For some insane reason, it took me forever to start this book. Which is ridiculous because: it was brilliant.
I’m a little late with my review, but this just means it’s out now and YOU can run to your nearest bookstore and demand they give it to you ASAP. But, you know, manners, too. It’s hard to tell, but I kind of liked it.
Thanks Bloomsbury for the ARC! Searching for Sky by Jillian Cantor hit shelves on July 3rd, 2014.
River means everything to Sky. They have lived alone together on Island for as long as they can remember. The two of them hunt for food, wash in Falls and curl up together in Shelter. Their life is simple and safe. Until River sees a boat . . .
Across Ocean is California, a place where nothing makes sense to Sky. She is separated from River and taken to live with a grandmother she doesn’t know. Lost and heartbroken, Sky searches for him so they can return to Island, only to find out that their paradise wasn’t as perfect as she thought, and everything she’s ever known and loved may have been a lie.
A gripping and beautifully told story of love and survival in a hostile world – ours.
Oh. the. feels.
It’s seriously hard to review this without spoilers, so appreciate all the tears and anguish I’m setting aside to write this non-spoiler and very logical review. Pfft. Skip the “logical”. I’m too emotional for that right now.
What I loved about this book is it’s simplistic view of the world.
It’s narrated by Sky who’s lived on an island her whole life. It reminded me a lot of The Music of the Dolphins which I read years and years ago (and had forgotten about ’till now). Imagine putting a 16-year-old girl (who knows zilch about life outside of hunting for food and living on a deserted island) into society today? Making her “normal”? Just getting her to understand.
Since it’s narrated by Sky, we see everything like she’d see it. (What’s a car? What’s school? What’s money?) That must’ve been incredibly difficult to write. I absolutely applaud the author. And the descriptions were good! She thought the car looked like a “black cave” and she ended up calling it a “car cave”. It’s really simplistic and refreshing to read this kind of view point.
But that does lead me to my only nitpick:
For all the professionals the grandmother brought in to “help” Sky become normal…I don’t feel they were very cluey. Telling Sky (who’s basically been brought to a completely different world) there was a shooting in the paper? Giving Sky a paper to “practise reading with”?? Come on! I felt like the psychiatrists and doctors were useless. Which is disturbing, really. And the whole thing of trying to make Sky “normal”? Didn’t they want to make her feel loved? She was pretty honest about not liking people…but they didn’t worry she’d run away? They took everything she’d ever known AWAY and then…ugh. I just feel their assimilation techniques were off.
But you want to know about River, don’t you? (Don’t lie, I know you do.)
River is a little older than Sky. They were on the island together, sole survivors of their group. Of course back on the mainland, River “disappears” and Sky goes to live with her grandmother. This made me angry. Ohhh, GOSH, was I angry. There are Reasons. There are so many good and substantial reasons…but I didn’t get to know them until THE END OF THE BOOK. I had to function without answers, in pain and tears, knowing Sky and River were separated.
I spent the whole book thinking River was a complete jerk.
There are flashbacks to island life…which of course made me quietly scream, “WILSON.”
Sorry! Sorry! But I can’t be expected to read a book about an island (even if the book is mostly about being OFF the island rather than on it) and not think of Castaway. Plus Searching for Sky reduced me to a teary mess, much like when Wilson floated away.
I’ve never cried so hard about a ball. But I digress!
So why did I sob?
Ha! As if I’m going to tell you. Pfft. You underestimate me. I’m actually going to leave you to stew with only this: The ending was totally stunning. Now that I think about it, the author left clues. But I didn’t see it at the time! I just got there and — BOOM — where are my tissues?
Despite my irrational reluctance to start this book: I completely adored it. It was sad and sweet and simple and so refreshing to read. Until it then, you know, broke my heart and laughed at the pieces.
Cait would die if she were left on a deserted island. (Secret is out. Now you know how to kill her.) She’s very opposed to coconut and fish…two of the key foods of survival out there, apparently. But fish is…ew, slimy. And coconut? There is nothing good about coconut. Besides having food grievances, Cait has been tackling her ginormous TBR. It’s gotten a little ridiculous.