Young Adult: Searching for Sky by Jillian Cantor

Young Adult: Searching for Sky by Jillian CantorSearching for Sky by Jillian Cantor
on 3rd July 2014
Pages: 288
Format: ARC
River means everything to Sky. They have lived alone together on Island for as long as they can remember. The two of them hunt for food, wash in Falls and curl up together in Shelter. Their life is simple and safe. Until River sees a boat . . . 

Across Ocean is California, a place where nothing makes sense to Sky. She is separated from River and taken to live with a grandmother she doesn’t know. Lost and heartbroken, Sky searches for him so they can return to Island, only to find out that their paradise wasn’t as perfect as she thought, and everything she’s ever known and loved may have been a lie.

A gripping and beautifully told story of love and survival in a hostile world – ours.

For some people living on a deserted island may be paradise. For others it might be a nightmare. For Sky, her mother, her best friend River and his father Helmut – it’s home. Life on Island is the only life she has ever known. Now the parents have gone and it’s just her and River – that is until reality in the form of a boat brings world as they know it to an end.

“Rescued” from the island, Sky now has to live with a grandmother she doesn’t know and isn’t allowed to communicate with River, the only friend she has ever had. The modern world isn’t anything like Island and monsters are hiding behind every corner.

In many ways Searching For Sky is a bit like a reverse dystopian. For Sky, life on Island was familiar and safe. She was plunged into a scary and dangerous world where nothing makes sense. All the modern-day conveniences we take for granted take on a new light in this book seeing them though Sky’s eyes – even toilets are confusing and hard to cope with. She doesn’t understand what people want from her nor what her role in life away from Island is. All she wants is her best friend back.

People think of Sky as stupid because she doesn’t know how to act. She can’t read, she often takes people literally, and technology confuses her. But Sky is quick to learn and grasp how life works in California. She has to face an entire life time of conditioning by mother and Helmut about the skeletons who live off of the island. Life is so different and confusing and not just because Sky doesn’t have River by her side. Her grandmother is keeping them from being together and it is a bit of a mystery why she dislikes him so much. There are a few mysteries in this book – why were Sky and her mother on the island to begin with? What is the true story behind Helmut? And then there’s River… Will Sky ever see him again?

It’s an interesting story and I enjoyed discovering just what was going on as Sky did. Her friendship with Ben, the boy next door, was lovely to read. He was a great support for Sky in a world where everything was unfamiliar and hostile. I was kept wondering just how everything was going and in the end was satisfied by the bitter-sweet ending.

Searching for Sky is a beautifully written story about trying to survive in a world where nothing makes sense. The concept in which ours is a world that can be dangerous and frightening was fascinating to read. I was compelled to read on and see just how everything played out for Sky and River by the end.

Thanks to Bloomsbury Australia for the review copy


  1. I really liked this one. Didn’t cry, though, even though a bunch of bloggers have been saying how sad it was! Most of all I loved Sky’s voice, because it’s so refreshing and different – like the premise itself, really 🙂

  2. I loved this one! I was really caught up in the story, but woah to that ending. It really caught me by surprise and I took a little while to recover. I felt so so bad for River there, because no one really took care of him. Like everyone was hovering over Sky, but they kind of ditched River to help himself. 🙁 It made me sad!

  3. I was a bit wishy washy with this one. I loved life on the island, but when they reached the mainland and it focused solely on Sky, it lost that magic for me. I felt I couldn’t reconnect to River, and when I did, well, you know how that ended. I wish it had of been dual points of view, it would have made for a much more powerful read. Great review, glad you enjoyed this more than I did <3

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