Meet the Sky is a novel that I wanted to love. I really did. It tells the story of two young adults that are at odds with each other, but after finding themselves in the middle of a terrible storm, they must depend on one another if they plan on surviving. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t empathize with the protagonist, Sophie, as I found it hard to justify her decisions in this story.
At first, I was on Sophie’s side when she described her every day duties and how hurt she feels about her father bailing on her and her family. After her dad leaves due to a terrible accident that physically and mentally scars her sister, Meredith, Sophie feels as though she is personally responsible for caring for her family. She tackles the arduous work that their farm demands and takes care of her sister without complaint. While her mother tries her hardest to keep their family from falling even more apart, Sophie is convinced that she has to put aside her desires in order for her family to thrive. That’s why, when she encounters Finn after having not seeing him since freshman year, she immediately tries to put any romantic notions out of her head. It is completely understandable given how devastated she must have been after Finn humiliated her during her freshman year.
However, things take an unexpected turn when word of a catastrophic storm sends the town into a hasty evacuation. In the midst of all the madness, Sophie is separated from her family, and as fate would have it, the only other people also caught in the storm are Finn and his kooky uncle. Now Sophie has to deal with finding a way back to her family, dealing with an arrogant Finn and surviving a tropical storm.
When she gets stuck with Finn during the storm, Sophie’s rationale begins to become questionable. Even though she manages to physically take care of herself and Finn by the time the novel comes to an end, I wondered how to justify some of the unrealistic risks she took during the storm. How could she believe that risking both her and Finn’s lives to save an animal would be a wise decision when debris, water and heavy winds are being hurled at them from everywhere? How could she actually choose a horse over sticking with Finn and trying to find a way to safety? I understand that from the get-go readers are told that Sophie has a love for animals and plans to be a veterinarian, but it was selfish of her to ask Finn to go along with her choice to find a missing horse rather than searching for his uncle.
Even though he wasn’t as frustrating as Sophie, Finn’s character is not fleshed out enough to be more than one-dimensional. By the time I reached the middle of the novel, I completely lost interest in the plot and had little to no regard for the characters.
I’d hoped for this novel to be a good summer read, but it misses the mark by not crafting a believable storyline with strong, interesting characters. Regardless, if you’re interested in rekindling those summer vibes and don’t mind overlooking the need for a well-developed plot and characters, Meet the Sky might reach your expectations.