Book Review: Flowers in the Sky by Lynn Joseph

Flowers in the SkySummary from Goodreads:

Fifteen-year-old Nina Perez is faced with a future she never expected. She must leave her Garden of Eden, her lush home in the Dominican Republic, when she’s sent by her mother to seek out a better life with her brother in New York. As Nina searches for some glimpse of familiarity amid the jarring world of Washington Heights, she must uncover her own strength. She learns to uncover roots within foreign soil and finds a way to grow, just like the orchids that blossom on her fire escape. And when she is confronted by ugly secrets about her brother’s business, she comes to understand the realities of life in this new place. But then she meets him-that green-eyed boy- who she can’t erase from her thoughts, the one who just might help her learn to see beauty in spite of tragedy.

From the acclaimed author of The Color of My Words comes a powerful story about a young girl who must make her way in a new world and find her place within it.

Flowers in the Sky was awesome! From the vibrant settings in the Dominican Republic to the intense, dark shadows of Washington Heights in New York, to the effervescent main character, Nina, it was spectacular. Granted, it may not be one of those books that makes you want to change your life, but I feel that it had a certain simplicity to it that made it special.

The book centralizes around fifteen year-old Nina, and how her perceptions of the world and people change around her. Her mother sends her to New York to live with her brother, and she is forced to adjust. She is very innocent, but also smart. I like the way she thinks, how she challenges and keeps true to herself. The book flowed nicely from one event to the other, brushing around the edges of the other characters just enough, at the right moments and in the right does.

I thought the symbol of flowers was depicted nicely as well. I enjoyed the bond between her and her brother planting orchids, it helping him revisit his Dominican roots. I loved how she found a way to keep a piece of her country in her new home.

As for the romance, I found it a tad unrealistic. In what world does a fifteen-year old immigrant from the Dominican Republic catch the eye of a hot, green-eyed, older rebel? Not only that, he saves her countless times, and takes her to museums and expensive restaurants. Can I have your life, please?! Nonetheless, I still enjoyed watching their little love story bloom.

All in all, it was a short, poetic and inspiring novel about finding yourself in a harsh world. I thought it was lyrical and engaging!

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