Thursday, 20 February 2014

Review: Infinite Sky

Infinite Sky (Infinite Sky #1) by C.J. Flood

Title: Infinite Sky
Series: Infinite Sky, #1
Author: C.J. Flood
Published: Simon & Schuster UK; 2013
271 pages, hardcover
Source: Borrowed from the library
 Description (from Goodreads):

When Iris' mum leaves home, her brother, Sam, goes off the rails and her dad is left trying to hold it all together. So when a family of travellers sets up camp illegally in front of their farm, its the catalyst for a stand-off that can only end in disaster. But to Iris it's an adventure. She secretly strikes up a friendship with the gypsy boy, Trick, and discovers home can be something as simple as a carved out circle in a field of corn...

My Thoughts:

I have always been wary of the contemporary genre. I have previously tried to avoid it for I always thought of it as plain fiction, as in the boring, dull, nothing-interesting-happens sort of plain. This year though I am trying to delve into the genre a bit more and try and find something that suits me. I have found that I much prefer the light-hearted romance with funny characters - such as Anna and the French Kiss or This Is What Happy Looks Like - to the sad and purposefully emotional books such as If I Stay... and Infinite Sky.

This book is about a girl named Iris. She lives with her brother and father on a small country farm. Her mother left her and her family to travel and her sudden absence is tearing them apart. When a group of gypsies illegally move into one of their paddocks her father is furious but Iris doesn't mind. She likes watching the family, seeing the way that they live so very differently to her and she soon befriends one of the gypsy boys, Trick.

From the description I was expecting some sort of emotional drama focused heavily on the romance between Trick and Iris, and also the emotional state of her family now that their mother (or wife) had abandoned them. I wasn't expecting this to be what it was. I don't even know what it ended up being...
Infinite Sky is a mix between If I Stay and Graffiti Moon. It had the traumatically sad and raw emotion of If I Stay and the poetic, quirky, "artsy" writing of Graffiti Moon. Iris had that mysterious and often abstract way of looking at the world that reminded me strongly of Lucy from Graffiti Moon too. The problem that I had with this was that the first three quarters of the book were extremely dull, not much happened at all. It wasn't necessarily boringly uneventful, it just made me restless while reading it - I wanted something more exciting to happen.

The writing was very beautiful though. It was addictive and enthralling, it made you want to keep reading despite the lack of plotline. I loved that it made me look at the world from a completely different view point for a change. What didn't work for me was the extreme use of local lingo in the dialogue. I think this is set in England (they said bleedy a lot) but wherever this is set it doesn't matter because I still had no idea what they were saying. I struggled through each conversation, having to check an online "slang" dictionary on numerous occasions just to try and figure out what they were saying. Even after that I remained confused for the most part.

I enjoyed the richness of the various characters though. They were deeply written and the darker emotions that they felt weren't spared so we got the full effect of every character and their real reactions.

The ending was shocking. I expected something to happen to a different character but I most certainly didn't see that ending coming at all. I loved it though. Yes, it was awfully sad but the way that it was written was done with the exact right mix of raw emotion and beautiful imagery so that it was heart-melting and soul-wrenching and enlightening and moving all at once.

Infinite Sky wasn't too bad, it just wasn't what I was expecting, or hoping for really. It did make me cry but I needed something a little more as well. The first half was just too dull for my liking. I will most definitely be picking up the second book though. I cannot wait for it to come out. Thanks to Stephen for his recommendation - much appreciated!

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