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Saturday, May 26, 2012

REVIEW: Night Sky by Jolene Perry

3.5 Stars

I’ve been in the mood for YA reads, lately. I saw this book on the blog of Nyrae Dawn, author of What I Boy Wants which I'd read and loved, recently, and the blurb of this one sounded good and the cover is pretty and intriguing.

Night Sky by Jolene Perry is about Jameson a.k.a. Jay who has been in love with his best friend, Sarah, for 3 years, and he never told her. But Sarah has a boyfriend now and Jay meets Sky, a Tlingit from Alaska, who has just moved into his street. Sky attends college and she is very candid - something that takes Jay by surprise as he comes to appreciate her "honesty approach". He finds himself incredibly attracted to Sky at a time when he is grieving the loss of his best friend to a guy he thinks is a jerk. Then, when his family life gets turned upside down, Sky is there for him; they form a connection and she changes him.

I was really looking forward to reading this… but I don’t know… I liked it but I didn’t connect strongly with the characters or the writing.

The first person narrative of Jameson (a.k.a. Jay), senior high school student and star swimmer, was quite engaging but I thought he spent too much time thinking about kissing and touching Sky - way too much (but not in a creepy/pervy way, just in a repetitive way). I know teen boys are known to be “horny teens” and this is likely a realistic portrayal, but the amount of time in the book he thinks about this took away from my enjoyment rather than building the tension. There is a balance to be made between the authenticity of the male voice and the storytelling and tension-building, I feel, and this balance was a bit off, for me.

I know I shouldn’t be comparing, but in comparison to such great Boy Point-of-Views (POV) like that of Alex Fuentes in the alternating POVs of Perfect Chemistry and Sebastian's sole POV in What a Boy Wants, Jay’s “voice” just felt a bit awkward, didn’t flow quite as well, and was repetitive. Jay’s character was very nice and sweet, though; his first date with Sky was very romantic and thoughtful; and there were some other really good moments in here. I really liked Jay and appreciated his growth throughout the story.

Sky’s initial forward behaviour perplexed me; and even more so after I found out her tragic backstory. I guess it just went to show how much she trusted Jay, from the beginning, because of his kind eyes and the eyes being the windows to the soul and all.
' "How can you even be with me? Why did you get in the car the night we met?" Now that I know her history, the comfortable way she is around me, doesn't make any sense.

"You have kind eyes." She breathes out the words, not moving.

"That's it?" My eyes?

"That's everything." Her arm tightens around me.

I run my hands through her hair and down her arms. Her body relaxes against me. There's nowhere in the world I'd rather be, and nothing else I'd rather be doing. It's all right here.'

I still felt like I was missing something with Sky, though; that I didn’t get a full grasp of who she was. But considering that Jay didn’t fully get to know her until the end, because of secrets she kept, that may have been why.

Night Sky was a nice read. It just wasn’t great, for me, especially coming off the back of a really great Boy POV book I’d just recently loved.

I loved this moment when Jay actually WASN'T thinking about kissing Sky ^_^:
'I'm suddenly afraid to touch her. My fingers touch the edges of hers and she slides our hands together. I scoot toward her, so I can take her in my arms. I don't think about kissing her or touching her. I just want to hold her, protect her. It means so much more now.'
My Jay (Edilson Nascimento) and My Sky (Orianka Kilcher)

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