I don't normally go for books that are written in prose. So when I read the synopsis of Cordelia Jenson's novel Skyscraping, I admit that I rolled my eyes. But this YA novel, of which I received a free review copy, was actually pretty good if you can will yourself to get past its different writing style.
The book is told through the point of view of Mira, a high school senior, editor of the school yearbook, and college-bound student. But then her world is turned upside down when she discovers her father is gay and has HIV. Mira struggles to come to terms with this change in family dynamics. She doesn't know who her father is anymore, and she doesn't really know who she is anymore either.
What makes this book even more interesting is that it is semi-autobiographical. While it's not a full-out memoir. like Mira, the author also had a father living with HIV/AIDs, and the discovery of this altered the author's life.
There might not be a lot of teens who can relate to the specific details of this story, but probably most teens can relate to the themes of parental sickness or death, confusing family situations, and identity formation, and maybe they will find some hope and comfort in the words of this story.
While as an adult, I may have too easily wanted to write off the prose style of this book, I actually think it will appeal to teens (It's for ages 14 and up.) because there's not a lot of fluff. It really gets to the heart of the main character's emotions, making it easy for teens to empathize and find their own emotional reactions in Mira's.
Plus, the short and poetic chapters make this book a really fast read!
If you want to read this book, I've got a giveaway for you! I'm giving away a hardcover copy of Skyscraping plus an Everything Everything tote bag from Book Expo America and a necklace.
All you have to do is enter through the Rafflecopter below. (This is open only to residents of the contiguous United States. No Alaska, Hawaii, or international entries. The winner, once announced and contacted, will have two weeks to respond or a new winner will be picked.)
Skyscraping is published by Philomel Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group, and is on bookstore shelves now. I received a free review copy for my honest review.