Blog Tour: Sky

Sky
Animal Allies Series Book One
Written by Ondine Sherman
Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, #LoveOZYA
252 Pages
Published April 15th 2019
Thank you to Pantera Press
Add to Goodreads
★★★★
Friendship can be found in the unlikeliest of places.

After her mother's death, Sky leaves her city life to move in with her aunt and uncle in a small Australian town. Life in a new place isn’t easy, and Sky finds comfort in the friendship of a stray dog she meets along the way.

But her new friends at school are another story, and as Sky struggles to fit in, she finds herself doing things that go against everything she believes in.

When Sky stumbles on a case of animal cruelty, she is forced to question what’s really important to her and who she wants to be.
Fifteen year old Sky Lawson is grieving the loss of her mother, moving to the country town of West Creek with the estranged sister of her mother and husband. Sky is an impassioned vegan and patron for animal protection, using her Instagram account as an extension of herself and her advocacy. Isolated and alone within the small farming community, Sky is overwhelmed by her new environment including West Creek Public School, willing to compromise her integrity for inclusion. Navigating friendships, relationships, insecurity and separation.

Sky Lawson is mourning the loss of her mother to an aggressive cancer, her father unbeknown and her only immediate family is Paula, the estranged sister of her mother and her husband David who live in the pastoral town of West Creek. Sky is abrasive, she's aware she's treating her aunt with disdain but unfortunately cannot see past her own grief to realise her aunt is also mourning the loss of her sister. Sky has been displaced and while Paula and David have created a safe and loving environment, Sky is anxious and her concern lies within her ability to connect and create new friendships, including impressing popular, obnoxious girl Marissa, overlooking quiet achiever Lucy.

Behaving irrationally, Sky has lost her sense of awareness and compassion, choosing to abandon her veganism in favour of popularity. Throughout the narration, Sky begins to mature and realises how her behaviour has effected those around her, specifically Paula, David and friend Lucy. The tentative friendship Sky and Lucy shared was lovely, the girls are very similar in their advocacy and collaborate on the animal welfare investigation. Her online friendship with Wild Rider was wonderful, as he provided Sky with companionship and compassion, lessening the feelings of isolation. Potential love interest Oliver, although considered popular, was also a conservationist and animal advocate. His friendship with Marissa was peculiar and superficial, creating unnecessary tension.

The themes of animal protection and advocacy were gentle and wonderfully informative. Sky begins to investigate animal cruelty at local poultry business, coinciding with a school assignment. Sky discovers malnourished and malformed chickens, diagnosed with issues such as heart disease, osteoporosis and tibial dyschondplasia in inhumane conditions. Although it advocates for animal protection, it doesn't lecture or attempt to coerce readers into vegetarian or veganism, only the ethical treatment of animals.

Ondine Sherman has created a narrative that encourages discussion surrounding animal welfare and performative activism, gently encouraging readers to consciously choose to purchase and consume products that are sustainable, ethically sourced and certifiably organic. Thoroughly enjoyed it and anticipating the next Animal Allies installment.

Follow the Sky Review Tour here.

29 comments

  1. Oh this seems really interesting to me. (I've been a vegetarian since 2009) and I feel like I haven't read a lot of books with characters who are vegan or vegetarian.

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    1. I haven't either Deanna and it was so refreshing to read about a character who is vegan. The discussion surrounding animal advocacy was wonderful. It was actually quite gentle, informative and encourages us to make better choices. I'd love to see what you think of it.

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  2. I like the theme of animal advocacy in this and that it wasn't preachy. Great review!

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    1. Thanks Grace. It's such a great read, very socially conscious and wonderful in its advocating for animal rights. Looking forward to the next book in the series.

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  3. That cover is stunning. And the book sounds really interesting too!

    Ash @ JennRenee Read

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    1. Isn't it just, the cover designer has done a superb job!

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  4. I love that cover! And it's interesting how it has a topic on animal advocacy.
    Genesis @ Whispering Chapters

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    1. It's stunning isn't it! Yeah, you don't find that often, especially in young adult books and it made a wonderfully refreshing change. Animal welfare is an issue that I think most of us is interested in advocating for and even though I'm not a vegan myself, it's helped me as a consumer to buy sustainable, organic and ethically sourced products that are cruelty free. The Voiceless site is amazing!

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  5. Wow, this seems like a very interesting book. I love the title. Sometimes, a simple title is the best title. I'm curious to read more about the animal advocacy. Thanks for the suggestion :)

    Elle @ Keep on Reading

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    1. It's a great read and a wonderful introduction to animal rights. It's amazing the small changes we make to our lives can have such a lasting impact.

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  6. The animal advocacy angle in a book like this... I think this might be the first time I've seen this? And in addition, a healthy dose of family relationships. I like the sound of this, Kelly. It's got a whole lot of elements I would like to see more of in YA.

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    1. I can't remember having seen it within young adult either actually. It was something I really enjoyed and would love to see more of.

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  7. When I started reading this review I worried that this book would be preachy but it seems like it's not, in fact it sounds like it's a really good book that is informative but doesn't preach at you (which would drive readers away).

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    1. I assumed the same and was so pleasantly delighted. It's enlightening without pushing an agenda, just encouraging consumers to make ethical and sustainable decisions.

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  8. tough enough being a teenager without the difficulties in life. Sky does sound like a strong girl, hopefully things work out for her

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    1. Really looking forward to seeing what book two has in store for Sky!

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  9. Sounds like a lovely read. I just read another positive review of this one. I hadn't heard of it before. I love that it focuses on advocacy and animal rights.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. They're issues I'd like to see addressed more within young adult literature, considering how important animal rights are to so many of us. It was such a gentle read which really surprised me.

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  10. Ooh, the cover is so pretty!!! <3

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  11. This one is new to me! Thanks for bringing it to my attention. I love that she's a vegan and chooses to advocate for animals. You don't see too many teenagers in books actively involved in things that don't immediately concern them. It breaks my heart that she's pushing away people that truly care about her, and sacrificing her beliefs, just to be popular. Life is about so much more than that. Also, I'm sure she was violently sick if she ate meat suddenly after not having it for years. We've been vegan going on ten years, and I ate something with meat in in (completely accidental) a few years ago. It wrecked my insides.

    Lovely review!
    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear? 💬

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    1. You don't and considering how many teens also choose veganism and to see it represented so positively. I can imagine how heavy meat would feel to digest as well after years of being vegan. Not being vegan myself, I wouldn't have picked up on that. I can't recall her being ill as a result, just the guilt she felt.

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  12. Every time I see this cover I sigh to myself and think 'damn those purple and pinks are beautiful'.

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    1. Aren't they just! Even Snow is absolutely stunning! Having beautiful covers really do catch a readers eye to draw them into reading the synopsis and the designers at Pantera Press are brilliant!

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  13. It's nice to see a book that explores how difficult it is to stick with what you believe in in the face of peer pressure. It isn't always easy.

    I used to investigate cruelty cases - well - not investigate - but had to act as a witness to the initial investigation. It's depressing for the animals and scary to think about what ends up in the food pipeline.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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    1. I think most people seem to want to live in ignorance rather than admit the cruelty that occurs in the livestock industry in particular. I've been cruelty free for years in terms of cosmetics and also toiletries, buying RSPCA approved free range eggs. Now I'm using official websites to check brands that ethically source their ingredients and offer sustainable products.

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  14. I don't think I've ever seen a book mention/advocate for veganism. I love that the author brings the horrors in the animal industry into light without being too preachy. Fantastic review
    Vivien @ Pages of Wonderland

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    1. Thanks Vivien. I really enjoyed that element too and was surprised how gentle the messages of animal advocacy were. Such a lovely read.

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  15. Lovely review! I quite enjoyed this book, too. I'm looking forward to seeing where book 2 takes us. =)

    (this is LittleMissStar btw)

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