The Sky Is Dead
Title: The Sky Is Dead
Author: Sue Brown
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press April 2013
Blurb: Danny is young, gay, and homeless. He lives in the park, preferring to avoid attention, but when thugs confront a stranger, Danny rushes to his rescue. He and the would-be victim, Harry, form a cautious friendship that deepens months later, when Harry persuades Danny to visit his home. Daring to believe he has found happiness, Danny finds his world turned upside down yet again when tragedy strikes.
Until he runs out of options, Danny won’t trust anyone. Finally he has to accept the offer of a home, and Danny becomes David, but adjusting to a new life isn’t easy. When he meets the mysterious Jack, it stirs up feelings he thought were long gone. Can David dare to allow himself to love? Or will the truth bring his new world tumbling down around him?
Review: I love this book. It made one boy’s story real for me. While I hate that there are so many homeless LGBT youth, kicked out of their homes because of family rejection, I love that Sue Brown wrote about it and that we are talking about it. It needs to be talked, written, sung, cried and mourned about and railed against until we stop letting it happen.
The writing is strong and while it moves back in time it was seamless and began and ended in current time. I was shocked to realize that there are 232 pages because it read so quickly. Like any really good book, for me, it was suddenly done and I had to come thudding back to this reality. I wanted more time with Danny and Harry and David and Jack.
Although the story is heartbreaking it is also full of love and possibility. I adore the redemption that occurs. I loved Danny and David and the beautiful hot mess that he is. While Danny changes his name to David and in many ways becomes a different man he will always carry Danny inside of him, so I refer to him as both because the change in names marks significant change in the story. While the things that Danny endures in many ways break him he is brave enough to accept help and allow love and hope to heal him. He will always wear the marks of his time spent in darkness and despair but he manages to transform his scars into badges of honor, survival, and hope.
Even in Danny’s darkest moments there is always the knowledge that he will make it through and be okay. I love his strength and independence even as those very qualities make his life much harder. No matter how bleak things become Danny retains his sense of who he is and lives by his own code of honor. The way that he and Harry meet will have you smiling as their friendship develops as they grow up.
This book will break your heart, but like all Sue Brown stories, there is always a sweet thread of hope woven throughout. There are people who are evil, small, stupid, ignorant, cruel, irresponsible and dangerous who hurt those around them. But there are also people who dedicate themselves to helping and healing others. They persevere and save those who will be saved. Every time you think this is it, I can’t, Danny can’t, go on anymore, there comes a shaft of sparkling sunlight lighting up the darkness and you can breath again.
I don’t know if I even have to say this, but you know I always warn my sensitive friends. This book has some serious themes that are likely to be triggers for those of you who are sensitive to things like abuse, rape, forced consent, violence, bullying, harassment, and heartache. These subjects are treated with the utmost respect and are never gratuitous. You cannot tell the story of a teenage boy with no way to care for, protect or support himself who is thrown onto the streets to survive alone, and avoid dark, violent events. I believe that this story is worth it, but as always, only you can determine what you can handle.
There is an interesting twist to this story that will have you glad that the author is a hopeless optimist even in the face of shattering heartbreak. I don’t know how to explain how this story could be so full of such bad things yet at the same time be full of such sweetness and hope. This book somehow managed to leave me feeling angry at the injustice and cruelty of our world and the damage that fear and bigotry cause, especially to helpless innocents. But also happy and so very glad that I had read this story and that Sue Brown writes books.
Reviewed by Nina
Posted on April 24, 2013, in Nina and tagged A List, Coming Out, coming-of-age, Contemporary, DSP, First Love, Homeless, love triumphs over all, M/M, Nina, romance. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.