Kelly Quindlen – Her Name in the Sky

HerName

Seventeen-year-old Hannah wants to spend her senior year of high school going to football games and Mardi Gras parties. She wants to drive along the oak-lined streets of Louisiana’s Garden District and lie on the hot sand of Florida’s beaches. She wants to spend every night making memories 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 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, wondrous possibility. In this poignant coming-of-age novel, Hannah must find a compromise between the truth of her heart and the expectations of her community. She must break through her shame and learn to trust in the goodness of her friends. And above all, she and Baker must open their hearts to the saving power of love. Raw, moving, and teeming with unforgettable characters, Her Name in the Sky is a modern love story about the teenage quest for identity and the redeeming power of the human heart.

REVIEW
I was initially very hesitant to read this novel. My past experience with religion was an unpleasant one, and I steered clear of most literature that made any reference to Catholicism/Christianity. But… this book did come highly recommended, so I decided to give it a shot.

Holy Moly…

I am humbled by this book.  It’s difficult for me to write a review that does this literary work any justice because it’s extraordinary.  As with any review, I can only draw from my own personal reading experience and hope that my words won’t diminish its value.

Her Name in the Sky is the perfect illustration of truth in fiction.  It delves deeply into important coming-of-age issues such as love, religion, family, friendship, depression, bullying, and discrimination.  I’m sure that for some of us, it’ll bring back painful memories of high school that we don’t care to relive again. It did for me.  But it’s important for us (not-so-young) adults to remember and reflect on that time period in our lives, so that we understand and acknowledge that there are teens going through this today, and teens that will go through this tomorrow. Sometimes, we grow so distant from our past that it becomes more and more difficult for us to relate to the future. Our human experiences are what bind us together… and our world can use a little more compassion.

Her Name in the Sky captures the innocence of first love, and all the complications that follow when girl loves girl in a “girl is supposed to love boy” world.  Hannah and Baker are admirable in their bravery, and in the way that they each weather the storm both separately and together.

You’ll get to experience a myriad of emotions when you read this novel.  This book literally broke my literary heart and pieced it back together at the end.  You’ll feel like you’ve gone through a very long crying session, but trust me, it’s well worth it.

My hope is that anyone that has taken the time to read through this review… If you know someone who’s isolated or feels alone that can benefit from this book, please pay it forward and pass it along.

SOUNDTRACK
1. Eli Young Band – Even If It Breaks Your Heart
2. Madonna – Like a Prayer
3. Coldplay – Strawberry Swing
4. R.E.M – Losing My Religion
5. Haerts – Wings
6. Evvy – Collide
7. Lovelife – Dying to Start Again
8. Fray – Look After You
9. Coldplay – The Scientist
10. Matthew Koma – Spectrum (Acoustic)
11. Taylor Swift feat. Civil Wars – Safe & Sound
12. Fray – How to Save a Life
13. Coldplay – Warning Sign
14. Sunday Drive – Sacred Delight

CHEERS!
This book is best read with a coke.

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