This is a spoiler-free review.
The Sky Blues by Robbie Couch
Expected publication April 6th, 2021 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.
Sky’s small town turns absolutely claustrophobic when his secret promposal plans get leaked to the entire school in this witty, heartfelt, and ultimately hopeful debut novel for fans of What if it’s Us? and I Wish You All the Best.
Sky Baker may be openly gay, but in his small, insular town, making sure he was invisible has always been easier than being himself. Determined not to let anything ruin his senior year, Sky decides to make a splash at his high school’s annual beach bum party by asking his crush, Ali, to prom—and he has thirty days to do it.
What better way to start living loud and proud than by pulling off the gayest promposal Rock Ledge, Michigan, has ever seen?
Then, Sky’s plans are leaked by an anonymous hacker in a deeply homophobic e-blast that quickly goes viral. He’s fully prepared to drop out and skip town altogether—until his classmates give him a reason to fight back by turning his thirty-day promposal countdown into a school-wide hunt to expose the e-blast perpetrator.
But what happens at the end of the thirty days? Will Sky get to keep his hard-won visibility? Or will his small-town blues stop him from being his true self?
Content Warnings: homophobia and racism
Thank you to Turn the Page Tours and the publisher, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, for providing me with an e-ARC of this book via NetGalley. All thoughts are my own.
Sky Baker is a 17-year-old – soon to be 18 – openly gay student in his small town of Rock Ledge, Michigan, who is both dreading and anticipating the end of high school. Dreading, because as soon as school is done both his best friends will be moving away for college while he’s stuck in Rock Ledge, and anticipating, because once he’s graduated he’ll finally be able to get away from the homophobic bullies at his school. At least his constant daydreaming about asking his crush, Ali Rashid, to prom makes these final school days bearable.
That is, until an anonymous hacker somehow leaks Sky’s plans for his promposal to Ali on their senior class’s weekly e-blast in a super homophobic (and racist) way. Now everyone – including Ali himself – knows how Sky feels. Sky is devastated, but soon realizes he’s not as alone in this fight as he first thought, and that friendship can be found in the most unlikely of places. And while trying to track down the hacker, learns the much more important lesson about being true to yourself.
“You aren’t alone in this fight, Sky. You’re never, ever alone in this fight.”
This book was such a touching, fun, emotional read! I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again, but I think LGBTQ romance novels have it twice as hard. They have to deliver the fluff and Happily Ever After that readers expect from a romance, but they also have to touch on some pretty tough topics, like homophobia, or their book won’t feel relatable. It takes a deft hand to balance these two well, and is what I think makes The Sky Blues shine.
The setting for this story takes place in small town, MAGA-hat-wearing, America. Something we’re reminded of often while reading. The protagonist, Sky, is not living his perfect, dream-worthy queer life. He’s living something – unfortunately – much more realistic to what many LGBTQ youth know themselves. He’s been kicked out of his mother’s for being gay, constantly fending off homophobic taunts from kids at school, and has no real gay adult figures to look up to.
How Couch includes all this, plus all the other Coming-Of-Age feelings and concerns most teens go through, while keeping the story from being a total downer is a feat in and of itself. The fact that this book also manages to be fun, positive and have an overall uplifting message too? Well, that makes it a story readers wont soon forget.
This book made me cry, laugh, and then cry again. The Sky Blues is an honest, hopeful and moving tale that will easily win your heart. ❤️
“Years from now-when everyone else has forgotten about how they wore a Gay for Franch Fries shirt or planned that epic surprise promposal at the Senior Beach-Bum Party for me-I’ll still remember. I’ll remember that people in this not-so-terrible town actually had my back.”
About the Author
Robbie Couch is the author of the young adult romantic-comedy novel, The Sky Blues. His work has been published in HuffPost, Upworthy, and O, The Oprah Magazine, among other outlets. Originally from small-town Michigan, Robbie now lives in Los Angeles, where he remains in constant fear of aggressive birds and on the prowl for his next bowl of noodles.
Up for grabs we have ONE (1) physical copy and ONE (1) digital copy of The Sky Blues by Robbie Couch! This giveaway will be open from April 5th to April 12th at 11:59 PM CST. The digital copy will be available to INTL only, and the physical copy will be available to US only. To enter, click the link below!
~ Check out the rest of the tour schedule here! ~
Did you have a fun time at your prom?!