“I know what I have to be. Tough.” – Sky
Thank you to the publisher and Net Galley for digital ARC.
Synopsis: As an openly gay student at a small high school in Michigan, Sky Baker feels trapped. Aside from his movie trips with his best friends, Marshall and Bree, his only escape are his plans to prompose to one of his classmates. But Sky’s big plans go up in smoke when they are leaked in an intensely homophobic mass e-mail. Sky wants nothing more than to never return to his school and stay in his room. What Sky learns, is that there are more people on his side than he first thought. He, his friends, and some other students band together to find out who the culprit is and how they did it. More than that though, they work together to make their senior year something to remember.
Review: Sky Baker deserves all of the hugs and much like Eric “Bitty” Bittle from the graphic novels Check, Please! by Ngozi Ukazu, should be protected at all costs (#TheSkyGuard?). While Robbie Couch has brought some deeply homophobic aspects into this book, there are so many feel good moments that Sky, and readers get to experience that help to remind us of the goodness in the people we choose to surround ourselves with. Robbie made a diverse cast of characters, both major and minor, all of whom are fleshed out and add deeper content to the story. What started as a small group of friends turns into an amazing found family of friends. Over the course of the story, we see Sky make mistakes, suffer from previous and new traumas, find answers to some of his questions about his life, open up to his friends, and learn that he can be tough. Robbie has created a story that shows a full range of emotions that can happen to high schoolers, the euphoric highs and the very lows. What really sold this for me, was the inclusion of characters like Charlie, Brian, and Ms Winter. I can’t say why because of spoilers, but these are characters who would be crucial in any young queer person’s life.
Release date: April 6th, 2021; Simon Schuster Books
Page count: 336
Genre: Contemporary; LGBTQ+
Audience: Young Adult