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Searching for Sky

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  1,369 ratings  ·  331 reviews
Sky and River have always lived on Island, the only world they've ever known. Until the day River spots a boat. Across Ocean, in a place called California, Sky is separated from River and forced to live with a grandmother she's just met. Here the rules for survival are different. People rely on strange things like cars and cell phones. They keep secrets from one another. A ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published May 13th 2014 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
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Mari Dopkins In my opinion yes. I read it probably when I was 13. There are some heavy topics in it though.
Erica Cuthbertson This book begins that way but is focused on their story of learning to survive after the Island. Definitely a tween/teen read but I really enjoyed it.

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Average rating 3.73  · 
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 ·  1,369 ratings  ·  331 reviews

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Faye, la Patata

This book broke my heart to a million pieces.

There are books that touch you, and there are books that shake your core, move you to tears, and leave you philosophizing about the meaning of life. Searching for Sky is one of the latter. To be honest, I did not expect much from this novel at the beginning, thinking it was another Contemporary with the same generic characters and generic plotline, but I was naive as by the time I turned the last page, I was a sobbing, ugly wreck with my face covered
Lisbeth Avery {Domus Libri}
Searching for Sky is an incredibly unrealistic portrayal of a girl lived away from all civilization and brought back into the US. I'm not exactly an 'expert' in psychology or anything like that but even I could tell exactly how stupid Cantor's take on this 'reverse dystopia'.

I feel like all Sky's psychologists and doctors failed to do their job. This is a girl who was raised on an island almost all her life. She had no idea what a toilet was or even a door. There were no buildings on her island
Michelle Wrona
*Review copy provided by Netgalley, in exchange for a honest review.*

I really expected something BIG from Searching For Sky. A reverse dystopia is really hard to find and read about these days and they usually end up really pleasing. I wish something BIGGER would've occurred in Searching For Sky, and I overall wouldn't recommend it.

So here we are with Sky and River, who have been best friends since birth. They have lived on Island, an small island in the Pacific Ocean, which is the only pl
May 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book deserves more than 5 stars. It deserved to be read, re-read, and then recommended to all your friends and family members. It deserves to be cherished.

The story is brilliant, powerful, unique and completely heart breaking. The characters are so real and convincing, you'll be bawling your eyes out. Most of all, this is an important book that carries many messages that will stay with you.

I'll be writing a full-length review soon, but for now - go buy it and read it ASAP. Yo
Jeann (Happy Indulgence)
This review appears on Happy Indulgence. Check it out for more reviews!

Searching for Sky contains an intriguing ‘reverse dystopia’ concept, where a girl who has lived on an island her whole life is rescued and returned to civilization, and everything is new to her. While it was explored with beautiful writing and creativity, what I didn’t expect was how much it was going to punch me in the gut with feels.

Searching for Sky is undoubtedly the saddest book I’ve ever read. The psychological damage a
Is there going to be a sequel? Please please please tell me yes!!
I loved this book. I had no problems with this book, actually! None! This book was very well written and I couldn't put it down!!! Even though this book shattered my heart into a bajilion pieces and then taped them together only to throw it on the floor and stomp on it until it was dust, I would re read and recommend this book in a freaking heartbeat! Team River all the way! Me right now:

Before you go judging this book, you might w
Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
May 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bloomsbury
3½ Stars
I was excited to start Searching for Sky, having seen so many positive and emotional reviews, but I'm not quite sure it lived up to the hype for me. It was certainly emotional and heart wrenching in places, but I felt a strange disconnection to the characters. Sky and River are friends who are on the cusp of falling into a relationship, even though they were raised almost as siblings. Where Sky is the dependable one, the provider, his father Helmut
Libby May
I just got done reading two or three suspense murder novels. And then I read this childrens fiction and cry real tears.
Well done. I love it so much. It's like a better/different version of Music of the Dolphins.
[Adult reader, juvenile fiction.]

VERDICT: Passing grade (for young readers only), but no actual stars assigned. Kid-me would probably have given it a B grade.

As an adult reader, I found much of what happens after the kids leave the island (view spoiler) See some 1 to 2 star


Sky and River grows up on an island with no recollection of how they arrived there. They were told they arrived on a boat, but Sky’s mum and River’s dad, Helmut, refuses to go into detail about their lives off island. All Sky knows is that they came from a place called California, and that the people there are evil and skeletons. Sky doesn’t understand what that means, but she knows she doesn’t ever want to return to California, not even when her mum and Helmut dies.

Sky is the rat
Eugenia (Genie In A Book)
Jun 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, 2014-release
*This review also appears on the blog Chasm of Books*

I haven't read a book so unique in its concept and delivery, or utterly picturesque in its entirety like Searching for Sky in a long while. Jillian Cantor's nuanced story of two characters on the Island and their prospective journeys once they are forced to face the outside world in all its hostility and abstruseness is completely captivating, and pulls you in like the waves of the ocean she so skilfully describes. Sky and River's bond is test
Feb 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Huge thank you to the publisher for letting me read an advanced copy of this. I'm writing this honest review to say thank you!

What can I say about this book. It's beautiful and heartbreaking. Hopeful and crushing. Bittersweet. I read this book in a day and it was so easy to get caught up in the story. I was able to put it down to do things and then picked it up again and fall right back into what was happening.

Sky and River live on Island, alone, where they hunt and fish and swim and they are ha
Feb 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was a beautifully written book with amazing insights. Sky's perspective on life was refreshing and even though it was simplistic, it was not simple. She may not have book smarts, but she certainly has wisdom.

The ending left me a little puzzled. Is there supposed to be a sequel? I wonder even though it felt like Sky's story had been told. I would be interested in reading more about Sky as she adjusts further to the modern world. Her innocence is refreshing and honest.

I wanted to shake Sky'
Mar 25, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: teen-lit, e-galleys
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Skye (Skye's Scribblings)
Check out all my reviews at Skye's Scribblings!

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Rating: Teen (a few words of language, kissing, thematic elements)
Told: First Person Singular (Sky), Present Tense
Format Read: ARC (from publisher)

Three Words: Powerful. Emotional. Amazing.

Writing: Uncomplicated and emotional. Sky's voice drew me right in, had me feeling what she felt - her love my love, her ache my ache. There was a lot of capitalization in the beginning (Island, Ocean, Bathroom Tree) which I
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
I didn't make it one chapter. This writing style and kind of story are very much not for me. Nope nope nope. ...more
Eclipse 🍂
Jan 22, 2022 rated it liked it
Shelves: younger-reads
I read this book in quick succession on the recommendation from a friend, and it certainly went above my expectations. I was unsure by the cover (the one I read was different to the one displayed on goodreads, but it’s still not a great cover) because it looked like a kid’s book. Certainly the length and blurb really drove that idea home but while I think I would have liked this book as a kid, it was still pretty good reading it now.

The contents/plot of the book was certainly not a simple, light
Y’all, I don’t even know. This book was kind of good and also annoyed the living heck out of me.

Sky and River are two teenagers who live on an uncharted island in the Pacific, where they and their respective parental figures crashed and apparently everyone else but the four of them died. Helmut and Petal (River’s dad and Sky’s mom) renamed them and taught them to take care of themselves, and they’re living a life of simple isolation. Then the parents die and it’s a little shady, and they get res
Anna Carolyn McCormally
Feb 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Billed as a “reverse dystopia”, Searching for Sky by Jillian Cantor is a story of discovering the real world–the opposite of high fantasy’s alternate universe, it’s about how our world would look to someone who had never experienced it.

Raised on an island in the Pacific by her mother with just one other man and her son, Sky doesn’t know any life other than what she knows on Island and no family but her mother, Helmut, and Helmut’s son River. But when her mother and Helmut die, Sky and River are
Becca - PrettyLittleMemoirs
May 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As reviewed on Pretty Little Memoirs. With thanks to Bloomsbury Childrens for the ARC.
*Contains minor references to the plot*

Sky and River have lived on Island for as long as they can remember, and it's the only place that each of them can call home. They call it "Island", where they have adapted to their limited resources not knowing any different, like "Bathroom Tree", "Falls" and "Ocean", everything had a certain name for them. They live there alone after Sky's Mother and River's Father were
Apr 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
An emotional, heart-breaking, gem of a read, Searching for Sky was a fantastic YA read. This book was just wonderful. This compelling book of a girl struggling to learn about modern life was heart-breakingly lovely and a truly enjoyable read.

Sky was a lovely heroine. She was a very realistic character. She was a girl, raised in a paleolithic lifestyle, suddenly dropped into the modern world. She wasn't perfect. She struggled, lashed out, and resented the confusing new world she was stuck in. But
Nov 09, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: egalleys
This sounds really interesting, right? And the beginning was pretty interesting. But from the time Sky and River leave Island and venture into our world, something so completely different from their own, I was bored. There's something wrong with that. The meat of the book is what bored me. What should have been so fascinating--exploring a world that's so familiar to me through Sky's head--almost made me put down the book. It's a good idea and mindset that I was intrigued by, but there's no tensi ...more
Well, this one seriously surprised me. I had absolutely no expectations going in, except that the cover was beautiful. This was one where the cover matched the story perfectly.

Meet Sky and River. Two kids who were raised on a place called Island for almost their entire lives. With only her mother and his father, the four of them survived for years on their little paradise. Not knowing any different, Sky believed that there was no other way of life. Even after their two parental figures 'go out t
Mar 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014reviews
I would definitely recommend Jillian Cantor's Searching for Sky. I found it impossible to put down. Sky and River live together on an island, or, perhaps I should say THE ISLAND. Sky and River have been raised on the island. Sky does not remember life BEFORE the island. River, who was around four or five, does remember a few things about life in California. Both remember Helmut and Petal who died after eating mushrooms. Helmut was River's father; Petal was Sky's mother. Though these two have bee ...more
Jul 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It’s all they ever needed, their life was so simple but something was pulling River. Sky and River, I was jealous of their lifestyle, alone on Island, going about their daily tasks just looking out for each and making do with what they had. For fourteen years, they knew no different, and the earth provided for them and what it didn’t, they didn’t need. When River came back after seeing the boat, I knew their life would change. There’s no Bathroom Tree on boat, and the large boxes identifying the ...more
Stephanie A.
Aug 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Well, that one hurt a lot. Loss and more loss, a story of breaking down and rebuilding but never regaining what once was.

Full review: "Rescued" after nearly a lifetime of living on a deserted island with her parents and a boy unrelated to her who is somewhere between a brother and pending love interest, Sky speaks English but is lacking so much vocabulary and all understanding of civilization that she's "like a two year old trapped in a sixteen-year-old's body."

Bit by bit, we flash back to days
Feb 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
'Searching For Sky' is a book where the main character Sky is trying to find who she is and who she used to be, because her whole world just changed. Sky and River where best friends from the beggining, then one day both their lives changed, people started calling them Megan and Lucas, and had them sperated from each other. Sky felt so dumb for not knowing anything at all even who she was and who she was becoming. She changes a lot in this book and you can tell by the way Jillian Cantor wrote he ...more
Feb 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Searching for SkyIf you want to read this book you should I highly recommend it.This book is good for anyone. As you read you will have to make inferences very oftenly.While you progress through the book you and the character will learn important information or clues.Some parts of the story, for some will be considered "romantic". The main character Sky is in love with River. After their parents died they were alone on the island until a boat comes and picks them up.Sky and River are then sepera ...more
Adele Broadbent
Aug 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sky and River are happy living on Island. They fish in Ocean, wash in Falls, love Rocks and Beach, even if they are hungry sometimes. Sky doesn’t remember anything before Island. She doesn’t remember arriving there in a storm when she was two, or any of the other people who didn’t survive the sinking of their boat. But Helmut and her mother have shown them how to live on the island with their traps and fishing spears.
They have been on their own for a year after their parents died and one day Riv
Sep 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Searching for Sky is a book about a girl named Sky and her stepbrother River who had lived on an island most of their life. Sky's mother and River's father passed away 2 years ago. One day, a boat arrives at the island and takes the step siblings away to live in California. Sky is forced to live with her grandmother a few blocks away from the ocean. Sky feels lost, away from River and her home. This is the story of how Sky (now Megan) finds her way in this new world.
I personally enjoyed this boo
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Jillian Cantor is the USA Today and internationally bestselling author of eleven novels for teens and adults, which have been chosen for LibraryReads, Indie Next, Amazon Best of the Month, and have been translated into 13 languages. Jillian’s next historical novel for adults, BEAUTIFUL LITTLE FOOLS, will be published in February 2022. Born and raised in a suburb of Philadelphia, Cantor currently l ...more

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