Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Book Review: Searching For Sky by Jillian Cantor- Coming 5/13/2014

Searching For Sky by Jillian Cantor
Children’s Fiction/Teen & YA
Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books
Releases on May 13th, 2014
Read April 27th-28th, 2014

       I really enjoyed Searching For Sky.  It was told from a perspective that I haven't heard before and by a character who drew me in and captivated me with her story, thoughts, and fears.  I felt for her and, like her, just wanted her to be able to return to her old life, where simplicity was all she knew. 

       Searching For Sky is about a young girl and boy, River, who were raised on a deserted island, where their boat crashed when they were only toddlers.  They don't remember their life before, Island is all they've known.  Their parents had died a year before and they have been by themselves since.  They are rescued by a passing boat, not necessarily willingly, and taking to a Military hospital in America in order to find out who they are and get them through customs.
       Sky goes to live with her estranged grandmother in California and is separated from River.  Sky only wants to be with River, who is the one and only familiar face and comfort she longs for, and wants to leave with him and find a way back to Island.  Unfortunately, Sky is stuck with her grandmother who is trying to help her catch up in society.   She is bombarded with experiencing things she's never done or seen and is forced to learn how to conform to a society that she never knew existed.  She learns new words, society’s dos and don’ts, wears shoes for the first time, and struggles to stay calm in a fast-past world.  On Island she was confident, able, and happy.  Now she is unsure, confused, and lonely.
       As things progress and the past is revealed, Sky learns things about those she loved that is far beyond disturbing.  She has a hard time accepting the truth.  Those who she loved and knew had lived lives in the past that she could never had imagined.  She learns what happened before Island and how those events are continuing to effect people and play a part in her current situation. 

       Sky is such a strong character, both in the book and psychologically.  On Island, she is the logical one, River is the dreamer.  Sky takes care of what needs to be done in order to survive.  Though she faces the unknown, she fights for what she believes is right and for what she wants.
       One thing that really irked me was that darn grandmother!  She continued to dismiss Sky’s request to see River, to at least make sure he was okay, even after they returned to her house.  She kept Sky away from him and wouldn’t answer the questions Sky wanted answers to, the questions she deserved answers to.  She seemed a little bit like a goodie-two-shoes when she hired the best people to help Sky along in her schooling and therapy.  Then there’s her lack of understanding and forgiveness in realizing that River is not his father, they were two different people, completely different in both heart and mind.  This does not take away from the essence of the book, believe me.  The grandmother was a needed character and helped the story along, she made the book more realistic: believable and relatable.  Plus, not every character in a book is loved.  Believe me, I’ve read my fair share of books.
       I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to any readers 12+ years, especially those who enjoy realistic fiction.  It is sort of like a reverse dystopian story: it is very thought provoking in a way that makes you think about what’s really important.  Material things come and go, fads change, houses and cars can be bought and sold… but the people we let into our lives and form a relationship with, a bond, those are what’s irreplaceable. Sure people come and go, they are born and then pass away,  but that love that we share with them can never be bought, sold, buried, stored, or forgotten.  It is a living, breathing part of us. Love remains.

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