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Fish in the Sky

3.42  ·  Rating Details ·  113 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
With passion and humor, an Icelandic author tells the coming-of-age tale of a boy navigating life’s changes in all their angst and ecstasy.

Josh Stephenson’s thirteenth year starts with a baffling sequence of events. His estranged father has just sent him a taxidermied falcon for his birthday. His flirty seventeen-year-old girl cousin has moved into his house, using his bed
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published September 11th 2012 by Candlewick (first published 1998)
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Kera Lena
Jan 05, 2014 Kera Lena rated it liked it
There was some fabulous writing in this book. Some of the metaphors were beautiful and the language was beautiful. I don’t know if this is because the book was translated from Icelandic and that language is different or if the author just writes like this all the time. Either way sometimes I just wanted to read quotes over and over again. Take the beginning, “I am a star, a twinkling star. I’m an infant on the edge of a grave and an old man in a cradle, both a fish in the sky and a bird in the s ...more
Mimi Jazman
May 22, 2015 Mimi Jazman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The only reason I picked up this book at a book fair is because of the cover. It has this blue and simple cover with some fancy-childish font on the front and stars are sparkling all over the background. It is one pretty book and since the summary is not that interesting, the cover actually makes a good attraction factor for people to buy this book.

It takes me a long time to finish this book. Probably the next book after this one will take even a longer time to be finished. But I still need to
Sep 04, 2012 Angela rated it it was ok
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway.

I appreciate getting a free book. But this book wasn't for me. I liked the idea of an adolescent boy coming to terms with his life and becoming a teenager. But when he started talking to himself and having visions of the Shower Lady trying to eat lost me. Those thing made it strange. And it was a little drawn out. It wasn't terrible, don't get me wrong just went in odd directions at odd times.

Thank you for the opportunity to read it. I
Heather Noble
Aug 29, 2013 Heather Noble rated it really liked it
A wry understated insight into the life of a 13 year old Icelandic boy with the inevitable dysfunctional family but imagination, intuition and poetry in his soul.
Dec 14, 2016 Ade rated it liked it
buku bagus...

"You must promise me never to shirk your duties. Sometimes we feel life is not fair, but then we shouldn't run away, but face our problems and hope for the best. That's how you become a grown-up"
Feb 13, 2016 Lilly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ένα μυθιστόρημα ενηλικίωσης; Όχι ακριβώς… Ένα μυθιστόρημα-στάση στην είσοδο της εφηβείας. Ο συγγραφέας πατάει το pause στο μεταίχμιο της αλλαγής και η ιστορία μοιάζει να αιωρείται νωχελικά πάνω από τους ήρωες. Και βλέπεις όλα αυτά τα μικρά, τις λεπτομέρειες που έχεις απωθήσει ή έχεις διαγράψει ή έχεις ξεχάσει καν ότι υπήρχαν την εποχή που ήσουν δεκατριών χρονών.

Ο Τζος Στίβενσον δε δείχνει να πολυκαταλαβαίνει κάποια διαφορά. Είναι τα μικρά και καθημερινά περιστατικά που τον ταρακουνάνε και τον κά
Dec 06, 2015 Emily added it
This book is great even though I only read 180 pages of it. The book made me laugh and made me think a lot about what will happen in the next chapter. It also made me think more about Josh Stephenson's life and thoughts. The book explains a lot about life as a teenager and dreams, wondering if they'll ever come true. Josh's life is filled with unbelievable events that you'll want to read over and over again.
One thing I don't get about this book is when his mom tells him that his cousin Gertrude
Kim Heimbuch
Aug 04, 2013 Kim Heimbuch rated it liked it
Reviewed by Janessa, Age 15
This book was a lot like the movie "Moonrise Kingdom" and was pretty good. Josh just turned thirteen and is starting to think more about life and where he fits. His parents are divorced and he lives with his mom, though he misses his dad a lot and is jealous of his friend Peter, who has a dad and spends a lot of time with him. He is changing a lot and the boys at school are bullying him about it so he stops going, and his teenage girl cousin moves into the room connect
Apr 14, 2016 Kelly rated it it was ok
I feel like something was lost in translation, assuming this was translated (the author is Icelandic). I wanted to like this book - it was even written by the cofounder of the Sugarcubes - but it just couldn't hold my attention.

I gave up on this book about 60 pages in so all I really know about it is that it's about a smart 13 year old boy who is a bit confused by social relationships, is getting interested in girls, and who misses his dad, from whom his mom is divorced. Also, his 17 year old co
Jan 20, 2013 Sky rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads, drama

I received this book through Goodreads First Reads.

This is a wonderful and in-depth story of becoming of age. A young boy, who is turning 13, struggles with the changes of becoming a young adult. His emotions are stirred, he's more curious about girls, and that only makes him more confused. I really enjoyed this book, as it made me remember what it was like to be a young child and all the changes in our thought process which
Mar 24, 2014 Miriam rated it really liked it
By inviting us into the mind of Josh Stephenson, Fridrik Erlings brings the confusions and difficulties of being a thirteen-year-old boy vividly to life. Josh is wrapped in his personal turmoils, but not insensitive to the agonies of others around him: his hard-working single mother, his rebellious cousin, his best friend whose life may not be as idyllic as Josh had always supposed. Then, too, Josh is tormented by his burgeoning feelings for his classmate Clara, misses his nearly-totally-absent ...more
May 30, 2012 Marika rated it really liked it
When Josh turns thirteen, his father sends him a stuffed falcon. Besides his aunt's pear tart, it is the only good thing that happens. His seventeen-year-old female cousin moves into the storage room connected to his room, he thinks he's in love, his best friend seems babyish, and his body begins changing-- making school unbearable. So Josh stops going to school. He wanders, trying to figure out who this terrible person is that he's becoming. Erling portrays Josh's emotions with brutal honestly, ...more
Jul 11, 2013 Katie rated it really liked it
This book was clearly translated from Icelandic, the language of the saga. Josh is dramatic but not melodramatic. He's 13. He makes grandiose, sweeping statements about himself and his place in the world, but the drama in his narrative ("I'm a twinkling star, far away in space, on a billion-light-year starch for another star so the two of us can twinkle together, aside by side, rotating around each other") is precisely as dramatic as life. He loves clara, he kisses his cousin trudy, he throws hi ...more
Oct 19, 2012 Ericafoferica rated it liked it
This book was good, it just wasn't that good. I can appreciate the meaning of the story about a thirteen year old boy, Joshua, who is coming of age. Josh struggles to figure out the facts of life and where everything leads after the age of thirteen. We've all been there as we've slowly grown into adults and this book was a simple reminder of those times. I must say, however, that there were parts where I cringed a little. For instance, Josh was becoming sexually aroused when his cousin, Trudy, p ...more
Mar 28, 2016 AnQi rated it really liked it
this took me a while to get through. the prose is beautiful, but almost excessively so, and josh's adolescent anxieties are very realistically (i.e., painfully) wrought. erlings, however, ends this otherwise dark story on a hopeful note, and after a long period of dull reads, experiencing the lyrical world of fish in the sky was a wonderful reminder of literature's humbling ability to immerse and enthrall. if you're looking for a heartfelt observance of teenagehood, i'd definitely recommend this ...more
Apr 09, 2014 Helen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Story about a thirteen-year old boy (told in the first person) - missing his father who is mainly absent, growing up, beginning to take an interest in girls, playing truant, having to adapt to having his (seventeen-year old, female) cousin move in, and so on. There are some poetic interludes. It's an Icelandic story, and Iceland is probably the setting but it's anonymised and the names are Anglicised, perhaps to make the story more of a universal one.
Alma  Ramos-McDermott
Jan 29, 2016 Alma Ramos-McDermott rated it it was ok
Josh has just turned 13 years old, and begins questioning his role in life. His parents are divorced, and he misses his dad. He’s jealous of his best friend Peter’s relationship with his father. His body is starting to change, which causes great panic as he’s afraid of being different from the other guys.

Read the rest of my review at: http://shouldireaditornot.wordpress.c...
Nov 19, 2012 Marty rated it liked it
Josh is thirteen and is dealing with typical adolescent life. There’s a girl at school he is in love with. He lives with his mother and his father is mostly not present, working on a sailing vessel. When his father is around he spends most of the time with his pregnant girlfriend in the country. Josh’s cousin then moves in to the inner room that is part of his room and this complicates his life. This is the story about he copes (or not) with life.
Dec 13, 2012 Anna rated it it was ok
This is one of those books "for teens" that's actually more for adults -- the teens who I'd give it too are few and far between, for, while a kind of sweet coming-of-age / sexual awakening story, the teen who thinks and / or talks like this is a rare bird indeed.
Oct 18, 2011 Lulu rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up for $4 at one of those clearance book sales on a whim and I'm glad I did. It was a quick, pleasant read and left me feeling good when it was over.
Jan 20, 2013 Melissa rated it really liked it
Definitely a worthwhile read. The book puts you right into the heart of this boy becoming a teenager; angst, turmoil, hopelessness, hopefulness... very moving.
Jul 31, 2014 K.arma rated it liked it
A good read and well written. It takes you on a journey but can be a bit too descriptive at times. An okay book !
Helena rated it liked it
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Dina Mylona
Dina Mylona rated it it was amazing
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Jen Woofter rated it really liked it
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Dec 29, 2012
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Friðrik Erlingsson

Fridrik Erlings was born in Reykjavik in 1962. From 1980 - '90 he worked as a graphic designer and illustrator. He was a guitar player and songwriter in two Icelandic rock bands; Purrkur Pillnik from '81-'83 and in '86 he founded the alternative rock band The Sugarcubes with Einar Orn and Bjork before leaving music to pursue writing.

Fridrik is the author of several novels, both
More about Fridrik Erlings...

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“I am a star, a twinkling star. I’m an infant on the edge of a grave and an old man in a cradle, both a fish in the sky and a bird in the sea. I’m a boy on the outside but a girl on the inside, innocent in body, guilty in soul.” 0 likes
“I’m a year closer to being considered a grown-up... but until then I’m just as far from being considered a grown-up as I am from being a child; I’m the missing link in the evolution of Homo Sapiens.” 0 likes
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