Lucy’s life was going as smoothly as any teenager’s could. She was in the local swimming club, and loved it; she lived with her parents and her brother, Cam, in the small coastal town she’d known all her life. She had friends, she had goals – she had a life. Now Cam is dead, her parents might as well be – and Lucy can’t bear to get back in the pool. All she has to look forward to now is a big pile of going-nowhere.
Drawn to Steffi, her wild ex-best-friend who reminds Lucy of her mysterious, unpredictable brother, and music-obsessed Evan, the new boy in town, Lucy starts asking questions. Why did Cam die? Was it an accident or suicide? But as Lucy hunts for answers she discovers much more than she expects. About Cam. About her family. About herself.
Trinity Doyle has a nice writing style. With varying sentence length and pleasant sentence structure, Pieces of Sky can be really disjointed at times, but still never loses rhythm or pace. An example:
No – oh god, what’s happening? Get in the water, just get in.
I can’t –
I can’t breathe.
Everything bleeds together and I can’t –
I can’t do this.
The panic Lucy (the main character) feels is so evident, and it simply bleeds through the words. There are many examples of this during the book. Another quote:
His fingers grip my bedspread. Grip, release, grip release.
The rhythm and tone of the words shows through, with the emphasis on the grip release grip release. Commendable writing style, especially for a debut writer.
The love interest was introduced usually early, in the first 10 pages or so, and then he disappeared for about 3 chapters until he was reintroduced later. Here’s where I found the first problem with the book. I wasn’t quite sure who the love interest was at first, because we were introduced to two people, Ryan and Evan. It turns out that Evan is the love interest, but apparently, Lucy (main character) likes being a double crossing bastard because she throws herself on Ryan while she’s in a relationship with Evan. Like. You have a boyfriend. Seriously.
One of the main driving points of the book is the fact that Cam is killed, or kills himself. The suicide theme was brought up way too late and way too casually to really shock the reader. Page 133:
I stare hard at the street long after he’s left. My stomach knots together and everything in me weighs a tonne. Why did Cam go out? Why did he risk it? Maybe he didn’t know what he was doing – or maybe he did.
Another aspect of the book that I didn’t like was how all throughout the book, there were little things that were extremely convenient to happen, that sped the book along. Here, let’s make it clearer:
Then the music dies and he gets up to fix it. Without the music to cover everyone’s voices, people go quiet. Loud stomping comes towards us from the track.
How coincidental that the music stops at the exact time that they are visited by an uninvited guest! Convenient for adding drama and tension, hey? Another:
It’s so weird that he has this – two parts of me that shouldn’t go together have somehow met.
I agree. It’s so weird. And annoying.
Another thing I didn’t like was the ending. The book just basically solves itself through yet another coincidence. No effort done on behalf of the character at all. My number one pet peeve, when a clue, or the solution itself, just appears out of nowhere and the work is done for the protagonist.
Let’s go back to the pros. The love. The love is barely steamy, but it’s such a crucial part of the book, and it’s handled extremely well. One of things that I love the most about this book is the fact that we are given reasons for why the characters like each other. A lot of different books simply shove two characters together and expect the reader to believe that they are miraculously in love at first sight. Not this one. Although the reasons didn’t come in until about page 100, the romance developed slowly, and so we never really had any reason to know why they liked each other until page 100.
In conclusion, the overall though I had with this book was how similar to The Protected it was. A teenage girl who has lost a sibling tries to cope. She is guided to the path of healing through love and people who understand her. However, she is not a double crossing-bastard, which is why The Protected is better.
Rating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ 7/10
Pieces of Sky is out now. Buy at your local bookstore.
- Title: Pieces of Sky
- Author: Trinity Doyle
- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Allen & Unwin (1 June 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-13: 9781760112486
- URL: Amazon, Goodreads, Author Website