Author: Jillian Cantor
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Release Date: 3 July, 2014
Source: Bloomsbury Sydney. Thank you!
River means everything to Sky. They have lived alone together on Island for as long as they can remember. The two of them hunt for food, wash in Falls and curl up together in Shelter. Their life is simple and safe. Until River sees a boat . . .Review by Nara
Across Ocean is California, a place where nothing makes sense to Sky. She is separated from River and taken to live with a grandmother she doesn’t know. Lost and heartbroken, Sky searches for him so they can return to Island, only to find out that their paradise wasn’t as perfect as she thought, and everything she’s ever known and loved may have been a lie.
A gripping and beautifully told story of love and survival in a hostile world – ours.
Searching for Sky was certainly quite a refreshing read. The reverse-dystopia concept isn't one that's seen too often (probably because it's really hard to pull off- I'll go into this later), but I think that Cantor did a fairly decent job.
The ending sort of ruined the book for me. I mean, obviously it didn't completely ruin the book, or I wouldn't have given it 4 stars, but the ending was enough to make me lower the rating from 5 stars. It was just very sudden and very weird and unrealistic. For me, it felt like it was thrown in just to try and earn some "feels" points from readers. And it failed for me- it was awkward and, quite honestly, no feels were induced at all.
On the other hand, most of the book was beautifully written. Sky has been isolated most of her life on a little island with only one other person (River) to keep her company, and so the narrative voice, which is in first person, is very simplistic. Understandably, her vocabulary isn't all that great on the whole, and I feel that the simplicity makes the voice even more poignant. The relationship she has with River is also quite fantastic, although I do still think the best aspect of the novel is Sky herself.
Unfortunately, I also do have to question how consistent Sky's knowledge is. It seemed to me that she wouldn't understand the simplest of concepts, but had no trouble learning others (it's been a while since I read the book so I can't actually remember exact examples, but I do remember thinking this while reading). I don't know, maybe this inconsistency was done on purpose? To show that it's human nature to be inconsistent? Who knows.
All in all, a pretty interesting concept and a beautifully written book. If you're not the kind of person where a random ending can ruin the book, then go ahead and give it a read.