From the author of We Speak in Storms comes a twisty, psychological thriller about three friends searching for the truth in the aftermath of a plane crash. The morning after their senior year beach party, Izzy, Cass, and Janie are woken by a thundering overhead. Then they and their classmates watch in shock as a plane crashes into the water. When the passengers are finally recovered, they are identified as Izzy's twin brother, Israel, Cass's ex-boyfriend, Shane, and Janie's best friend, Nate. But Izzy can feel when her brother is in pain, and she knows he's not really dead. So she, Cass, and Janie set out to discover what actually happened that day--and why the boys were on the plane. Told in alternating timelines and points of view, this powerful and captivating novel follows the three boys in the weeks leading up to that fateful flight, and the girls they left behind as they try to piece together the truth about the boys they loved and thought they knew. A spellbinding story about the ripple effects of tragedy, the questions we leave unanswered, and the enduring power of friendship.
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In the lead up, we witness the decisions that led to the crash, and the troubles that contributed. In the aftermath, we see the three girls torn apart in their grief, their search for answers, and their hope for meaning in it all. As they follow the leads they can find, they hold hope that the end was not really the end, particularly with Izzy's twin-sense that tells her that her brother is not truly gone and the dolphins that she spotted around the crash.
What I loved: This was a heart-breaking story of loss, grief, and hope. The book is very heavy, as before the boys are wrapped up in their individual troubles and afterwards, the girls are consumed by their grief. I appreciated both sides of the perspectives, which give the reader answers they could never have gotten without it. The book did showed depression and the need for help that can be difficult to see.
What left me wanting more: Neither before nor after do the characters get the help they need, and the boys and girls felt like they were struggling with worries and grief. I would have liked to see more of that, even in the wake of the accident for those left behind but heavily touched by the accident. Although this was billed as a thriller, there was not really any part of it that felt like a thriller to me - it was more of a contemporary/drama. It was much slower than I expected, but this may have been because I expected a thriller.
There are some really heavy themes/topics in this book, and I would recommend also giving resources to teens who might read this. Beyond the depression and grief that we see, there is also troubling internet conduct, forged documents, some bullying, and other things that would be helpful to discuss with precautions and to create awareness of the problems there and how to handle them if you see them.
Final verdict: THE SKY ABOVE US is a heavy YA drama about grief, depression, and hope. This is a heart-breaking read that will definitely stick with me.