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Chlorine Sky

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4.04  ·  Rating details ·  255 ratings  ·  112 reviews
A novel-in-verse about a young girl coming-of-age and stepping out of the shadow of her former best friend. Perfect for readers of Elizabeth Acevedo and Nikki Grimes.

She looks me hard in my eyes
& my knees lock into tree trunks
My eyes don't dance like my heartbeat racing
They stare straight back hot daggers.
I remember things will never be the same.
I remember things.

With
...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published January 12th 2021 by Crown Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  255 ratings  ·  112 reviews


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Bethany
Jan 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: black-authors
Chlorine Sky is a novel-in-verse that is brief but packs a punch. It's a coming of age story following a Black teen girl grappling with first love, toxic friendships, difficult family circumstances, and casual misogyny while trying to figure out who she wants to become. It took a little while for me to get into the style, but it's a beautiful and certainly worth a read. I received an audio copy for review via the Penguin Random House Volumes App, and I think the audiobook is done very well. All ...more
Sheena
Dec 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A novel told in verse always reminds me of Elizabeth Acevedo and Nic Stone. In my opinion, Chlorine Sky by Mahogany L. Browne is definitely able to be categorized in with them. Skyy is constantly dealing with a mean half sister and a best friend who isn’t a good friend to her. She learns how to stand up for herself and focus on what’s best for her rather than catering to others or being sucked into toxic relationships. Skyy finds her own hobbies such as swimming and playing basketball and along ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Jan 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
I know Mahogany L. Brown from her work on the The BreakBeat Poets, Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic volume of The BreakBeat Poets, and here she writes a novel in verse about a teenager navigating tensions with a friend who she may be outgrowing. I listened to the audio as read by the author, obviously the best way.

This will count for the middle grade or YA category of the #tfbwlreadingchallenge.

I had advanced access to the book through the Volumes app; it comes out January 12th.
...more
Kajree Gautom
Jan 19, 2021 rated it liked it
I really liked the premise of this book. Friendship tales area one of my favorites and I was very excited to read it. While I did like the overall message that this book gave out, there were a lot of parts I didn't like. First, the pacing was so off. There was a constant break between one scene and the other and multiple distant stories played out randomly in the middle that kind of threw me off and I found myself skipping through those because they didn't really add much to the story. Second, I ...more
Toya (the reading chemist)
If you are a fan of Elizabeth Acevedo then you NEED this book.

Chlorine Sky is an incredibly powerful and poignant coming of age story written in verse.

While Sky may be the best basketball player, she lives with so many insecurities. Sky battles some serious internalized racism thanks to the colorism comments she constantly deals with from both family and friends. She clings toxic friendships because it’s better than being alone. Sky has a half sister that doesn’t even acknowledge her existence,
...more
Sana
Jul 08, 2020 marked it as to-read-so-bad-it-hurts
'A novel-in-verse about broken promises, fast rumors, and when growing up means growing apart from your best friend'

Okay, I'm ready to get my heart broken
...more
Adriana Martinez Figueroa
I felt this could’ve been much longer and that there was much more meat to this story, but other than that, Mahogany L. Browne’s Chlorine Sky is a fantastic debut that explores Black girlhood, teen anxieties, relationships with other girls, exploring your self, and what family means. I look forward to reading more from Browne!
(CW: sexual assault, absent parent, friendship breakups)
Gary Anderson
Jan 09, 2021 rated it liked it
Chlorine Sky is Mahogany L. Browne’s debut novel in verse that will appeal to fans of Elizabeth Acevedo, Jason Reynolds, and Ibi Zoboi. Skyy is a baller, a girl with mighty basketball skills. She also has dysfunctional relationships with her family and friends. The plot is a little thin, but the attitude and vibrant language break through as Browne finds the poetry in urban vernacular and reveals metaphorical life lessons through basketball. Young readers who enjoy discovering new authors will f ...more
LaToya King
Nov 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Now I realize that being a girl is heavy business.” Being a girl is heavy; it’s beautiful, it’s discovery, and it’s BIG.
Sky’s journey is familiar; it takes us to places we’ve been before—the pool, the basketball courts, the neighborhood, home, and it reminds us of the simple ways we question or doubt who we are until we realize the power in us.
This novel in verse is a coming of age tale that illustrates the beauty of becoming who you are. There are bumps and bruises and losses. There are epip
...more
Amma
Coming of age story = Check. Black Girl Magic = Check. So many poignant quotes = Check.

The first time I heard Mahogany L. Browne speak in person (at the inaugural Well Read Black Festival), I became an instant fan. When I found out she was publishing her first novel, I danced a jig. She does NOT disappoint.

Please please read and listen to this amazing story in verse.
Misha (Heartsfullofreads)
Dec 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is both a beautiful and powerful read. It is incredibly important for young girls to know that they are not alone in their feelings. Growing up can be hard.
We adults forget that sometimes.

Sky transported me back to the days where I was really just finidng myself. Sky shared her insecurities about not being able to dress the same as everyone else. She also felt that she wasn't as pretty as other girls.

I remember the struggle of having petty girl fights and wondering if we'd still be fr
...more
Daina (Dai2DaiReader)
Jan 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I loved everything about this book! I know it is a little early in the year to make this claim but… it is my favorite YA this year. It starts off well from the very beginning with a heartfelt dedication page. This book was like reading the inner voice of any teenage girl – including myself. The verses made everything happening in the story so very visual as this Black teenage girl is on a journey to find herself. I really felt all of her angst. She rules the game of basketball but off the court ...more
Tiffany
Dec 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
“Chlorine Sky” is a YA novel written in verse full of grit, hipness, and raw emotion. Brown’s verse prowess is moving and honest in this coming of age novel for young girls learning about life, boys, and friendship.

Overall, I enjoyed this novel. The verbiage and the prose made it a bit choppy to read cohesively, but I found that style intriguing and straight to the point. With each chapter being a short poem, it was a quick read.

I would recommend this book to fans of Elizabeth Acevedo.
Zindzi
Jan 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I really resonated with this book a lot. As a black girl, I loved reading a story that was so close to mine. I felt seen reading this book. The writing is so beautiful and I think anyone can appreciate this book because it is so honest and raw.
Kayla - the.bookish.mama
Dec 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was unlike any coming of age story I have read before. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started this book, but I am pleasantly surprised. As you venture further in you are given snippets of information about the protagonist’s life, and how it impacts her present time. We discover why she feels the way she does about her friends and family, what she is experiencing as a teen, and how she views herself. It’s a story of not only figuring out who you are, but how those around us shape that i ...more
Haley Renee The Caffeinated Reader


A stunning cover and an amazing verse read that I pretty much fell in love with from the start. [And it was definitely a cover pick]

This is a coming of age story and how our MC also is growing out and away from her best friend after a falling-out.

The MC is AMAZING.

She is a ball player, a great friend, and so vulnerable in the emotions she feels. We see her go through her first love, her first fall out with her best and possibly only friend at the moment and we all see her finding new friends. I
...more
Julie
Dec 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book blew me away. All of those feelings and insecurities I had in school that still linger are laid out so powerfully, and Browne brings focused healing and insights through the connective language of poetry to provide agency and awareness to her protagonist, and to the reader.

This story is about a young girl who feels her most secure when she's playing basketball, and how she navigates mean girls, careless boys, and family who might be trying, but aren't enough.

I loved this so much. I wis
...more
Alison (The Lowrey Library)
So thankful I got to read this book.
This is a novel in verse about Skyy, a young girl (and phenomenal basketball player) struggling to read her identity apart from her ex-best friend and savagely mean older sister. In this short, but succinctly beautiful tale, she tries to repair damaged relationships and finds worth in the attention of others. Ultimately, though, she realizes that her real worth comes from her own acknowledgment of it.
I think this is kind of prime time for a novel in verse. Th
...more
alysa
Dec 22, 2020 rated it liked it
*3.5 stars; novel in verse about a girl who's just gone through a friendship breakup.

i'm kinda torn on how to rate this because i really liked the story itself but something about the writing style made me feel disconnected? not because it was written in verse but maybe the pacing i'm not sure. also the ending felt super rushed & i didn't really see how the main character got to that (internal) point because there was no development for that aspect. but this just felt like it had so much potent
...more
Christi Flaker
Jan 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

An excellent YA story told in verse. The story of a young girl who loves swimming and basketball but always seems to be on someone else's terms...until high school drama/boys come into play and she is forced to reckon with who she really is on her own.

You feel her raw emotions as you learn about her family, her friends, her classmates and her life. You feel her emotion as she reflects on who she has been and looks to who she wants to be.

Rounded to 4 stars instead of 5 because I wanted
...more
Samantha Fondriest
Chlorine Sky is a powerful novel-in-verse about a teenage girl struggling with toxic friendships and learning to love herself. Browne's writing showcases a strong narrative voice that draws the reader in and makes you invested in the main character's struggles immediately. The powerful verse mixed with realistic, relatable dialogue make this a perfect book to hand to any teen, from bookworms to reluctant readers.

Recommended for fans of Elizabeth Acevedo and Jason Reynolds.

Thank you to Netgalley
...more
jazmine
Jan 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
Chlorine Sky is a hug. Mahogany L. Browne uplifts and untangles, breathes breath into the silenced, the quiet, the misunderstood. She reads the audiobook with elegance and power. She has the elements that we need in adult fiction but is necessary for young adult and children’s literature. She gives a face to those who have to fight to have a face a world not made for them. Alone. “I know what it feels like to be alone,” our narrator says. And her solitude, her moments underneath a chlorine sky i ...more
Leah Clark
Jan 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The friendship breakup. It can hurt worse than a romantic one in my experience. When you're young, your friendships can almost seem romantic with how intense they are. Mahogany Browne captures this so beautifully in her debut Chlorine Sky. Her deliberate choice to not reveal the main character's name took me right back to those times.

The novel hit all the right notes for me but I almost loved the audio more; read in her soft but powerful voice. I am excited to read more from her and bring this t
...more
Suzy
Dec 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
“I don’t know who I am. I don’t know if I’m okay. I don’t know. I don’t know. But I’ll figure it out.”

Thanks to NetGalley & Crown Books for Young Readers for providing me with an e-ARC!
In this YA novel-in-verse, a young Black narrator explores what it means to be herself. She loves playing basketball, swimming in the community pool, & hanging out with her best friend. But what does it mean when her best friend is no longer speaking to her?

There are many lines about taking up space and the heavin
...more
Sacha
Nov 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to NetGalley and Crown Books for Young Readers for this arc, which I received in exchange for an honest review. I’ll post that review upon publication.

Updated 1/12/21

3.5 stars

This is a very quick read, and Browne packs some fantastic content into this small space.

The main character explores relationships with her family, friends, love interests, and especially herself. While Browne provides a satisfying overview of the m.c.'s growth, I wanted to know more about her and about her experien
...more
Shelly Seward
Jan 07, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel-in-verse has such beautifully written prose. It's about broken promises, fast rumors, and when growing up means growing apart from your best friend. The scenes were so vivid I could picture them as I was reading.

Thanks to Penguin Random House/ Penguin Teen Canada for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
...more
Tiara Dee
Dec 22, 2020 rated it liked it
There needs to be more books that center around friendship, especially the complex friendships that exist between young Black girls. Where this book, and its author Mahogany L. Browne, excelled was in showing how friendships between young Black girls are often influenced by racism and colorism. I think this book had wonderful messages about advocating for yourself, choosing who you want to be, and being unapologetically you even when dealing with systematic barriers.

Unfortunately, I struggled wi
...more
Marissa Janae
Dec 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Chlorine Sky by Mahogany L. Browne is a Black girl’s coming-of-age story, of the ups and downs of friendship and learning to take up space in a world that tries to tell you you’re nothing. The story told in verse centers on the end of the relationship between the main character, Skyy, a loyal, basketball playing high schooler, and her best friend, Lay Li. Lay Li is Skyy's lifeline, the center of attention in every room, and one of the few people in her life who really seemed to care for and appr ...more
Sarah (Unqualified Reader)
Dec 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
**I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

"If you show up and show the world your real self you don't have to wait for others to claim you."

This is the second book I've reviewed where I completely forgot to take notes as I was too busy tearing through the pages. I was able to write three things:

1. Written in verse
2. For fans of Elizabeth Acevedo
3. The quote I typed at the beginning of this review

This book is a gorgeous coming of age story about find
...more
USOM
Dec 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Novels in verse have been some of my ultimate favorite ones in 2020. Almost all of the ones I have read have been five star reads and Chlorine Sky is no exception. It's a story about growing up. When our best friend starts to change before our very eyes. The moments they begin to laugh at us, instead of with us. Chlorine Sky is tender and lyrical. While it's a story about friendship,
...more
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“When I was younger
I thought I had superpowers
Thought if I sat real still and stared at a book
No one would be able to see me
I got so good at it
I forgot that I’m the only one playing the game
Sit still with a book or my head down
And you can go missing”
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“A friend is someone seeing you
And hearing you
Without you having to say
Everything
Every time”
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