Lucy's life was going as smoothly as any teenager's could. She was in the local swimming club, and loved it; she lived with her parents and her brother, Cam, in the small coastal town she'd known all her life. She had friends, she had goals - she had a life. Now Cam is dead, her parents might as well be - and Lucy can't bear to get back in the pool. All she has to look forward to now is a big pile of going-nowhere.
Drawn to Steffi, her wild ex-best-friend who reminds Lucy of her mysterious, unpredictable brother, and music-obsessed Evan, the new boy in town, Lucy starts asking questions. Why did Cam die? Was it an accident or suicide? But as Lucy hunts for answers she discovers much more than she expects. About Cam. About her family. About herself.
I thought that this was a really good story following a girl who has just lost her brother. I think the feelings in this book and the reality of living with this sort of grief was portrayed really well.
Going into this book I didn’t realise it was Australian until it started mentioning places that I had actually heard of and been to. Except if you are Australian and you have heard of the places mentioned in the book you might be a bit confused about where it’s set (as I was). After going back and forth between different places I thought it could be, I finally messaged the author who cleared it all up. So for those who are in the same boat as I was, Pieces of Sky is a fictional setting based around the Forster/Pacific Palms areas. Apart from the setting, I really liked the little bits of Australian life that was placed throughout the book. I just find it so amusing that some American will be reading page 110 and it says “’Well then you’re a good friend’ she smiles and offers me some Shapes” and they will be so confused.
The start of this book wasn’t very engaging for me. I found it to be a bit boring at some points and nothing was really happening. I also thought the whole text messages thing was very confusing. After finishing it I understand why it was done, but before it was all explained, I just felt like it added nothing to the story.It took me about a week to read it and I’m not sure if it was because I was in a reading slump or it was like that for everyone, but after about 100 pages it really started to pick up. This was also when it started to get more into the romance side of things which is what I’m all about really.
I saw some people comparing this to The Sky is Everywhere and I really think that is unfair because that book (in my opinion) was a terrible portrayal of grief (although I think I’m the only person who thinks so). There are similarities with both of the main characters dealing with the death of an older sibling, but the main difference is that the main character in TSiE becomes romantically involved with her dead sister’s boyfriend AND some random guy at the same time. Just no. I mean, I guess people all deal with grief in different ways, but I just didn’t like the way that book portrayed it.
I loved Evan and Lucy together, I thought their relationship was written very well and was very realistic. I also liked how they didn’t do the usual YA thing where they get together and then they break up over some superficial thing or over miscommunication until they realise they can’t live without each other etc. I also have to mention how much I loved Cook because he was hilarious! I would read a whole book about just Cook alone!
So you may have read that review and then glanced down at my rating and thought "woah that's a pretty high rating". The reason for the high rating was because I thoroughly enjoyed how realistic it was. They didn’t all magically get better. It was a beautifully written story about a family dealing with the grief of the death of their loved one. I liked how there was humour in there, and it showed Lucy coming out of her grief and starting to live life again. And even though there were parts I found boring, the overall message from the story is one that I think will sit with me for a while. And that's all I have to say about that.
Book: 7.5/10 (My rating scale)
Format: Paperback, 287 pages
Publisher: Allen and Unwin
Favourite Quote: I can't find it at the moment but it was something about not letting your fear control how you live your life, I'll insert it here when I find it :)
Recommended for fans of: The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord (My review)
Retrieved from: A competition on Allen and Unwin's Facebook page (yay for winning books!)
*My review for The Sky is Everywhere can be found here
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