Sky Jumpers by Peggy Eddleman: The Best MG I’ve Read In A While

What happens when you can’t do the one thing that matters most? Twelve-year-old Hope Toriella lives in White Rock, a town of inventors struggling to recover from the green bombs of World War III. But Hope is terrible at inventing and would much rather sneak off to cliff dive into the Bomb’s Breath—the deadly band of compressed air that covers the crater left by the bombs—than fail at yet another invention. When bandits discover that White Rock has priceless antibiotics, they invade. With a two-day deadline to finish making this year’s batch and no ingredients to make more, the town is left to choose whether to hand over the medicine and die from the disease that’s run rampant since the bombs, or die fighting the bandits now. Help lies in a neighboring town, but the bandits count everyone fourteen and older each hour. Hope and her friends—Aaron and Brock—might be the only ones who can escape to make the dangerous trek through the Bomb’s Breath and over the snow-covered mountain. Inventing won’t help her make it through alive, but with Aaron and Brock’s help, the daring and recklessness that usually gets her into trouble might just save them all.

This ARC was provided to me by Netgalley. Its expected publication date is September 24, 2013 by Random House Children’s.

I loved the world building of this book. It was original, exciting and refreshing. Oh yeah, and the first sentence?

You would think I’d never jumped off a cliff before, based on how long I stood there. 

Beautiful. The best first sentence I’ve read in a long time. Possibly the best I’ve ever read in MG fiction. I really liked the way that the story got started right off. The pacing got thrown off after Hope’s first jump in this story, but it gave time for Peggy Eddleman to set up the world and set-up, which I was really impressed by.

Three things I didn’t like about this book:

  1. “I was reminded that she did impossible things, and so could I.” When Hope was talking about her mom, she said that she did impossible things. This is where I would’ve liked some examples or some background to Hope’s mom and what impossible things she did.
  2. Hope. Another thing I think would’ve made this book easier for me to read is if it could be mentioned that Hope’s name is Hope. I actually forgot the main character’s name after I read the summary, and ended up not knowing why Aaren was yelling “HOPE!” off a train.
  3. Air. Just a question: If the Bomb’s Breath is so heavy, why doesn’t it just fall down in the air? Why does it float in the middle of air? Maybe I just didn’t understand the scenery, but….

It was great to see Hope grow and change throughout this book and her adventures. This book was full of action and adventure, both elements that I love and really enjoyed as they were portrayed in this book. The characters were well done and I really liked Hope’s support network and the way her friends grew in this book, not just Hope. I’m interested as to see what Peggy Eddleman has in store for the second book. Personally, I think that the ending to SKY JUMPERS would’ve been fine, but I’ll be more than happy to read more about Hope, Brock and Aaren. 4.5 stars.

pg count for the hardback: 288

Series: Sky Jumpers

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