Friday, 6 April 2018

A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood – review

Publisher: Scholastic (July 2018)

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an open and honest review.

Growing up in her sleepy Cornish village dreaming of being a writer, sixteen-year-old Lou has always wondered about the grand Cardew house which has stood empty for years. And when the owners arrive for the summer - a handsome, dashing brother and sister - Lou is quite swept off her feet and into a world of moonlit cocktail parties and glamour beyond her wildest dreams. But, as she grows closer to the Cardews, is she abandoning her own ambitions... and is there something darker lurking at the heart of the Cardew family? A gorgeously dreamy coming-of-age romance set against a stunning Gatsby-esque backdrop, this is perfect for fans of I Capture the Castle and Eva Ibbotson. (Publisher's blurb)

When I heard about this book at the Scholastic Bloggers' Brunch, I knew I had to read it. The dreamy summer setting really appealed to me, and when Laura Wood read the opening pages I was sold. It has ended up being the best historical YA I've ever read and I think it has something for all YA readers.

I absolutely adored the characters in this book. Lou is a fantastic protagonist, so full of spirit and dreams that I warmed to her immediately. Another strength is that all of the characters, even the minor ones, were interesting and multi-faceted. I'm a huge fan of YAs about families, and Lou's was a particularly brilliant one. This book really does have everything because there are some fantastic friendships too, especially between Lou and her older sister.

Another favourite character, and one deserving of his own paragraph, is Robert Cardew. It's a very long time since I've been so obsessed with a fictional character. He is the most swoonworthy lead imaginable and the romance in this book is perfection. 

The setting of this book was glorious, vividly evoking Cornwall and the time period. Many events of the story took place in either the glamorous Cardew house or Lou's close-knit family home, and both settings felt completely real to me.

To finish it off, the plot of this book is a perfect balance of sultry summer days, elaborate parties and enough conflict to keep it interesting. There were several questions for the reader to figure out and a very satisfying conclusion.

This book was an absolute pleasure to read. I can't remember having quite so much fun reading a book or becoming so involved in the world of the story. I can't wait to see what Laura Wood writes next, but in the meantime I'm going to pick up her Poppy Pym middle grade books. 

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