16 Jul 2018

Audio #Review: HER NAME IN THE SKY by Kelly Quindlen


Author: Kelly Quindlen
Series: N/A
Source: Audible
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Publication Date: February 11, 2014
Rating: 4/5 stars

Hannah wants to spend her senior year of high school going to football games and Mardi Gras parties with her tight-knit group of friends. 

The last thing she wants is to fall in love with a girl--especially when that girl is her best friend, Baker. 

Hannah knows she should like Wally, the kind, earnest boy who asks her to prom. She should cheer on her friend Clay when he asks Baker to be his girlfriend. She should follow the rules of her conservative Louisiana community--the rules that have been ingrained in her since she was a child.

But Hannah longs to be with Baker, who cooks macaroni and cheese with Hannah late at night, who believes in the magic of books as much as Hannah does, and who challenges Hannah to be the best version of herself. 

And Baker might want to be with Hannah, too--if both girls can embrace that world-shaking, yet wondrous, possibility.
People may be worried because this is about religion and has a conservative overtone but this was amazing. It had all the elements of the religion but still acceptance. Yes, of course there was backlash, but it was handled in such a delicate way and the main characters were so brave and scared and beautiful. And there was on-screen lesbian sex that was done really well.

I loved the relationship between Hannah and Baker and their extended friend group. I liked how they were supportive and unsupportive of one another as different things came up. The complex relationships between the friend group as a whole made this so realistic.

This felt like one of those books that should have taken place in the 90s or early 2000s, but it was actually in 2012 which was ... strange to me. It felt as though it was a historical book but it never really clicked for me that way. I felt like the references were a weird date compared to the rest of the book, but that might just be my reading of it.

However, I loved Hannah and Baker both struggling with their sexuality and their spirituality. It was nice to see a character who was very religious try to come to terms with both religion and moving forward with what is their Truth. I think there are a lot of people who feel this way as well so I think it is almost therapeutic for people to read this one.

For those who are wanting to pick this up, there is a forced outing of a character, slurs throughout the book, and violence, just as an FYI. I wasn't triggered by them but that doesn't mean you will not be.

Overall, I really liked this one! If you have the opportunity to pick it up, definitely do so. I liked seeing the characters struggle with all aspects of their identity and try to bring them together. I hope you like this as much as I did!

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