Which wont be hard since I haven’t been hungry lately
It won’t be hard now that I have a goal
In the saddle
It won’t be hard
Because I’m willing to do whatever
To win.” -Rae from ‘The Sky Between You and Me’
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we’re going to review a new book that you should definitely add to your Goodreads reading challenge (yeah, yeah, I know that your TBR is already insane, but this book is worth the room. Trust me). So what is this amazing book you ask? I’m glad you asked people of the internet! Today we’re reviewing ‘The Sky Between You and Me’ by Catherine Alene. Not only is the story interesting, but will definitely leave a lasting impact on you once you finish it. I will try to make this review as spoiler free as possible, so if you’re ready let’s get to the review. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
Our story revolves around high school junior Raesha (aka Rae), a rodeo rider who dreams of winning Nationals just like her mother did when she was in high school. We are then introduced to Rae’s best friend Asia, Asia’s boyfriend Micah, and Rae’s boyfriend Cody. Everything in Rae’s life seems to be going well until a new girl named Kierra moves into town and begins to disrupt all of the order in Rae’s life. Throughout the story we learn that Rae’s mother died from cancer when she was a little girl and Rae always carried the guilt due to the circumstances of her mother’s death. Due to Rae’s growing loneliness because of Kierra’s presence in her life, as well as Rae’s father’s constant absence due to his job, Rae quickly falls into the grip of an eating disorder. She begins by just telling herself that she will lose a little weight in order to fit into her mother’s old riding saddle, however things get bad VERY quickly. Throughout the rest of the novel we see how Rae’s eating disorder affects her life, and the lives of those around her in both expected and unexpected ways. This is truly a powerful story with an amazing message of hope that doesn’t sugar coat the dark side of eating disorders.
I not only really enjoyed the plot of this story, but also the relationship between Rae and her father. You could really see the love that they had for each other, as well as his need to try to fill the void that her mother’s death has left in her life, and his terror when he feels as if he failed this task. I also really enjoyed the fact that Rae and her friends were from a small country town and enjoyed completing in rodeos. This was definitely a fresh change of pace from your typical YA setting. Lastly I personally really loved the fact that the entire story was written in verse, which added a unique vibe to the story. Although there was SOOOO much I loved about this book, there were some problems. Firstly I HATED Rae’s boyfriend Cody! He was a completely unlikeable character who made me want to slap Rae for even dealing with him. Cody openly flirts with Kierra every chance he gets, and is completely unsupportive of Rae, even when he finds out about her eating disorder. Also, the story definitely had sections that were very slow and boring, although this didn’t happen often, it definitely lost the book half a smiley face on it’s overall score. Lastly, I really wish that we had spent more time on the obvious connection between Rae’s mother’s death and Rae’s eating disorder. I know that eating disorders are very complicated matters and there is never a necessary “cause” of this disease however, I really feel that this event had a lasting impact on Rae and thus it would’ve been nice to dive more into that. In conclusion I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a great story and doesn’t mind books written in free verse. If you don’t typically enjoy this style of writing then this maybe a hard story for you to get through however, I definitely suggest that you give it a chance. Because of all of this, I give ‘The Sky Between You and Me’ 4 1/2 smiley faces (due to the slow parts of the story). This is definitely worth your time, and I suggest you pick it up right away!
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