BOOK REPORT for Meet The Sky by McCall Hoyle

 

Cover Story: How Far Can A Palm Tree Bend?

BFF Charm: Nay

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Swoonworthy Scale: 2

Talky Talk: Downgraded To A Tropical Storm

Bonus Factor: Wild Horses

Relationship Status: That Person Next To Me In The Shelter

 

Cover Story: How Far Can A Palm Tree Bend?

No one wants to be around when the palm trees start a-swaying. This tree reminds me of a similar-looking, super-tall palm in a neighbor’s yard that I constantly checked on to gauge how freaky the wind was in Irma last year (it’s thankfully still standing). I personally would’ve gone for a more hurricane appropriate deep purple and gray theme instead of the more cheery looking blue and green, but the white palm is arresting.

The Deal:

So as if Sophie hasn’t had enough craziness in her life this year, now a storm is coming in from the Atlantic towards the Outer Banks, and her family’s horse farm is right in its path. Her mom has been struggling since Sophie’s father, unable to cope with the guilt of causing the car accident that gave his oldest daughter a traumatic brain injury, left them on their own. Sophie feels like she’s holding her little family together as the responsible one, looking after Meredith, taking care of the horses, and still keeping her grades up to get into vet school. When Sophie’s car breaks down during the evacuation, leaving her stranded alone, she’s rescued by the unlikeliest of people: Finn, the boy she crushed on two years ago who stood her up for the freshman dance. Through a series of pratfalls, they end up unable to leave and must seek out shelter together.

Over the next few days Sophie and Finn will have to survive many things: gale-force winds, falling debris, storm surges, and the most dangerous thing of all—emotions.

BFF Charm: Nay

Sophie was a little too immature for me. I get that her instinct is to protect what she has left of her family and herself, but she goes too far off into damage control and makes a lot of decisions based on fear. She’s so focused on finding a way to let her evacuated family know she’s okay that she gets unfairly annoyed when Finn wants to check on his uncle who rode out the storm at home alone. Uh, selfish much, Soph? Sophie has to learn many hard lessons by the end of the novel, but even then, I’m not certain we could be besties.

Swoonworthy Scale: 2

Sophie internally brings up the fact that Finn stood her up for a dance at least four times, once even after she could’ve clearly figured out why he did what he did. This drove me crazy. Girl, WAY worse things happened to you in the last two years. Let that shizz go. Unfortunately I didn’t feel the connection between Sophie and Finn that the book clearly wanted me to, mostly because Finn was such a stock faux bad boy character. He’s the brash, live-life-to-the-fullest counterpoint to fearful, studious Sophie. Their romance felt immature, which itself isn’t bad, but coupling that with a lack of complexity didn’t leave me with much to root for.

Talky Talk: Downgraded to a Tropical Storm

I was quite excited about this book when I heard about it—people forced to join together to survive a disaster is one of my favorite tropes. And add in two people who haven’t seen in other in a while but still have chemistry? Perfect! But there was no chemistry, and the book was a lot more emotionally serious than a survival romp. The hurricane takes a backseat to family illness, death, grief, and forgiveness. It’s a lot to pack into such a short book, and while these are all weighty topics, I never felt particularly moved by any character revelations or words of wisdom stemming from them. To make a character-driven book shine, you need strong characters, and I think Sophie and Finn could have used more depth and dimension.

Bonus Factor: Wild Horses

Sophie is an animal lover and her father was instrumental in getting a fence up around the Outer Banks that helps preserve the wild Spanish horses that live there. Like many a young girl, I would’ve loved to have grown up with my own pony, and I still have a little soft spot for such majestic creatures.

Relationship Status: That Person Next to Me in the Shelter

Well, we’ve been forced to sleep in cots near each other for the last few days thanks to this hurricane, Book. You weren’t noisy or smelly, so I appreciate that, but now that the power has been restored to our respective neighborhoods, let’s go our separate ways and simply wish each other clearer skies ahead.

Meet The Sky is available 9/4/18.