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Blue Grass Liefde + Ons Derde Lichaam - Edward van de Vendel [Mar. 17th, 2012|03:48 pm]
TheJ2Bee

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Two books in one review! First part was written in 1999 and in 2006 there was an unexpected follow up. I read both last year:)

Title: De Dagen Van De Blue Grass Liefde (The Days of Blue Grass Love)
Author: Edward van de Vendel
Genre: Teens
Publisher: Em. Querido, 1999
(my edition is a Wolters-Noordhoff/Jonge Lijsters reprint from 2002*)
Pages: Paperback, 157
Language: Dutch
Rating: 7.5/10
Summary: Dutch Tycho travels to America to work in an international summercamp. He meets Oliver from Norway and they fall in love. What will happen when they return to their every day life in their own countries?




Review
This story reminded me of my own summers in Camp America (a long, long time ago), which added an extra layer of nostalgia to the book. Lovely. I found some events to be a little unbelievable, but maybe that's just because I had a different experience. I did take off half a point for that though. *g*.
Tycho is a wanna-be poet and the book is written from his point of view. I had to get used to his pretentious language but I grew to love him and his emotions. He's head over heals for Oliver, and the feeling is mutual. After they fly back to Europe, Tycho finds out Oliver's friends don't know he's gay. That's when doubts set in; can their relationship survive the long distance between The Netherlands and Norway?

I'm not telling;) But I'm reviewing the follow up book below, so if you don't want to be spoiled, stop reading NOW!

*I borrowed this book from Jelle and it is out of print, but I managed to find a second hand edition for my own collection. Sadly its cover was not as awesome as Jelle's version which design was also used for follow up Ons Derde Lichaam, so now I have two books that don't look like they belong together. (see photo) What? I like my series to match on my bookshelf:(

Blue Grass is available in German.

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Title: Ons Derde Lichaam (Our Third Body)
Author: Edward van de Vendel
Genre: Teens
Publisher: Querido, 2006
Pages: Paperback, 300
Language: Dutch
Rating: 8/10

Summary: After working in an International Summercamp in America and falling in love for the first time, Tycho is back in the Netherlands. He moves into a student-apartment in Rotterdam to study at the writing-academy. He lives with ambitious singer Vonda and student-dancer Moritz. Studentlife is very distracting, but Tycho still can't get his first boyfriend Oliver out of his mind.

Review
Despite this being another book from Tycho's point of view, I was told Ons Derde Lichaam wasn't really a follow up to De Dagen Van De Blue Grass Liefde, so I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it is actually a sequel! Even though the main story is about how Vonda gets to compete for a chance to represent the Netherlands in the Eurovision Song Contest. (She is very nervous about performing, so she asks Tycho and Moritz to support her on stage.)
Obviously Tycho's life has changed greatly after the summer, but his thoughts are still with Oliver all the time and he uses a writing assignment as an excuse to write letters to Oliver. He doesn't post them though, just shares them in this book, in between telling us about his flatmates and their musical adventure.

Ahw, the sweet struggles of first love.

Strangely enough the second book was translated into French under the title All Together Now. How un-French.
It's also available in German: Die langen Nächte der Stille, which sounds rather ominous. The German editions have beautiful covers, for those of you who care about that as much as I do;)

I loved both books and they are available for borrowing from my personal library;)
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