A very happy book release to Harley In The Sky by Akemi Dawn Bowman!
Wow, I’m so thrilled to see this book finally out in the world. I still remember getting accepted for the street team by Akemi and then receiving an ARC copy. It has been such an exciting journey to watch every one of us in the team fall in love with the book and its art. I’m keeping my hopes high for Harley to be on the New York Times Best Seller list.
Harley In The Sky is just glittering with magic and hope and I can’t wait for you all to dive into it! But before that, let’s get into my review for this book 🙂
HARLEY IN THE SKY BOOK REVIEW
Harley Milano has dreamed of being a trapeze artist for as long as she can remember. With parents who run a famous circus in Las Vegas, she spends almost every night in the big top watching their lead aerialist perform, wishing with all her soul that she could be up there herself one day.
After a huge fight with her parents, who continue to insist she go to school instead, Harley leaves home, betrays her family and joins the rival travelling circus Maison du Mystère. There, she is thrust into a world that is both brutal and beautiful, where she learns the value of hard work, passion and collaboration. But at the same time, Harley must come to terms with the truth of her family and her past—and reckon with the sacrifices she made and the people she hurt in order to follow her dreams.
Trigger Warnings: Depression, mood swings, references to suicidal ideation, heart attack
PLOT AND THEMES
I can literally find no fault in the plot. The story took us on a ride with a lot of twists and bumps but it all ended on a heartwarming note. I love how grounded this book was, nothing was exaggerated to make the readers happy, Harley had to face tons of obstacles and in the end, every argument and struggle ended in realistic compromises or the characters having to give up something.
I think Harley In The Sky explores some really important themes in a beautiful manner. The themes were of mental health and its dismissal, living with disorders, familial relationships that can be loving yet unsupportive at the same time and many many more. At one point Harley talks about backup careers being there only for people who wish to pursue careers in the humanities streams. That really touched my heart.
Point to be taken: it’s absolutely heartwarming to see someone explore these themes in YA novels so adeptly, without offending anyone.
Harley is absolutely amazing. My god she’s a messy teenager who often does the wrong thing but that’s what I like the most. She’s so realistic. Harley makes numerous mistakes and sometimes it takes her time to learn from them. But either way, she does her best. I love her determination and grit. I like that she’s quick to catch on to when she’s not being treated right and stands up for herself.
Vas is so dreamy! I love how instead of making him the bad-boy character, Akemi made him closed-off and lost to most of the world. Vas observes a lot and is quiet most of the times, but I love to see him laugh and loosen up the few times he does. It feels like you’re being given a privilege most don’t get 🙂
The side characters like Dexi, Vivien and Maggie were all amazing, I just wish we could have seen more of them and explored Dexi and Vivien’s backgrounds a bit more. I absolutely stan this wonderful circus group!
As usual, every time I read something by Akemi, I get swayed into its beauty. The author has an excellent knack for writing flowery descriptions without exaggerating and not making the internal monologues seem boring. It’s easy to get lost into her stories and you really don’t want to stop reading until you hit the end.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman
Have you read any other books by Akemi? If yes how did you find them?
Is Harley In The Sky already on your TBR?
What are some of your favourite books that talk about mental health issues?