Hi Book Lovers! Today is my posting date for the AusYABloggers Blog Tour of the beautiful book Sky by Ondine Sherman! So here we go! A big thank you to Pantera Press and AusYABloggers for allowing me to join in the tour! 🙂 and of course to Pantera Press for providing me with a copy of this beautiful book to read and review as part of the tour.
Published in 2019 by Panetra Press. Sky is the first book in the Animal Allies series. (I need book 2 now, these characters, ahh my heart!)
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary, Young Adult Fiction.
Page Count: 248
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Trigger Warnings: Animal Cruelty, death of a parent, bullying.
Sypnosis from Goodreads:
After her mother’s death, Sky is forced to leave her city life behind and move in with her aunt and uncle in a small Australian town. But the city isn’t all that she leaves behind. Trying to fit in with her new friends means doing things she never dreamt she’d do. And falling for the School Queen’s crush is the least of her worries when she’s confronted by tightly guarded family secrets.
Just as she thinks everything is starting to feel normal, Sky stumbles on a case of animal cruelty that forces her to make some tough decisions. Will Sky risk everything to stand up for what she believes in?
Sometimes you have to lose everything to find yourself.
I truly didn’t know what to expect from this beautiful book, only that I would be moved inexplicably (from the sypnosis), and I definitely was excited to read all about Sky.
I cannot gush about this book enough, honestly, it was so heartbreaking and even when I started just reading the first few pages, I just felt so emotional for Sky, our main character, who had only recently lost her Mother, and finds herself having to leave everything familiar behind as she moves to a smaller town, every bit as different from busy and vibrant Sydney where she called home.
I just found the writing to evoke such emotions, and so early on! I really felt like I was right there with Sky, who initially finds herself reluctant to open up to her Aunt and Uncle, and do I blame her? Absolutely not! The poor love is just missing her Mum so much, the poor girl just needs to grieve and I don’t even blame her for initially shunning her Aunt and Uncle, though I will say, the collective character development and continued interaction between Sky and her Aunt and Uncle just made my heart happy! I mean, when it comes down to it, you can just tell how much love there is in everyone’s heart for one another, it was just so wholesome and wonderful and emotional! It was too good and glorious to see Paula (Sky’s Aunt, her Mum’s Sister, naturally), announce some things that Sky didn’t know, all whilst being a supportive rock for her, really.
As Sky is concerned though, she grabbed me and did not let go, pulling me into the pages with her and experiencing not only those heart wrenching emotions, but also the adrenaline when she does something she perhaps shouldn’t, such as entering a high security farm, indulging her animal loving heart, only to find the horrors within! I think Ondine Sherman brilliantly captured Sky’s passions, emotions and love for animals, her instant care and need to look after an abandoned dog, to wanting to exploit the horrors of what happens to those poor chicks and broiler chickens in the cooped up, confined, inhumane spaces. It was just so eye opening and I couldn’t help but flinch every time these horrible scenarios were described, but I just love Sky’s passion to get the word out about these horrible living situations for these chicks and chickens, and her genius idea about how to bring the message across! Not that it wasn’t without consequence, but ahh I felt so proud of Sky, I practically cheered when she was standing up for what she believes in, as we all should!
Friendship was also an important theme in this novel, firstly, Sky has a slight anonymous Instagram account, where she interacts with a mysterious but fellow animal loving boy, so I thought that was super sweet and fun how it carried throughout the novel, and also, Lucy! Such a fun, easy going, natural character who took Sky for who she was, who shared her love for animals, who helped her a lot throughout the story, I loved their friendship so much! Even the mean girl, Marissa, who dictates every rule to her minions (even saying what her friends must wear, and protesting if they have a dress she doesn’t approve of!), it’s like, really? But as I found out more about her toxic parents, namely her mother, I kind of understood why Marissa felt like she needed to have one thing she could reign control over, and part of me did feel sorry for her, I mean, who wants to be deprived of a tasty treat now and then, for the sake that her Mother wants her to have flawless skin for an upcoming photo shoot! Definitely another exceptional credit to Ondine Sherman’s writing, for making me sympathise with someone so nasty!
I also must pitch an honorable mention to Bella the dog and Chirp the chicken, I always have all of the love for animals in books, and these two are definitely no exception! I loved their happy interaction with Sky, and it’s so powerful and emotional and just wonderful that they found one another, all through varying tragic and horrific circumstances, only to have cemented beautiful life long bonds!
As I approached the ending of Sky, I desperately hoped that this wouldn’t be the end of her story, and I’m thrilled that we have a sequel coming this August! *happy dances*
Everyone, if you’re looking for a story that will tug at your heartstrings and not let go, look no further! Sky by Ondine Sherman is just that!
A big thank you once again to AusYABloggers and Pantera Press for putting together the tour, and supplying me with a copy of Sky.
Add Sky to your Goodreads TBR shelf!
About the Author: (from Pantera Press’ website)
Ondine is the co-founder and managing director of Voiceless, the animal protection institute. She is a life-long animal advocate, passionate about promoting respect and compassion for all creatures. Ondine holds a BA in Communications and MA in Environmental Studies. She is an ambassador for Action for Dolphins and director of conservation NGO This is My Earth (TiME), and writes regularly about animal protection in the media.
Ondine grew up in Sydney and now lives in Tel Aviv with her husband and three children. Her mischievous street cats, loyal dogs and ex-battery chickens all keep her extraordinarily entertained.