Courtney's Reviews > The Sky Always Hears Me: And the Hills Don't Mind

The Sky Always Hears Me by Kirstin Cronn-Mills
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's review
Jun 11, 2010

bookshelves: 2010, ya-fiction

Meet Morgan. Morgan lives in Central Nowhere, Nebraska, wants to get the hell out and write The Great American Novel. She writes fortunes, her family life is not that great--with the exception of an incredibly warm and loving relationship with her Grandmother--and she's caught between her drab boyfriend, Derek, her sexy coworker Rob and her semi-friend Tessa. Her love life is hectic, to say the least. And not at all boring.

Oh, I love Flux. They put out great great books and this is no exception. This book isn't just great, it's fantastic. Simply fantastic. Fantastic. Wonderful, awesome, best. There need to be more protagonists like Morgan in YA novels. She is just achingly real, quirky (but not in that MPDG oh isn't she quirky way, thank goodness because those girls never read authentically to me and Morgan is definitely authentic), a powerhouse of emotions looking for an outlet, navigating high school and relationships honestly and sometimes, explosively. She is also hilarious. She has a dry wit that kept me cracking up, and beyond that wit is this real vulnerability and interest in having MORE.

I love characters who know what they want. Who can define their needs and have goals for themselves. I love those characters more when those goals and wants are outside of other people's expectations. It's hard to live in a small area and constantly wish yourself outside of it. I just finished Making the Run by Heather Henson and I mentioned in my review of it that I love books where small towns are sort of portrayed as a disease that are kind of killing you from the inside out? Sky has this in common with Making the Run, but they are both so different. This is not a comparison of these two books anyway. I just love these types of stories and how many different ways there are to tell them and how they get me RIGHT HERE! Picture me punching myself in the chest and stomach when I say that because that is what I mean by "right here." Punch! Warning: this book may punch you with its greatness!

I love the prose. It was straightforward but it was also gorgeous. I like how Morgan saw the world. I like how she weighed her actions. I like how she coped, how she dealt. I keep talking about Morgan! She is just truly memorable. I think Cronn-Mills could put her in any situation and I would read it for the voice alone. But as it stands, the situations she DID put Morgan in were great (and made me cry in spots). She balanced Morgan's thoughts about doing the right thing and that need for self-preservation and personal happiness perfectly. I like how Morgan took responsibility for everything she did and didn't do. The family dynamics were sad and full of nuance which I really like. I loved how she explored Morgan's feelings for Derek, Rob and Tessa, how she figured out what she meant to each of them and what they meant to her... if you stood back from this book you could say you have ingredients here to make a melodramatc issues book but this book isn't that. It's amazing how much tragedy and drama and highs and lows that can take place in ANYONE'S day, you know? This plays out how it would in life, I felt.

What I mean is, Kirstin Cronn-Mills made a brave decision and let those situations be in the text, if that makes sense. Morgan's father's alcoholism, Tessa's feelings, the secret with the Grandmother... I just thought they were dealt with so realistically. Sometimes it's fireworks, sometimes it's not. Those quiet moments of reconciliation, those big ones--bawling your eyes out one moment and then moving onto the next moment like it never happened--they are just so honest and true and it is refreshing to see them in fiction. This book understands the shifts that can happen in the space of a breath and doesn't pander in any way shape or form. I adored it and I adore Morgan. Like I said--fantastic, wonderful, awesome, great.

Also I loved Morgan's fortunes!

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