- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 3024 KB
- Print Length: 350 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Rita Branches; 1 edition (25 April 2016)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01DCRZ73M
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #768,267 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Painting Sky Kindle Edition
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Painting Sky is the story of Jane 'Sky' Skylar who is starting a new life at college studying for her art degree as well as living with her boyfriend, his brother and her older brother. All Jane wants is to please people and enjoy the bliss of studying something she loves and live with her boyfriend. However, things don't go at all to her plan. Struggling at college, Jane finds herself confiding in her boyfriend's brother, Keith Hale, an older, talented art student. After a harsh break up with her boyfriend Jane finds herself drawn to Keith, and when his past comes back to haunt him Jane must do whatever she can to fight for what she wants.
I'm just going to come right out and say it...I LOVED this book. I honestly think it's up there as one of my favourite YA novels of all time. The plot throughout had me hooked so much that I didn't want to put it down, and I literally had to force myself to stop reading. I became so emotionally invested in Jane and her story that I started to imagine myself being in her shoes, which hasn't happened to me for a long time. I was crying, I was laughing and at times I was worrying about characters, even though, yes they were fictional. Rita's style of writing is so vivid that you can just close your eyes and imagine you are there.
I loved the character development of Jane throughout the story, she went from being unsure about her life, to being 100% sure of what she wanted to do and who she wanted to be. I found her to be determined, strong willed and willing to do whatever it took to finally be happy with herself. In every story there is going to be a character that you hate and with me it was Jane's boyfriend, Cody. I just found him to be vile! I hated how he was making Jane feel guilty about not sleeping with him and trying to force her into it. I also loathed the reason they broke up, which was entirely his fault. On the other hand, there is also a character that you love with every book you read and in this case it was Keith Hale. I think I may have found my new book boyfriend in him. I just loved his bad boy image, and when I found out what was underneath all of his bravado it just made me love him even more. I could describe him as an emotionally tortured soul that just needed saving and I think Jane did save him and made him a better person.
Painting Sky was an outstanding read. I literally loved everything about it. It will take you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions that you will never want to get off. It has emotion, it has meaning and it has great life lessons plastered throughout. It is hard to believe that this is a debut, as just by reading it I would assume that Rita Branches had written several more, before writing this. You all need to read this. You will certainly not be disappointed.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Painting Sky is told entirely from Sky’s point of view, and while I loved watching her sort out her feelings for Keith and come into her own, I really really wanted to hear some snippets from Keith. He is such a deep individual, that I wanted to peak inside of his head so very badly. This book wrapped me up tight in their little bubble and whisked me away from the world. I very nearly was late coming back from lunch because I forgot all about the time. I had withdrawal symptoms when I had to tear myself away from the story. And even when I doing other things, my thoughts kept straying back to Keith and Sky. That is the mark of a great book. I love it when characters and their story can affect me like that.
The only gripe I had with the story was with the other character’s opinion of Keith. I hated how everyone other than Sky seemed to think he was the worst person on the planet. Even Sky’s brother, Ryan, who is supposed to be his best friend, thought he was no good. That really bothered me, because no one seemed actually interested in getting to know who he was as a person. I didn’t see anything to justify the kind of treatment he was receiving from everyone. It was disappointing, and unsupported with facts from the story, that Keith was portrayed that way to everyone. Obviously, you can tell that I am a huge Keith fan. I loved the way he was always looking out for Sky. It was very sweet.
Bottom line: if you love tortured character driven romances that will rock your world to its’ very core, read Painting Sky. This is a book that will deeply affect you. I want more from Keith. I loved Painting Sky so much. This is another one of my top picks for 2016.
P.S. I just found out that this is not a standalone and the next book will be about Sky’s brother Ryan. I hope we get to see more of Keith in that story.
*Disclaimer- I got a copy of this book for free in exchange for my honest review. I was not compensated for my thoughts.
“He had caught my fake reassurance in the dining room. Keith barely knew me, but, beyond all reason, he’d understood me better than my own brother and boyfriend.”
If you don't like cliches, this might not be the right book for you. No it wasn't riddled with them and no they weren't over the top, but enough to be noticeable. It also seemed like the farther you got in the story, the more there were. Some I could overlook fairly easily and were even a little cute, but there were a couple in particular that I couldn't help but roll my eyes at.
The writing style seems to be more simplistic than I'm generally used to reading. Shorter, simpler sentences, with not as many are combined to create as much of a punch. This seemed to slow the pacing a bit because of how you generally read the punctuation. A lot of times these sentences could've been expanded upon or edited. For sample, taking two or three of them and rewriting into one new, stronger sentence. I also noticed a lot of misplaced and extra commas. I'm generally bad in the first place for using an excess of commas, so maybe I just picked up on this easier since it's something I have to edit myself for. This could easily be fixed by another round through an editor. After finishing, my first thought was perhaps English is not is author's first language. Now let me start by saying this: it is not obvious or glaring. There were just a few times I noticed phrases worded slightly differently than how I might say them. Then I remembered a time where I've seen this type of phrasing before, and came up with the English as a second language idea. Turns out, that's correct. BUT! The English is still fantastic and strong, she has an exceptional grasp of the language and I'm sure her vocabulary is even better than mine, there's just a few small things here and there that I picked up on.
Even if the writing style didn't completely drag me in, the story line did. You know how when reading, sometimes you come across a book that is like your specific brand of drug? Painting Sky was my drug and I needed hit after hit. This was addictive! I didn't want to put it down and even when I did, the characters wouldn't stop running through my mind. Their story, their actions, reactions, nuances, what were the hiding, etc. All of the above was running through my mind on a constant loop until I could pick it up again. Even for days after finishing, I kept thinking about this story. The only reason it took me a few days to finish is because I went out of town and didn't have time to read. Otherwise this could've easily been a read in one day type of book.
“You heal all my scars. [...] You are my Sky.”
The climax and lead up to the climax were quite abrupt and a little rushed. There were a few small details throughout that were weaved together nicely, but these I figured out quite quickly. The extent of the climax though I didn't guess and I will say it was surprising. But, back to the abrupt. It both started and finished in one chapter and the resolution was then quite quick as well. I would've liked to see both dragged out a little, get some more emotion and detail in both of these important plot events. Either more detail in the actual climactic moment, a longer scene or more of a lead in and mystery earlier on in the story could've helped make this moment more powerful.
“Every moment between us felt like it could be the last, and we both wanted to frame each one in our brains.”
Thank goodness for some character development, because at one point I was about to throw something. The heroine had no backbone and not only could she not stand up for herself, but she didn't seem to think there was something wrong with how she was being treated. How about demand a little respect? I made a Goodreads status that quite literally said "Screw this! I would've dumped the boyfriend, moved out, changed schools and left with my middle finger in the air." I was so angry that Sky did nothing. But then little by little, Keith showed her how to stand up for herself. How to have opinions and a voice, to believe in yourself and others. This was fantastic and thankfully it happened cause I was losing respect for her big time. She grew a lot by the end.
Keith was a really intriguing character. Without spoiling, the ideals of his character have been done before - it's not necessarily original but was still really good. He confused me, he hurt me and he fixed it all just to start the cycle over. But then when we got glimpses of what's in his head, of his past and what haunts him? It all made such perfect sense. He was so broken and lost, with only one person ever being able to see it and fix him. His brokenness broke me, his hurt was heavy on my heart. I felt for him the entire time.
“Why are you drawing us? Why are you here, alone, drawing us?”
“Because it’s the only part of you I can get, okay?”
I relished the concept of freedom and how it was sought after by our characters. Freedom from your past, your present, your family, your choices, all of it. How to live your life to your specifications and no one else's, how to grasp what you want and never let go no matter what others think. How you can find freedom, not only in yourself and your situation but in another person as well. This might have very well been my favourite thing about the entire story.
I really enjoyed the amount of angst and tension. Without getting too far into it, the other emotions are great as well but it's best to discover them for yourself. The self hatred and loathing though was tough. I felt for Keith. I wanted to help but while reading I felt almost as lost as he did. It's absolutely unbearable how some others treated him so I'm glad he could chase his freedom with Sky, he deserved that and so much more.
“You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me and you don’t even realize it,” he mumbled against my back, clinging to my body like a lifeboat.”
Almost every single scene with the majority of the family members angered me. Actually, more than that. Between the two families, Keith's and Sky's, and the multiple scenes with them present, I wanted to throw my iPad practically every time. There was so much hatred and judgement, I couldn't believe it. How could your family treat you that way? There is no occasion where any of this is right and it made me livid. I would've liked perhaps more of a conclusion with this issue, but I do understand that you can't always get what you want. While yes these secondary characters made me angry, you need to keep in mind they made me feel. Being angry is better than being indifferent, so kudos to Ms. Branches for a job well done in the emotional department.
I absolutely adored the art concept and how each of those scenes was portrayed. The imagery was extremely well done and I felt like I could see the painting or sketch come to life before my eyes (especially the mirror picture and the couple picture); I would love the see them in real life. The artwork in and of itself was extremely important to the story and I applaud how it was the focus and binding element of the novel, but it wasn't done in an aggressive manner. It was subtle and understated but important none the less. This is how Keith and Sky not only found the brokenness of themselves, but then how to heal and help each other grow.
“I turned to him and whispered back. “What secrets do you keep up here?”
He looked at my face, lingering on my lips. The tight feeling in my belly was back.
“My heart,” he whispered.”
After finishing Painting Sky, I both want and need to read more books from Rita. While it wasn't absolutely perfect in my eyes, it did have some strong suits and I'd definitely be interested in more from this author. I think she had a promising career ahead of her and as long as she can keep up these great concepts, she's got a fan in me!