Skyscraping by Cordelia Jensen
by Cordelia Jensen
Published by Penguin, Philomel
on June 2nd 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, YA, Young Adult
Pages: 352


A heartrending, bold novel in verse about family, identity, and forgiveness

Mira is just beginning her senior year of high school when she discovers her father with his male lover. Her world–and everything she thought she knew about her family–is shattered instantly. Unable to comprehend the lies, betrayal, and secrets that–unbeknownst to Mira–have come to define and keep intact her family’s existence, Mira distances herself from her sister and closest friends as a means of coping. But her father’s sexual orientation isn’t all he's kept hidden. A shocking health scare brings to light his battle with HIV. As Mira struggles to make sense of the many fractures in her family's fabric and redefine her wavering sense of self, she must find a way to reconnect with her dad–while there is still time.
Told in raw, exposed free verse, Skyscraping reminds us that there is no one way to be a family.

I received this book for review from the publisher, this does not influence my review.

When I was pitched this book, I accepted it gladly. A verse novel about complex issues? Skyscraping is that novel but so much more. It’s also about family, friendship, changing over time and learning to accept things you can’t change. It’s a phenomenal debut that I hope doesn’t get pushed to the side.

Mira has had a tricky family history. Her mom left for a year unannounced and that wound is still pretty fresh. But when her parents announce that they have an open marriage, and that her father has a male lover, Mira is just shaken. Her shock and surprise only deepens when Mira learns that her father is HIV-positive. Taking place in 1994,  Skyscraping is a wonderfully written novel about family and identity.

Before I continue, I just need to state how phenomenally Skyscraping was written. I am a huge fan of verse novels (as I am in no way intricate with words so I love reading books that make up for it) and I just need to state how beautiful the writing was. If you are a fan of poetry or like the idea of books written untraditionally, this book is for you!

Mira was definitely a character I could relate to. While I’ve never been in her situation, I can relate to having a traumatic family experience that leaves you shaken to the core. I loved how Mira grew over the course of the book, and her development was amazing. She was not the same girl by the end of the book, and that’s what I love about YA, characters are always changing and growing and just becoming more.

I usually discuss the plot when I discuss books but in the case of Skyscraping, there is not much to discuss that isn’t in the synopsis. However, the way the plot was executed was amazing. Usually, I dislike having synopses that give away most of the plot information, but in the case of Skyscraping, the book isn’t about what happens. It’s about Mira and how she handles with what she’s told.

Overall, Skyscraping is a phenomenal debut verse novel that I highly recommend to those looking for a moving and thought-provoking read. Don’t miss this wonderful debut!

shelly sig

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