Izzie is slipping, falling, unable to stand back up on her own two feet. She feels alone, isolated, her words unable to be heard by Jacob, by her mother, and especially by her best friend, Grace. The Sky Is Mine by Amy Beashel is a harrowing and painful look at the violent, tragic experiences of adolescence and the voicelessness that comes with abuse and neglect. Told with striking detail, Beashel writes about what it means to be broken as well as what it means to be restored and the grace that comes with healing.
Izzie finds herself suppressed by the shame and guilt of those around her. Whether it’s Jacob, who is blackmailing her and steals her innocence by means of sex, or her step-father, whose abuse and presence squelches her screams and dire need for help. As she tries to come to terms with the way she has been broken and cut by the actions of the men around her, Izzie struggles to share what has really happened to her and rediscover what it means to have a “voice” of her own.
The Sky Is Mine is one of the most frank, graphic, and painful novels I have ever read. I found myself distraught over the pain Izzie endures, crying, and even having to put the book aside as I processed the abuse and true evil that Izzie experiences. It is a difficult read, but it is also one that is moving and ultimately somewhat hopeful.
I highly recommend this book — but with caution. It is one of those once-in-a-lifetime reads. The words used and the story told are truly ones I can never forget. Izzie has taken a place in my heart, like a familiar friend, and her pain and suffering is something that I can never let go of. Beashel proves the power that comes with the written word and the effect it has on the hearts and minds of readers. But I must say, some of the material was very triggering and difficult, dealing with rape, abuse, and many other graphic topics with explicit, unflinching detail. For those who can endure the content, I think they will experience the empathy and compassion that comes from a story such as this. There is relatability and new understanding found in every word in this beautiful, striking novel.
The Sky Is Mine is certain to break your heart. Izzie is alone and facing unspeakable odds, feeling as if her words and her truth have no value. Amy Beashel presents one of the most memorable stories to hit YA shelves, trusting teens (and adults) to experience some of the most brutal components of adolescence and make sense of the pain that Izzie endures — that we all endure as humans.