A Different Blue - Amy Harmon Felt like having that question on repeat throughout this read.2.5 STARS Yep, that's me in the corner, me in the spotlight losing a good number of marbles reading this because I'm seriously questioning if I'm an emotional block of concrete or I'm just stars-selfish towards NA books or it really just didn't cut it.Honestly, I read this book with some wary hostility because for me, Slammed is untouchable and getting this compared to such a beloved book, well big shoes to fill if books have feet. Sea of Tranquility has also been mentioned in the same manner but I'm not a big fan of that one which is probably not a good gauge of my taste in New Adult books.It's safe to say that Will and Lake and that damn purple hair clip rests easy in my pedestal of feels.My biggest issue with this book are the main characters: I wasn't charmed, felt no sympathy towards them whatsoever. And the things others may have liked about them are like nails grating on my emotional blackboard.The heroine, Blue Echohawk was abandoned by a druggie mother who, before getting killed at the beginning of the story, left her with a stranger whom Blue believed to be her father until he too died. Lots of teen angst right there, which of course is directly proportional to the amount of eye make-up and tight jeans one wears at school. So our Blue is a skank (her words not mine), but she doesn't want to be one. It's just that she doesn't know who she is and where she's heading but this is the only way she could deal.Which brings much vacillating between self-loathing and self-pity in pretty much the entire first 50% of the book. This would've been perfectly acceptable to me except, I couldn't join her in the vacillating sessions because she sounds pretty normal and dramatic. In high school. Yeah, shocker. Sure she throws the occasionally flat sass, likes to girly-smirk and does the nasty with a guy (just one guy, mind you) but her behavior didn't feel out of the ordinary.Between her and Wilson (I'm sorry but Tom Hanks has ruined this name beyond repair), I think he takes the chunk of the grief I have over this book. His name is Darcy Wilson. He's Blue's British history teacher who lives in a house where he hung a plate in front calling it "Pemberley". And, I kid you not, he dished the "most ardently" line which just, I don't know, makes me squirm with discomfort that leads to full-fledged frowning when he signed himself off as the worst fictional history teacher. EVER."Literature tells the history so much better than the text books.""Never judge history by the so-called facts."I feel silly bringing this up but we all know that history should be based on on titanium-strength facts, right? It may not be as romantic as when literature takes its great liberties but taking these liberties as biblical is what gets people burned at pseudo-intellectual coffeehouse conversations. I can't understand why he couldn't have just been the literature teacher since he's so keen on having the students write essays on their personal histories (which is by the way, borderline creepy for a history teacher to ask). Because if this is his effort to deliver his subject matter in a fresh and cool manner, he needs to sit in on the history classes from [b:Unearthly|7488244|Unearthly (Unearthly, #1)|Cynthia Hand|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1324782984s/7488244.jpg|9621771].I'm sure there's a subset of women out there who will find Wilson swoon-worthy but I'm afraid the poetry quoting and the cello playing doesn't do it for me. Nor the Peace Corps to Africa gig, especially if you announce it during your lectures. Nice to meet you too, Frodo Douchebaggins.There's a lack of finesse and subtlety in the writing and the drama went over the top at certain points (the crying and praying in the hallway with the healing powers of music, ugh) as if beating me up to make me cry ("Cry, b*tch. Cry!") There was some feeble effort for some comic relief but the constant hammering of Britishisms and slangs ceases its novelty and quirk when told in tireless increments. Manny and Gabriela just stopped existing like a pair of Jarjar Binkses and Joss Whedon wasn't even credited for his brilliance***:"Being yourself only works if you don't suck. If you do suck, definitely don't be yourself."It did improve by the second half of the book but not by much. Probably because all that silliness about Wilson playing teacher was put to rest and mostly because Tiffa throws awesome New Years parties. I also appreciated the lack of any insta-love between the protagonists but the seeds have already taken root by then and the messy, convoluted resolution didn't do the story any favors. I'm actually having a hard time thinking of what I did like about it. The story felt winded and unnecessarily slow and I just felt tired and thankful when I finally finished this. I do feel my gripes are brought on by my personal quirks and pet peeves and I can still see how this can work for others and not for some... or in this case, one.***Actual Joss Whedon quote reads: “Remember to always be yourself. Unless you suck.” ***