Tuesday, July 29, 2014

REVIEW: Searching for Sky by Jillian Cantor

Sky and River have always lived on Island, 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.

My Thoughts:

On Island, I never questioned my place in the world, where I belonged, where I'm supposed to be. Now I am a girl without a place. It's worse than hunger--it's the saddest, most lonely thing i've ever felt.

I read a huge amount of books, and there are times when I can feel like I'm just reading the same scenarios from one book to the next with a few differences here and there. When I read the synopsis for Searching for Sky, I was intrigued, but not so much that I thought I would race to buy it immediately on release. Then I got sent a copy for review. And even then, I didn't jump right into it. What a mistake that was!! Searching for Sky is such a moving and heartfelt story. It's originality was a complete standout and the delivery was fantastic. 

Sky and River have lived on Island for the past fourteen years. They have only each other to rely on and they do everything together. But one day River spots a boat in the distance. A boat that will come to their rescue and take them from Island, across ocean, to California and a life that is so incredibly foreign to them. 

That's all I want, just to hear the whisper of the ocean, to feel the water against my toes, dancing there, a memory of what once was. There is still so much I don't know, I don't understand. But what I do know is this: the ocean heals and it soothes. The water is home.

Imagine being thrust into a world that is so completely alien to you. A world where you understand nothing of the modern comforts and day to day existence. Imagine how confusing this world would be. Phones, televisions, cars, shoes, clothes, food... All of these things are strange and new. 

My heart broke for these two characters. I cried tears for their frustrations. When Sky and River are separated, Sky goes to live with a Grandmother that she has no recollection of. Not only dealing with trying to work her way through this modern world, she also has to learn how to accept the love and affections of a woman who is a stranger to her. And along the way she learns a whole host of things that will have her questioning this new life of hers as well as everything she knows of her past. Since this story is told from Sky's point of view, we really get to experience her struggles first hand. And while I was completely taken in with Sky and her story, but when River re-enters her life, and we learn how he has been spending his time, my heartbreak was taken to a whole new level, along with the pacing and escalation of the story.

But now, I see it exactly the way he understood it then, River and me, our edges overlapping, connecting, entwined. That's the way we're supposed to be. Without him, I am lost, empty. just a circle, a deep, empty hole.

The unbreakable bond between Sky and River was so beautiful. The love and affection that they have for each other, even when it's put to the test. I can't even imagine how hard it would be to be separated from the person who makes sense of everything for you. The portrayal of Sky's emotions was done so well.

Ben sees me I think. He actually sees me

I have to make mention of Ben. He is the neighbour of Sky's Grandma, and he is beyond special. He understands Sky when everyone else seems not to. He accepts her difficulty to adjust and her reluctance to lose who she has been for the last fourteen years. He was caring and protective, and I adored him!!

For the most part, this is not a book that is fast paced and full of action. If that's what you need in a book, then you will be sorely disappointed with this one. What it is, is a story of deep and beautifully portrayed emotion and heartbreak. Searching for Sky gave me so much more than I expected. I can guarantee that I will be recommending this book to everyone. I will without doubt be rereading it again and again and I will also be picking up anything and everything that Jillian Cantor has written in the past and everything that she writes from this day forward.

5/5 Emotional and Heartbreaking Stars

Paperback very kindly provided by Bloomsbury Australia for review.


  1. I read this last week and I thought it was great! It's definitely not a fast paced book like you said but one that you savor and just enjoy. There was something about the wording, the simple words, they really packed a punch and made you slow down your reading. There was a flow, a rhythm going through my head as I read, I didn't want to miss a word afraid that I would miss something important, yet these words were so childlike. When the two of them were separated, my heart ached. They had everything they needed with each other but now they had nothing.

    1. I agree completely Sandy!! It was such a wonderful book, that completely took me by surprise!!

  2. Ooh i never figured this one to be an emotional read but it sounds intense from your review. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I'm curious now.

  3. I just love when a book surprises you! This one sounds like a good one. I don't mind if a book isn't that fast paced and full of action, it's nice for a change. I'll have to add this one to my Goodreads. Thanks for sharing.


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