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From the author of We Speak in Storms comes a twisty, psychological thriller about three friends searching for the truth in the aftermath of a plane crash. The morning after their senior year beach party, Izzy, Cass, and Janie are woken by a thundering overhead. Then they and their classmates watch in shock as a plane crashes into the water. When the passengers are finally From the author of We Speak in Storms comes a twisty, psychological thriller about three friends searching for the truth in the aftermath of a plane crash. The morning after their senior year beach party, Izzy, Cass, and Janie are woken by a thundering overhead. Then they and their classmates watch in shock as a plane crashes into the water. When the passengers are finally recovered, they are identified as Izzy's twin brother, Israel, Cass's ex-boyfriend, Shane, and Janie's best friend, Nate. But Izzy can feel when her brother is in pain, and she knows he's not really dead. So she, Cass, and Janie set out to discover what actually happened that day--and why the boys were on the plane. Told in alternating timelines and points of view, this powerful and captivating novel follows the three boys in the weeks leading up to that fateful flight, and the girls they left behind as they try to piece together the truth about the boys they loved and thought they knew. A spellbinding story about the ripple effects of tragedy, the questions we leave unanswered, and the enduring power of friendship.


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From the author of We Speak in Storms comes a twisty, psychological thriller about three friends searching for the truth in the aftermath of a plane crash. The morning after their senior year beach party, Izzy, Cass, and Janie are woken by a thundering overhead. Then they and their classmates watch in shock as a plane crashes into the water. When the passengers are finally From the author of We Speak in Storms comes a twisty, psychological thriller about three friends searching for the truth in the aftermath of a plane crash. The morning after their senior year beach party, Izzy, Cass, and Janie are woken by a thundering overhead. Then they and their classmates watch in shock as a plane crashes into the water. When the passengers are finally recovered, they are identified as Izzy's twin brother, Israel, Cass's ex-boyfriend, Shane, and Janie's best friend, Nate. But Izzy can feel when her brother is in pain, and she knows he's not really dead. So she, Cass, and Janie set out to discover what actually happened that day--and why the boys were on the plane. Told in alternating timelines and points of view, this powerful and captivating novel follows the three boys in the weeks leading up to that fateful flight, and the girls they left behind as they try to piece together the truth about the boys they loved and thought they knew. A spellbinding story about the ripple effects of tragedy, the questions we leave unanswered, and the enduring power of friendship.

30 review for The Sky Above Us

  1. 5 out of 5

    Melanie (mells_view)

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. **there may be some spoilers in this review. I have extremely mixed feelings about this book. I think it’s incredibly well written and although the pacing is slow, it’s split into multiple POVs and timelines so it at least doesn’t feel stagnant. There’s a plane crash right off the coast after a beach party, and three girls are left to deal with the aftermath of the deaths of the three boys closest to them. There’s a bit of mystery surrounding the crash. Was it a joyride gone wrong, or was it purp **there may be some spoilers in this review. I have extremely mixed feelings about this book. I think it’s incredibly well written and although the pacing is slow, it’s split into multiple POVs and timelines so it at least doesn’t feel stagnant. There’s a plane crash right off the coast after a beach party, and three girls are left to deal with the aftermath of the deaths of the three boys closest to them. There’s a bit of mystery surrounding the crash. Was it a joyride gone wrong, or was it purposeful? Also one of the boys who died was a twin and his twin feels that he’s still alive. The Sky Above Us explores themes of grief, depression, suicide, dealing with the pressures of high school life, reincarnation, family dynamics, passive bullying, and honestly I don’t know if every topic was handled extremely well. I’m also not a professional of any kind, so I don’t know if I can make that sort of judgement call. I just know that in many instances I felt uncomfortable with what I was reading, but take that as a personal thing. What I will say is that if you’re looking for a sad and deeply emotional book that’s ultimately about teenagers dealing with loss of all kind. A book that explores them dealing with the periods prior and the period after their losses, then you should pick up The Sky Above Us. TW: suicide, depression, passive bullying, alcoholism. AVAILABLE NOW! *ARC

  2. 5 out of 5

    ella

    ★★☆☆☆ 2/5 thank you to penguinteen and netgallery for the arc! this was a beautiful story of loss and grief, but i fail to see how it was a “psychological thriller” and i also had a glaring problem with it. janie was an autistically coded character, and i felt very uncomfortable with the way the author handled her. she was basically only in the story for other characters to benefit off of her and use her (all while being too “embarrassed” to admit they were friends with her in public. nice, right ★★☆☆☆ 2/5 thank you to penguinteen and netgallery for the arc! this was a beautiful story of loss and grief, but i fail to see how it was a “psychological thriller” and i also had a glaring problem with it. janie was an autistically coded character, and i felt very uncomfortable with the way the author handled her. she was basically only in the story for other characters to benefit off of her and use her (all while being too “embarrassed” to admit they were friends with her in public. nice, right?) the characters would call her “weird” and say they were “uncomfortable” around her. They would convince her into giving them free stuff, drive them around, etc. it’s not a message that i, an autistic person, enjoyed to see. another thing is, going from thinking an autistic person is “weird” and “strange” to becoming friends with them as “character development” is overdone, stereotypical, and downright harmful.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Maddyreads

    I enjoyed the multiple perspectives of the book, and I loved getting to know all the characters. However, I felt the beginning was a bit slow!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Angela Staudt

    The Sky Above Us was really sad, heartbreaking, and quite hard to read at times. Right from the beginning things are full of deep sadness and pain. Cass, Janie, and Izzy wake up on the beach after a party and hear the sound of a plane. They look above their heads and a low flying plane goes right by, as they watch it, they realize that the plane looks like it is heading straight into the ocean. They watch with fear as it nose dives and disappears into the ocean. Three people were on that plane, The Sky Above Us was really sad, heartbreaking, and quite hard to read at times. Right from the beginning things are full of deep sadness and pain. Cass, Janie, and Izzy wake up on the beach after a party and hear the sound of a plane. They look above their heads and a low flying plane goes right by, as they watch it, they realize that the plane looks like it is heading straight into the ocean. They watch with fear as it nose dives and disappears into the ocean. Three people were on that plane, Israel, Shane, and Nate. Israel was Izzy’s twin brother. Shane was Cass’s boyfriend up until recently. Nate was Janie’s only real friend. The format of this book was very unique as we get the days leading up to the crash and the days after the crash. We get perspectives from all six of the characters and it was so heart wrenching to read. The pain, guilt, secrets, sadness that they all feel but don’t tell anyone. It was such a realistic look at the possibility that it was a suicide attempt and what you leave behind if you do commit suicide. What your family members and friends deal with in the aftermath. It also showed how hard it is to be a teenager, and it brought back some heavy memories of when I was a teenager myself. The weight of always wanting to succeed and to impress your parents, trying to balance everything in your life, thinking about college. It can be a lot on good days, but bad ones are even worse. I will end with this is not a happy book. I struggled to finish this as I knew no good was going to come at the end. Does that mean I didn’t like it? No, not at all. The author had a way of writing such an intense book full of trauma, pain, and grief that you got sucked in and kept reading. The Sky Above Us will not be a book for everyone, but the writing is superb and the characters are really fleshed out.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca McKanna

    I was lucky enough to read an early version of this magical novel. The mystery at the heart of this book is captivating! It’s impossible not to keep turning the pages to find out what happened to the boys in the past and how the girls will cope in the present. You’ll fall in love with these sharply drawn main characters in this elegant meditation on grief, love, and all that’s unknowable in this world and beyond.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Indre

    This is definitely not a thriller. It is a hard book to review, because it discusses hard topics, but in a slow kind of way. It's a story of 6 teenagers. Three of them crash a plane and die. And the three girls that are left alive, have to deal with their grief, guilt and figure out their next steps in life. This book is about grief and how different people deal with it. There are a lot of talk about mental health, and how it affects kids/teenagers and adults. How it can break someone down little This is definitely not a thriller. It is a hard book to review, because it discusses hard topics, but in a slow kind of way. It's a story of 6 teenagers. Three of them crash a plane and die. And the three girls that are left alive, have to deal with their grief, guilt and figure out their next steps in life. This book is about grief and how different people deal with it. There are a lot of talk about mental health, and how it affects kids/teenagers and adults. How it can break someone down little by little. How other people tend to ignore the things that are hard to talk about - like seeing a person you love suffer, seeing someone struggle with mental health. So many trigger warnings: talk of suicide, depression, alcohol use and abuse. In the end I thought this book discusses all of these topics in a good way. It's true and real, even if it had a bit of imaginary creativity with the soul jumping and past lives. It is definitely not a thriller, even if we follow the story to the end to figure out what really happened to the boys, and what they chose in the end.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jypsy

    Thank you Turn The Page Book Tours for a complimentary copy. I voluntarily reviewed this book. All opinions expressed are my own.    The Sky Above Us By: Natalie Lund   REVIEW ☆☆☆☆ The Sky Above Us is a riveting young adult novel that is difficult to explain, without ruining the plot, that is. Natalie Lund has written an emotionally impactful story on the inevitability of change, the bonds we share, choices with definitive consequences, the idea of reincarnation and profound human powerlessness i Thank you Turn The Page Book Tours for a complimentary copy. I voluntarily reviewed this book. All opinions expressed are my own.    The Sky Above Us By: Natalie Lund   REVIEW ☆☆☆☆ The Sky Above Us is a riveting young adult novel that is difficult to explain, without ruining the plot, that is. Natalie Lund has written an emotionally impactful story on the inevitability of change, the bonds we share, choices with definitive consequences, the idea of reincarnation and profound human powerlessness in a vast unknowable universe. Narrated through six teen points of view, in past and present time, readers experience several story threads from different angles. It's actually not that confusing. A dramatic unbelievable thing just happened, and a reckoning has come for everyone. As the teens struggle with universal unanswerable questions of how and why this horrorible nightmare happened, each will realize, too late, the value of something now forever lost and the despair of ignorance, especially in light of new knowledge that might have changed everything. I won't pretend The Sky Above Us is a happy tale because it's not. The subject matter is heavy, intense and, largely, heartbreaking; however, this is also the kind of read that grabs and stuns you from the start with shocking scenes, mysterious situations, improbablites and the need to know more. I honestly couldn't put this book down until the last page, and I have thought of it often since. The characters are complex, broken messes who elicit sympathy and tear at your heart. Being so young and deeply embroiled in a major tragedy is terrible. I believe each character had a path to take, and throughout the book, we learn of the actions and choices that led to this particular path. The question is whether different choices would have led to a different path, and if so, for better or worse? Was this chaos always destined to happen, or not? Do you believe in life after life after life and in the possibility that you were once someone else? Despite the doom and gloom tone of my review, The Sky Above Us is well worth reading. This is the type of story that gives you something, possibly bizarre, to reason over and consider in new and different ways. You are asked to just be open to these crazy possibilities. If you can do that, I highly recommend trying this compelling book!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Abigail Singrey

    An achingly beautiful story of heartbreak and loss. When three teen girls witness a plane crash on a beach after a party, it shatters their lives. Not only do they know the victims, but it’s the people who are most important to them. Izzy lost her twin, Israel. Cass lost her ex-boyfriend, Shane. And Janie lost her best friend Nate, who’d only hang out with her when no one from school could see. Israel had been interested in past lives, but when Izzy swears their souls have moved into three dolph An achingly beautiful story of heartbreak and loss. When three teen girls witness a plane crash on a beach after a party, it shatters their lives. Not only do they know the victims, but it’s the people who are most important to them. Izzy lost her twin, Israel. Cass lost her ex-boyfriend, Shane. And Janie lost her best friend Nate, who’d only hang out with her when no one from school could see. Israel had been interested in past lives, but when Izzy swears their souls have moved into three dolphins, her friends think she's losing it. The other girls agree to help her find out why the tragedy occurred to help her cope. Each one is searching for a sense of meaning. What led three teen boys to steal a plane and take it for a spin? The answer to that question will test the three girls’ friendship. These characters are vivid, unique and feel like real people. The book alternates between past and present, giving you glimpses into each teen's heart. I especially enjoyed Janie gaining confidence and becoming an even larger part of the friend group as the time went on. I would describe this book as an emotional thriller. You needed to know the answers to "why" just as much as the girls did, so it kept me turning pages. I read this in one sitting. Even though this book dealt with some tough topics - depression, suicide - I loved the note of hope. The bittersweet ending will leave you with tears in your eyes. Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Teen for the advance review copy of this book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Peyton

    TW: suicide, suicidal ideation, self-harm, alcohol usage Wow. WOW. Okay, I am so glad I finally got around to this. This book deals with grief in such a fascinating way. The Sky Above Us follows three girls: Izzy, Cass, and Janie, all who have some relation to three boys who wrecked in a plane accident one night: Shane, Israel, and Nate. The story follows accounts from the boys before the accident leading up to it and the girls and how they deal with the aftermath of the accident. The Sky Above U TW: suicide, suicidal ideation, self-harm, alcohol usage Wow. WOW. Okay, I am so glad I finally got around to this. This book deals with grief in such a fascinating way. The Sky Above Us follows three girls: Izzy, Cass, and Janie, all who have some relation to three boys who wrecked in a plane accident one night: Shane, Israel, and Nate. The story follows accounts from the boys before the accident leading up to it and the girls and how they deal with the aftermath of the accident. The Sky Above Us brings the concept of other lives, or reincarnation into play, which I found really intriguing. I love the writing. It’s simple, yet conveys so much good detail in a straight-to-the-point manner. I also love how Spanish was used! I’m a Spanish student, so I always love putting my Spanish knowledge to the test and seeing if I can understand what is being said. The pacing was great. I had absolutely no issues. It moved fairly quickly, so nothing dragged and the plot was always being developed, or new pieces of information were being revealed. The pacing kept me hooked all the way through. I highly recommend that you pick up The Sky Above Us to experience a story of anguish and grief. I mean it really will break you. Trust me. **Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin who provided me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review**

  10. 4 out of 5

    Cianna Sunshine & Mountains Book Reviews

    Interesting. As someone who spent a lot of time researching both mental health, and young adult media, I was surprised at how deep and emotional this book ended up being. A lot of times this book felt more in the genre of Sarah Dessen than a traditional triller. The characters have to deal with so much, and it can weigh on the reader if they aren't expecting that emotional depth. I did feel a little overwhelmed with multiple different perspectives, shifting back and forth. It was hard to follow Interesting. As someone who spent a lot of time researching both mental health, and young adult media, I was surprised at how deep and emotional this book ended up being. A lot of times this book felt more in the genre of Sarah Dessen than a traditional triller. The characters have to deal with so much, and it can weigh on the reader if they aren't expecting that emotional depth. I did feel a little overwhelmed with multiple different perspectives, shifting back and forth. It was hard to follow at some times, but overall it was an interesting way to lead up to the main event. I was surprised to see the concept of reincarnation in this book. It's not a traditional choice, and while it didn't quite all make sense to me, I was interested to see something very non-traditional religious in this book. Overall, a solid book, a 3.5, I rounded up to 4. The author writes interesting characters, good setting, it just felt like this book was trying to tackle too much, and I got lost in it at times, but I did enjoy the twist ending, and the book cover is stunning. Overall, give it a go, but be warned it is emotional and deals with heavy topics like mental health and grief.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tori Brown

    Wow I was not ready for the direction this book took. The Sky Above Us is about three girls, Izzy, Cass, and Janie trying to find answers about a plane crash. The three boys in the aircraft were Izzy’s twin brother, Cass’ ex boyfriend, and Janie’s best friend. The book jumps back and forth between the past and the present as well as between the six characters’ point of views. It took me a while to get use to the time jump, but after a couple chapters I was hooked. This book was glued to my hand Wow I was not ready for the direction this book took. The Sky Above Us is about three girls, Izzy, Cass, and Janie trying to find answers about a plane crash. The three boys in the aircraft were Izzy’s twin brother, Cass’ ex boyfriend, and Janie’s best friend. The book jumps back and forth between the past and the present as well as between the six characters’ point of views. It took me a while to get use to the time jump, but after a couple chapters I was hooked. This book was glued to my hand as I desperately wanted to know why the boys were on the plane and why it crashed. I enjoyed all the characters and learning about their individual struggle and how their lives intertwined. Natalie Lund did an excellent job of writing about grief, friendship, and mental illness. I was also pleasantly surprised by the weaving of reincarnation into the story. I enjoyed reading this book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Andhisnosestuckinabook

    https://youtu.be/PONeUtUnSv4 My Spoiler Free Review Above https://youtu.be/PONeUtUnSv4 My Spoiler Free Review Above

  13. 4 out of 5

    Madison

    Trigger warnings and discussions below contain spoilers. Please note: I debated sharing this review as I know reviews that criticise the book can be upsetting to those who put their heart and soul into this book. However, I felt that due to the nature of my concerns I couldn’t not share my review. Please know I do it only to help. The Sky Above Us is not a thriller. This book is an exploration of emotions in the lead up to and aftermath of suicide. As someone who is bereaved by suicide, I was ups Trigger warnings and discussions below contain spoilers. Please note: I debated sharing this review as I know reviews that criticise the book can be upsetting to those who put their heart and soul into this book. However, I felt that due to the nature of my concerns I couldn’t not share my review. Please know I do it only to help. The Sky Above Us is not a thriller. This book is an exploration of emotions in the lead up to and aftermath of suicide. As someone who is bereaved by suicide, I was upset by the way suicide and suicidal thoughts were discussed and, one might say, romanticised. This book just makes it seem like it was the only choice for the boys and placed guilt and responsibility on the girls. While I completely and wholeheartedly believe we need books in our young people’s hands that talk about suicide and mental health and dark thoughts, and acknowledging them and removing stigma, I believe they also need to be books that help teens navigate this. Not a book that says, you’ve hurt your knee, your girlfriend cheated on you, school’s hard, it’s all bad, bad thoughts, bad thoughts, but it’s okay because you can become a flipping dolphin. And your sister or girlfriend will be fine with it because you became a flipping dolphin. Yes, right at the end there are a few mentions of the implications, and yes, one might infer from the story that everyone is sad and wrecked, but hey, you’re a flipping dolphin (or, not, maybe we are not actually sure about that), so it’s all good. I’m not trying to hate on reincarnation but there are so many things in this book that are just not addressed - like the guy on the forum who is targeting Israel and encouraging him to suicide. And how the girls are left feeling to blame and having to make the ‘right’ choices to ‘make up’ for their brother/ boyfriend/ friend. There is no positive discussion about actually getting help or the benefits of therapy, other options, staying safe online, or positive and healthy relationships. Nothing. There were a few other things that I also didn’t like about this book. It is written from the perspective of the six main characters. The three girls and the three boys. The girls’ chapters are from after the crash and the boys’ are from before. Having six perspectives was incredibly confusing and it took me a while to figure out what was key to each character so I could tell them apart. I didn’t like any of them. Side note, this book also discussed an orca in an aquarium as if it is totally fine and normal and okay for that creature to be confined in such a way. It’s not. It’s in the context of a film script, but it still normalises it. Finally, there are also a lot of open plot holes and things that are never finalised and that left me unsatisfied (in between being angry, of course). Finally, in no way do I agree with the publisher’s decision to market this for ages 12 and up. I’ll be giving it an age 14/15 and up rating and you can find my trigger warnings and content guide below. The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own. Find more reviews, reading age guides, content advisory, and recommendations on my blog Madison's Library

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jaleesa

    The Sky Above Us is penned as a "psychological thriller" but after finishing this book it did not feel as though it were one. I received this arc with the hopes that there would be some type of maybe magical realism element to it, given that the entire premise of this story follows three boys who crash a plane in the ocean, and the three most important girls in their life witness this tragic "accident", and are left to find out what happened to them. So yes, it did have that mystery element too, The Sky Above Us is penned as a "psychological thriller" but after finishing this book it did not feel as though it were one. I received this arc with the hopes that there would be some type of maybe magical realism element to it, given that the entire premise of this story follows three boys who crash a plane in the ocean, and the three most important girls in their life witness this tragic "accident", and are left to find out what happened to them. So yes, it did have that mystery element too, but I felt that the conversation surrounding the plot of this story was done poorly. I was not aware that this going to be a book surrounding suicide, and as such, I think that trigger warnings should have been included in this story. In terms of the actual book, I had a few problems with the writing. We are following 6 different POVs: the 3 girls and the 3 boys. Not only are we following 6 POVs, but each pov takes place at a different timeline. This got confusing at times because the voices of the characters never felt distinct enough, and many of them sounded alike. For the first 100 pages, I felt a little bit uncomfortable with the way the POC characters were described and the language used to portray their chapters. A lot of the time, they were described in ways that felt a little bit demeaning. Not only that but also the way that these characters were sexualized. Both of these writing situations were not necessary to the story and didn't move the plot in any way, so it felt like it was thrown in there for no reason. The discussion around suicide in this book felt off for me. Given that this is a book with a target audience of 12+, I think there should have been a discussion about why these 3 characters felt like they wanted to end their life, what other options they might have had. Unfortunately, there was virtually no discussion around therapy, holistic help, medication, etc., to help with the depression and deep feelings many of these characters were experiencing. Instead, the idea of committing suicide and potentially stepping into another life, based not on any type of true belief or spiritual belief, but instead based on a social forum, seems dangerous and irresponsible to have in a YA book. It was unfortunate because my hope was that, if suicide was going to be a large focal point in this book, I would have liked for some discussion to occur towards the end. Instead, the end of the book felt unfinished and left so many questions unanswered. The pacing of the story was done well. And there were moments where I found myself continuing reading because I did want to find out exactly what lead up to the plane crash, but it came and then it went and it felt a little bit anticlimactic and I was a little disappointed in that. Overall, I was a little disappointed with this book because I was really excited to read it but it just was not executed well enough to me. Thank you to Penguin Teen for providing me with an e-arc of this book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Olivia

    THE SKY ABOVE US is a YA drama about grief, loss, and the search for something better. The book follows three boys and three girls in alternating chapters. Israel, Shane, and Nate took a plane and crashed it into the ocean - the ending watched by the three girls who orbit their lives, Izzy, Cass, and Janie. Izzy is Israel's twin, Cass is Shane's ex-girlfriend of 5 years, and Janie is Nate's best friend. The boys' perspectives are given from before the crash, while the girls' perspectives are giv THE SKY ABOVE US is a YA drama about grief, loss, and the search for something better. The book follows three boys and three girls in alternating chapters. Israel, Shane, and Nate took a plane and crashed it into the ocean - the ending watched by the three girls who orbit their lives, Izzy, Cass, and Janie. Izzy is Israel's twin, Cass is Shane's ex-girlfriend of 5 years, and Janie is Nate's best friend. The boys' perspectives are given from before the crash, while the girls' perspectives are given following the crash. In the lead up, we witness the decisions that led to the crash, and the troubles that contributed. In the aftermath, we see the three girls torn apart in their grief, their search for answers, and their hope for meaning in it all. As they follow the leads they can find, they hold hope that the end was not really the end, particularly with Izzy's twin-sense that tells her that her brother is not truly gone and the dolphins that she spotted around the crash. What I loved: This was a heart-breaking story of loss, grief, and hope. The book is very heavy, as before the boys are wrapped up in their individual troubles and afterwards, the girls are consumed by their grief. I appreciated both sides of the perspectives, which give the reader answers they could never have gotten without it. The book did showed depression and the need for help that can be difficult to see. What left me wanting more: Neither before nor after do the characters get the help they need, and the boys and girls felt like they were struggling with worries and grief. I would have liked to see more of that, even in the wake of the accident for those left behind but heavily touched by the accident. Although this was billed as a thriller, there was not really any part of it that felt like a thriller to me - it was more of a contemporary/drama. It was much slower than I expected, but this may have been because I expected a thriller. There are some really heavy themes/topics in this book, and I would recommend also giving resources to teens who might read this. Beyond the depression and grief that we see, there is also troubling internet conduct, forged documents, some bullying, and other things that would be helpful to discuss with precautions and to create awareness of the problems there and how to handle them if you see them. Final verdict: THE SKY ABOVE US is a heavy YA drama about grief, depression, and hope. This is a heart-breaking read that will definitely stick with me. Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Erika Kandel

    ⭐ ⭐ 1/2 I'm not even sure how to rate this book or how I feel about it. I kept going between 2 and 3 stars so ultimately I'm giving this a 2.5. First of all, I want to say this is in ZERO way a psychological thriller. Psychological, minus the thriller. I'm not really sure why it was given this genre and it was super misleading as I went into it. I enjoyed the dual time lines of this story as that's something I always enjoy in books. Before the plane crash, the days leading up to the crash and after ⭐ ⭐ 1/2 I'm not even sure how to rate this book or how I feel about it. I kept going between 2 and 3 stars so ultimately I'm giving this a 2.5. First of all, I want to say this is in ZERO way a psychological thriller. Psychological, minus the thriller. I'm not really sure why it was given this genre and it was super misleading as I went into it. I enjoyed the dual time lines of this story as that's something I always enjoy in books. Before the plane crash, the days leading up to the crash and after the plane crash. It follows 6 characters; the boys and the girls. The boys in the plane crash and the girls who knew them. Admittedly, I had a VERY hard time with these characters. The writing style was sort of the same for all 6 of them so I had to think before each chapter who belonged to who and who was who. Until about midway, I struggled pretty hard with this. I didn't love the whole reincarnation thing. I don't necessarily believe in it, so that whole situation was very far fetched to me. The whole accident thing and dolphins and.. Lastly, TRIGGER WARNING, I feel this romanticized suicide a bit too much for my liking. Let's just go into the hole and live another life and all things will be so perfect! Suicide is such an important subject matter to have. For teens AND adults alike. I do NOT recommend this book for teenagers, who it's aimed at.; especially if they struggle with mental health. My daughter is 15 and struggles with depression and there's no way I would want her to touch this. Again, it's IMPORTANT for these discussions to happen. It's okay to write books on them. It's just not okay to romanticize it. It's not the "cool" thing to do. Or to encourage your friends to do, and even help them do it. Ultimately, I would not recommend this book for the age group it';s intended for. I gave it 2.5 stars because it did hold my attention and I wanted to see what happened in the end. I just feel so much of the book could have taken a different route for a "lesson" vs the way it went, Thank you to Penguin Teen for the advanced readers copy!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Stephenee

    This was my first book by author Natalie Lund, but I will try her again in the future! This book was a 3.5 star read for me that I rounded up to a 4 star. There were some problems with the book, including the way that it was marketed as a "psychological thriller", it was not a thriller in my eyes, and there really wasn't much of a twist to the story until the very end. This book read as more of a YA book to me. The book is told from six different characters and it details the events leading up to This was my first book by author Natalie Lund, but I will try her again in the future! This book was a 3.5 star read for me that I rounded up to a 4 star. There were some problems with the book, including the way that it was marketed as a "psychological thriller", it was not a thriller in my eyes, and there really wasn't much of a twist to the story until the very end. This book read as more of a YA book to me. The book is told from six different characters and it details the events leading up to the main event...meaning it switches back and forth A LOT - you have to pay attention, it is not a mindless, fluff read. At times, I had to go back to double check who and when the chapter was about. It felt a bit choppy to me, the flow was not at all smooth. This read was not a seamless read at all. The characters themselves don't really evoke much from the reader. Izzy is a brat, Janie is portrayed as helpless and gets made fun of and Cassie is perfect (but not really). Israel is tortured, Shane hides behind his laughter and Nate has one love that is taken away from him. As a reader there was no one to root for, no one to want to fight for and that is disappointing to me. I wanted to root for someone, I wanted to hope for an HEA for someone... The biggest problem I had with the story is that the author loses my interest in the reincarnation process - when people are coming back as whales, and dolphins and other mammals that they somehow can remember...it just didn't match up for me. I skimmed through some of this because it ruined the story for me, it wasn't really needed. The author had enough going on without adding that part in (in my thoughts). The ending was a bit of a twist and really the only part of the story that made this reader stop and take a minute - it was tragic and it was unexpected...but it fit. An overall good read, minus a few things. Add this one to your TBR list - you won't need to skip other books, but it is worth the read at some point. **Review has been done in conjunction with Nerd Girl Official. For more information regarding our reviews please visit our Fansite: www.facebook.com/NerdGirl.ng**

  18. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa

    The morning after a bonfire party, Izzy, Janie, and Cass wake up to a plane crash on the beach. The passengers were Izzy's brother, Cass's boyfriend, and Janie's best friend. The story follows the girls in the aftermath of the crash, dealing with their grief and pain, and their journey to find out what why the boys were in that plane, and also follows the boys in the days leading up to the flight. It is an exploration of grief and loss the girls experience, as well as the hopelessness and desper The morning after a bonfire party, Izzy, Janie, and Cass wake up to a plane crash on the beach. The passengers were Izzy's brother, Cass's boyfriend, and Janie's best friend. The story follows the girls in the aftermath of the crash, dealing with their grief and pain, and their journey to find out what why the boys were in that plane, and also follows the boys in the days leading up to the flight. It is an exploration of grief and loss the girls experience, as well as the hopelessness and desperation that led the boys to that fateful plane ride. I enjoyed reading this book and getting to know the characters through their emotions and struggles. However, there were several things that didn't sit quite right with me about it. First off, the book is described as a twisty psychological thriller, which I would not agree with at all. There are no real twists, the plot follows a pretty well marked trail, and there are no thriller aspects about it. It is emotional and sad, but not mysterious or thrilling. Second of all, the book deals with the topic of suicide, and I was a bit uncomfortable with the way it did so, and have seen other reviewers say the same. The suicide of three teenage boys is painted as a beautiful and liberating way for them to escape the very normal pressures of teen life (grades, girl drama, sports), and the reincarnation plot line almost seeks to soften the blow of that and make it "not really suicide because technically their souls might still be here". I've also seen some commentary on Janie being coded as autistic and how that was not done very well either, although I cannot speak to that topic personally. Overall, with those flaws in mind, I did enjoy my time spent with these characters and the feelings they were working through. I would just say to go in with awareness of the actual genre and nature of the content. Thank you Penguin Teen for a review copy of this!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kera’s Always Reading

    As I sat down to collect my thoughts on this book, I found myself conflicted. I didn’t know how to put into words the complex emotions I felt while reading The Sky Above Us. I am left with the understanding that, while there were moments I was angered by certain things happening in the book, overall I truly enjoyed the experience. The Sky Above Us is a story about grief and loss in the aftermath of a plane crash that takes the lives of three teenage boys- and the individual roads each boy took to As I sat down to collect my thoughts on this book, I found myself conflicted. I didn’t know how to put into words the complex emotions I felt while reading The Sky Above Us. I am left with the understanding that, while there were moments I was angered by certain things happening in the book, overall I truly enjoyed the experience. The Sky Above Us is a story about grief and loss in the aftermath of a plane crash that takes the lives of three teenage boys- and the individual roads each boy took to get to the place they were in their lives to collectively decide to get on that plane in the first place. The morning after the big senior beach party, Janie, Cass and Izzy wake up in the sand as they see a small plane rise up and then plummet into the ocean, killing Janie’s best friend- Nate, Cass’s ex boyfriend- Shane, and Izzy’s twin brother- Israel. Through the days after the crash, the girls try to piece together what could have made them do something like this, while grappling with their own emotions and fears about what they could have done to prevent it from happening. This is told from each of the six teens’ narrative, through alternating chapters, and goes back and forth between one month before the plane crash up to a little over a week afterward, dropping tidbits of information here and there. These characters were each complex in their own ways, with intertwining relationships and stories. There was so much to this book. Some parts I was infuriated by, and some that I really loved. But in its entirety, this book was fantastic! I thought that topics that Natalie Lund wrote about were researched really well. You could definitely sense a major level of understanding that she had for not only each character, but what they were dealing with in their lives.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jill Jemmett

    The morning after a beach party, Izzie, Cass, and Janie are woken up by a plane flying overhead. They watch the plane crash into the ocean, and Izzy instantly knows who was on it. The victims are pulled out of the ocean: Izzy’s twin brother Israel, Cass’s ex-boyfriend Shane, and Janie’s secret boyfriend Nate. Each of these girls had a strong connection to the boys. They have no idea what would drive the boys to crash a plane, but they need to find out to get closure. This story is told through a The morning after a beach party, Izzie, Cass, and Janie are woken up by a plane flying overhead. They watch the plane crash into the ocean, and Izzy instantly knows who was on it. The victims are pulled out of the ocean: Izzy’s twin brother Israel, Cass’s ex-boyfriend Shane, and Janie’s secret boyfriend Nate. Each of these girls had a strong connection to the boys. They have no idea what would drive the boys to crash a plane, but they need to find out to get closure. This story is told through alternating timelines, with the boys’ stories before the crash and the girls’ stories after the crash. This was a devastating story about grief. The girls mourned the loss of the boys in their own ways. The boys also had their own grief that they experienced before the plane crash. Shane had to mourn the loss of his relationship with Cass. Nate mourned the loss of his future soccer career after an injury. Israel experienced his death in a past life every night in a dream. All six of them, and their parents, had different ways of experiencing grief. One fascinating part of this book was the experience Israel had of remembering his past life. He’d had dreams since he was a child of a man dying in a car crash. He knew that the man was him from a past life. There was a forum he used to speak to other people who also remembered their past lives. I hadn’t thought much about this phenomenon before reading this story, but the circumstances around the man dying, who Israel believed was him in a past life, made Israel’s claim quite convincing. This was a tragic story that had me hooked from the beginning until the end. Thank you Penguin Teen for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Emma (book.jargon)

    𝙏𝙒: Death/suicide/depression 𝙄𝙣 𝙖 𝙉𝙪𝙩𝙨𝙝𝙚𝙡𝙡: a depressing books about the highs and lows of high school and just how far those bad times can drive people to. 𝙍𝙀𝙑𝙄𝙀𝙒: Teens are enjoying a senior bonfire when they awake to the sound of plane soaring above them and crashing into the ocean. In the plane, were the three most important people to Izzy, Cass, and Janie. Now they must try and figure out what happened to the plane’s passages, all while dealing with their own grief and sorrow. Though this book 𝙏𝙒: Death/suicide/depression 𝙄𝙣 𝙖 𝙉𝙪𝙩𝙨𝙝𝙚𝙡𝙡: a depressing books about the highs and lows of high school and just how far those bad times can drive people to. 𝙍𝙀𝙑𝙄𝙀𝙒: Teens are enjoying a senior bonfire when they awake to the sound of plane soaring above them and crashing into the ocean. In the plane, were the three most important people to Izzy, Cass, and Janie. Now they must try and figure out what happened to the plane’s passages, all while dealing with their own grief and sorrow. Though this book is labeled as a thriller, I truly do not think it is one. It is simply a book about pain and trying to understand those that leave us behind. Though I think it is incredibly important for teens to read about mental health, I personally was not a fan with the way the author wrote about it. There is a lot I can say about it, but I do not want to spoil anything. Along with that, I wasn’t a huge fan of the way the characters were to Janie (a teen that’s slightly different). They were rude, made fun of her, and made it obvious that the only reason they were around her was to benefit themselves and they was just never took note of throughout the entire book. It just struck me as a bit dehumanizing towards one character who just wanted a few friends, but if that’s what the author was trying to convey, then they did it well. Overall, I was not a fan of this book. But, if you like sorrow, grief, and an attempt to unveil the mystery of why people do what they do- then you may enjoy this book ((Thank you to Netgalley and penguin teen for an ARC in exchange of an honest review

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kristi

    “Measuring grief is impossible, but what you can measure, what I’ve already started to measure, is guilt.” The Sky Above Us is a tragic story told in alternating timelines by multiple narrators which had the potential to become confusing but didn’t. This is one of those rare times when it all pulled together beautifully and I think this is because each character is so distinctively written and nuanced that even if the heading didn’t tell me who was narrating, I would’ve known just by their voice. “Measuring grief is impossible, but what you can measure, what I’ve already started to measure, is guilt.” The Sky Above Us is a tragic story told in alternating timelines by multiple narrators which had the potential to become confusing but didn’t. This is one of those rare times when it all pulled together beautifully and I think this is because each character is so distinctively written and nuanced that even if the heading didn’t tell me who was narrating, I would’ve known just by their voice. When three boys steal a plane and crash it into the ocean, they leave behind family and friends to grieve them and to question why? The three boys each left behind a girl, one a twin sister, another a secret bestfriend/girlfriend and yet another, a girl who broke one’s heart in to a million pieces. These three girls will come together to try and make sense of the months before the plane crash and what drove the boys to this final act. I want to note that this is a book about death, suicide, grief and loss - all the feelings that accompany death but focuses hard on those feelings that accompany the suicide of a loved one; primarily the heavy guilt and sense of responsibility that those left behind feel. The search for answers that the girls embark on will lead them to some mysterious and mystical places that will open the door to alternate beliefs and possibilities of life after death. The Sky Above Us was a compelling read for me and I was captivated by the absolute realness of each sharply written character and the bittersweet nature of the story. My thanks to Penguin Teen for gifting me a copy for review.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kym's Open Books

    “That’s the thing I’ve learned about grief—you both want to escape and to remember everything.” This was heavy. It was so sad! It really was hard to read at times. At a party on the beach, a small plane is driven straight into the ocean. It’s terrifying and scary but one teen believes her brother was on that plane. We follow 6 teens back and forth from before the accident to after. We get the ins and outs of their thoughts and it’s painfully rough to read. The book focuses on the belief of reinca “That’s the thing I’ve learned about grief—you both want to escape and to remember everything.” This was heavy. It was so sad! It really was hard to read at times. At a party on the beach, a small plane is driven straight into the ocean. It’s terrifying and scary but one teen believes her brother was on that plane. We follow 6 teens back and forth from before the accident to after. We get the ins and outs of their thoughts and it’s painfully rough to read. The book focuses on the belief of reincarnation. While somewhat fascinating, the premise of the story made it too sad. It was achingly difficult to read the teens inner thoughts and fears. Not only was reincarnation the focus, but suicide too. I don’t do well with books on suicide. It’s too raw and real for me. The grief was heavy. It was described well and so difficult to read about the family members left behind. While the writing was done well, I just did not enjoy this read. It was too much and ultimately not an escape for me. It weighed me down. I did need to know the ending and I’m not sure if that ending made it better or worse. Many could love this book but it was just not for me. I feel it romanticized suicide and that is not something I can condone. However, the writing really was done well and for that reason alone, I’m giving it 3 stars instead of much less. My blog has the content and triggers- I recommend reading through those before picking this up! Thank you to Penguin Teen via NetGalley for the gifted copy in exchange for an honest review. This book releases April 13, 2021.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    I have been wanting to read this book for a while now, and finally managed to make time for it in my never-ending stack of TBR titles. Once again, I found myself reading a really good book that did not, in any way, match up to the synopsis I had made for it in my mind. I'm not sure how I do this, or how unaware I am of a book before I get to it, but I am very much influenced by covers. And in this one, I took the cover, the mention of a plane crash in the blurb, and decided it was going to be li I have been wanting to read this book for a while now, and finally managed to make time for it in my never-ending stack of TBR titles. Once again, I found myself reading a really good book that did not, in any way, match up to the synopsis I had made for it in my mind. I'm not sure how I do this, or how unaware I am of a book before I get to it, but I am very much influenced by covers. And in this one, I took the cover, the mention of a plane crash in the blurb, and decided it was going to be like Lost. Spoiler alert: it is NOT like Lost. Rather, this is a nuanced and layered book that deals with grief, trauma, friendship, first loves, fears of growing up, parental disappointment, pressure from family, and so much more in a dual timeline narrative between the six main characters: 31 days before to the present with the three boys who die in the plane crash and two weeks after the crash with the three girls they left behind (a twin, an ex-girlfriend, and a best friend). As the girls try to figure out the hows and whys of the crash, the narratives leading up to it paint a much bigger and more complete picture of the struggles the three boys were facing. Highly recommend. Probably best for more mature readers due to the depth of the ideas.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Laguna

    This is my second five star read in a row from Penguin Teen. I wasn't sure what to expect from The Sky Above Us but what I got was a well-written, poignant look at what it means to be in high school when simultaneously your whole life is in front of you and life-changing decisions need to be made at every turn. This book was full of gorgeous, heartfelt moments. The Sky Above Us begins with a senior year beach party. That morning Janie, Cass and Izzy wake up on the beach only to see a small plane This is my second five star read in a row from Penguin Teen. I wasn't sure what to expect from The Sky Above Us but what I got was a well-written, poignant look at what it means to be in high school when simultaneously your whole life is in front of you and life-changing decisions need to be made at every turn. This book was full of gorgeous, heartfelt moments. The Sky Above Us begins with a senior year beach party. That morning Janie, Cass and Izzy wake up on the beach only to see a small plane plummet into the ocean--and learn that their nearest and dearest, Izzy's twin brother Israel, Janie's best friend Nate and Cassie's ex Shane, were on that plane. The story follows the girls as they try to figure out what motivated the boys to steal the plane and what happened during the flight, as well as alternating timelines where the boys tell their stories leading up to that moment. Although there were times in the beginning when it is was difficult to keep all the narratives straight and remember the relationships between everyone, I quickly came to know and love each character. This story deals beautifully with love, loss and grief and doesn't read like YA at all. "'We're just trying to get the full picture at this point, ma'am.' And what if there isn't one? Or what if there is, but he took it with him?'" Five glowing stars. I recommend this one to fans of All the Bright Places & Neverworld Wake.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Alexia

    The Sky Above Us was morbid, and I don't think it had enough lightness to really balance that out, so it just ended up being more depressing than hopeful. It also felt like more of a mystery as there was nothing psychologically thrilling about it like the description mentions. Reading about the boy's lives and their motivations was really interesting though, and I felt more drawn to their characters than the girls. It's also the kind of book that's best read quickly because there's 6 POVs that c The Sky Above Us was morbid, and I don't think it had enough lightness to really balance that out, so it just ended up being more depressing than hopeful. It also felt like more of a mystery as there was nothing psychologically thrilling about it like the description mentions. Reading about the boy's lives and their motivations was really interesting though, and I felt more drawn to their characters than the girls. It's also the kind of book that's best read quickly because there's 6 POVs that can be hard to keep separate since they intersect so much especially because there's a dual timeline. I set it down for a few days and when I came back it took a while to get back into remembering how everyone was connected. There are some themes in this book that I thought could have been touched on more especially because of the sensitive matter in the book. For example, OtherPlanes in the forum chat's advice to Israel definitely needed more attention to it. I just thought the ending was a lot, and would have preferred if it was more focused on the girl's healing than what we got. I'm not sure if I would recommend this to any young teenager as it seems more harmful than helpful. *Thanks to the publisher for the ARC. All opinions are my own*

  27. 5 out of 5

    BrittsBookClub

    I actually thought this book sounded pretty good and as a huge fan of psychological thrillers, I was pretty excited to read this one. However, I think this was a bit mislabeled. It was more of an emotional journey or coming-of-age type of story than a thriller. In fact, I don’t know if I got any thriller vibes from this book at all. I think the hardest part for me with this book was that it almost made it seem like suicide was okay? Which I’m sure was not the intent, but that’s how it came across I actually thought this book sounded pretty good and as a huge fan of psychological thrillers, I was pretty excited to read this one. However, I think this was a bit mislabeled. It was more of an emotional journey or coming-of-age type of story than a thriller. In fact, I don’t know if I got any thriller vibes from this book at all. I think the hardest part for me with this book was that it almost made it seem like suicide was okay? Which I’m sure was not the intent, but that’s how it came across. The message I got was that if this life is bad enough than it’s okay to die and leave your friends and family behind so you can be reincarnated in a better life. That, to me, is not a message that we should be sending into a world with a high prevalence of suicide. It was a depressing, heavy, and emotional read that just didn’t resonate with me. I’m not sure if I could recommend this to people, and I would certainly not recommend it to someone dealing with depression or suicidal thoughts. *Thank you to Penguin Teen and Philomel Books for an early copy of this book in exchange for my honest review*

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. DNF at 20% I had to stop because I couldn't diferenciate one character from the next, and I was quite bored. There are 6 POVs in this book. It's a lot. 3 are in third person, 3 in first. That in itself helped a little to know whether it was a chapter from one of the boys or one of the girls' perspective. But that's about the only way I could remotely kno whose chapter it was. The voices are so sim I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. DNF at 20% I had to stop because I couldn't diferenciate one character from the next, and I was quite bored. There are 6 POVs in this book. It's a lot. 3 are in third person, 3 in first. That in itself helped a little to know whether it was a chapter from one of the boys or one of the girls' perspective. But that's about the only way I could remotely kno whose chapter it was. The voices are so similar I constantly had to go back to the chapter header (which isn't always that easy in an eARC). I didn't get to the suicide part, but reading other reviews convinced me I did not want to keep reading. If there's one thing every author should have learned from 13 Reasons Why, it's not to romanticize suicide. And in a book aimed at teenagers? That's inexcusable. This also looks nothing like a thriller. It's a book about grief and suicide (and reincarnation?), but it's definitely not a psychological thriller. In the end, it's wrongly marketed and it needs trigger warnings. I rather not waste my time on it.

  29. 5 out of 5

    olivia ferraro

    2.5/5 ⭐️ Thank you to Netgalley and Penguin Teen for this ARC. The Sky Above us is told through the perspectives of 6 different teens 3 who died in a plane crash and 3 who were close to them respectively. We jump from before and after the crash as the 3 surviving teenagers try to deal with their grief by attempting to understand what happened the night of the plane crash. I think that first and foremost, this book did a really good job of capturing the grieving process. The difference in how the 2.5/5 ⭐️ Thank you to Netgalley and Penguin Teen for this ARC. The Sky Above us is told through the perspectives of 6 different teens 3 who died in a plane crash and 3 who were close to them respectively. We jump from before and after the crash as the 3 surviving teenagers try to deal with their grief by attempting to understand what happened the night of the plane crash. I think that first and foremost, this book did a really good job of capturing the grieving process. The difference in how the 3 teenagers left behind took on their grief felt very true to life. I did have an issue kind of seeing how this book constituted as a thriller, as there was no real suspense, but that's a pretty common problem I find in most YA thrillers so it's not entirely surprising. I really wanted to enjoy this book more than I did in the end but I just felt like 6 povs made it hard to attach myself or really care about any of the characters and also made them feel very 2 dimensenial. I think if there had been a focus on just a few of the characters and really fleshing them out this book would have been a lot more impactful.

  30. 5 out of 5

    John Clark

    Reading this is like watching an approaching storm from an emotional standpoint. When you open it, you find half the main characters, Izzy, Cass and Janie on a beach amidst classmates and the aftermath of an end of school party. Suddenly the sky above is rent with the sound, then the sight, of a low flying plane. Right after it passes overhead, it starts a steep climb, stalls and plunges, nose first into the ocean. It's not long before the three girls begin to suspect the worst, that Izzy's twin Reading this is like watching an approaching storm from an emotional standpoint. When you open it, you find half the main characters, Izzy, Cass and Janie on a beach amidst classmates and the aftermath of an end of school party. Suddenly the sky above is rent with the sound, then the sight, of a low flying plane. Right after it passes overhead, it starts a steep climb, stalls and plunges, nose first into the ocean. It's not long before the three girls begin to suspect the worst, that Izzy's twin brother, Israel, Cass' ex-boyfriend, Shane and Janie's next door neighbor Nate, who's given her mixed messages forever, are in the plane and most likely dead. How did three high school kids manage to get a plane and why did they fly it? Those, along with the dynamics of all six teens, plus their parents, are what you the reader discovers as the book moves along. Told in alternate viewpoint and time lines, each chapter takes you ever deeper into the mind of each teen, peeling away layers of secrets and pain until you, and the three girls are left with an answer. It's a masterfully done revelation and a book many public and school libraries should have on their shelves.

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