Meet the Sky
Published on September 4, 2018
About Meet the Sky
It all started with the accident. The one that caused Sophie’s dad to walk out of her life. The one that left Sophie’s older sister, Meredith, barely able to walk at all.
With nothing but pain in her past, all Sophie wants is to plan for the future—keep the family business running, get accepted to veterinary school, and protect her mom and sister from another disaster. But when a hurricane forms off the coast of North Carolina’s Outer Banks and heads right toward their island, Sophie realizes nature is one thing she can’t control.
After she gets separated from her family during the evacuation, Sophie finds herself trapped on the island with the last person she’d have chosen—the reckless and wild Finn Sanders, who broke her heart freshman year. As they struggle to find safety, Sophie learns that Finn has suffered his own heartbreak; but instead of playing it safe, Finn’s become the kind of guy who goes surfing in the eye of the hurricane. He may be the perfect person to remind Sophie how to embrace life again, but only if their newfound friendship can survive the storm.
One of my favorite things about Hoyle’s debut novel, The Thing with Feathers (my review here)was the way she used Emily Dickinson’s poetry throughout the book. Which means one of my favorite parts of Meet the Sky was the way she used the Tennyson quotes at the beginning of each chapter and also at pivotal moments in the story itself. Honestly, I didn’t realize some of those quotes were written by Tennyson before reading this book. For example, “Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” I’m not sure who I thought wrote that, but I didn’t realize it was Tennyson. So yay. Learned something new.
In addition, I liked Sophie’s character a lot. I kind of wanted to see more of her interaction with her sister and her mom. We know her sister is different since the accident, but I felt like I didn’t get to experience that firsthand, other than a very brief scene in the beginning of the book.
The story isn’t really about Sophie and Mere’s relationship, though. It’s much more about the hurricane mishaps that force Sophie to reconnect with her childhood crush/friend Finn. I liked Finn and the contrast between his character (risk-taking and adventurous) and Sophie’s (so many control issues).
I read another book recently (Even if the Sky Falls) in which characters are trapped together by a hurricane. I feel kind of funny about it because I live in Florida and have been through probably half a dozen hurricanes, so as I read both books, I kept comparing my experiences to what’s described in the book, and feeling really sensitive to whether something seemed realistic. Which might not be really fair, since one book took place in New Orleans and the other in North Carolina, which are really different areas than where I live.
At any rate, in this book, Sophie and Finn do a bunch of stuff during the hurricane that’s really dangerous, like going outside during the storm. For the story, it made things super dramatic, and I kept wanting to yell at them, like noooo, go back inside! This is bad! I had a hard time with that part – not because I thought it was unrealistic. People do impulsive, dangerous things during hurricanes all the time.
On the whole Meet the Sky is a sweet romance about learning to let go of fear in order to experience love and a full life. I think fans of Jennifer E. Smith and Jenn Bennett will like this one.
Major characters are white or not physically described. Sophie’s sister Mere has lost some mobility and has memory issues resulting from a traumatic brain injury. She’s a very minor character in the story.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
A couple references to swearing—things like, thinking words that would make her mother angry.
Finn makes a couple of vaguely suggestive comments. Sophie undresses a boy down to his underwear after he collapses in wet clothes and goes into shock. Sophie wakes up in a different shirt and realizes she was undressed and dressed again by someone else. She’s embarrassed, but neither of these instances are really sexual. She doesn’t linger on any details.
Brief kissing between boy and girl.
Finn talks with Sophie about living deep and sucking all the marrow out of life. She has a lot of fears and dependence on control, whereas he seems to take a lot of risks and yet has a lot more peace than she has. She craves his contentment.
Descriptions of a car accident with injuries. Some injuries resulting from being outside during a hurricane.
Also a couple of times, characters break windows or steal things (medicine, food, etc) while they’re stranded during the hurricane.
Sophie’s dad became an alcoholic after the accident that injured her sister. At one point, Finn offers Sophie Jack Daniels (meaning for her to use the alcohol to sterilize a wound) and she recoils, thinking about her dad and how she doesn’t want to be anything like him.