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Monday, 11 October 2010

Review: Finding Sky

Author: Joss Stirling

Release date: 7th October 2010
Genre: Paranormal / Supernatural / YA
Target audience: 12+

Summary from Amazon:
You have half our gifts, I have the other . . . When English girl Sky, catches a glimpse of bad boy Zed in her new American high school, she can't get him out of her head. He talks to her with his thoughts. He reads her mind. He is the boy she will love for ever. Dark shadows stalk her past but a new evil threatens her future. Sky must face the dark even if it means losing her heart.

Finding Sky was a simply absorbing read shaped by a beautiful setting and endearing characters.

The story begins with Sky Bright arriving at her new home in Colorado, America with her adoptive parents Sally and Simon. They left England for the opportunity to work at a new art centre in Wrickenridge. Sky is nervous about starting over. Her life in Richmond was settled and now she is afraid to be singled out as the British girl at her new school. Sky soon realises that high school in America is not that different from the UK. There are social groupings but they are not nearly as exaggerated as cheerleading films make out and she soon makes a good friend in Tina. But there is one social group that exists on the edge of school society: the bad boys. Zed Benedict is perhaps the most dangerous of this species and unfortunately for Sky he has the oddest ability to speak directly into her mind. She can’t get him out of her head but she knows he is trouble with a capital T.

The outline for this book suggests it sits firmly within the current teen trend for the paranormal. But actually, it really holds its own. I loved reading this book and constantly wanted to know what was going to happen next. It all comes down to character. Sky has been traumatised by sinister events in her childhood. She was in foster care for four years before she was adopted and there is a depth of inner turmoil that really made me feel for her. I also loved that she was small and that she had a quirky way of understanding the people around her. She sort of characterises people into comic book characters. It was a really fun twist. Zed is in some ways an even more interesting character. There is so much that he hides from the outside world and that obviously weighs heavily on his shoulders.

There is a great chemistry between Sky and Zed which makes you want them to find a way through Sky’s emotional barriers. Sky is very rational about her feelings and a realist. It made a great change from the usual girl who runs after a guy no matter what they’ve said or done scenario. There was also a brilliant use of humour in Finding Sky. I loved the great one liners that Zed kept pulling out of the bag. He is another male lead in YA fiction who will inspire much swooning.

The one and only aspect of this book that I felt was not as fully developed as it could have been is the characterisation of the villains. Obviously, I do not wish to spoil the story but I just felt they were overly simplified and one-dimensional. They lacked layers to their identities and this made it difficult for me to suspend my disbelief.

Overall though, Finding Sky is such an enjoyable and compelling read. I will undoubtedly be reading more books from Joss Stirling. I loved the witty tone and depth of soul to the main characters in this book. An exciting UK debut!


Lynsey Newton said...

So glad you liked this one, I did too. I thought it was refreshing and I really enjoyed the whole "British girl moves to the US" aspect :)

Caroline said...

I'm thrilled you liked this one too! I absolutely agree, it holds its own!! I read it in one sitting and was really glad I did!
I didn't notice the unidimensionality (bless me!) of the villains, but now you mention it... They do resemble the type of villains you find in comic books, so it might not be all too bad... :)

Lauren said...

I pretty much agree with every word of this. It is surprisingly different and it does have a real complexity to it in terms of Zed and Sky's characters and relationship. I really enjoyed it, and I think you're probably right about the reader-swooning.

Rhiana said...

I' 2/3's through this and so far i completely agree. It's very very readable, I'm really enjoying it (though do have one slight niggle)!

Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read said...

Great review! I also like the cover, it's dark and sort of vintage. As for villains - it's very important that they're well written. I think that it's even more important to write a villain well than a hero. Heroes are probably easier to write.

brizmus said...

It's been a long time since I last read a book that involved a child that had been in foster care. This sounds quite good - it seems like it must have been surprising, actually, that it really did hold its own.

Sarah said...

Great review Becky, I've heard a lot of good things about this one & really must get hold of a copy :o)

Lyndsey said...

I really liked this book and cant wait for more from Joss Stirling!

Bookgirl818 said...

Thanks for a great review, just bought this book this week and I was anxious to know what other bloggers thought! :)

I Want To Read That said...

I really enjoyed this - loved Zed! Adored Sky! Really hope it's a series:)

Jesse Owen said...

I completely agree - I adored Sky and Zed and I can't wait for more.

Becky said...

Lynsey, *smiles* yes it was nice to see a British girl moving to the US.

Caroline, you're right- perhaps it is a comic book interpretation. Interesting!

Lauren, yep - definite swooning: motorbike-riding, brooding, mysterious guy!

Irena, villains are hard to write, I agree. I know this from my own feeble attempts LOL

Brizmus, Sky's background and character is a real strength of the book.

Sarah, you really must!

Lyndsey, me too! Hope there are more in this series.

Bookgirl818, hope you enjoy it. A good choice in my opinion.

Sammee, me too!!!!

Jesse, you have excellent taste ;-)

Stephanie :) (Books Are A Girl's Best Friend) said...

I've never tried paranormal before but I'm trying to branch out a bit in my genres.
I thought you might like to know that Joss Striling is the name that the author of the Other Countess by Eve Edwards (which I see you enjoyed) uses for teen fiction. I found it on her website. If Finding Sky is anywhere near as good as TOC then it must be brilliant!