Note: This ARC was provided by Entangled Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I admit it. I have a bad habit of starting a book past midnight and then staying up 'til the wee hours of the morning due to an urgent need to finish it but only when it exceptionally good. That's what happens with books that have my full attention and have simply captivated me with the characters and the story, especially when it's written so unbelievable well. Eyes Turned Skyward by Rebecca Yarros is one of those few gems that had me from the beginning and refused to let go until the very end. Everything about it tugged at my heart and made me smile in absolute satisfaction by the time the sun was rising and I had finished. Suffice it to say that I went to sleep one happily sated bookaholic. ♥
Paisley Donovan appears to be the poster girl for all Southern belles, what with her being sweet and sassy, but she's not sure if the life that she's living is the one she truly wants for herself or if she's still trying to make up for the fact that she's still alive while her sister Peyton is no longer with them. Her parents, boyfriend, and best friend are constantly hovering over her, reminding her to take her medication and wanting her to play it safe, worried about her suffering the same fate as Peyton. As much as she wants to make everyone happy and to remain respectful of her parents, she simply wants to feel alive for however long she can. The first person who makes her feel that way is Jagger.
Jagger Bateman appears to be the poster boy for all rule breakers and risk takers, what with his being up for almost anything, but he knows what it's like to live his life under someone else's thumb, until he decided it was time for him to live the life he wanted. He's finally pursuing his dream and is enrolled in flight school but he's already caught the attention of the higher-ups and not in a good way. There's no denying that Jagger has the brains and the talent to be an airman but his insecurities and temper tend to get the best of him and he knows that him effing things up is almost inevitable. Then he meets Paisley and even though he believes he's not good enough for her, he can't stay away.
After Jagger saves Paisley from nearly drowning on a beach in Florida, the two are undeniably drawn to one another. Even when they both make it clear that all they want is to be friends, they realize that it's more than just attraction that's going on between them. But there are things they don't know about each other, some they're not divulging intentionally and the rest not coming to light simply because the opportunity never came up. Some secrets are easily explained away and understanding is forthcoming but others simply bringing tension and apprehension and forcing Jagger and Paisley to make painful decisions that will either make or break them and their relationship.
Goodness gracious, where do I even begin? With every book I read, I go into it never expecting perfection in any form. After all, there is no such thing as "the" perfect book, right? Even books that have already been published have an editing error or two (or more) and I've found myself falling for a male lead character but absolutely disliking the female lead character a few times. But when it comes to this book and the author's previous release, Full Measures, which is connected to this one but both can be read as standalones, I have found myself sighing in absolute bliss. They both come as close to my own personal definition of perfection as a book can get.
Eyes Turned Skyward had a wonderful cast of characters that were, by no means, perfect but almost every single one had redeeming qualities that made them likable and sympathetic (case in point: Will Carter). It was great having Josh Walker and Ember Howard in the story, especially since they didn't take the spotlight away from Jagger and Paisley. Grayson Masters piqued my interest and I wouldn't be surprised if the author's next novel will be about him. ^.^ With fantastic characters and a story that was about discovering a life worth living and someone worth living for, this book is on my list of favorites for the year and gets a five-plus-star rating. Pre-order it, people. I did (even though I already had the ARC)! ♥
Release Date: 08 December 2014
Date Read: 06 December 2014
Learn more about author Rebecca Yarros here.