*Thanks to Scholastic for sending me a review copy of A Sky Painted Gold*
I’d heard so many lovely things about this book. Constant good reviews and because of this, i wondered why there wasn’t a huge buzz around it like i expected. I was slightly hesitant to pick this up, as it doesn’t seem like something i would instantly love. I was definitely wrong and this deserves to be talked about so much more than it has been.
Laura Wood has a plethora of novels behind her, however A Sky Painted Gold was the first time i’ve come in contact with her work. I was very unsure what to expect from this book as it is not set in the current day and there seemed (or i expected) there to be come flowery language that i wouldn’t fully understand. Why i don’t learn to just judge a book when i’ve read it i don’t know. There was much less flowery language than i expected, and although you can tell it was written with a theme in mind – it was clever the way she fit in the time with how it was written, it immersed you in the book – it was actually very readable.
I didn’t know what to expect from the story-line. Admittedly i knew very little about it and dove in without reading up properly on the plot or even glancing at another review. I wanted to go in blind. From the start i guessed it would be some kind of romance, but it doesn’t become apparent with who until near the end of the novel. I really liked this aspect of it and i loved the introduction of different characters and we had to guess who Lou (the protagonist) would be ending up with. Admittedly until about two thirds through the novel i’d been guessing wrong, and i still would have liked to see her end up with Lucky.
As i said before, Laura seems to have a talent for world building and atmospheric writing. I could feel myself at Caitlin’s parties, in Al’s and even imagined myself in the kitchen of Lou’s family home with tens of little feet pounding the floor. This was in the detail of the writing where it really shone and i felt immersed in the world even from reading a few pages at a time. I find it really difficult to place myself in a world a lot of the time, but A Sky Painted Gold did this perfectly.
Another thing that i absolutely adored about this book were the family elements. Lou’s relationship with Alice was precious, and i really wanted more of that included in the story. There probably wouldn’t have been much space but i definitely wanted a little more of their lives together. You could imagine the busy household that Lou lives in, and her parents felt like some of the most lovely YA parents i’ve read about in a long time. It was so nice to be able to read about a parenting team that weren’t at each others throats or something tragic had happened to one of them. Without a doubt the family aspects were the highlight for me.
As for Lou as a protagonist i really enjoyed her. I felt like she was relatable and in her situation i probably would have been acting the exact same – standing awkwardly in the corner of the room, making friends with as few people as possible. Her friendship with Robert and Caitlin was lovely to read about, however fake it sometimes seemed. My favourite parts to the story, and the ones that have stuck with me the most were the little details of her and Robert reading together, or playing cards, and the normality of life for her at their mansion.
Without a doubt i’d pick up A Sky Painted Gold and give it a read, it’s fully of real and wonderful characters and a few twists and turns with makes it evermore interesting. I really hope this book is brought in to the spotlight a little more because it truly is a transportation device, i’ve never had the pleasure of reading something of the sort.