Flowers in the Sky
by Lynn Joseph
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Ebook, 240 pages
March 5th 2013 by HarperTeen
Just about everyone from my country, República Dominicana, dreams of moving to New York City, except for me. On the flight to New York, my first time on a plane, my first time away from Mami, I was finally free to cry. But nothing came out. I watched as the green mountains of my beloved island slipped away far below.
Fifteen-year-old Nina Perez is faced with a future she never expected. She must leave her Garden of Eden, her lush island home in Samana, Dominican Republic, when she's sent by her mother to live with her brother, Darrio, in New York, to seek out a better life. As Nina searches for some glimpse of familiarity amid the urban and jarring world of Washington Heights, she learns to uncover her own strength and independence. She finds a way to grow, just like the orchids that blossom on her fire escape. And as she is confronted by ugly secrets about her brother's business, she comes to understand the realities of life in this new place. But then she meets him—that tall, green-eyed boy—one that she can't erase from her thoughts, who just might help her learn to see beauty in spite of tragedy.
From the acclaimed author of the color of my words comes a powerful story of a girl who must make her way in a new world and find her place within it.
This was such a good book. I started this book in the morning and finished it at night. That's how good it was. This book immediately grabs you and draws you in. I guess the fact that the characters are Latin as am I, made it really easy to connect. The language, the food, the description of the island felt all too familiar. And that made the book enjoyable. I loved the whole Latin culture in this book.
But as good as this book is, her mother annoyed me from the beginning. Like in any country, where Nina lived in Dominican Republic was very poor. And all her mom could think about was Nina moving to New York and marrying a rich Yankee. She didn't take Nina's feelings into consideration. So because of one misunderstanding she shipped Nina off to New York for a "better life." Snatching Nina from her roots and taking away the one place she called home, Samana. That part of the book was sad. I wouldn't know how to deal with being uprooted in the middle of school and sent off to some unfamiliar place.
What a cultural shock she endured when she got to The Heights. Imagine living all your life in an island beautiful with sand and gorgeous blue waters, to NYC filled with tons of people, always loud and everyone walking in a rush. This is where the book becomes interesting. You as the reader begin to notice things and see red flags wave in front of your face like "Uh Oh". This is should be interesting. I kept thinking to myself, how and why, about a lot of things. And that's one of the things I loved about this novel. I became invested in the story and its characters.
I was so drawn into this story. That from the minute Nina met her green eyed boy, I kept rooting for her. I wanted her to have a handsome prince. But things didn't come easy for them. Sure enough things become a lot more interesting with him around. I liked him from the very beginning and I couldn't help but hope for them to find their way together. As the story progresses and "Whats done in the dark, came out to light" is when all hell breaks loose. And those who have come to love Nina, comes to her rescue.
I really do love this book. It was so well written. In my opinion, despite all that happened, the story ended quite nicely. But if Ms. Joseph were to decide to write a sequel, I'll definitely read it. I want to read more about Luis, the green eyed boy. Nina grew from the start of the book to the ending. She gave herself the time she needed to work things out. She handled New York life like a trooper and I give her kudos for that. I give Flowers in the Sky a 5/5 stars and a definite Good Choice for Reading!