Reading wise this summer has been something of a disappointment. A lot of the books I had saved up expecting to adore didn't engage me. Luckily my summer reading was saved by the arrival of The Sky Always Hears Me and The Hills Don't Mind by Kirstin Cronn-Mills, which I won in a competition on Tara Kelly's blog, and which Kirstin kindly emailed internationally
I'm so glad she did, because it is a gem of a book.
There are many things to love here, but the main reason is Morgan. She is such an engaging narrotor with such a compelling voice. From the first few lines I just knew I was going to love her and I did.
She's funny and fragile and strong and confused and honest and very real. She has a thing about words, wants to write the Great American Novel and fortune cookies. Plus she screams on hillsides. I completely get why quite a few other characters in this book were trying to kiss her - I think I have a crush myself.
The characters in The The Sky Always Hears Me and The Hills Don't Mind are dealing with a lot of things and yet this book has a quiet feel to it. It is could almost be a segment on This American Life, with Ira Glass narrating ~ I mean that as a huge compliment. It feel reals. It's like we've dropped into Morgan's life, it is at a critical moment, but the huge family secret (and it is huge) that gets revealed, never becomes overblown.
Although Morgan's life is nothing like mine, now or when I was a teenager, I knew her and I understood her.
There are some outstanding secondary characters here too. Morgan's next door neighbour, Tessa, with whom she shares a late night kiss, Rob the boy she works with and crushes on, and Morgan's unconventional Grandmother.
If you like real, relatable, and funny contemporary fiction you should track down The Sky Always Hears Me and The Hills Don't Mind.
Kirstin Cronn-Mills blogs here
And here is the trailer for The Sky Always Hears Me and The Hills Don't Mind, which captures the tone of the novel perfectly.