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!