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I was quite excited to read Finding Sky not because of the premise (which to be fair is still pretty good) but because I think it qualifies as my first proper UK YA, as Stirling is a British author. This prompted me to sample her work and I purchased the first three books in her ‘Benedicts’ series. I was actually pleasantly surprised by the result…

The Good:

Our protagonist Sky is originally from the United Kingdom which made a nice change; it definitely helped me relate to her whole ‘fish-out-of-water’ living in America situation. Finding SkyShe was sweet and shy and reasonably likeable once she started gaining in confidence. On the other side of things we have Zed Benedict who was your stereotypical ‘bad boy’. Cue loud groans from Sarah. As irritating as that was I liked the comradery between the brothers and the close family relationships they had going on with their parents, including how supportive Sky’s adoptive parents were.

The supernatural elements of the book were surprisingly successful. The ‘savant’ culture and the aspect of ‘soulfinders’ was interesting and different to what I’ve come across before. It was fun to read something where a large chunk of the characters’ dialogue was telepathic communication and many of the scenes in which the Benedicts use their powers were the best bits of the book.

The Bad:

The romance is so incredibly insta-lovey, and I’m only semi willing to forgive this issue because of the whole soulmates thing that is integral to the story. I DESPISE insta-love with a burning passion! I thought Sky and Zed made a cute couple in the end but I really didn’t like the dynamic they had going, with Zed going from creepy and possessive to tender and caring in the blink of an eye. I remember thinking I’d missed a chapter! Then there was the annoying, overprotective streak that wound me up. Sky was constantly portrayed as unable to take care of herself: even though she’d assert herself in conversation, that tough side never followed through into her actions. She always seemed to wind up needing saving. It was so frustrating and unnecessary! Also, why must every YA protagonist have some king of traumatic backstory? It’s becoming cliché and boring.

As for the writing style, it was so-so. It started alright but it did then lose some of its charm. The pacing slowed down tremendously and chapters began to feel disjointed and clunky. Sky’s internal monologue was a bit repetitive sometimes too, as was the plot towards the end when things started going downhill. Plus, reading a sixteen year old boy say ‘hush now’ is just plain laughable, let me tell you!

The Verdict:

Finding Sky is a fun little adventure. It’s not stand-out by any means but it is enjoyable and uncomplicated reading. I’d give it two and a half stars in total. Aside from it being kind of cheesy in places the writing style is okay and I will happily continue with the series, although I can’t see it being one of my favourites.

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