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Between Two Skies

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really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  705 Ratings  ·  170 Reviews
Hurricane Katrina sets a teenage girl adrift. But a new life — and the promise of love — emerges in this rich, highly readable debut.

Bayou Perdu, a tiny fishing town way, way down in Louisiana, is home to sixteen-year-old Evangeline Riley. She has her best friends, Kendra and Danielle; her wise, beloved Mamere; and back-to-back titles in the under-sixteen fishing rodeo. Bu
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272 pages
Published April 25th 2017 by Candlewick
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Ruth Lehrer
Nov 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-debuts
Joanne O’Sullivan’s debut novel BETWEEN TWO SKIES offers a vivid story of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Sixteen-year-old Evangeline Riley is a resident of Bayou Perdu, Louisiana, a small fishing village. O’Sullivan’s lyric writing makes this world real. You can hear the zydeco music in the background. You can see the pelicans and feel the water. You can taste the beignets, charbroiled oysters saint and pepper crab and gumbo. Interweaving issues of class and race, Evangeline’s story explore ...more
Cynthia
Nov 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans? Not just the song by Louis Armstrong, but the actual place? The place with “inexpressible sweetness?” If you don't, you can experience it in Joanne O’Sullivan’s young adult novel, BETWEEN TWO SKIES.

O’Sullivan gives us a taste of pre-Katrina life in Bayou Perdu, LA for sixteen year old Evangeline Riley. This petite coastal village is rich with fishing, parades, gumbo, and teen Shrimp Queens. Quickly, Evangeline’s life is overtaken by evacuation in t
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Karen • The Book Return
Read this Review and more on my blog.The Book Return Blog
'Between Two Skies' is the story of Evangeline. She loves her Mamére (grandmother), her small Louisiana town, and being out on the water. This novel highlights her family's pain and struggles after Hurricane Katrina hits their small Louisiana town.

A Brief History of the Cajuns
The history of the Cajun people is central to the theme of 'Between Two Skies'. For that reason, I would like to briefly review their history .
I think most of us know
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Irene Carracher Kistler
Between Two Skies pulls you into a compelling narrative that brings to life Evangeline's journey and the journeys of other hurricane refugee families. Families and friendships that were splintered and transformed after Katrina. Told from Evangeline's point-of-view, O'Sullivan masterfully weaves in the stories of other refugees through compelling dialogue and events that shine a light on the difficult circumstances of those displaced by the storm. The backdrop of Cajun culture brings a diversity ...more
Martha
Apr 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs, ya-goodness
From what I can tell this is O'Sullivan's debut novel, a fact which makes its easy, natural rhythms even more impressive. She tells an individual, heartfelt story about one family's experience fleeing Katrina in a low-key, restrained manner that seems counterintuitive but is, in fact, the perfect vehicle through which the reader can get to know Evangeline and her world. In a lot of ways, the rhythms of the book echo those of Evangeline -- she's still a kid but, even in crisis, she's contained an ...more
Brenda Rufener
Mar 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I received an advanced reading copy of BETWEEN TWO SKIES and am so happy I did! Joanne's a fellow North Carolinian, but the book doesn't take place in NC. Instead it captivates the beautiful Louisiana skies. I was captured right away by the writing, the landscape of Bayou Perdu, and the characters. Evangeline and Tru were exactly who I wanted them to be. This story paints an authentic picture of the struggles brought on by Hurricane Katrina but without the broad strokes. We get to focus on the d ...more
Erin Parks
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, ya-teen
I really loved this beautifully written story. Evangeline and her family must evacuate southern Louisiana in advance of Hurricane Katrina. Her family ends up in Atlanta while her friends end up scattered across the country. Add in a slow burn romance, a broken heart, and the death of Evangeline's beloved grandmother, and you've got the makings of an introspective, heartfelt story.
Sara
Dec 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful debut, with such vivid descriptions of the Louisiana setting and the destruction of Katrina. A love letter to Bayou Perdu, and the sweet, musical love story of Evangeline and Tru.
Kate Olson
Apr 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite YA titles of the year.

I have always been fascinated by the city of New Orleans and the area surrounding it, and am forever changed by seeing the devastation Katrina caused the entire coastal area. I remember so clearly exactly what I was doing when the news of Hurricane Katrina came, when we heard what was coming toward the Gulf Coast in August 2005. I was hugely pregnant and home with my husband and his high school best friend, who had lived in New Orleans for years and was
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Stephanie Renae
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Joanne O'Sullivan's tale of a young woman, Evangeline, facing life post-Katrina is poignant and touching. Though the novel can be seen as a love story, it also serves as a narrative about growing up and learning the roles of family and how they change. Overall, an excellent quick read that I thoroughly enjoyed. Dive into Evangeline's world--you won't regret it.
Barbara
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-read
Beautifully written, heartbreakingly real. O'Sullivan nails teen romance. A realistic reminder of the devastation of Katrina and its effects on families, especially young teens.
Carlie Sorosiak
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Firstly, can we take a moment to appreciate the gorgeousness that is this cover? Okay, good.

Between Two Skies is a beautiful, heartfelt debut about pre- and post-Katrina. I absolutely love books that wholly transport you to a different place. You can feel New Orleans - the salty air, the music - and will become entirely absorbed. And Evangeline Riley? What a heroine. You'll fall in love with her almost instantly. Some of her lines had me in stitches. Really, this novel has everything I wanted:
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Gata Leitora / Cat reader
Evangeline is about to turn 16 years old and she is excited of how her life will change. She is a normal girl who helps her family at the diner and likes to listen to her grandmother's stories and memories. Diferently of her sister Mandy who dreams of being Queen of the Orange Festival in the small town where they live, Evangeline only wants to stay invisible..
The city lives on fishing and the fairs and festivals related to it. One of these days, she saves a boy stuck on a sandbar near one of th
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Kelly Gunderman
May 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Check out this and other reviews on my young adult book blog, Here's to Happy Endings!

Between Two Skies takes us inside the life of a girl who had a happy life before Hurricane Katrina hit, and the aftermath that she is forced to deal with after the storm. This book is heartbreaking, yet inspiring, at the same time, making it an ideal read for anyone who either has experienced loss from that terrible storm, or those who are interested in learning more about it.

This beautiful story begins with a
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Scot
May 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
"Between Two Skies" is a tale of love and loss set in the time of Hurricane Katrina. Though I was not the target demographic, I thoroughly enjoyed the tale of Evangeline and her family navigating the loss of home after the storm and how they fall apart and come together again through so much suffering.

Two asides which help elucidate my connection to this young adult novel, both of which relate to travel experiences while on sabbatical from work:

My first sabbatical took place on the heels of Kat
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Red_Queen_Lover
Mar 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a really good book about hurricane Katrina and it gave us some insight on what it could have felt like to go through hurricane Katrina.
Kary H.
May 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book.
CeeMarie
Jan 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is an utterly beautiful, sometimes heartbreaking and other times sweet novel about a 16 year old girl, her hometown that she loves and falling in love for the first time. It is set before, during and after Hurricane Katrina in a place hard hit-coastal Louisiana.

This book made me feel as if I were there and feeling the ups and downs along with the characters. I loved that the story ended realistically but also with a lot of hope for the future.

I will be looking at more of this author's wor
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Linda Schroeder
Nov 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Good story that help young adults how tragic Hurricane Katrina was to so many. While it didn't belabor the situation it showed how it uprooted so many people.
Karen Miller
May 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing



This is a love letter to Louisiana, its bayous, shrimpers and teenagers. You’d expect a hurricane story to focus on the raging storm, but Between Two Skies shares the lives of the Riley family before and after Katrina. 16-year-old Evangeline loves Bayou Perdu, shrimping, and life in general. She meets Tru, son of another fisherman just before Katrina hits. Then, everything is blown apart by the storm. Between Two Skies shares how life can be changed for the good or for the worse after a disaster
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Karin (desAlien)
May 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books, books-in-2017
I read the whole book in one sitting!!! I literally couldn't put it down!!!
Molly Dettmann
Apr 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After being displaced after Hurricane Katrina destroys her home, Evangeline deals with the loneliness of being away from her friends and home and a budding romance with a fellow refugee, the sweet and musically talented Tru. I really liked this book! Despite it only being an actual part of the novel for the very beginning and a little in between and at the end, I felt like the spirit of Louisiana was just as much of a character as the people. Overall this was was a bittersweet story with healing ...more
Wendy MacKnight
May 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-reads
I loved this book, the story of Evangeline, whose life is upended by Hurricane Katrina. This is a wonderful story about displacement, love, and hope, full time f rich and interesting characters who keep you turning the pages. A wonderful debut!
JenLovesBooks
Jan 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Evangeline is that tomboy girl who just wants to enjoy the day and be a part of her mother's diner. Even when she is taking on royal status, she doesn't falter from her quirky ways. She is sweet and loyal to her friends. And even though her family is completely different in their wants in life and way of being, she can't help but admire them. She is that kind of character that finds humor in the little things, and doesn't take life too seriously.

Then she turns sixteen, ready to enjoy the next ch
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Melinda
Jan 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is good realistic fiction with a big chunk of romance for teens. It is about a young teen girl who loves life on the bayou. But, her family is displaced by Hurricane Katrina and life becomes pretty crazy. Evangeline handles things as well as she can, but things are tough. A good read for 8th - 10th graders.
Jazzy
Aug 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was very well written. It handles topics like family, trauma, high-school, and just being a teen in general, in a very realistic and solid way. I loved watching Evangeline grow into her person. I could relate a lot, being a teenager myself. I know how she feels about certain things, I love how she knew what she wanted. One thing that made me a little bit uncertain was how she executed her choices. She tended to be disrespectful, though it was still very realistic and nothing was over t ...more
Patrick
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Evangeline Riley is 16 years old and living life in a small town near New Orleans. It might not be the best life, but it isn't the worst. Then Hurricane Katrina hits and her life changes forever. Her family relocates to Atlanta. They all try to adjust, but find it isn't that easy. When they return home, everything gets even more complicated.
Brenda
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Precious book about loss and longing. The story centers around Evangeline, a 16 year old whose family is displaced by Hurricane Katrina. It was a reminder to me of what happens when people lose everything and are stranded far from home. We often think, “Oh, they’ve started a new life and it’s better than the one they left.” But there are the tugs of home that linger in the heart.
BookHookup
May 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Christina's original review of this title can be found here on The Book Hookup.

*Disclaimer: An e-copy of this title was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. However, that did not influence this review in any way. All thoughts, quotes, and opinions will be of this version and not of the published edition.

Quick Thoughts and Rating: 3 stars, could possibly be bumped up to 3.5 stars later upon further reflection. Ms. O'Sullivan did a lot of things right in th
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Jill
Jun 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Hurricane Katrina, which made landfall in southeast Louisiana on August 29, 2005 was one of the five deadliest hurricanes in the history of the United States.

Overall, at least 1,245 people died in the hurricane and subsequent floods, and total property damage was estimated at $108 billion in 2005 U.S. dollars. The most severe damage occurred in the coastal areas, with ground zero at the low-lying area of Plaquemines Parish. As CBS News reported:

“[The storm left] the landscape dotted with smashe
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“When I look into my future, what I wish for isn't a job or a title or anything like that. I'm not Mandy, who wants everyone to admire and love her. For me, it would be enough to have one person. Someone who looks into my eyes and really sees me. To have that, that one person and this whole big ocean to explore and take care of, to keep for those who come after me. That would be enough for me.” 3 likes
“For me so far, falling in love has been nothing like fishing. It is more like making music. Trying to find a melody and matching the words, and then when they're together, getting lost in it. Carried away. You carry it in your body so that sometimes it bursts out of you and other times it's quiet and so unconscious that you're humming and you don't even notice it.” 1 likes
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