Even if the Sky Falls
Katherine Tegen Books
Published on May 10, 2016
About Even if the Sky Falls
All she needs is one night to be anyone she wants.
Julie is desperate for a change. So she heads to New Orleans with her youth group to rebuild houses and pretend her life isn’t a total mess. But between her super-clingy team leader and her way-too-chipper companions, Julie feels more trapped than ever.
In a moment of daring, she ditches her work clothes for DIY fairy wings and heads straight into the heart of Mid-Summer Mardi Gras, where she locks eyes with Miles, an utterly irresistible guy with a complicated story of his own. And for once, Julie isn’t looking back. She jumps at the chance to see the real New Orleans, and in one surreal night, they dance under the stars, share their most shameful secrets, and fall in love.
But their adventure takes an unexpected turn when an oncoming hurricane changes course. As the storm gains power and Julie is pulled back into chaos she finds pretending everything is fine is no longer an option.
I’m a little torn in how I feel about this book. On the one hand, Julie’s story drew me in immediately. Obviously she’s recovering from something intense, but we don’t learn right away what’s happened to wreck her so deeply.
Then she gets this opportunity to escape her past completely for a little while. I loved the characters in the band she meets and especially Miles. It only took like half a second for me to start hoping Miles and Julie would get together.
The hurricane descriptions were pretty wild. As a Floridian, I’ve weathered several storms. I’m not sure I buy that so much happened from a Category 2 storm, but I’m sure it depends on a lot of factors, like which side of the storm hit them and that sort of thing. Certainly no matter what category it is, being outside in a hurricane is really dangerous!
What I really struggled with, though, is the ending. The romance gets resolved, and that was great. But all the way along Julie flashes back to what happened at home before the mission trip, and I think I wanted those two worlds to collide more completely. I was hoping her family or her brother would make an appearance at the end and we’d know she’d turned a corner even in her ability to deal with things at home. Not that everything had to be fixed, just some kind of scene tying things together.
Other than that, I’m glad I read it. I hate that Julie had such a bad experience on her mission trip, because I have such fun memories of my own trips. But considering what was going on in her life, it made perfect sense that she would feel alienated and unable to connect with the enthusiasm of the rest of the group.
The descriptions of New Orleans were fun and vivid – I felt like I was there, and I’ve been craving beignets since reading about them. Yum!
Julie is Latina and talks about visiting relatives in Puerto Rico.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Infrequent use of extreme profanity.
Kissing between a boy and girl. At one point a boy and girl go swimming in their underwear. References to sex. One scene shows some nudity and lets us know the characters have had sex without any graphic details.
Julie’s mission leader clearly wants a relationship with her. He’s clingy and clearly makes her uncomfortable, since he seems willfully blind to her “no” signals. He doesn’t assault her or anything like that, but he does make her feel gross.
Julie’s family is Catholic and she’s on a mission trip with a church group, but it’s clear she has a lot of doubts in terms of her own faith. She’s bitter and depressed and feels like the church people don’t understand her and are too happy-happy.
Someone tries to choke Julie. She escapes.
The storm beats Julie and her friend up pretty badly. There’s one scene where they battle the elements, and things look pretty grim. Some details about injuries. It’s definitely a perilous situation.
Julie and her companion drink beer at a party and later share a bottle of wine.