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pieces of skyWhat: Pieces of Sky by Trinity Doyle

Who: Allen and Unwin

When: June 1st 2015

How: A copy of this novel was provided by Allen and Unwin for review.

Lucy’s life was going as smoothly as any teenager’s could. She was in the local swimming club, and loved it; she lived with her parents and her brother, Cam, in the small coastal town she’d known all her life. She had friends, she had goals – she had a life. Now Cam is dead, her parents might as well be – and Lucy can’t bear to get back in the pool. All she has to look forward to now is a big pile of going-nowhere.

Drawn to Steffi, her wild ex-best-friend who reminds Lucy of her mysterious, unpredictable brother, and music-obsessed Evan, the new boy in town, Lucy starts asking questions. Why did Cam die? Was it an accident or suicide? But as Lucy hunts for answers she discovers much more than she expects. About Cam. About her family. About herself.


I thought I wouldn’t end up liking Pieces of Sky, so I am glad that I did actually end up liking it.

I liked the Australian-isms, which is something I always find myself drawn to when I read Australian fiction. I don’t really realise how isolated I feel when I read US-based books until I read a book set in a place I’ve been to, and that mentions things I know about, and have grown up with. So that is one aspect I really loved.

I also liked the simplicity and flow of Doyle’s writing. It was very easy to read, and it moved the story along effortlessly.

The overall storyline was heartbreaking, and I liked it (that makes me sound a little morbid and sadistic, but ah well). Lucy (that’s the main character’s name – you’d think it’d be Sky, but nope) is coping (sort of) with the recent death of her brother, and I really liked how the author portrayed her dealing with this massive loss. I thought it was quite realistic, and very sensitive.

There were a few things that weren’t realistic though. The first is the ending. It’s a happy ending, with everything tied up in a neat little bow. After such a realistic portrayal of the shit a family would go through after the death of a brother and a son, I was really disappointed that everyone was just recovered by the end of the book. And in such a short time. The story occurs in about a month, so yeah, I wasn’t a fan of the fact that everyone is doing so much better after only two counselling sessions. Life, unfortunately, isn’t that easy, and our feelings and emotions aren’t that pliable. It’d be great if they were, but they aren’t.

This is a little thing, but it affected me because I take in every detail about a book. Lucy mentions listening to music on her phone and swiping the screen (like an iPhone), and then later on she says that her mum and dad bought both her and her brother the same crappy phone. A few pages later she mentions an email app and a home screen button. I’m sorry but no. “Crappy phones” do not have screens that can be swiped, or email apps, or home screen buttons. That’s an iPhone. So it really annoyed me that it was supposed to be a crappy phone. It would have been easy to say “mum and dad bought us the same phone”, without the crappy part, because they were obviously not crappy phones.

(There was also mention of financial struggles and the dad has a Lexus which, again, is really incongruent because people with financial struggles don’t have cars that cost that much money.)

The fact that Lucy became friends again with her childhood best friend and found a gorgeous boyfriend who accepted her and understood her and forgave her her misdemeanours was also very fairytale-esque.

There was also a bit of dead people idolisation going on, because Lucy never thought one negative thing about her brother the entire book. I found this to be a little annoying and not very true to life. Sure, we think positive of those who have passed, but nobody’s an angel. I guess that’s a pet peeve of mine, but it was an aspect of this book that annoyed me quite a bit. It seemed like Cam was this amazingly perfect brother who had only done, like, one thing that wasn’t perfect in his entire life.

Even though it seems like a lot of things annoyed me about Pieces of Sky, I did end up enjoying it overall.

© 2015, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.

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Posted on: May 30, 2015 • By: Chiara

6 Responses to Review: Pieces of Sky by Trinity Doyle

  1. Hmmm I really don’t like it when dead people are romanticised. That would annoy me, I think. But still, I love contemporary Aussie YA, so I can’t wait to read this. HA, and if they think an iPhone is crappy, they should get a load of my Nokia flip-top phone.

    • Chiara says:

      Yeah, it was a little annoying, that’s fore sure. But if you like Aussie YA contemporary, then you’ll probably like this one, Emily! And yeah, that was just source of eye-twitching for me T.T

  2. Romi says:

    Well I don’t think it sounds like I’d enjoy this one much, despite the things that made it a good read for you. I pick up on those little mentions and themes, too, and they frustrate the heck out of me- Eleanor and Park had this ending that totally took away all I had adored about the book and made me really dislike open endings. That kind of thing only annoys me more as time goes on, and I definitely would want to see a slightly more realistic portrayl of family coping and the fact that just because someone died doesn’t mean you can never realise they might not have always been a brilliant person. That kind of thought process seems like it could be hugely damaging.
    Nice review, Chiara! xx

    • Chiara says:

      Yeah, I was a bit disappointed in this one, to be honest. I thought it would kind of rip me apart, but alas it did not :(

      I have heard not so great things about the ending of E&P, and it makes me scared to read it! D: Open ending are always really annoying for me, because I like to know what happens to the characters.

      I wasn’t a huge fan of how everyone was okay by the end of this book, it certainly left me feeling uncomfortable.

      Thanks you, lovely!

  3. I don’t think I could ever read this book, it would probably destroy me! (I’ve always wanted an older brother, when bad things happen to them in the fictional world it actually hurts – I’m weird…) But I’m glad to hear you liked it, and I agree, it’s always nice to read a book about a culture or place you’re familiar with, it’s one of the many reasons I adore UKYA! Also, being obsessed with art myself, that COVER IS SO GORGEOUS WHAT EVENNN

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