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We Walked the Sky

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  749 ratings  ·  171 reviews
A stunning, multigenerational story about two teenagers: Victoria, who joins the circus in 1965, and her granddaughter, Callie, who leaves the circus fifty years later.

In 1965 seventeen-year-old Victoria, having just escaped an unstable home, flees to the ultimate place for dreamers and runaways--the circus. Specifically, the VanDrexel Family Circus where, among the lion t
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Hardcover, 304 pages
Published July 2nd 2019 by Razorbill
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Abby Andrade the scenes aren't TOO graphic, but it is implied that some characters have sex

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Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  749 ratings  ·  171 reviews


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Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
This one was a fun read, but I wouldn't say that I had a super special connection to it. I enjoyed the flashbacks to the circus setting, but the plot as a whole was pretty basic and predictable for the majority of the story. It just wasn't quite as whimsical as I was hoping for so a 2.5 or a 3 star rating feels pretty right.

TW: domestic abuse, death of an animal
Hannah Greendale
I am an athlete, an artist, a magician. An angel, a daredevil, a dancer in the sky.

🌟 THIS BOOK HAS AWARD-WINNER WRITTEN ALL OVER IT. 🌟
Teresa
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a slow start for me; I don't know why but once I found the rhythm of the voice I fell in love with the story. Told from a grandmother, Victoria, and her granddaughter, Callie, it focuses on what is important to these two woman while growing up in the circus.
Victoria runs away from a horrible home life to join the circus, figuring she will leave when she is far from home. What she finds in the circus isn't just joy and love but a family that cares for her just as deeply as she cares
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Brenda
May 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Beehive Award nominee for 2020/2021. There wasn't really anything groundbreaking or super exciting about this one, but it did really make me teary at the end, so that definitely counts for something. It was more of a quiet story with some sweet moments.
Namrata
I CAN'T WAIT FOR THIS NOVEL TO COME OUT! I've been really hyped about it ever since.
Ally (The Nature of Pages)
The vintage feel of Victoria's perspective adds so much to the story. In the wake of my The Greatest Showman obsession, this felt like nostalgia and a hug all wrapped up into one book. I adored Victoria's parts of the book and eagerly waited to see what was next.

We Walked the Sky is an absolute piece of art. ART, I tell you!From Victoria's whimsical dreams of freedom and Callie's longing for her place she calls home, the book is a siren song to all who know what it feels like to dream of adventu
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Zoe
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Words cannot describe the feelings I have after reading this novel. You followed the story of both Victoria and Callie. It had me questioning so much about this story but in the end it all came together. You truly followed every wake, every action, every friendship. You felt what the character felt and in the end you were part of that family. The VanDrexel family.

“The thing about running away to join the circus is that it’s a good idea when you believe you’re running toward something. But it ca
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Emma
Jul 29, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure why this didn't work for me. Is it that I wanted a different book than the one that the author delivered? Is it that I wasn't in the right mood? Hard to say. Might come back to it if it ends up having legs come book award season but for now it's just a book with lovely writing and a story that felt a little too familiar for me to spend more time on.
Laura
Had this book focused solely on Victoria’s life with the circus, I probably would have enjoyed it more, and thus rated it higher.

I just could not get into Callie’s storyline. Her Grandmother was much more interesting, which is why I wanted more from that story.

The ending felt a bit strange to me as well.

The book just wasn’t what I expected. Still decent, but I had higher hopes.
Tori
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are no words on how good this book is...i have an 18 month old child and i was reading it while it fed him dinner. It was that good. My favorite book of 2019. This is one of those books that you take with you on a desert island to enjoy. Great book. I hope she writes more like this.
Forever Young Adult
Graded By: Brian
Cover Story: Walk of Life
Drinking Buddy: Mixed Bag
MPAA Rating: Adult Situations, Sexuality, Some Violence, Alcohol and Tobacco Use
Talky Talk: Stunt Writing
Bonus Factors: Non Traditional Lifestyle, Juan Ponce de León
Bromance Status: Grandma's Boy

Read the full book report here.
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Mandy
Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
“The music swells, she spins pliés, making it look easy. But it’s not easy, and that , I realize, is what makes the circus the circus – doing what’s difficult and making it look simple. It’s the presence of that one thing I’ve never had but always needed and didn’t even know I was missing.
Magic.
And suddenly, I’m no longer afraid.”

This book is told through two perspectives: Victoria’s (the grandmother) via 1965 and Callie’s (the granddaughter) via present day. I absolutely LOVED Vi
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Liz
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Who would have thought that a book about an abused girl running off to join the circus would turn out to be such a great read? This story had a lot to it. The characters (Catherine/Victoria, Callie, Jenna and all the rest ... including the animals) created such a warm and supportive environment that I couldn't keep a smile off my face as I read. I also thought it was an interesting way to present the advice from grandmother to granddaughter through the messages left on scraps of paper. We can al ...more
Gaia Amman
I received this novel as an advanced reader copy (ARC). I am an author with eight published novels and read about fifty novels a year, most of them ARCs. I almost never give five stars.

So what's so special about this novel? Everything. It's engrossing, emotional, and beautifully written!

The circus setting is original and feels authentic; it drew me in right from the beginning. The two plots, taking place fifty years apart, weave into each other masterfully, revealing and concealing, intriguing a
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Melanie Charles
I feel so conflicted about this book. There were things about it that I connected to, and I really enjoyed the first half of the book. The circus is fascinating to read about. But I felt like the story lost it’s way in the second half. There was also some content that I wasn’t comfortable reading. So for those reasons I’m giving it a lower rating.
Toni
Nov 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emily Young
Sep 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2019
I am always a sucker for a story about the circus. I loved the style of this book - switching between a girl who ran away to the circus in 1965, and her granddaughter in present day. The light romance was sweet and captivating, but all in all this is a fantastic “mothers and daughters” story.
Amy
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you love the circus, this is definitely a book for you.
Janssen
Oct 25, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, audiobooks
Fine but unmemorable. Definitely not the "This is Us" that was promised. . .
Jessica (The Psychotic Nerd)
This and other reviews can be found on The Psychotic Nerd

Actual Rating: 3.5

MY THOUGHTS
1965: Victoria's mother is dying and she's being abused by her father. When the circus comes to town, she takes her chance and asks for a job, creating a new life for herself. Now: Callie is a tightrope-walker at her family circus, at least, she was until her mom decides to move her and Callie to an animal sanctuary. Both Victoria and Callie think that their situation is only temporary.

Once I read the syno
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Rachel Marie
I really wanted to love We Walked the Sky— and I did love parts of it. On the whole, I would recommend this book, but it is probably not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. This novel is a YA multigenerational story following Victoria and Callie, a grandmother and granddaughter, and their lives in relation to the VanDrexel Family Circus. Victoria’s story is historical fiction, while Callie’s is contemporary, taking place in the present.⁣⁣⁣
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I absolutely adored Victoria’s story. In the mid-1960’s
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Kierstin Carnahan
We Walked the Sky reminded me a bit of Water for Elephants. It is a duel perspective and duel time period book that follows Victoria in 1965 who runs away to join the circus and Calliope in present day who is Victoria's granddaughter. It is a very interesting look into the circus/high wire walking lifestyle and how the show must always go on.
Sunny (Kindles & Wine Book Blog)
This was a multi-generational story that collided to create a beautiful tale of three women from different times. The lessons of the early years were still relevant generations later and provided meaning to everyone touched by them.

Well written! I will look for more by this author!
Lindsey
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
I wanted sooooo much more from this book. It really let me down. But that cover is to die for.
Shauna Yusko
Yes!
Wished the audio had two narrators and not one, but I really enjoyed this book.

Felt a little like Midnight at the Electric meets Water for Elephants.
Kaiti
Apr 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
I had some issues with this book but it also made my cry so it gets 4 stars.

Also this is the 1000th book I'm rating on Goodreads! That feels like a milestone!
Ann Fernandez
First of all...ow. Second of all, how DARE this book. And third of all, I love this.

For anyone who doesn't think this would be up their alley, just read the first page. Genuinely, one of the best first pages I have ever seen in my life. The writing is genuinely unmatched, and in about 5 short pages we understand so much about one of our main characters and their own home life.

Is the rest of the book like this? Not entirely, of course, but in certain portions it is.

I just genuinely love a lot ab
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Andrew
I'm very picky about dual-timeline books, but We Walked the Sky is a stunning, shining example of how to make it intriguing and coherent. In the present day, Calliope is frustrated by her mother putting down roots for them at an animal sanctuary, after growing up in the circus business. Several decades in the past, we also join the circus with Victoria, Callie's grandmother, and her only chance to escape from an abusive home. The way their stories are weaved together is seamless and will keep yo ...more
Khristina Chess
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-love
Fiedler's "We Walked the Sky" really captured and held my interest. Two parallel stories are running: the grandmother, Victoria, is a 16-year-old who runs away and joins the circus, and her granddaughter, Callie, is a teen who has followed in her circus footsteps, but now finds herself in a new place. There are mysteries to unravel and friendships to develop. I loved all the circus lore and animals and characters. Really, it was an enchanting story. I want to read more by this author.
Anita
Oct 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So, so good! Wonderful, multiple perspective time-line, full of lessons learned and to be learned while living the circus life by tightrope walking grandmother and granddaughter, and animal teaching (not taming) daughter/mother. (Warning: tons of expletives)
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Lisa Fiedler is the author of a number of popular young adult novels, including two retellings of a Shakespearean story from the female point of view, Dating Hamlet and Romeo's Ex. She lives in Connecticut with her family.

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