Review: Skyward — Mary Alice Monroe

Read: 61
To Go: 39

Book List
61. Skyward — Mary Alice Monroe

Look at that cover! Isn’t that just gorgeous? It’s the whole reason I picked up the novel in the first place; whoever says you can’t judge a book by its cover is one hundred per cent wrong.

After seeing one too many children die, ER nurse Ella Majors takes a temporary live-in position in a South Carolina home, caring for five-year-old Marion Henderson, who was recently diagnosed with diabetes. Ella soon realizes there’s more sorrow in the house than Marion’s illness can account for; Harris Henderson, Marion’s father, is better equipped to deal with the birds he rehabilitates at the birds-of-prey sanctuary than he is his own daughter.

To be quite honest, I don’t know whether to give this book a thumb’s up or down. On one hand, I was pulled in by the story itself, and Monroe is unarguably a talented writer. She has a way with describing nature and wildlife that allows me to picture it. However, the characters were a little cheesy, the final plot twist (and it wasn’t really a twist) was completely overdramatized, and the dialogue was a little bit…well, horrible.

I have this thing with dialogue. I need it to be realistic, or at least passably realistic. I understand that different areas have different ways of speaking, and that some people have elevated language, or little things they say that make them stand out from the rest. I also understand that in a romance book, you’ll be hard pressed to find realistic dialogue. (See the Nora Roberts bitch-fits of 2011.) However, using lines like “Hold me, Harris. I’m afraid” (361) and “If you leave, you curse me with unhappiness” (390) are honestly just too much. I have yet to meet anyone who comfortably talks like that. Not to mention that the characters spent a good portion of the time soliloquizing in full paragraphs, and it was a little hard to believe.

But despite its obvious flaws, there was something about Skyward that kept me reading other than just because I’d bought it and wanted to get my money’s worth. I don’t know why, but I felt compelled to finish the story and I’m glad I did. It wasn’t a really great read, but it wasn’t awful, either.

Next book: A Secret Kept —Tatiana de Rosnay or something from my English class

Next feature: oh, the usual. Newly published stories. Whatever I feel like putting up.

– Kelsey

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