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This gorgeously written YA novel tells the story of Evangeline Riley, a 16-year-old fishing-rodeo champ from Bayou Perdu, Louisiana. Everything Evangeline needs and loves can be found in this tiny fishing town, including her family, best friends, Danielle and Kendra, and her beloved grandmother, Mamere. And then Hurricane Katrina strikes, wiping out the life Evangeline has known forever. With a nuanced cast of supporting characters, a page-turning storyline, and a heart-tugging romance between Evangeline and fellow Katrina refugee, Tru, BETWEEN TWO SKIES is a highly satisfying, and deeply heartwarming novel. Highly and enthusiastically recommended!
The prose in this book is stunningly beautiful. I found myself highlighting longer and longer and longer sections. There's a particular spirit to New Orleans and also bayou Louisiana and this author GETS it and infuses that character into every line. The plot isn't a bunch of twists- mostly the struggles of how and where to build a new life after everything has been lost. People say it's "just things" but communities were lost, too. Careers, schools, friendships, livelihoods, and many of those just couldn't be built again. Nothing could be the same and The for better or worse of that was fully captured in this novel. I adored the music parts and the love story. I also appreciated how the main character isn't any of the "types" you're used to seeing in teen novels. She's just, utterly, herself.
This story was told through food and music, which is the language of everything in Louisiana. I savored and devoured this book all at once and hope to God the author writes more.
A stunning, heartfelt love song to Louisianna, Between Two Skies really captures what it means to be “home.” To some, it’s wherever there is family. To others, like Evangeline, it means more. It’s the sea and the sky and her bayou. As everyone and everything Evangeline holds dear is displaced by Hurricane Katrina, she falls in love with another Katrina refugee, Tru. Their love, like her beloved Bayou Perdu, is strong enough to weather the storm. I fell so in love with this story and with the resiliency of Evangeline.
I loved this book and felt for Evangeline and the hard choices her family has to make. The story rang true and not everything ended in a wonderful way, just as in the real life trials of Katrina refugees. The dialogue felt authentic and the descriptions were beautifully written. You could feel yourself boating in the bayou. Evangeline's family isn't perfect and you could understand why certain family members wanted to head home to Bayou Perdu and others were happy staying in Atlanta. A touching story of a young girl that made me laugh and cry, I would recommend this book to young and old alike!
This book is a lyrical ode not only to a place and time, but to first love as well. I was captivated by O'Sullivan's descriptions of the bayou. I quickly fell in love with her characters as well. They are real people facing real issues--not stereotypes of teens and their parents. The conversations and relationships between family members weren't overly dramatic--they were relatable. Finally, the unfolding of the "first love" touched me deeply. She captures those feelings and yearnings masterfully.
This is a beautifully written book gently reflecting the emotional and physical journey of a young woman relocated by Katrina. The characters were easy to connect with and the writing beautifully describes the challenges many faced with dislocation and readjustment to a new normal. My wife recommended it to our teen nieces.
I can't wait to give this book to my 15 year old granddaughter! O'Sullivan captures the angst of adolescence and surrounds it with the challenges of recovering from life-changing events. My desire to find out what happened to Evangeline kept me reading past my bedtime!