A mix between Blue Lagoon and Peter Pan, Searching for Sky by Jillian Cantor is an entertaining story about two teenagers, Sky and River who have always lived on “Island”, a deserted desert island that is the only world they’ve ever known. Until the day River spots a boat. Across Ocean, in a place called California, Sky is separated from River and forced to live with a grandmother she’s just met. Here the rules for survival are different. People rely on strange things like cars and cell phones. They keep secrets from one another. And without River, nothing makes sense. Sky yearns for her old life where she was strong and capable, not lost and confused. She must find River so they can return to Island, but the truth behind how they ended up there in the first place will come as the biggest shock of all.
Learning about the world through the innocent eyes of Sky is charming – but be warned this book is heartbreaking!
‘Almost Missed You’ by Jessica Strawser begins by jumping quickly into the action and plot. A young couple are on vacation with their toddler. The husband goes up to the hotel room with the son. The wife follows shortly after and discovers the hotel room empty. All signs of her husband and son are absent. There is no note. The wife, Violet, believes they had a solid marriage and there is no reason she can think of for her husband to disappear with their son. As the police get involved the story rewinds to how the couple met, revealing possible cracks in the relationship. Hooks you early on. Good summer beach read.
Ernest Cline’s EPIC YA Novel Ready Player One has been made into a movie and the trailer premiered at San Diego’s Comic Con this past weekend. IT LOOKS AMAZING! Steven Spielberg directed the film and if you haven’t read this adventurous homage to pop culture then you should! Check it out:
Jane Green’s latest, “The Sunshine Sisters” is a great summer beach read. British transplant Green is very comfortable in her hometown of Westport, Connecticut- the setting of ‘Sunshine.’ The Sunshine sisters includes Nell, the oldest, a single mother working on a farm in Connecticut with no time or interest in dating; Meredith, the middle child who moved to England years ago, who always felt neglected and harshly criticized by their mother; and Lizzie, the somewhat coddled youngest and most beautiful sister who is successful in her very hip pop-up restaurants. When their mother calls them all home to visit, the sisters are together for the first time in ages and the stale connections fizzle and pop. Their mother, Ronni Sunshine, is a faded Hollywood star, mostly forgotten. She was never a great mother and the three daughters aren’t afraid of letting her know she gets a D (F?) as a grade. Although predictable, ‘Sunshine Sisters’ is good for a sunshine-y, hot, summer day
Orbiting Jupiter by Gary Schmidt is a heartfelt middle-grade read. I don’t normally read too many middle-grade books but this one was amazing.
And….WOW. First of all this book is short, I read it in about an hour.
The story is told from the perspective of Jack, 12, who tells the gripping story of Joseph, 14, who joins his family on their rural farm as a foster child. Damaged in juvenile prison, Joseph wants nothing more than to find his baby daughter, Jupiter, whom he has never seen. Adjusting to life on the farm (and life in general after Juvie) is hard for Joseph who is unsure how to act in the world in light of his past. When Joseph has begun to believe he’ll have a future, he is confronted by demons from his past that force a tragic sacrifice.
This novel might not appeal to some readers for a few reasons
1 )It obviously takes place in a pre-technology world (before cell phones, computers etc.)
2) The language and story-telling is simple
HOWEVER, I think that Schmidt used this form of setting/storytelling to produce a novel that is purely emotion. Jack’s brother-like relationship that he forms with Joseph is heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time.
Although the ending bothered me a little bit (simply because all of the characters in the novel follow a cliche path) it was still brilliant and emotional.