Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Book Review: Finding Sky; Joss Stirling

I knew that if I put my mind to it, I could get this book finished. And look, I did! I seem to really be racing through these books over the past few days, I hope I can keep this pace up! Okay, so Finding Sky is going to be an entry for a couple of challenges. Firstly, one of my 2014 Key Words was 'Sky' so I'll be entering for that! Secondly, it also qualifies as an Urban Fantasy, and so this will mark my second entry into the 'Jumble Your Genres' challenge this month. Buttons below the review!

SOURCE: Bought
TYPE: Paperback

TITLE: Finding Sky
AUTHOR: Joss Stirling
SERIES: Benedicts (#1)
PUBLISHER: Oxford University Press
PAGES: 320
GENRE: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Middle Grade

RATING: 4/5 Stars

Blurb:
When English girl, Sky, catches a glimpse of bad boy Zed in her new American high school, she can't get him out of her head. He talks to her with his thoughts. He reads her mind. He is the boy she will love forever. Shadows stalk her past but a new evil threatens her future. Sky must face the dark even if it means losing her heart.



What I Liked:
  • I really liked the heroine, Sky. That says a lot actually because the trend for me tends to be that I either find the heroine way too sappy or the author tries so hard for them not to be that way that they end up heartless. I found that Stirling struck a pretty good balance with Sky and it made me happy reading about her knowing that she was strong and independent, but did actually have a heart too.
  • The supporting characters were great too! I loved reading about them, and they actually did bash down a lot of the stereotypes you find when reading books set in American high schools. It was nice to see the lead actually fit into the school pretty successfully, without spending the first half of the book being a total loner with no friends to talk to. It meant that the book could focus on other important issues.
  • I was really gripped by most of this book. Literally, as it built, I really didn't want to put it down. There's a lot of action to keep you on the edge of your seat, and a few twists and turns that keep you wanting more when you think you've reached a safe zone. In fact, now it's finished I'm pretty disappointed that there's no more to read and I'm looking forward to reading the next in the series!
What I Disliked:
  • Okay, so I've been singing this book's praises but there were some niggles. When I started reading it, it was on a lower rating for a fair few chapters. The beginning of the book just didn't grip me very much. I couldn't help but feel a little bored to start with, though I can't quite pinpoint why. The subsequent action afterwards was just too good not to rate a bit higher however. I was so gripped after the slow start that I wish that it had been like that all the way through.
  • Zed and Sky's relationship seemed a little off to me at points. Now don't get me wrong, I thought the pairing was great actually! Especially Sky's part in it. I did find however that Zed's transformation from the local bad boy to the ever-adoring boyfriend happened a bit fast. Literally, blink and you'd miss it! I understand that he'd realised that Sky was his Destiny but still, the anger that he had built up inside him went far too quickly for me. Sky's 'falling in love' pace was spot on though and as a character, I did really like Zed!
  • The dialogue between characters. This is very minor but at times I would read and think: 'Would anyone actually say that?'. It only happened rarely, but it was just enough for me to notice it. It felt a little forced at times, and didn't follow the natural way I expected the conversation would go. Like I said though, it only happened a couple of times and didn't ruin the book in any way.
Overall Conclusion:
So I've mentioned a few things that would make you think I hadn't enjoyed this story. But I really did like it a lot! Despite the slow start, Stirling really picked up the pace and I think it has an edge over similar books of it's genre in a number of ways! The heroine is believable, the romance is lovely to read (despite a bit of rush on our male lead's part) and the plot-line is well thought out and totally gripping. I've read books in the past with a similar concept to this one, so the idea isn't totally original. But I liked the way that Stirling handled it a lot better than other books I've read of the same genre. I can't wait to read the second book in the series, and hopefully those loose ends will be ironed out nicely.