“I’m thinking about this photograph Sam showed me. We were round at his Nan’s after school. I’d been worrying about stuff – my parents, as usual. All their arguing, and the silences, which were worse. Sam used to listen, kind of, while I went on about it.”
Kate’s parents are arguing, a lot. Though there’s also ridiculously long silent moments too. They used to be so happy but she has no idea what went wrong. As a one last attempt to rekindle their relationship they are spending four weeks on a Hebridean Island, with Kate. Kate doesn’t want to go but after her relationship with her ex-boyfriend ended so badly her parents don’t trust her anymore, she has no choice. As soon as Kate gets to the Island she is bored, and scared. She doesn’t want to think about what might happen with her parents and tries to spend as little time as possible with them. Thankfully the locals are more than willing to accept Kate and their warmth and happiness turns out to be quite infectious.
I have been a fan of Julia Green since long before I can even remember. As a teenage I devoured her books and now as an adult I can appreciate them, even though they are no longer quite my thing.
The story was really sweet. I loved the way the book handled Kates parents’ problems and what that meant for Kate and her family. I really liked that it showed parents as actual human beings which is something you don’t find that much in YA lit, and how the main focus of the book wasn’t Kate’s own romantic feelings. I thought they were ok but really the romance elements of the book didn’t really jump out at me all that much and kinda felt like they were there to tick a box.
The characters were all really nice and I thought that the islanders were all incredibly community driven. Thankfully I really understood that because I grew up in quite a small village in the North of England, I think anyone reading this book who has grown up in a town, or city will feel a little weirded out about how close and friendly everyone seems, as Kate does at first but will hopefully see the benefits of what that way of life means to people. I liked some of the more serious aspects of the book too, with the wind farm and the nature on the island.
I really did enjoy this but I do think that the story was a little slow in places. This book is ideal for a teen who doesn’t read so much and isn’t after anything action packed. Its a classical contemporary summer read and will be perfect for the beach.
This Northern Sky will be published on July 4th by Bloomsbury. My copy was sent from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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