Author: Jillian Cantor
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s
Publication Date: May 2014
Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Contemporary
Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Synopsis can be found here.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Sky and River only know Island, the place where her mother and his father showed them to hunt, to live. Until a boat comes by and “rescues” them, whisking them away to California. Separated, Sky is thrown into a new life, complete with new rules and new experiences. But all she can think about is River and Island and Ocean and her lost mother. And all she wants to do is go back.
There is something so uniquely sad and heartbreaking about Sky and River, once they make it to California. Thrust into this new, modern and harsh world, Sky is living with a grandmother she never knew. Her grandmother’s prejudices and emotional baggage, while understandable, is very suffocating and makes Sky long for her old life on Island, with River. I was so sad every time someone called Sky “Megan” her old name. Sky’s struggles for identity and her longing for her past life of simplicity made my heart go out to her and River. It reminds us that the choices we make, or are made for us, aren’t always the best ones, even though at first we think they are. I did have some frustrations by how little Sky did know about the modern world. Her failure to grasp even the simplest things and breaking down because of it, sometimes wore on me. I wished she was stronger, fearless. But of course it makes total sense that she’s not. It’s being dropped on an alien planet that in no way resembles your own.
I struggled with Grandmother for a while. Of course, she is equal victim and cell guard. She makes bad decisions because of her past, frightened the same will happen to her granddaughter. But her bad choices only strengthen Sky’s urges to run and I have to admit that even for the small time the reader spends on Island with Sky, I longed for her to find a way back there too.
River, who was so sure of himself on the Island, is reduced to a ghost. Sky isn’t sure where he is, only that he doesn’t want to see her when they get back. Guilt, fault and loneliness play on River as the story moves forward. The air of tragedy hovers over the characters and I wasn’t sure what was going to happen, but I knew it wouldn’t be good. Ben, the resident nice boy and somewhat babysitter for Sky, is alright enough. I liked his lightness and normalcy, such a relief from the overwhelming emotions that haunt both Sky and River.
Overall, Searching for Sky is a lovely book filled with hope and heartbreak. The ending is well done, a certain tint of melancholy that leaves the reader hoping for Sky to continue her journey and wishing we could see how it turns out.
Rating 8 Cookie Worthy