Book Review – "Blue", by J.D. Riso

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In J.D.  Riso’s book Blue, forget about anything you might think you know about exotic dancers, or strippers. On the fringes of society, strippers and exotic dancers, if they’re thought of at all by mainstream America, are often thought of with contempt, disdain, or out-and-out hostility. At the very least, total misunderstanding.

J.D.  Riso changes that.

Blue River is a product of rape; unwanted and treated as invisible, it’s not until she meets up with Kevin that she starts on the path to finding her own identity. By becoming what she thinks the man she loves wants, she believes she can make him love her. She doesn’t realize until she can love herself, no one else will.

What I like about the book is the uncensored peek into a world most of us will never see. The costumes, the dancing, the camaraderie-by-necessity of the girls in this harsh business. Their stories, as well as the story of Blue, feel true and uncontrived. How many women can say they would make different decisions based on a set of vicious life circumstances as experienced by these dancers? This book attempts to take the judgment of a profession like stripping or exotic dancing and expose it to the coldness of day, and it may make you uncomfortable to read, but the truth shines its sad light from every page.

I liked Blue, and I was rooting for her. Although the resolution has an element of deus ex machina, it is not totally unbelievable. The shifts in the timeline take a little getting used to, but serve to document Blue’s state of mind in a way that mere language cannot.

The cover photo is fabulous, a piece of art in itself. Published by Murphy’s Law Press, “Blue” is an unflinching look at the dangerous physical and emotional life of an exotic dancer, reminiscent of “Gypsy”.

Definitely worth the price of admission, you can find J.D.’s book here. Both hardcover and a PDF file are available, and I highly recommend this gritty, yet hopeful, picture of the lady in “Blue”.

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