Island Eyes, Island Skies by Richard Levine
Feathered Tale Books, January, 2011
RIRI: Author provided copy in exchange for an honest review
Summary from Goodreads:
While at her cousin's birthday party, young D.C. meets Rob. They have a great time and promise to meet again over the summer, but a father's untimely death and a mother's miscarriage keep them apart. Reunited at school, smart-alecky D.C. and introspective Rob slowly form a bond, as they share time, adventures and sporting activities together; they also share thoughts about the workings of the mind and nature, and observations about the quirky qualities of certain members of their own families. When tragedy strikes again, they try to come to terms with what it leaves behind, struggling to accept the uncompromising, unidirectional nature of time. In the end though, separately, they come to believe in the future and the second chances it will bring.I thought this was a very sweet coming-of-age story for middle readers looking to bridge the gap into YA literature. The chapters alternate mostly between twelve-year-olds DC and Rob, but there are some chapters narrated by moms, teachers, and even younger siblings, giving readers an even more intimate look at the lives of these characters.
DC and Rob are both so individual and completely likable. DC is tall for her age and is on her way to being a striking young woman, but she's also got that awkward "I'm 12 and have no idea what to do with this body" thing going on, which pretty much makes her a normal kid. Rob is an easygoing kid who knows right from wrong and is just a good kid. Together, the pair spend time playing sports and creating elaborate made-up scenes--his servant to her queen, etc. If it all seems a little innocent, that's because it is. It's so nice to see two kids just acting like kids. It's totally obvious that each has feeling for the other, but they are also so content to just hang out. It's really, really sweet.
I have to say, though, that the second tragedy (or third, I suppose) happens, it totally took me by surprise and was sudden and extremely unsettling. Seeing how the pair will recover from it just made this a very engaging read.
The author has graciously provided a giveaway copy! Entering the giveaway couldn't be easier, just enter the Rafflecopter! Contest is open to US residents ages 13 and up, and closes on March 15.
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Enjoy your reading!