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)
624   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 Jenny Martin

      Today we welcome Jenny Martin to YABC! Martin's soon to be released debut novel, Tracked, is sure to appeal to fans of The Fast and the Furious and Firely along with Marie Lu's Legend and Veronica Roth's Divergent. This book will be racing across the finis ...

  • Chapter Reveal: The Ark by Laura Liddell Nolen + Giveaway (International)

    The Ark by Laura Liddell Nolen Release Date: March 26, 2015 Before we get to the chapter, here's a note from Laura:   Hi, YABC! I’m fired up about sharing my first chapter with you today. The Ark is about a young convict trapped in prison on the last day of ...

  • Author Top 5 with Django Wexler

      Today we welcome Django Wexler to YABC! Wexler's newly released sequel to The Forbidden Library, The Mad Apprentice: The Forbidden Library: Volume 2, is a fantasy adventure sure to appeal to fans of Harry Potter, Coroline, and Inkheart! Django has given us a list of the ...

  • April 2015 Book Haul!

    Hey YABCers!  Our office was innundated with fabulous kidlit, middle grade, and YA books this month! (Including an audio book and a graphic novel.) Check out our book haul below and tell us which books look the most interesting to you!    ...

  • Giveaway: Twintuition - Double Vision by Tia & Tamera Mowry (US Only)

    TWINTUITION: DOUBLE VISION by Tia & Tamera Mowry Release Date: April 21, 2015   About the Book Cassie and Caitlyn Waters may be identical twins, but everything else about them is completely different. The only thing they can agree on is that neither of them is happy th ...

  • It's live!! Cover Reveal: The Complete Blooming Goddess Trilogy by Tellulah Darling + Giveaway (International)

    Hi, YABCers! Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for THE COMPLETE BLOOMING GODDESS TRILOGY by Tellulah Darling, releasing April 30, 2015 from Te Da Media. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from Tellulah:   Hey YABC! I’ve basically been in sque ...

  • What's New in YA

      Are you wondering what's new in YA today? Check out these wonderful new releases!       From the acclaimed author of How to Love comes another stunning contemporary novel, perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen.   Molly Barlow is facing on ...

  • The Librarian's Corner

        I am happy to share with the YABC community the brand new Librarian's Corner column! This column features three themed book recommendations from a Teen Librarian each month. My name is Eden Grey, and I'll be doing the column each month. I am a Teen Librarian, and I absolutel ...

  • Chapter Reveal: Last Year's Mistake by Gina Ciocca

    Last Year's Mistake by Gina Ciocca Release Date: June 9, 2015 Before we get to the chapter, here's a note from Gina:   I’m so excited to share the first chapter of LAST YEAR’S MISTAKE with all of you! I’ve written this opening many different ways, and I lov ...

  • Giveaway: The Ark by Laura Liddell (International)

    The Ark By Laura Liddell Nolen    Release Date: March 26, 2015   About the Book It’s the final days of earth, and sixteen-year-old Char is right where she belongs: in prison. With her criminal record, she doesn’t qualify for a place on an Ark, one of the five ...

  • Giveaway: 5 To 1 by Holly Bodger (US & Canada Only)

    5 to1 By Holly Bodger Release Date: 5/12/15   About the Book Sudasa doesn't want to be a wife and Kiran, a boy forced to compete in the test to become her husband, has other plans as well. Sudasa's family wants nothing more than for their daughter to do the right thing and p ...

  • It's live!! Cover Reveal: Tor Maddox: Unleashed by Liz Coley + Giveaway (International)

    Hi, YABCers, and welcome to today's cover reveal! Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for TOR MADDOX: UNLEASHED by Liz Coley, releasing May 1, 2015 from LCTeen. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from Liz:   Hi YABC! I’m thrilled to int ...

View more blog entries

Latest Book Listings Added

Category: Kids Fiction
Ace and Bub are tangled up in an island-hopping competition, and there’s more than just the grand prize—a houseboat!—at stake....
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
The search for a missing baby drives this heart-pounding page turner, from Edgar Award Winner Susan Shreve (LUCY FOREVER AND...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
Meet Hannah. Her name is a palindrome. Her birthday is on New Year’s. She wishes she had a cat. She’s...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
From Geoff Herbach, the award-winning author of the hit young adult novels Stupid Fast and Nothing Special, comes the ultimate...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
The fast-paced, action-packed sequel to LAWLESS. No more teachers. No more crooks! M Freeman thought she had finally found a...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
High school sophomore Zona Lowell has lived in New York City her whole life, and plans to follow in the...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
Joey, the chocolate Labrador, loves to run and run. Living in the neighborhood of the Boston Marathon, he runs as...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
Here's the third entry in Claudia Mills' charming middle-grade series. Mason Dixon survived the school choir. He survived adopting his...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
For whimsical Cody, many things are beautiful, especially ants who say hello by rubbing feelers. But nothing is as beautiful...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
Fans of How to Train Your Dragon will love this whimsical tale, the first in a series, by a Newbery...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Fortune favors the bold in this adventurous tale of broken friendships, forbidden love, and a fiery heroine’s journey to escape...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
Alex Myers is a quarterback, but from the first day of football practice, it’s clear that that position is very...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
flora and ulysses.jpg
Category: Kids Fiction
Winner of the 2014 Newbery Medal Holy unanticipated occurrences! A cynic meets an unlikely superhero in a genre-breaking new novel...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
Some endings are inevitable, but so are some stories. Cora Matthews, the principal’s gloomy goth daughter, is not exactly...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In End Times, Daphne lost herself in love with Owen, only to discover the dark secret that puts Carbon County...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
A return to the world of THE LONELY HEARTS CLUB -- in a novel that gets to the heart of...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
The most mysterious Bronte sister steps into the light in this must-read novel for fans of Wuthering Heights and Jane...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
Wisdom is a journey across the Orion Arm of our galaxy and into the dreams, fears, and frailties of four...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ingrid and Gabby survived the Underneath. They saved their brother, Grayson, from a future of dark servitude and exposed a...
 
0.0
 
3.7 (1)
Rorke Denver trains the men who become Navy SEALs--the most creative problem solvers on the modern battlefield, ideal warriors for...
 
0.0
 
4.5 (1)