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Flowers in the Sky

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  340 ratings  ·  55 reviews
Fifteen-year-old Nina Perez is faced with a future she never expected. She must leave her Garden of Eden, her lush home in the Dominican Republic, when she's sent by her mother to seek out a better life with her brother in New York. As Nina searches for some glimpse of familiarity amid the jarring world of Washington Heights, she must uncover her own strength. She learns ...more
Hardcover, 232 pages
Published March 5th 2013 by HarperTeen
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Average rating 3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  340 ratings  ·  55 reviews

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Oct 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I cannot say with sufficient words how much I loved this book! I felt the beauty of the Dominican Republic, the grime of Washington Heights, the struggle of NY, and I loved the innocence and fulfillment of the flowers in the sky for Nina. And, the happy ending/new beginnings! I want to know what happens next to Nina!!
This was such a good book. I started this book in the morning and finished it at night. That's how good it was. This book immediately grabs you and draws you in. I guess the fact that the characters are Latin as am I, made it really easy to connect. The language, the food, the description of the island felt all too familiar. And that made the book enjoyable. I loved the whole Latin culture in this book.

But as good as this book is, her mother annoyed me from the beginning. Like in any country,
Aug 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
"Flowers in the Sky" is a sweet, gentle story about seeing the beauty in the everyday and making your own way in life. Girls will love the story, as will teachers for the fascinating multicultural aspect - a lovely book!

I love happy endings.

It was a fluffy read that I finished in one day, which doesn't happen usually. It's more like 3.75 stars than 4.

The first half was boring for me. The second half got more interesting. The final third was just great.

Priscilla Jimenez
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
So many of little things Nina describes bring back memories from when I lived back in DR (although I lived in Santiago, so I was always a city girl), and I appreciated that very much.

What bothered me slightly was that some Spanish terms were either misspelled or just not used for the appropriate people or situations. (I would never call my brother "mi amor," and most (younger) people in Washington Heights do not insert Spanish into their conversations in the same manner that these characters
Erika Castro
Apr 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
As a Dominican woman myself, I’m enthralled anytime I find a book with a Dominican character. Nina, charismatic, shy, dumb, frightened, Nina explores what it means to grow up. What it means to leave her roots and dig out new roots in the states, most specifically, New York City. I enjoyed the beginning, middle and end. So realistic and beautiful and sad and just all around, a great novel. Of course, I do have to point out that I was annoyed, not often but I was regardless, of the many ...more
Kaleena Melotti
Mar 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Flowers in the Sky by Lynn Joseph is probably one of the most fantastic books that I've read recently. I picked it up this morning and literally could not put it down.

First of all, the cover is very literal and beautiful. One thing that Nina has is her beautiful garden at her home in Samana, Dominican Republic, but when she is so abruptly plucked and replanted in Washington Heights, the Dominican section of New York City, that all changes. However, life is full of changes and we all must adapt.
Mar 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is about a 16 year old girl named Nina who lived in the Dominican Republic. She enjoyed her life very much and loved where she lived. Although she had to move away to New York because her mom insisted. All her mom wanted was for Nina to marry a rich man. She didn't take her daughters feelings into consideration. Nina's life changed completely, she thought she would never adapt to her new life. Nina kept asking her mom to move back but she no longer could. From a beautiful island in ...more
Jun 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: real-fic
I wanted to read this book because it is unlike everything I've ever read. I was really intrigued by the synopsis and I wanted to know more about Nina's life.
I think that parts of this book were very confusing because of the many plot holes. At first you think she's sixteen, then she's fourteen, then fifteen. Then she moves in with her brother and everything is all shady. You think one topic is dropped, but then it's suddenly brought up again.
I really enjoyed the diverse read, but I think it
C. J. Borntrager
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful and mysterious

I was so surprised by the direction this book took. Nina was a wonderfully enjoyable character and the mysterious Luis kept me guessing and guessing until his secrets were laid bare. A definite must read for all
May 16, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Iliana Noory
Oct 20, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: donated
My family is of Dominican decent. I was born and raised in the US and I do not think that the representation of the Dominican people in this book was accurate and in fact was a bit offensive atlas to me. I think that some authors run into this issue when writing about a culture they are not part of. The book painted dominicans mainly as money hungry, possibly drug dealers, and people of illegal money earnings. Not cool.
Apr 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Kat's Review

This is a beautiful book, from the cover to the story of a girl ripped from her home and forced to try and lay down new roots in a place that is foreign in both language and lifestyle. Nina, the 15 year old protagonist, is sent from her small village in the Dominican Republic by her mother to live in New York with her older brother Darrio, who she hasn't seen in ten years. In her village, Nina grows a garden of flowers, caring for them the way Darrio taught her before he left, and
Jul 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Sabeen Khan
Ms. Dipasquale
Goodreads Book Report

I highly recommend the novel Flowers in The Sky, written by Lynn Joseph, to people of all ages and gender. I recommend this novel because its more diverse than most books. It tells you about lives of people who do not live in the U.S.
My book, Flowers in The Sky, is about a fifteen-year-old girl, Nina Perez who moved from her lush home in the Dominican Republic to Washington Heights, New York for a better life. Her mother believes that she
Mar 05, 2016 added it
Flowers in the Sky was a touching coming of age novel filled with family secrets and a since of belonging for 16 year old Nina. Originally from the Dominican Republic, Nina is forced by her mother to move to New York City in hopes for a better life. A life where finding the perfect husband is a top priority. Nina takes the long trek to the states, where she is greeted by her loving brother Darrio. Little does she know that Darrio has other plans of his own. Nina will continue to attend high ...more
Jan 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Flowers in the Sky was a touching coming of age novel filled with family secrets and a since of belonging for 16 year old Nina. Originally from the Dominican Republic, Nina is forced by her mother to move to New York City in hopes for a better life. A life where finding the perfect husband is a top priority. Nina takes the long trek to the states, where she is greeted by her loving brother Darrio. Little does she know that Darrio has other plans of his own. Nina will continue to attend high ...more
I'm giving this book three stars because I couldn't give it five, so I was going to give it four, but then I thought about it more, and I can't like it that much. The beginning was pretty slow, then I started to really like it because it was so real. It was almost too realistic because it made me think of my life. But it kept at the same pace so it wasn't so special, it's just that there were a lot of good truths in it that in small sentences gave a whole lot of life meaning, but then I got to ...more
Rich in Color
May 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: contemporary
I have to be honest — I borrowed this book because of its gorgeous cover. I mean, look at it! Those orchids, that blurred background, the italicized title — it’s like one of those artsy pictures on tumblr with the inspirational quote in the middle (“the road to love takes many paths”). Props to jacket designer Erin Fitzsimmons.

From the very beginning, you are awash with a sense of the bittersweet. The protagonist Nina Perez does not want to leave her “seaside home in Samana on the north coast
Oct 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
Real rating: 3.5 stars

Originally posted on hello, chelly.


The good: Nina Perez' story is one that felt familiar to me in many, many ways. I was born here but my parents and the majority of my family emigrated from the Philippines to live in the US. But I've heard stories about our country. The heat, the islands, their lifestyle in which maids and drivers are completely normal to have but most of all, how they all wanted to come to the US for the opportunities. I don't think it quite lived up
Ms. Yingling
Jan 30, 2013 rated it liked it
Nina is quite happy living in the Dominican Republic seaside town of Samana, but her mother thinks that Nina would be better of in the US, where she might be able to find a rich husband and send money back home. Nina's brother, Darrio, has been in the US a number of years, and when Nina's mother thinks Nina is becoming to forward with men, Nina is packed off to Washington Heights, New York City to go to high school and then college. Since Nina's favorite thing to do is to garden, her brother's ...more
Jun 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book "Flowers in the Sky" by Lynn Joseph is about Nina, a teenage girl who lived in the Dominican Republic. She liked her life there but unfortunately her mother wanted to move away with her to New York. Her mom wanted her to marry a rich man but Nina didn't care about how much rich a guy is as long as he has a rich personality. When she moved to New York she wanted to leave right away, she wasn't used to living in a crowded place. She missed where she lived and thought her mom was making a ...more
Daisy Dardon
Feb 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
*Won through Goodreads giveaway*

After eagerly awaiting this book I finally received it today! As soon as I saw it I immediately started reading it and I couldn't stop. Being a Spanish speaker I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I felt connected to the character, Nina, a Dominican girl who leaves her home in order to go to New York to live a better life. Her struggles, her hope, ambition everything about her appealed to me. I found her to be a strong feminine character. After all how many people
Sep 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Nina Perez loves her garden and home in the Dominican Republic. She lives happily in her seaside town, but her mother wants her to marry a rich man to be happy. In a misunderstanding with her mother she is forced to move to New York with her older brother Darrio. Nina discovers that living in the US is not as glamorous as her mother had hoped. Her brother seems to be keeping secrets. Nina enters high school were she meets Carlos, a boy aspiring to go to medical school, who is everything Nina's ...more
It took me awhile to be able to connect with the main character, reluctant Dominican Republican immigrant Nina, but I really enjoyed her relationship with her older brother Darrio and with Señora Rivera. In the end I enjoyed this story, but there were several things that detracted from it for me.

First of all, it reads more like middle-grade fiction than fiction for young adults, even though Nina is 15 years old. The decisions she makes and the way she thinks about things felt a little more
First off, this review of Flowers In The Sky by Lynn Joseph is going to be a bit of a mini-review as I read the book back in May 2013 and did not have a ton of things to say about it and as I write the review, it is now September and my memory is not at all perfect. I whipped through the pages of Joseph’s contemporary book and liked what I read well enough, but honestly Flowers In The Sky did not leave a huge impression on me. However, if you are in the market for an appropriate readathon type ...more
Pheobe Johnson

Before I read this book I read some of the reviews on here, some were good some were not amazing, but I thought I'd give it a go anyway. As the main character is from the Dominican Republic she would speak random words of Spanish as would her mum in the beginning of the book while she was there, I found this hard to understand further on in the book it would be translated but I had to try any work out what the words where at first. I found that this was the biggest downfall for this book, apart
Jan 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
It took 100 pages (and a move to seedy Washington Heights) to grab me, but from then on I enjoyed it! Nina’s view of the world is slightly quirky so it took me a while to connect with the narrative. Her character arc is huge – she goes from being a coddled Dominican girl to someone who can and does make her own decisions– and eighteen year old Louis was a very surprising romantic interest for her. Although there are some quite philosophical moments and the novel featured a few darker topics ...more
Julia Rubin
Dec 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
The prose is lovely, and the tension builds up and gets really compelling around the final third, but overall this novel felt way too rushed. There were a lot of cliches, a lot of oversimplified motifs and character arcs, the love story felt forced, and the narrator was way too naive for me to believe or really relate to. I kept waiting for there to be a big bang, a massive pay-off, but everything was just too easy or overly explained to the reader.

That said, the beginning hooked me with the
Jun 12, 2013 rated it liked it
I adored this book, and I can't really say why. Maybe it was Nina, the protagonist, and her defensiveness about her naivete, the naivete that comes with being fifteen and thinking you know everything. Maybe it was Darrio's devotion to Nina and his mother - and the price he paid for it. I think this is realistic fiction in the truest, purest sense. This is a story that happens every single day in many different cities, and it's one that I found wonderfully written. The flower tropes are a tad ...more
Read InAGarden
Jun 25, 2014 rated it liked it
Nina loves her life in the Dominican Republic. She goes to school, sees her friends and sells flowers from her treasured garden. But her mother worries that she will become too familiar with the tourists and ruin her life so she sends Nina to New York to live with her brother. New York is not the utopia Nina's mother has lead her to dream about. The busy streets are very different from the peaceful island life Nina is used to. As she learns to accept life in New York, Nina learns some ugly ...more
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