Cover Image: Meet the Sky

Meet the Sky

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This is a good young adult geared storyline. As someone who has no idea what it’s like to ride out a hurricane, I feel as though I understand more of what goes on during such a strong storm. Two teenagers having to ride out a hurricane together, and finding ways to survive is the big part of the story. Of course there is age appropriate romance (A couple stolen kisses here and there) to go along with the storyline. I feel as though kids ages from 12 and up will enjoy this book the most, however I believe anyone who enjoys young adult books will enjoy this one as well.
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I'm struggling to review this story.  It has the right pieces:  a smart young woman struggling to keep her family together, a boy with a "grab life to the fullest" attitude, a dangerous hurricane, wild horses and chapters that start with Tennyson quotes.  But, while I like it, I don't love it.  In spite of some twists and turns, I found it predictable.  However, sometimes predictable endings filled with hope are good.  So while I didn't love the book, I know many teen readers who will.  A good vacation read.
Review based on an ARC received from the publisher.
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I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
About a intelligent passionate high school student facing life altering changes in her family after her sister gets brain damage in a car accident with her dad. Her dad, not being able to face the guilt he feels, leaves; the boy who broke her heart returns to town; and a hurricane threatens to destroy the family business they have been fighting to hold on to. 
I quite liked this book. The storm scenes were so real I was shocked when I  pulled myself out of the book and into my real life and saw the weather was sunny! The characters were passionate and some just quirky enough to add relief to the sometimes very serious plot. The writing was well done and grabbed me from the first paragraph. I fully recommend reading this book and it earns a 4 🌟
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This was a beautifully written contemporary novel that presented characters with disabilities in a way that really developed their character without making their disability an excuse.
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Once upon a time, Sophie's life was normal, and beautiful. She had a wonderful family with loving parents and a cool older sister. Then an accident shook their life, and everything fell apart. Now, Sophie is just trying to hold all the pieces together. Maybe if she plays it safe and keeps everything in order, things will get better. Then Finn Sanders, the boy who broke her heart, moves back to town. He seems totally reckless--surfboarding in a hurricane! But as they get stranded together through the worst of the storm, she begins to wonder if there is more depth to him than "crazy jerk," if maybe he has suffered loss too.

Meet the Sky by McCall Hoyle is kind of cute. I would categorize this as a coming-of-age, YA contemporary romance. Emphasis on the coming-of-age, as Sophie learns a bit about being an adult, letting go, and actually living in the moment. This mix of genres isn't one I typically choose, because I tend to think they're too sappy and philosophical. (Swap contemporary out with fantasy and add some action, and it is my genre.) This book didn't blow me away or make me change my mind about the genre, but I enjoyed my time reading it. 

I see that a lot of people commented about the hurricane in this book. I know very little about hurricanes and have never experienced one, so I don't have anything to compare it to. But it was definitely interesting reading about them in this book. I always wondered what it would be like to have to do what the characters do in this book: trying to survive while stranded in the midst of the storm. It was pretty cool the way the author showed it in the story. It reminded me of one of those survival TV shows, except in book form. 

One of the things I didn't like very much was how fast everything happened. Sophie and Finn are racing against the storm to survive, but the entire book only took a few days. Can someone really fall in love so fast and change so much in such a short amount of time? I understand that with the heightened emotions and adrenaline because of the danger, things like that can happen. But sometimes those things don't last. In some ways, I would like a story on what happened after: how did they cope when they weren't trying to survive but trying to build a more lasting relationship through all the ups and downs of life, school, and going away for college. Would they have anything in common once the danger is over? Don't get me wrong, this was a fun story. But I think there could be more to it. 

I enjoyed reading Meet the Sky. The characters were dynamic and interesting, and the setting made for a really fascinating story. It was pretty clean, and I recommend it to fans of the contemporary YA genre. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley. All opinions are my own, and I received no compensation for sharing them.
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I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

I love end of the world, massive storm, etc books. So finding out that Meet the Sky is about a teenage girl and her long lost love are stuck on an island when a massive hurricane hits made me happy. Not happy for their situation, but knowing that the book would be amazing and intense. Sophia and Finn are perfect together when the hurricane hits. I can only dream of finding someone like them if I ever get caught in the storm. During the storm they learn more about each other and why things ended with them. A book about romance, danger, and family, Meet the Sky has it all.
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After an accident left her sister with a Traumatic Brain Injury and her dad with guilt that led to drinking, Sophie was forced to give up her dreams to fill the spaces in her broken family. Sophie’s family owns a horse ranch and with her father now gone, she must pick up the slack to take care of the horses and keep riding customers happy. While she wants to become a vet, she knows that right now her mother and sister can’t live without her. It is hurricane season, and one is threatening to hit their area. Even worse, a boy from Sophie’s past has blown back into town. Sophie had a huge crush on Finn and was supposed to go to a dance with him, but he never showed and disappeared from her life. She plans to stay far away from him, but he wants to pick up where they left off. When the two get stuck together in their deserted town, while the storm of the century hits, they will need to count on each other to survive and may have a change to work through their challenging pasts.

I thought this was a sweet story. I loved the Tennyson quotes and can always do with more Tennyson. I needed more development with the relationship between Sophie and Finn. The end did not feel as strong as the beginning and didn’t seem to add as much to the story. Things were wrapped up too quickly. However, I did enjoy this novel. It was interesting to read about wild horses and their experience during a hurricane.
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I want to thank Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book.

It's a quick read and a good book for a YA reader.  It takes the reader on Sophie's journey through some challenges that life has given her in her young life.   Then throw in a hurricane and being stranded with a boy who she felt stood her up and a horse that needs rescued and you have an adventure that has you turning the pages to see how it all shakes out.   There are a lot of life lessons I feel the author wrote into the book and how to find a balance with situations that life can throw at a person.  

I like the writing of McCall Hoyle and how she took me through the angst of a hurricane.  I have been through severe weather and I felt connected to the feelings and fears Finn and Sophie experienced.  I loved the heart Sophie has for horses and how she felt compelled to save a stranded horse.   It was a compassionate deed that touched my heart.   

There is a passage that expresses a lesson Sophie learned that I felt I could apply to my life.   She's referring to something one of her teachers told her:

"....then proceeded to share her philosophy-that God doesn't expect us to take care of all the problems in the world.  He expects us to help the specific people placed in our lives and on our hearts...….I totally get what she was saying now.  I can't help all the wild horses.  I can't do a lot of things right now.  But I can help that horse-the one that's been placed in my life a second time in as many days."

I do recommend this book to a YA reader and I gave it 4 stars.
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One of my favorite things about Hoyle's debut novel, The Thing with Feathers (my review here)was the way she used Emily Dickinson's poetry throughout the book. Which means one of my favorite parts of Meet the Sky was the way she used the Tennyson quotes at the beginning of each chapter and also at pivotal moments in the story itself. Honestly, I didn't realize some of those quotes were written by Tennyson before reading this book. For example, "Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." I'm not sure who I thought wrote that, but I didn't realize it was Tennyson. So yay. Learned something new.

In addition, I liked Sophie's character a lot. I kind of wanted to see more of her interaction with her sister and her mom. We know her sister is different since the accident, but I felt like I didn't get to experience that firsthand, other than a very brief scene in the beginning of the book.

The story isn't really about Sophie and Mere's relationship, though. It's much more about the hurricane mishaps that force Sophie to reconnect with her childhood crush/friend Finn. I liked Finn and the contrast between his character (risk-taking and adventurous) and Sophie's (so many control issues).

I read another book recently (Even if the Sky Falls) in which characters are trapped together by a hurricane. I feel kind of funny about it because I live in Florida and have been through probably half a dozen hurricanes, so as I read both books, I kept comparing my experiences to what's described in the book, and feeling really sensitive to whether something seemed realistic. Which might not be really fair, since one book took place in New Orleans and the other in North Carolina, which are really different areas than where I live.

At any rate, in this book, Sophie and Finn do a bunch of stuff during the hurricane that's really dangerous, like going outside during the storm. For the story, it made things super dramatic, and I kept wanting to yell at them, like noooo, go back inside! This is bad! I had a hard time with that part - not because I thought it was unrealistic. People do impulsive, dangerous things during hurricanes all the time.

On the whole Meet the Sky is a sweet romance about learning to let go of fear in order to experience love and a full life. I think fans of Jennifer E. Smith and Jenn Bennett will like this one.
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Wow in the wake of Florence, this title couldn't be more timely.  It will probably be too raw and hit too close to home for some right now.  Like most of my favorite books, it explores past love walking back into our lives and loss.  There is loss of innocence and childhood both from losing her father and having to care for her sister.  Not that she holds resentment, she adores her sister, it is just still a huge loss.  Her way of life is changed and that makes one grow up much too quickly.  This book is real, and emotional, with intense character development.  I highly recommend it!
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So this is not the first book I've read that deals with exs, of sorts, being stuck together in a hurricane.  The other one seemed like it was more about the relationship, this one was a lot grittier on the actual surviving side of it.  When Sophie and Finn get trapped on the island while trying to evacuate, they must rely on each other for survival.  Sophie and Finn are like water and oil.  She plays it safe, he lives on the edge.  They both have heartache from their pasts that they are able to bond over.  This hurricane changes all the character's lives for the better.  Sophie learns to loosen up, as does her mom.  Overall it was an enjoyable story of friendship and survival.  There's nothing like Mother Nature to make you reevaluate your life!
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I adored McCall Hoyle's first book, The Thing With Feathers, so I was thrilled that netgalley granted my request to read this second novel.  It was just as delightful as the first, taking the words of Tennyson  to start each chapter.  Beautifully written, this is the story of Sophie whose family has faced a tragedy and is trying to recovery.  Her senior year the boy who broke her heart when she was younger has returned to live nearby her home on the Outer Banks for North Carolina.  With the threat of a hurricane, Sophie finds herself in a difficult situation as she has to leave her home, following behind her mother and sister, who has recently suffered a traumatic brain injury.  In her rush to leave, Sophie ends up trapped until Finn finds her and helps her. Though some storm related circumstances, Finn and Sophie are stuck in a deadly situation with each other to rely on for survival.  I read this as Hurricane Florence was hitting the Carolina's this past few days and it made it even more gripping.  The survival story is well done and kept my interest, but the thing I love about Hoyle's writing is the way she crafts these characters who are full of depth and feel so real.  Both of these teenagers are dealing with realistic problems and finding a way to use their pain to help the other.  It was a quick read, due to the writing style and the many layers to the story.   I am a huge fan of  Hoyle and can't wait to see what the next book brings!  As a high school English teacher, I love that this high school English teacher has written another beautiful book for teenagers to enjoy!
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Holy Hurricane! Meet the Sky is a sweet novel about a young girl, Sophie, learning, growing and maturing while battling for her life in the mist of a terrible hurricane while reconnecting a childhood friend, Finn. During the evacuation, separated from her family, it all starts when Sophie gets a flat tire on the side of the road. Sophie is forced to ride with Finn to deliver supplies to his uncle, Zeke, heading in the wrong direction of the evaluation route, before they can continue to leave the island. Many adventures and life threatening situations occur, as Sophie discovers more about herself and her recovery from a family tragedy she hasn't let go of and move on after. And then she starts to remember her friendship with Finn. 

Since this is marketed towards young adults, I wasn't sure it would be suspenseful or involve in-depth emotions. I was surprised how emotionally invested in both Sophie and Finn I became and how realistic their situation. The suspense kept me turning pages and reading this quicker than I had anticipated. If you enjoyed the Fault in Our Stars or If I Stay, I recommend you pick this up today!
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This was a pretty standard YA romance book to me, which isn't a bad thing, though I was far more interested in Sophie's family and her veterinary dreams than Finn. Watching their story play out against the hurricane did make it more interesting though, and in the end teens are going to enjoy it for what it is. I'd definitely recommend it as an easygoing read.
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A love story with so much heart it is nearly impossible for readers not to fall in love with the characters and cheer for them in the challenges they face.

After the accident that changed her life, Sophie has trouble trusting anyone or anything.  When her sister, Meredith, is left a shell of her former self and her father walks out on them, Sophie feels the weight of world on her shoulders.  She spends most of her time trying to keep the family business running and working on getting into veterinary school.  When a hurricane threatens them and causes an evacuation, Sophie sees that some things are out of her control.  When her truck blows a tire trying to evacuate, she gets separated from her family and ends up with the last person she wants to be stuck on the island with, Finn Sanders.  She and Finn have a past and she would rather not spend time with him after he broke her heart.  Together they have to find safety from the storm and work past their differences to try and learn from each other how to live life to the fullest.  

This is the kind of book that is perfect for young readers.  It is just the right length with all the pertinent information and no fluff.  The story develops at just the right speed and doesn’t ever drag.  I especially liked the way Hoyle showed us the love for animals and how they can be affected in a natural disaster too.  The tension is brought to an intense level with the storm, not the threat of another person, and this makes it an even better story.  I enjoyed how we saw Sophie struggling at the beginning with family and the pain of her sister’s condition and then it transitioned on her having to get reconnected to her family in the midst of the horrible storm.  Each chapter showed a clear progression in not only the story but the characters and their growth, something that might seem difficult in such a short novel but was perfectly accomplished here.   I highly recommend this to young readers looking for a book that is full of fast paced action, drama and danger at every turn.  

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.
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This book was a sweet story. I couldn’t put it down. This author was be wto me and I will for sure be reading more books by this author. Just when you think life gets crazy the characters face head on into the eye of a storm. I highly recommend this book!
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Sophie March lives by a strict schedule ever since the accident that forever changed her family’s life. Now the boy that stood her up at homecoming freshman year is back in town and she may need his help to survive the hurricane rolling into the Outer Banks that is forcing everyone to evacuate. For such a short book, it packed quite a punch. I flew through the story and even found myself waking up in the middle of the night wanting to read more to find out what would happen. This is not only a story of physical survival in a hurricane, but also emotional survival when life just keeps dragging you through the dirt.
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Full review on Goodreads as always. But...here it is in a nutshell. Sophie is way too smart to fall for a boy so reckless and dumb. It did not add up. I feel like books like this downplay teen girls' intelligence and depth, especially when it comes to love. Disappointing.
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I enjoy stories like this that seem to bridge the middle grade to YA reading range. There is nothing in this story that would stop me from recommending it to an advanced middle grade or young YA reader. 

Sophie is a hard main character to either like or dislike. She makes decisions that seemed to contradict themselves at times; one minute she was too much of a planner and the next, she was driving with bald tires during a hurricane evacuation. Still, she had a good amount of character growth for the length of time the story covers. I was worried she would have major changes in personality, which would be completely unrealistic in the short time frame. 

I liked that the romantic storyline never overwhelmed the main survival storyline. Too often, (especially in YA) I am taken out of the emotional impact of tre story by the romantic descriptions. Being able to stay rooted in the grill and suspense of he storm made this a much more engaging read. 

Thank you to Netgalley for sending me an eARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
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This definitely had its moments of cringe-worthy dialogue but it was a very sweet story about finding courage, strength, and love.
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