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Saturday, April 28, 2018

Book Review: Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron

I normally stay far, far away from YA (or adult) books with a lot of fantastical elements, even in they're not fantasy books. But the exception proves the rule! This book is set a few years in the future, about 2-3 years after the angels started falling from the sky. Initially, as you can imagine, people panicked, they thought the world was coming to an end, so people stopped working, stopped paying rent, there was looting, etc. But, after a couple of years of this, life got more or less back to normal. People resumed their day to day existence with school and work and family, albeit with a lot more cults.. Except every couple of weeks, another angel would fall out of the sky. Where and when they land seems to be random (although some people think they can discern a pattern and predict the next one). But they all die on impact.

Jaya finds the obsession about them annoying. Mostly because, since the angels started falling, her father has become an obsessive. It's obvious to readers (and it's implied that Jaya knows this too) that it's a way for him to channel his undealt-with feelings about his wife's death. But the practical matter for Jaya and her sister is that they get no attention at home, kind of have to fend for themselves, and occasionally get dragged out to a predicted landing. And now their father has had them move to Edinburgh, because he just knows that this is the next place. Jaya would like him to give this all up and start being a father again.

And then an angel falls and lands right in front of Jaya. And her landing is cushioned when she's caught in a tree. And she lives. And as much as Jaya doesn't want to have anything to do with the angels, she can't let this one single live one be caught by the obsessives--or worse, the government who might experiment on her)--who might do horrible things to her. So Jaya hides her.

This was a touching and exciting and inventive story with twists and turns I didn't expect. I really liked the angel (they call her Teacake after her affection for the sweet treats) and Jaya's new friends and her relationship with her sister. It has a post-apocalyptic feel to it, but without all the destruction and chaos and war that normally comes with that (well, a little chaos. But very little in comparison.) And I was also worried if it might be too religious for me, but it wasn't at all. I absolutely think non religious kids can enjoy it, and religious ones certainly will. It is a real breath of fresh air in this genre.

This review is a part of Kid Konnection, hosted by Booking Mama, a collection of children's book-related posts over the weekend.

This book is published by Roaring Brook Press, a division of Macmillan Publishers, my employer.

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