Love Like Sky felt very real. Leslie C. Youngblood’s middlegrade novel about a young girl navigating the tumultuous experiences that come alongside the divorce of one’s parents as well as their remarrying. G-baby, or Georgie, is working through the vast array of emotions as she deals with a stepsister who doesn’t seem to like her and a stepmother that she personally does not like herself. And when her younger sister, Peaches, suddenly comes down with an illness that lands her in the hospital, G-baby’s world implodes from the inside out. Meanwhile, G-baby’s best friend Nikki is having her own struggles, the kid in their class who was held back a year blends his world with Georgie’s, and stepsister Tangie has her own sad past and struggles.
Where Love Like Sky does exceptionally well is its characters. They are all impressively developed, each with motivations and backstories that meld into individual plots for each one. You truly feel that you get to know these characters, even the ones who are only there for a short period of time. G-baby’s voice is masterful in its storytelling, bouncing from each character in order to tell the pieces of their story and blending them together in a skillful manner that manages to perfectly mirror the very blended family that its main character finds herself having recently joined. Each character goes through a great deal of development. Not only do they all navigate their own stresses throughout the story, but they each come to a sort of resolution that requires some sort of growth as well.
The pacing of the story feels a little draggy at times, leading the reader to feel somewhat bored during certain portions of it. But overall Love Like Sky was a well written novel with distinct voices and characters. The characters are unique and relatable all at once and Love Like Sky addresses a multitude of issues that many young girls may experience at some point in their lives, even bringing to light some of the struggles that African Americans face every single day. I think this is a fantastic novel for those middlegrade is geared to and while I think it might need a little pick up during the somewhat dull portions, the fact of the matter is that Love Like Sky was a wonderful and eloquent novel that is on an entirely different level than most middlegrade novels I’ve read thus far. Plus it has a fantastic and beautiful title and cover.