there's a little less character depth than I would have liked. The protagonist seems to be a passenger a lot of the time, while the secondary characters drive the plot, and there was a little bit of random slut-shaming that struck an odd chord for me. That said, I actually enjoyed the book quite a bit, I loved Debbie's honesty and humor, and I think it would make for a pretty good movie in the madcap rom-com style.

  • April
    2019-01-13 22:28

    This was cute. Debbie has a serious crush on her best friend Lisa. After 5 years of crushing and watching Full House episodes and attending Christian meetings with Lisa in the hopes that something would develop; Debbie decides to become "reborn" into the pretend religion of "Blueism" offered up by classmates Emma and Tim. She plans to declare herself and her intentions, but is running out of time because Lisa has a date with Nathan tonight and has declared that she thinks he is "the one".Rather like a mini road-trip book which takes place in the span of one wild evening ride around Des Moines, Iowa. Debbie takes on the Holy Quest to declare her love and in the process finds out a bit about herself, faith and love.There are lots of references to the old show Full House in there and older bands which really ring familiar to me reading it in my 30's so I'm not sure how relevant it would be to a younger crowd (to whom the writing feels aimed) but it was still a cute and fun read.