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The Girl who Fell from the Sky
The Girl who Fell from the Sky: A Novel | Heidi W. Durrow
After a family tragedy orphans her, Rachel, the daughter of a Danish mother and a black G.I., moves into her grandmother's mostly black community in the 1980s, where she must swallow her grief and confront her identity as a biracial woman in a world that wants to see her as either black or white. A first novel. Reprint.
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review
Naltez
Pickpick

I can‘t believe I left this in a pile for so long. What a great read. Heartbreaking, defiant and joyous all at the same time. Looking at both race in America and the role of parents from so many perspectives. Rachel was loving and broken, troubled and hopeful all while remaining relatable.

Nute Nice review! It‘s been a minute, but I remember being moved by this book! 4w
6 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Laughterhp
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So decided to scroll through all my old posts and see what my oldest book haul post was! This was Feb/March 2017!

And you know the crazy part, I‘ve only read 4 of them, bailed on 1 (and got rid of it)!

Have you read any of these? Are there any I should bump up onto my list?!
#bookhaul #bookhaulchallenge

Tianarose The moment of everything was amazing! 😍 loved that book. 5mo
Lcsmcat I‘ve not read any of those. Thanks for playing! 5mo
ShyBookOwl Boneshaker is in my TBR! Haven't read any if the others 5mo
DGRachel I really enjoy Christopher Fowler‘s books. I need to get back to that series. I‘m so behind. 5mo
56 likes4 comments
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derr.liz
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This was a heartbreaker. All we want is to protect those we love...

#blackhistorymonth #readblackauthors

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Jen2
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Pickpick

Such a powerful story!!!

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bell7
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Pickpick

Rachel lives with her grandmother after a family tragedy leaves her the only survivor. Half Danish, half black, Rachel deals not only with the aftermath of that tragedy, but also her own identity as people around her want to simplify it. Stylistically complex with multiple narrators and important topics to discuss, this was an excellent choice for my library book discussion.

19 likes1 stack add
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jmtrivera
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Mehso-so

I really appreciated the themes of this book and the idea behind it, but perhaps my expectations were too high. The lovely writing about identity and being caught between worlds expressed the loneliness and confusion Rachel and Nella feel. However, I never really felt connected to them, except at times with Nella due to her journals. It feels like Rachel's attempt to distance herself from her emotions also distanced herself from the reader.

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jmtrivera
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Doctor's office reading today. Nearly halfway through after an hour in the waiting room!

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SqueakyChu
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Mehso-so

I was disappointed in this book. I thought the issue of race would be explored in more depth, but instead I was overwhelmed by multiple characters sweeping in and out of this story without a lot of meaningful interaction taking place. Oh, well. On to something I like better...

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SqueakyChu
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“If there‘s no one else to tell another side—the only story that can be told is the story that becomes true.”

Frightening. The truth should never be silenced in this way.

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SqueakyChu
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“That makes me think of how the other black girls in school think I want to be white. They call me an Oreo. I don‘t want to be white. Sometimes I want to go back to being what I was. I want to be nothing.”

Why do some people feel the need to judge others by racial purity? Why do people need to ask “What are you?” My response would be, “A human being.”

TheBookKeepers ❤️ 2y
LShelby I read a book once that claimed that there is scientific evidence that mixed-race makes for the most beautiful people, and looking around I don‘t have much evidence to the contrary. Alas, I read that book after marrying someone the same colour as me. Oops! Sorry, kids! (edited) 2y
SqueakyChu @LShelby Which book was that? 2y
LShelby @SqueakyChu I‘m good at remembering content and bad at remembering titles. Sorry! (That‘s how I ended up on LT: I wanted some kind of reading record.) I remember it was talking about composite images and how —not counting weird beauty fads like flattened skulls and bound feet and so forth— people are attracted to the human average. So the more mixed the genes, the better. (edited) 2y
SqueakyChu I remember reading or hearing something like that in the past as well, but not from any book. 2y
19 likes5 comments
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SqueakyChu
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“Jesse Jackson wants us to be #AfricanAmerican now. I don‘t know if this is a good idea. I don‘t know any black people who have even been to #Africa.”

I had a work colleague who used to rant about this same idea.

TiredLibrarian There's a part in The Autobiography of Malcolm X when he visits Africa, and realizes it is no more his home than America is 🙁 2y
SqueakyChu @TiredLibrarian Interesting. I‘m now going to have to read The Autobiography of Malcolm X. 2y
TiredLibrarian @SqueakyChu It's a great autobiography; Malcolm X went through so much in his life, and his thinking evolved a lot. 😊 2y
See All 11 Comments
SqueakyChu I never really read that much about him back in the days when he was making headlines. It‘s not too late to learn now what I didn‘t back then! 😊 2y
ValerieAndBooks Maya Angelou lived in Africa for a few years and in her later autobiographies she recalls how Africans there weren‘t really all that welcoming to Americans regardless of her color. @SqueakyChu @TiredLibrarian 2y
SqueakyChu @ValerieAndBooks Which book of Maya Angelou‘s would you recommend in which she talks about her time in Africa? 2y
ValerieAndBooks I‘d recommend reading her autobiographies in order but this is the one that covers her time in Africa 2y
ValerieAndBooks The one before that covers her working with Martin Luther King and Malcolm X and her marrying an African freedom fighter which is mainly why she moved to Africa 2y
SqueakyChu @ValerieAndBooks How many of her books are autobiographies, and which is the first one I should read? I haven‘t read any of her books yet. I believe I just gave one away in my #LittleFreeLibrary. I‘ll look around to see if I might still have it. 2y
ValerieAndBooks I‘ll post a picture of her autobiographies later today 😊! Her first one (and best known) is 2y
SqueakyChu @ValerieAndBooks I think that‘s the one I just gave away! 😲 I‘ll look for another copy of it. 2y
15 likes11 comments
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SqueakyChu
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I‘m about a quarter way through this book and feel kind of lukewarm about it. Race is a theme, but I‘m having a difficult time discerning who is what race. It also took several chapters to figure out how the characters were related to one another. My husband started reading this book and also couldn‘t figure out who was who. Then there‘s Roger...He sounds kind of stupid when meeting him in this book. I hope this novel improves going forward.

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SqueakyChu
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No #pancakes in our house go without enough maple syrup. As a matter of fact, I came home yesterday with a half gallon of maple syrup for our house and another half gallon for one of my sons! 😃 Maple syrup is expensive so you can be sure I got it at a good price!

15 likes1 stack add
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SqueakyChu
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This is my new selection for a challenge on #LibraryThing to read a book with a title word that starts with G. I know nothing about this book, but I did read the first few pages which seem fine. We‘ll see if I like it...

bnp I read this a few years ago and liked it, but don't remember much about it now. 2y
SqueakyChu @bnp I have a cure for that. I now take notes as I read each book. Then I copy and paste those notes into the private message slot for my book on LibraryThing. I can refresh my memory there at any time almost instantaneously for any of my books “with LT private notes”. 😃 2y
19 likes2 comments
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RobinGustafson
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BookishGirl06
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Next book out of my library pile that I need to read before May 1st.

SqueakyChu Did you read it? I‘m reading it now. 2y
BookishGirl06 @SqueakyChu I wound up stopping halfway through 2y
SqueakyChu @BookishGirl06 Yeah. I can see that. It‘s not that compelling, but I think I will work my way through to the end. 😄 (edited) 2y
115 likes3 stack adds3 comments
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Laughterhp
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Pickpick

I didn‘t know much about this book before I started reading it and I think that really helped me get into and thoroughly enjoy this book. Rachel has such an incredible and crazy story. This book was great.

#mountTBRchallenge #pop18 - book set in decade you were born (80s)
#LRC - 2017 award winner - Nebula
Also picked this for the #TLPBC

DebBates101 Cant wait to read it! 2y
62 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Jenna2
Mehso-so

I am not sure if it is a new trend in writing fiction where the story is told in a series of vignettes. Rather than having to delve into character development the story is forcibly told rather than having it naturally unfold. I‘m not a huge fan of this.

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Jenna2
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Decided to pick a random book from my Kobo. One I could read in a day before the 3 year old is home from school.

CathyJ Yay for having time to really read. :) 2y
9 likes1 comment
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tlarocca
Mehso-so

Multiple stories connected by Rachel, a biracial girl trying to find meaning in race, culture, family and identity after surviving a family tragedy. I devoured this book in a few days. It was an easy read but I felt it was a whole lot of tell and not a lot of show.
I like the idea and I wish it was more down and dirty like Salvage the Bones stylistically. Worth the read for the premise of biracial, multicultural identities.

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JacintaMCarter
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Pickpick

#2017Book216
The multiple perspectives in this novel are what make it great. You get to hear the story from everyone involved, which gives you insight into what led a seemingly normal woman to the decision to kill herself and her children. The majority of the story follows the daughter who survived, but you also hear from the boy who tried to save her and flashbacks into her mother's diary. This novel is equal parts heartbreaking and hopeful.

goodreadsandme One of my favorite books. 😁😁😁 2y
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saguarosally
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These are words. They come from a book. I need to try doing this thing called reading a book. I doubt I'll finish one this month. Things change. I'll read more later.

Buddys_Momma Loved this book so much💜 2y
47 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Laughterhp
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Six Word Saturday. Ignore the last book, I totally counted watchmaker as 2 words! I haven't ready any of these books yet, with the exception of the Natasha Pulley (which doesn't count and I'm too lazy to take another photo 😬). However, they are all on my shelf. #booksacrossoceans

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ThriftyBooks
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"But when a person fakes happy, it has edges. Regular people may not see, but the people who count, they can see edges and lines where the sadness (me) or the anger (Grandma), begins."

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LaurenReads
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Pickpick

This book! I loved Rachel's voice. What she went through and how she dealt with it hurt. So many feels, and those last 2 lines!! 😭 I want to know more about all the characters in this novel.

Mamashep This is one I did on audio and liked but wished I had read it print so I could have really absorbed it better. 2y
TrishB I've had this on my kindle forever...... 2y
71 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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Eggs
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A subtle but complex story that applies to both children and adults, this story is a mix of magic, tragedy and hope

14 likes1 stack add
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Kmmsellers
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Pickpick

Such a beautiful and heartbreaking story. But also a hopeful one.

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Kmmsellers
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I finished grading and am officially on summer break. Woohoo! And I started a new book. Hello, Summer!

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BooksForEmpathy
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YAY! My #blinddatewithabook round 2 came in! @Lacythebookworm I am so excited to read this one. It rings all my bells and I've never heard of it. I also feel especially lucky because I received a copy of another short story collection I've had my eye on for a while. You outdid yourself! Thank you.

@LitsyGoesPostal #litsygoespostalog

Lacythebookworm Yay! Im so glad you like them! 😊 3y
LitsyGoesPostal 😊👍🏻 3y
92 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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ElishaLovesBooks
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Finished this book this weekend. I think I'm a little traumatized.

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LauraBeth
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She's always just a girl and she's always depicted as falling from the sky 😒

Libby1 😂 3y
pppooraikul You can add this one to the group too. 😂 3y
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Sarahthelibrarygirl Yes! What is with that trend? 3y
LauraBeth @pppooraikul 😂😂 thanks for adding this one! 3y
LauraBeth @Sarahthelibrarygirl I don't know but I'm ready for it to be over 😀 3y
LauraBeth @Notafraidofwords and @Libby1 I'm ready to see a woman who rises 😀 3y
Notafraidofwords @LauraBeth we might have to wait another four years 😳 3y
LauraBeth @Notafraidofwords oh I hope not! 3y
138 likes9 comments
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Laughterhp
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In the process of building me a bigger bookshelf. Seeing all my books like this makes me think I have a book problem! But I know I don't! 📚😄

Megabooks 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 3y
6 likes1 comment
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Marchpane
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The Girl Who... [fill in the blank with the thing the girl did].

#girlinthetitle #readjanuary

britt_brooke Great choices! 👏🏻 3y
Bette Great selection. ❤️📚 3y
merelybookish Girl who was Saturday Night ❤❤❤ 3y
Hobbinol Wow. You've really cornered the market on this promo! Kudos!👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 3y
150 likes3 stack adds5 comments
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TheGreatKatsby
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No spoilers. The writing is so strong throughout, but somehow the catharsis is on the last page. I bawled like a baby.

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readswellwithothers
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Maine is supposed to get a wicked big mess of snow and freezing rain tomorrow. I never understood why people feel they need to get more bread and water in way of preparation - if we have books, aren't we all set? #libraryhaul (Also, it is thanks to #Littens that I even know about all but one of these books. How cool is that, huh?!)

RealLifeReading You're definitely prepared! 3y
14 likes1 comment
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Soubhiville
Pickpick

A novel with several points of view, but mostly a from girl with a tragic past trying to work out who she is by learning about her complicated family. Do we find our identities through other's eyes, or through our own hearts?
I liked this very much. 4 of 5 ⭐️

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Soubhiville
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"...when a person fakes happy, it has edges."

Megabooks Great quote! 3y
59 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Kleonard
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Pickpick

A neighbor loaned this one to me--very worth reading.

Bibliosa Agreed! I read it earlier this year and I loved it 😊 3y
76 likes8 stack adds1 comment
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SarahSaysRead
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I'm behind in my #booktober pics, so here's #diversereads and #somethingborrowed from the library. I need more time for reading in my days y'all. ⏳😢

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LWagoner
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Pickpick

3.5 ?. Moving story of a young girl, Rachel, the tragic story of her family, and her journey of figuring out who she is as a result. A very thought provoking and timely look at race and culture. The only criticism I have was that it left me wanting more.
P.144 (from Nella's Journal) "I want them to be anything. They are not just a color that people see" - truth

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Ellsbeth
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Mehso-so

I finally finished this for my YA Lit Book Club. The writing was good and it was an interesting story. However, I found myself avoiding this book. I think I am in a different place right now than where you need to be to actually enjoy this read. Dear Book: It's not you, it's me.

Eyelit I always find myself frustrated whenever that happens - even though I know it's neither my nor the books fault. Sigh. 3y
britt_brooke Love the review! Especially the last line. Happens to me, too. 3y
29 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Ellsbeth
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I admit I'm having a hard time with this one. I'm about 1/3 of the way through. I am reading it for my YA Lit Book Club (a fun group of retired reading teachers, librarians, & me). The group picked it from a list of non-YA titles teens like. The writing is good. I just don't want to read about one more tragedy that befalls the children in this family (and others) & I find myself avoiding it. Is there any hope in this book?

razmanda Nope. But it's a really good read. 3y
NerdyRev Not really, but it is a great read. 3y
Ellsbeth @razmanda @NerdyRev Thanks for the truth! Hopefully knowing this will help me get through it. 3y
30 likes3 comments
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Cinfhen
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Mehso-so

This was my second audio book ever and I've reached a decision...I prefer a book in hand to a story in my ear? I believe the narrator distracted me from fully enjoying this novel. I felt my mind wandering and grew irritated at times, thinking the reading sounded "cartoonish" (am I making sense? Does anyone else find audio books distracting???)
#biblioweekend

Josie I do!!! I CAN'T focus on them. I just can't. I wish I could, because I would get a lot more books "read" 3y
Cinfhen @Josie Thank You!!! So many Littens ❤️audiobooks but I CAN'T either😩 I did enjoy Chelsea Handler narrating one of her books, but it was still a challenge to listen to all 7 + hours 3y
Suzze I can only listen to nonfiction, and I rarely do that. I am way too easily distracted. 3y
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Coleen I really think it depends largely on the book itself & the reader. I do lots of audiobooks. Some I wouldn't want to do any other way. Others, I think would've been better on paper. 3y
mhillis I don't like audiobooks either! 3y
Zelma I am really finicky with audio. I only listen to nonfiction and only on car trips. I love podcasts so nonfiction audio was an easy transition. But I hate anything overly produced or with more than one voice and I cannot listen to fiction. 3y
Cinfhen @Zelma you just summed up how I feel, quite eloquently, thanks!!! 3y
Cinfhen @Suzze @Coleen @mhillis happy to hear I'm not alone🤓 3y
Zelma @Cinfhen 👍 I love finding like-minded people on Litsy! 3y
20 likes9 comments
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mhillis
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RealLifeReading I love a book about translation! Definitely adding hat 3y
RealLifeReading THAT I mean 3y
31 likes3 comments
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LikelyLibrarian
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Pickpick

Durrow's The Girl Who Fell from the Sky received some mixed reviews on Goodreads, but I found it devastatingly beautiful. Each character is perfectly flawed, lovingly human. Told from the point of view of multiple first person narrators, the novel's non-linear plot is suspenseful and revealing. As I read, I found myself reimagining events, trying to avoid up the ugly truth. The surprise at the end was realizing what I already knew all along.

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Cinfhen
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Trying my second audio book, was able to request it from library😃

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jessdean
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Pickpick


A story about a biracial girl who survives a family tragedy and told from different character's points of view. Such a heart wrenching story. Still felt hopeful at the end.

13 likes3 stack adds
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mhillis
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My favorite book from this week was The Girl Who Fell From the Sky because of story and structure. Least favorite was Gutenberg's Apprentice-just couldn't get into it. I can't believe I read 6 books and 1 short story this week! Thanks for inspiring me to read so much!! #bookisholympics #silvermedal

Varshitha Congrats👏🏻👏🏻 you did a great job!! 3y
Beckys_Books Totally agree about Guttenberg's Apprentice. Bailed on it. 3y
Cinfhen Congrats on your reading👍🏻🎉 3y
mhillis @Beckys_Books I wanted to bail! What a disappointment 3y
mhillis @Varshitha @Cinfhen Thanks! It was fun! 3y
34 likes1 stack add5 comments
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mhillis
Pickpick

I loved the way the story unfolded and the nod to Passing by Nella Larsen. Highly recommended. My #bookisholympics book two.

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mhillis
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Book 2 for #bookisholympics

16 likes1 stack add