Friday, 16 April 2010
Review: The Sky Always Hears Me and the Hills Don't Mind by Kirstin Cronn-Mills
Released: September 1st, 2009
Grade rating: A
Sixteen-year-old Morgan lives in a hick town in the middle of Nebraska. College is two years away. Her mom was killed in a car accident when she was three, her dad drinks, and her stepmom is a non-entity. Her boyfriend Derek is boring and her coworker Rob has a very cute butt that she can't stop staring at. Then there's the kiss she shared with her classmate Tessa... But when Morgan discovers that the one person in the world she trusted most has kept a devastating secret from her, Morgan must redefine her life and herself.
I love reading about independent, confident, snarky girls, and Morgan is just that. I'm the exact opposite of all these things, so I tend to vicariously live through fictional characters and their brushes with an interesting adolescence. Mine was very normal: school, homework, that kind of thing. Morgan and Co. are a million miles away from my own life, yet I still found myself wishing I could be more like her. She's not a perfect role model by a long shot, but she doesn't take any rubbish from anyone, and she lives how she wants to.
Morgan's voice is brilliant; clipped and sharp, with sarcasm available on demand. Her I-don't-care attitude is something to aspire to, and the ability to block out nasty taunts and comments is sure to be a highly desired personality trait amongst teenagers.
Morgan goes through a lot in The Sky Always Hears Me, and a lot is packed into its average page count. She faces choices about her romantic life, her home life, and her future after she leaves Nowheresville. All these plot strands are handled realistically, and they could easily be happening to every student in your nearby high school. The teenage years are a time of change and hard decisions, and Cronn-Mills delves into this with both feet.
Sexual identity is addressed, the topic of sex isn't glossed over, and swearing isn't tactfully omitted. It's very much a book about honesty; both to yourself and to showing the world as it is, and I loved every single page.