Sky’s small town turns absolutely claustrophobic when his secret promposal plans get leaked to the entire school in this witty, heartfelt, and ultimately hopeful debut novel for fans of What if it’s Us? and I Wish You All the Best.
Sky Baker may be openly gay, but in his small, insular town, making sure he was invisible has always been easier than being himself. Determined not to let anything ruin his senior year, Sky decides to make a splash at his high school’s annual beach bum party by asking his crush, Ali, to prom—and he has thirty days to do it.
What better way to start living loud and proud than by pulling off the gayest promposal Rock Ledge, Michigan, has ever seen?
Then, Sky’s plans are leaked by an anonymous hacker in a deeply homophobic e-blast that quickly goes viral. He’s fully prepared to drop out and skip town altogether—until his classmates give him a reason to fight back by turning his thirty-day promposal countdown into a school-wide hunt to expose the e-blast perpetrator.
But what happens at the end of the thirty days? Will Sky get to keep his hard-won visibility? Or will his small-town blues stop him from being his true self?
Sky already has a lot going on in his life: he’s been kicked out of his house for being gay (something that occurs before the start of the narrative), and his college plans hinge on a scholarship he’s not sure he’s going to get. Being targeted in the school newsletter is yet another obstacle, but Sky’s found family is there to support him.
This book is two parts mystery and one part coming of age. The way in which Sky and his friends methodically create a chain of clues leading to the person behind the hack is brilliant. The second mystery aspect pairs nicely with the coming of age bit: Sky’s father died in a car crash when Sky was six, and so Sky never really got to know him. This is something that has always troubled him, and over the course of the novel, he receives some resolution to his lingering questions.
I loved how the “promposal countdown” ticker was incorporated into the beginning of chapters. It created a sense of urgency, as the reader anxiously waits to find out what was going to happen. Just because Sky’s “big surprise” was revealed in that e-blast, it doesn’t mean there’s no room for unexpected things to happen.
I would absolutely recommend The Sky Blues. This is a stunning debut novel—one of those YA books that transcends its genre and will appeal to adult readers as well. I’m looking forward to reading more from Couch in the future.
I received an ARC of this book from Simon & Schuster/NetGalley.