Skies Like These by Tess Hilmo, July 15, 2014. 240 pages. Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR). Source: publisher.
A funny, friendship-filled novel with a cowboy twistFirst Sentence:
Twelve-year-old Jade’s perfect summers have always been spent reading and watching TV reruns, so she’s not happy when her parents send her off to Wyoming to her aunt’s house. She meets a boy who calls himself Roy Parker—just like the real name of the legendary rebel cowboy Butch Cassidy. Roy’s dad’s hardware store has closed because a chain store has opened up in town, and Roy thinks it is just like the big cattle barons in Butch’s day who put the local ranchers out of business. He wants Jade to be his Sundance Kid and help him pull some stunts worthy of Butch Cassidy. Sabotage the big store? Outsmart the store’s owner by doing reconnaissance on his ranch? Jade wants to be a good friend, but she’s not so sure about Roy’s schemes.
Jade gazed out the car window at knee-high yellow grass rolling and bending across the prairie like waves in the ocean, crashing into black, jagged mountains off in the distance.
When I started Skies Likes These, I had no expectations on whether I would like it or not. I had just randomly selected it off my one of my TBR stacks during my reading binge one Sunday; turns out, it was pretty much perfect.
There was just something magical about Tess Hilmo's Skies Like These. It could have been the writing; it could have been the characters; but in all likelihood, it was everything because this book delighted me in pretty much every aspect.
What drew me in to the first couple of pages was the writing and how well the author was able to bring to life the Wyoming scene and the beauty of the setting she described. What kept me reading though was the characters and their individual stories. I personally loved the crazy friendship that popped up between Jade and Roy and how fun it was to read about their adventures in espionage. While I really enjoyed the things Jade and Roy did, what drew me to them was their heart.
The characters of this book are one of the best things about it! I really enjoyed the way everyone, well except for that one guy, came together to help out a friend in need. It was so nice to read a book where characters, not just the parents but the kids, put aside their problems to be a community and be there for each other. In our world today you don't really see that all that often-not just real life, but books as well-and so it was interesting to see it in this book.
Family and community aside for the moment. It was the story of Jade and Roy that really stole my heart. From the moment Roy came on the scene with exclaiming that Jade being there was for a reason, I knew I would enjoy the upcoming times that those two would have. I really enjoyed watching the way they worked together to try and save his father's hardware store; but it was their friendship and how they pushed each other to not quite that one me 100% over to their side.
Skies Like These is full of greatness as the writing and characters pulled me right into the story and made it nearly impossible to put down. Seriously though, if you love middle grade books that have heart and really great friendships then you simply must read this one.
Final Verdict: Skies Like These- An absolutely perfect summer read!!!
Skies Like These earns-