Books Young Adult Fiction Flowers in the Sky

Flowers in the Sky Featured

http://www.yabookscentral.com/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x275s/a9/e1/33/_000-1362924629.jpeg
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
650   1
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
13+
Release Date
March 05, 2013
ISBN
0060297948
Buy This Book
      
Just about everyone from my country, República Dominicana, dreams of moving to New York City, except for me. On the flight to New York, my first time on a plane, my first time away from Mami, I was finally free to cry. But nothing came out. I watched as the green mountains of my beloved island slipped away far below.

Fifteen-year-old Nina Perez is faced with a future she never expected. She must leave her Garden of Eden, her lush island home in Samana, Dominican Republic, when she's sent by her mother to live with her brother, Darrio, in New York, to seek out a better life. As Nina searches for some glimpse of familiarity amid the urban and jarring world of Washington Heights, she learns to uncover her own strength and independence. She finds a way to grow, just like the orchids that blossom on her fire escape. And as she is confronted by ugly secrets about her brother's business, she comes to understand the realities of life in this new place. But then she meets him—that tall, green-eyed boy—one that she can't erase from her thoughts, who just might help her learn to see beauty in spite of tragedy.

From the acclaimed author of The Color of my Words comes a powerful story of a girl who must make her way in a new world and find her place within it.

Editor reviews

What I Loved:

FLOWERS IN THE SKY isn't the kind of book I'd usually be drawn to, but I'm so glad I read it. I loved so many things about it. First of all, the setting (both the seaside town of Samana in the Dominican Republic and the neighborhood of Washington Heights in New York City) come to vivid life on the page. I now have a burning desire to visit Samana myself just to see the artists lined up on the boardwalk by the sea. Ms. Joseph weaves gorgeous sensory details all throughout her narrative which serve to bring the reader fully into the world of the story.

The characters each feel unique and fully fleshed-out as well. Readers will immediately connect with Nina and her struggle with finding a new way to be herself after being transplanted from everything she's ever known and loved. Ms. Joseph also does a masterful job of exploring the excitement and confusion of first love as well as the painfully gained wisdom of learning to see one's family members for who they really are instead of who we've built them up to be. Nina's journey from flower girl in Samana to emerging young woman in Washington Heights is compelling and feels absolutely authentic.

The story itself is written in clean prose and is an easy, fast read. The few mentions of more mature content (drug dealers, theft) are brushed over quickly with no violence or glorification of crime. This is a story that both mature YA readers and younger readers just approaching the YA genre could both enjoy.

What Left Me Wanting More:

Because Nina is our narrator, we're left to learn the pieces of the story (and the mystery surrounding her brother and the boy she's starting to love) in bits and pieces as she learns it. This didn't bother me, but there were times when I was frustrated that Nina never came out and just asked her brother or Luis for the truth. However, I think a lot of that reluctance had to do with the culture Nina was raised in, and that would make for an excellent discussion question in a reading group or classroom setting.

Final Verdict:

FLOWERS IN THE SKY is a compelling story full of beauty, heartbreak, and flashes of wisdom. I highly recommend it.
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

Insightful and Compelling

What I Loved:

FLOWERS IN THE SKY isn't the kind of book I'd usually be drawn to, but I'm so glad I read it. I loved so many things about it. First of all, the setting (both the seaside town of Samana in the Dominican Republic and the neighborhood of Washington Heights in New York City) come to vivid life on the page. I now have a burning desire to visit Samana myself just to see the artists lined up on the boardwalk by the sea. Ms. Joseph weaves gorgeous sensory details all throughout her narrative which serve to bring the reader fully into the world of the story.

The characters each feel unique and fully fleshed-out as well. Readers will immediately connect with Nina and her struggle with finding a new way to be herself after being transplanted from everything she's ever known and loved. Ms. Joseph also does a masterful job of exploring the excitement and confusion of first love as well as the painfully gained wisdom of learning to see one's family members for who they really are instead of who we've built them up to be. Nina's journey from flower girl in Samana to emerging young woman in Washington Heights is compelling and feels absolutely authentic.

The story itself is written in clean prose and is an easy, fast read. The few mentions of more mature content (drug dealers, theft) are brushed over quickly with no violence or glorification of crime. This is a story that both mature YA readers and younger readers just approaching the YA genre could both enjoy.

What Left Me Wanting More:

Because Nina is our narrator, we're left to learn the pieces of the story (and the mystery surrounding her brother and the boy she's starting to love) in bits and pieces as she learns it. This didn't bother me, but there were times when I was frustrated that Nina never came out and just asked her brother or Luis for the truth. However, I think a lot of that reluctance had to do with the culture Nina was raised in, and that would make for an excellent discussion question in a reading group or classroom setting.

Final Verdict:

FLOWERS IN THE SKY is a compelling story full of beauty, heartbreak, and flashes of wisdom. I highly recommend it.

Was this review helpful to you? 
 

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.

Already have an account? or Create an account
 
Powered by JReviews

LATEST YABC BLOG POSTS - BLOG TOURS, ANNOUNCEMENTS, AND GIVEAWAYS

  • Author Top 5 with Catherine Linka

      Today we welcome Catherine Linka to YABC! Zinka's soon to be released sequel to A Girl Called Fearless, A Girl Undone, is sure to appeal to fans of Divergent and An Ember in the Ashes. The next installment in The Girl Called Fearless series will make its debut June 23rd and w ...

  • It's live!! Cover Reveal: The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows + Giveaway (US Only)

    Welcome to another fabulous cover reveal, YABC! Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for THE MIRROR KING by Jodi Meadows, releasing April 5, 2016 from Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins Publishers. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from Jodi:   ...

  • What's New in YA

      Are you wondering what's new in YA today? Check out these wonderful new releases!       When you’re in love with the wrong person for the right reasons, anything could happen. Tretch lives in a very small town where everybody's in everybody else ...

  • Books Aren't Dangerous Campaign

      Do you remember that book that changed your life as a reader, or maybe just your life in general? You do? That’s great!        Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, authors of the BEAUTIFUL CREATURES series, have started a campaign called BOOKS AREN’T DANG ...

  • TOMORROWLAND - Drive Through Movie Review

    **********NO SPOILERS************ The Nerd Riders, Kristin and Clint, give their thoughts on the new Disney film TOMORROWLAND.    QUESTION: If you could go to an alternate universe what would you want to see there? ...

  • It's live!! Cover Reveal: The Secret Side of Empty by Maria E. Andreu + Giveaway (US/Canada)

    Hi, YABC! Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for THE SECRET SIDE OF EMPTY by Maria E. Andreu, releasing September 1, 2015 from Running Press. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from Maria:   YABC Readers!  I’m so excited to share the pape ...

  • May 2015 YABC Book Haul

    Hey YABCers! Once again, our office has been innundated with books, books, and  more BOOKS! We've run out of shelf space which can only mean one thing .... it's time for the May Book Haul! Enjoy the video and let us know in the comments which books you can't wait to add to your TBR. &nbs ...

  • It's live!! Cover Reveal: Insidious by Dawn Metcalf + Giveaway (US/Canada)

    Hello, YABC! Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for INSIDIOUS by Dawn Metcalf, releasing August 25, 2015 from Harlequin TEEN. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from Dawn:   You know when you finish a story, you never really finish because there' ...

  • What's New in YA

      Are you wondering what's new in YA today? Check out these wonderful new releases!       A School for Unusual Girls is the first captivating installment in the Stranje House series for young adults by award-winning author Kathleen Baldwin. #1 New York ...

  • The Librarian's Corner

      This month's theme for the Librarian's corner is all about picture books you can share with teens! Picture books aren't just for kids and babies anymore. In fact, teens love storytime too!    For May, I am featuring some of my favorite picture books to share ...

  • The Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival

        The Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival--TBF 2015 Contributed by Kayla King, Blog Manager and Staff Reviewer   Here at Young Adult Books Central, we LOVE YA! Fortunately for us, The Greater Rochester Book Festival held at Nazareth Collge devotes itself to s ...

  • Giveaway: If You Feel Too Much by Jamie Tworkowski (US Only)

    If You Feel Too Much: Thoughts on Things Found and Lost and Hoped For By Jamie Tworkowski Release Date: May 26, 2015   About the Book In 2006 Jamie Tworkowski wrote a story called “To Write Love on Her Arms” about helping a friend through her struggle with drug addiction, ...

View more blog entries

Latest Book Listings Added

61K250js3oL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
Category: Kids Nonfiction
Discover how Benjamin Franklin’s scientific method challenged a certain Dr. Mesmer’s mysterious powers in a whimsical look at a true...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
Alexis Wyndham is the other type of Queen B—the Queen Bitch. After years of being the subject of ridicule,...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
In this hilarious novel, written in the voice of eighth-grader Wyatt Palmer, Dave Barry takes us on a class trip...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Dominion of Atalanta is at war. But for eighteen-year-old Aris, the fighting is nothing more than a distant nightmare,...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
At the outset of World War II, Denmark did not resist German occupation. Deeply ashamed of his nation's leaders, fifteen-year-old...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
Twelve-year-old Sophie Brown feels like a fish out of water when she and her parents move from Los Angeles to...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The revolution is here. Bodies line the streets of Urobrun; a great pyre burns in Republic Square. The rebels grow...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Seventeen-year-old Dyna comes from a long line of risk-takers and is an avid thrill-seeker in her own right, until she...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
From Catherine Linka, the sequel and explosive conclusion to A Girl Called Fearless. Having survived a violent confrontation with the...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
When sixteen-year-old Tess Kendrick is sent to live with her older sister, Ivy, she has no idea that the infamous...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
TheEscape.jpg
Not everyone who goes into the woods comes out.... It was supposed to be a short hike, a way for...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The realities of teen prostitution are revealed in this eye-opening, heartbreaking story from the author of America, which Booklist called...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The_Dogst.jpg
Out of the corner of my eye, I catch something moving by the barn. When I look, it disappears. Wait....
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A stunning re-imagining of Robin Hood, the first in an exciting new trilogy Forget everything you've ever heard about Robin...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A summer romance filled with danger and lies Jane is ready for a fantastic summer. In fact, she’s pretty sure...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Fans of Pretty Little Liars and L.A. Candy will devour this fast-paced series from a writer New York Times bestselling...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Mina is seventeen. A virgin. And pregnant. Mina is top of her class, girlfriend to the most ambitious guy in...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
“I loved CHARMED . . . I couldn't turn the pages fast enough!” raves Amy Tintera, author of Reboot, of...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Pagan Jones went from America's sweetheart to fallen angel in one fateful night in 1960: the night a car accident...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a...
 
0.0
 
4.7 (1)