Title: Meet the Sky
Author: McCall Hoyle
Genre: YA Contemporary
Release Date: September 4th 2018 from Blink
Pages: 238 (US ARC)
Format: Physical ARC
*I received this physical ARC from the publicist Megan Beatie in exchange for a free and honest review. All thoughts are my own.*
Goodreads Synopsis: It all started with the accident. The one that caused Sophie’s dad to walk out of her life. The one that left Sophie’s older sister, Meredith, barely able to walk at all.
With nothing but pain in her past, all Sophie wants is to plan for the future—keep the family business running, get accepted to veterinary school, and protect her mom and sister from another disaster. But when a hurricane forms off the coast of North Carolina’s Outer Banks and heads right toward their island, Sophie realizes nature is one thing she can’t control.
After she gets separated from her family during the evacuation, Sophie finds herself trapped on the island with the last person she’d have chosen—the reckless and wild Finn Sanders, who broke her heart freshman year. As they struggle to find safety, Sophie learns that Finn has suffered his own heartbreak; but instead of playing it safe, Finn’s become the kind of guy who goes surfing in the eye of the hurricane. He may be the perfect person to remind Sophie how to embrace life again, but only if their newfound friendship can survive the storm.
I feel very fortunate to have received this ARC in exchange for review. I was interested in this book after seeing the description of this being a novel about surviving a hurricane. I have never read a book about two people trying to survive a hurricane. But unfortunately, this book didn’t do much for me and parts of it were frustrating to read. Here’s the break down of my thoughts:
- Basic premise: I think YA is definitely exploring more stories with adding more survival stories for readers to consume. I like the basic idea of this book of two people getting caught to survive. I was curious to see what they would do to survive and some of the things, like hiding in houses, talking through their situation and mostly using communication made it a somewhat authentic story.
- Family dynamic: Sophie’s family has a interesting family dynamic. Since they have a ranch style home, taking care of horses, it was interesting to read about their jobs/lifestyle. They’re in a rough spot due to the father being out of the picture and her sister Meredith having a permanent disability after an accident. I just liked seeing how they were trying to adjusting and cope with their new life.
- Distracting Side Plot: In the last half of the book, there was a subplot that started taking over the main thread of the survival story. It involves saving a wandering horse. I am a major animal person, but this subplot thread feels like it came out of nowhere. It kept taking over the character’s attention, causing their minds to wander from surviving. It took up about 75 pages of the last half which was distracting.
- Forced Romance: This is another YA novel that feels like the author is forcing these two characters to be romantically together by the end. They have no chemistry at all. Just because they help each other survive during a natural disaster, as well as revealing their feelings while they were away from each other, doesn’t mean they have to end up together. I just wanted both of them to reconcile how the felt about each other from the past and move on from it, being allies more than a future couple. They had no room, in my opinion, to have any grounds for a relationship. This was a major negative in the book.
- Some Stupidity: The male character Finn has some pretty stupid moments that made me gawk at the book. I know he has a different and positive outlook, it still doesn’t excuse some of his awful decisions. He decides its ok to remove a piece of projectile from Sophie’s skin after it lodges into her! He even talks about how to properly treat a wound like that, but then turns around and does the opposite. Then he wants her to stand on a dangerous area during the storm because he thinks it will help her be more positive? Nope. He also keeps pushing Sophie so much that it strains their forced alliance to survive. The author gives him no room to grow, leaving it only for Sophie, which not a good choice on the author’s behalf.
- Not Thrilling: Even though it’s a survival story, it wasn’t very exciting to read. It was easy to read due to the length, but the whole survival aspect was never thrilling or made me worried for them. They talk/bicker for a while, run in the rain, stay in a house and then repeat a few times. Nothing ever made them work terribly hard (a lot of these were conveniently there) and I just knew they would be fine which isn’t a good feeling. This was my biggest pet peeve of the book.
Overall: This just wasn’t exciting, somewhat boring and had a terribly forced romance that I could never get behind. Everything was fine and happy in the end with no struggles or meaningful character growth. I don’t think I will try anything else by this author in the future. This was fine, but not one I would necessarily recommend.
**A huge thank to Megan Beatie for sending this to me in exchange for review**
Have you read this book? What were your thoughts on this book? What YA survival stories would you recommend?