After losing Sarah, the friend he’s loved, to some other guy, Jameson meets Sky. Her Native American roots, fluid movements, and need for brutal honesty become addictive fast. This is good. Jameson needs distraction – his dad leaves for another woman, his mom’s walking around like a zombie, and Sarah’s new boyfriend can’t keep his hands off of her. As he spends time with Sky and learns about her village, her totems, and her friends with drums - she's way more than distraction. Jameson's falling for her fast. But Sky’s need for honestly somehow doesn’t extend to her life story – and Jameson just may need more than his new girl to keep him distracted from the disaster of his senior year.
I loved that the story was told from Jameson's point of view, as a male PoV is always a nice change of pace. I'm actually a little in love with him - he had me laughing out loud in several spots.
"Stop having imaginary conversations in your head, Jameson. Sooner or later you'll be having them out loud."
"Now that they're both in view, the problem is clear. Girl I've loved, girl I'm falling for. Let's meet in my driveway and see if we can give Jameson his first heart attack."
Finishing up his senior year of high school, most of his thoughts for Sky veered towards a more sexual manner - which made his character so much more believable. He was constantly checking her out and picturing what it would be like to touch her. I think it made his growth as a character truly shine, as by the end of the book he was more concerned with how he felt about her as a person, then how her smooth skin felt under his touch (though those thoughts weren't far behind!) He had a strong emotional reaction to everything that happened to him, which I remember experiencing myself in high school, and his uncomfortableness with Sky's brutal honesty rule was also something I could picture myself having trouble with at his age. I loved his relationship with his parents, who for once weren't absent (yey!), though I do wish his father had had a stronger response to some of Jay's angry outbursts.
Like Jay, I was eager for more Sky. Her bluntness with everything, including her growing reservations about being his rebound for Sarah, was refreshing and allowed for a completely honest dialogue between them. Her insistence that they take their time with each other, in order to learn to care about one another instead of just acting purely on their obvious chemistry (and chemistry - phew! It literally jumped off the pages!), had me rooting for her. It definitely helped that Jameson was constantly in awe of her presence, as just being close to her allowed him to feel like a better person. Her lack of honesty at the end was a betrayal that I felt alongside Jameson, but because of the trust she had for him after revealing her painful past, I was still hoping there would be forgiveness on both sides. I loved the references to her heritage, and how important it was to her, and felt like it added another element of genuineness to Night Sky.
I never truly cared for Sarah, as I always saw her as childish. Jameson constantly described her with youthful innocence, and childlike sweetness - I just saw selfishly childish. Her blatant disrespect for her friendship with Jameson, once she snagged a boyfriend who was jealous of their closeness, had me immediately disliking her. Telling her boyfriend not to be jealous because he was "just Jameson" was like a physical blow that had me sympathizing with Jay, as he was more then "just" anything - he was her best friend and deserved to be treated as such. I am glad they were able to mostly repair their relationship though, and that Jameson realized that what he felt for Sarah paled in comparison to his feelings for Sky.
I absolutely loved the plot twist with Sky's character, because it is exactly what a twist should be - a complete and utter surprise. I didn't see it coming, which is why I was so completely shaken - much like Jameson. It also served to tie up all the loose ends that the book had been accumulating concerning Sky, her past and her reasons for struggling with being separated from her childhood home. It wasn't just being oblivious to the twist that had me excited though - it was Jameson's reaction. Jolene Perry wrote Jameson's confusion and betrayal, mixed with his anger and fear for their future, perfectly. She managed to capture exactly how I imagine I would react, and delivered it through Jameson. I was angry with him for being so cruel to Sky, but also angry with Sky for withholding a secret of such grave consequences when she touted honesty from the beginning. Then I got angry along with Jameson, and eventually was left just feeling hurt and empty. Perry played my emotions like a violin, and I loved every minute of it! She handled Jameson's reaction perfectly, as we truly got to experience every emotion with him.
Night Sky might just be the contemporary book that sways me to read more contemporary YA. I found it refreshing and original, chalk full of the innocence and sweetness of first love. It was a fast read, but it delivered an emotional punch that I won't soon forget!
Jameson is one of those rare perfect narrators. A connection is bound to ours hearts so that we feel his every internal scrape, bruise, and cut. Being in love with the same girl, a close friend, for over three years is tough enough, but to then have his heart broken over lost opportunity is sad and profound because its relatable. "Hell begins on the day when God grants us a clear vision of all that we might have achieved, of all the gifts which we have wasted, of all that we might have done which we did not do." —Gian Carlo Menotti To have the mistake of wasting an opportunity, passing up each chance at honesty and expression, thrown in our faces day after day is a personal hell, so it's easy to feel for Jameson. What's quite amazing is his prompt meeting with Sky, following so soon after his heartbreak. Slowly developing a friendship that has so much promise for, where complete honesty is agreed upon and swapped always, helps Jameson discover so much about the person he is and what it actually means to love and be with someone. Teaches him how to forgive and accept, to sort what's real and right from the wrong and unnecessary.
There are surprise bumps that make this a raw and deep love story. Not everything is roses and spun sugar. There are disappointments and shocks within the family, hurtful pasts and secrets that don't destroy this new relationship between Jameson and Sky but do provide ample authentic issues for them to work through and overcome. This is not a love triangle in which a boy dates two girls and has a hard time deciding between the two; Jameson is struggling to relinquish the hold on Sarah in his heart and mind, while establishing something fresh and beautiful with someone who cares enough to be honest with him and support him no matter what. It's not a simple process nor is it a short one, but one that develops gradually and purposefully as Jameson fights every day to let go and start over with someone he genuinely cares for enough to prove that he can (move on). All the while, he's battling family issues with his parents and trying to pull it together. Our admiration for his capabilities, his loyalty, and the goodness in his heart, a certain sensitivity that strikes every now and then, is inevitable, swift, and absolute.
There's a blend of heritages that adds a new layer to an already incredible story and characters that bring a depth to the main ones. Jameson and Sky feel tangible, as if we could have befriended them were they capable of physically manifesting next to us. Despite the quick ride, it seems as if we know them and understand them as well as they do each other. More than that, their chemistry is believable and delicious and sweet. Truly heartwarming in its vitality and pervading beauty. We are constantly cheering for them to draw closer to one another and go further and further as each page flies by, the tension and anticipation we want to float in and never fall away from.
Night Sky by Jolene Perry is a rich, layered contemporary that thrills and pains and creates wonder with each word and each connection made between the main characters. With a thoroughly explored backdrop and cleverly crafted lives full of secrets and passions and painful histories, Jolene Perry whips up an addictive story that couldn't escape my ineludible clutches.
Originally posted at Paranormal Indulgence, 4/2/12
Night Sky is told through Jameson, a boy torn between two girls. His voice is realistic and the male point of view feels incredibly believable. Jameson has a naturalness about him that draws the reader in. You feel for him and the situation he finds himself in. The girls, Sarah and Sky, are typical high school girls each made unique by their cultural backgrounds or personality.
This book is definitely an emotional roller coaster. Perry has woven a complex plot with emotional conflicts and intense situations. The plot felt real in a way few contemporary novels do. The characters are completely fleshed out, making you feel like you know those characters or that maybe you could have been one of them.
Night Sky is a must read even for those who typically don't read contemporary. For those who love John Green or Stephanie Perkins, this is a new voice you want to read.