Reviews

Even if the Sky Falls by Mia Garcia

cupcakegirly's review

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5.0

*Brb, caught up in a hurricane of emotion and I'm not ready to come back down yet.*

Sometimes a book sneaks up on you, kicks you in the feels and steals your heart all while making you laugh and swoon. That's what this book did to me.

When I picked it up at 11:00 last night, I only expected to read a few pages. By 1:30a.m., I had to force myself to put it down. Because sleep. And kids. And life. When I picked it back up again today, I didn't stop until I reached the end. Then, I wanted to go back to the beginning and start all over again.

I've never visited New Orleans, but Mia Garcia made me feel as though I was a character in the story, watching from the sidelines, covered in glitter and stuffing my face full of beignets.

And Miles...Oh.My.Miles. Charismatic, witty, charming, and almost too cute for his own good, Miles is the kind of boy who makes you believe in love at first sight. He's sweet too, with a genuineness about him that makes it easy to see how Julie could get swept up into an adventure with him, even if only for a night.

This book delivers a hearty kick in the feels; Julie and Miles are both dealing with issues, but Mia Garcia does a great job of weaving romance and humor into their story. It left me with a feeling of hope, new discoveries, and healing.

Adventure. Romance. Diversity. Swoon. This book has a little of everything. Fans of Paula Stokes, Sarah Dessen, and Gayle Foreman will enjoy this.

Read it.

srsanderson's review

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3.0

it wasn't bad, it wasn't great. I loved the new orleans setting being that I'm from there, but at the same time found the story harder to read because of that. there was most certainly true insta love, and I haven't figured out if I like that yet.

my full review can be found on my blog here!

thebookishlibrarian's review

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Julie’s life is a mess, so she heads to New Orleans with her youth group to rebuild houses and get her mind off of everything. The trip seems like more trouble than it’s worth, though, because she can’t escape her overbearing team leader and project participants. She decides to ditch it all, and heads to Mardi Gras, where she meets a cute guy named Miles. Together they explore New Orleans, and her life is looking better than ever. Suddenly a hurricane takes an unexpected turn for the worse, and Julie is once again facing turmoil. Will things ever change?

liralen's review

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4.0

New Orleans in a storm... For Julie, whose life has already devolved into a tempest, going to New Orleans for a service project is supposed to make things simpler and give her some clarity. It doesn't, at least not at first—but it does give her a chance to step out of her skin and find out who she is when she's another part of herself.

I loved the tight timeline here (it's just, what, a day?), the casual diversity, and the use of setting—there's some classic touristy New Orleans, but there's also stuff under the surface. It's also really interesting to me that García chose to set the story during a post-Katrina hurricane: one not as big but still with the power to devastate, and one that serves as a reminder that Katrina was not the first—nor the last—hurricane to hit New Orleans, nor its defining feature.

Two things I wasn't so keen on: first, the Tavis plotline felt superfluous to me. I just...didn't really need someone Julie barely knows acting as though they're meant to be. Conflict is more interesting to me when it doesn't revolve around Bad Characters Who Are Bad. And second...
SpoilerI'm a little sorry that the story ended with the characters continuing their romance. I liked both of them, so, like, yay for them, but there's also something to be said for those experiences that really are very temporary
.

Still, satisfying.

paperbackd's review

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2.0

Even if the Sky Falls was one of my most anticipated new releases of 2016. A diverse contemporary realistic romance and coming-of-age story set in the midst of a hurricane sounded right up my alley. Sadly, while I did like some aspects of the novel, it wasn’t everything I hoped it would be.

In Even if the Sky Falls, troubled teen Julie runs away from her church youth group and and heads straight into the heart of New Orleans’ Mid-Summer Mardi Gras, where she locks eyes with Miles, a guy with a complicated story of his own. But their adventure takes an unexpected turn when an oncoming hurricane changes course.

García’s vivid descriptions of the Mid-Summer Mardi Gras celebrations and her obvious love for the city of New Orleans are the novel’s strongest points. While García wasn’t able to sell me on the whirlwind romance, I completely understood Julie’s instantaneous attraction to the city, its vibrant culture and its people. I also liked the diversity of Even if the Sky Falls. Both Julie and Miles are people of colour and their families and heritage are an important part of their characterisation. The romance between Julie and Miles is the beating heart of García’s novel, but unfortunately their connection - like the majority of instalove romances - felt contrived to me.

The story was also let down by clunky, uneven writing, two-dimensional characters and nonsensical plot decisions. After the storm, Miles leaves Julie in the hospital with no explanation and for no logical reason. His disappearance - and sudden reappearance at the end of the novel - is never explained, and seems to have been written into the story for no reason other than to create dramatic tension.

I also found several of García’s side characters - such as Julie’s annoyingly persistent admirer, Tavis - poorly written. (Tavis serves no purpose in the story other than to make Julie’s actions seem justifiable, because the only person trying to bring her back to her worried family is a jerk. And just in case readers don’t realise how much of a jerk he is, García throws in a jarring and completely unnecessary incident of sexual assault on the main character, which is conveniently forgotten about moments later.)

While I don’t recommend Even if the Sky Falls, I do think García shows a lot of promise as an author. Julie was a well-rounded character, and the story had potential. I’m hesitantly interested in seeing what García might write next.

Many thanks to Katherine Tegen Books for providing a copy of Even if the Sky Falls in exchange for an honest review. Even if the Sky Falls will be published on May 10th.

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Rating: 2 stars | ★★✰✰✰
Review cross-posted to Paperback'd

islandgeekgirl's review

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4.0

Looking for a change, Julie joins a youth group heading to New Orleans to rebuild houses. What she hoped would be a chance to escape from everything back home turns out to be just as suffocating so when she sees the opportunity to sneak away, she takes it. She finds Mid-Summer Mardis Gras and a boy named Miles. It's exactly what she's been looking for: the chance to be someone else for a night, to be drama free. Her perfect night is put into jeopardy when a hurricane shifts course and keeping her past a secret is no longer an option.

This was a cute, quick contemporary read. The characters were quirky, the plot was fun and fast-paced, and it made me want to visit New Orleans. Julie, or Lulu as Miles and his friends called her, was someone I could empathize with even though I couldn't imagine just taking off like she did. I liked seeing her live in the moment and be able to forget everything that sent her running in the first place, even if only for a night. The flashbacks showed the reader the relationship between Julie and her brother, her friends, her parents, and how everything unraveled to the point where she felt that leaving town was her best option. There was such a contrast between Julie, the overwhelmed sister who just wanted to help, and Lulu, who just wanted to forget everything and be free.

I really enjoyed the moments between Julie and Miles. His friends were awesome and added some hilarious moments to the night but the main focus was the developing chemistry between Julie and Miles. I liked their connection for what it was: two people who needed a night to just live and forget their baggage so they felt drawn to each other. It was done in a way that didn't feel like insta-love even though they got pretty intense.

There was a good balance between the heavier scenes of the flashbacks and the hurricane and the lighter scenes of just having fun and being carefree. There was a bit of a mystery of what exactly happened to send Julie running to New Orleans and it was slowly revealed with each new flashback. The plot was one of those enjoyable 'under the right circumstances this could happen to anyone' types that provide an entertaining and quick read. It took me quite late into the night but I finished it in one sitting.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

andreabeatrizarango's review

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emotional funny sad fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0

fuzzywuzzy's review

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4.0

It was a semi-light read which I needed but I wish it had been longer so I could have seen the outcome with her brother and with she and Miles. Part 2?!

mellyjj's review

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3.0

This was fun and romantic, but it didn't impress me too much. The beginning is also extremely choppy. I think I wanted to be more like Magnolia, which I adored, and it just wasn't. Full review to come.

reneedoty's review

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adventurous emotional

4.75