The Sky So Heavy by Claire Zorn – a dystopian I LOVE

Title: the sky so heavyThe Sky So Heavy

Author: Claire Zorn

Genre: YA dystopian

Length: 304 pages

Published by: University Queensland Press

Source: borrowed from school library


For Fin, it’s just like any other day – racing for the school bus, bluffing his way through class, and trying to remain cool in front of the most sophisticated girl in his universe, Lucy. Only it’s not like any other day because, on the other side of the world, nuclear missiles are being detonated.

Look everyone, we have a five-star book!

The last book I gave five stars was Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson, and that was a LONG time ago, so I’m glad to have finally picked up this book. SO many people have recommended it on the OzYAChat on Twitter, and eventually I just had to borrow it.

I’m so glad I did. 

Basically, the story starts with some missiles being launched. Communications are down so nobody can communicate, and there’s no electricity. It’s a nuclear winter which means SNOW. Which is COLD if you’re Australian, okay? “The snow” for us isn’t a noun, it’s an actual destination. No joke. We talk about going to “the snow.” Weird.

And not pretty snow. Not this kind of snow:

THIS kind of snow:


And then they start running out of food/water, and Fin can’t get to his parents, and it’s a very desperate situation. People change. People who used to be trustworthy have been warped by fear and…I guess hunger because they haven’t eaten. And a wish to protect their families, as well.

I loved all the characters. Fin, his brother, Lucy and Arnold. Arnold was a boy who used to get bullied, but ends up being really generous and lovely to them all (I felt so bad for him!).

And there is an even deeper level to the story. It relates to current politics in Australia. For my overseas readers, we have this policy for asylum seekers called “stop the boats.” Despite the fact that these people are in need of help, we turn them away – this is what Fin’s suburb faced from the government. The inner suburbs of Sydney are fed, while the more Western suburbs are more or less abandoned.

And ohhhhh, gosh it was sad. At the ending. I CRIED, OKAY? I do not cry in books. Only in The Fault in Our Stars and The Perks of Being a Wallflower but never in a dystopian!!! Ever!!! I don’t usually like dystopians. I’ve no idea why. But I love this book to pieces.

I love the survival aspect. I love the friendships. I love the moral dilemmas and the fact that neither side is wrong. I love how it reflects real issues. I just really, really enjoyed this book, and it was left open for a sequel, so fingers crossed that might happen?? (PLEASE???). I could not put it down.

You need to read this book.


Rating: 5/5 Wonderkitties




27 thoughts on “The Sky So Heavy by Claire Zorn – a dystopian I LOVE

  1. This sounds REALLY good… but my library doesn’t have it 😥 I’ll have to buy it I suppose. But really, if it’s a good book, I would have ended up buying it anyway.

    My mom gets mad at me for buying books I’ve already read.
    She’s like, “You’ve already read that.” and I’m like, “Ya. It was good. So now I gotta own it” 🙂

  2. Sounds really good! I want to read it now… Sounds sort of like Under the Dome, the TV show. Right after the 7 other books on my TBR list. 😛 And that GIF of 101 Dalmations… that is just precious! I love that movie ❤

      • Under the Dome is basically about a ton of people who get cut off from the world by being sealed under a dome–therefore the name–and it sort of becomes their own apocalypse.

        I can never trust myself with library books 🙂 I always end up keeping them past the due date, so I just check them out on my Kindle (they return themselves automatically) or I just buy them, because I keep having to pay the fines anyway 😛

  3. I read this book earlier this year and gave it three stars (still yet to post the review, GEEZ I am behind). I did like all the same aspects as you, though, but I found I couldn’t really emotionally connect with Fin *ducks head*

    I can definitely understand why you cried, because I must say there were some pretty freaking sad aspects of this book.

    I did love that it was Australian and I could understand everything that was going on in a way that sometimes we can’t when we read dystopians based off problems in the US. It was kind of incredible, and very realistic – which kinda scared the begeezus out of me, haha.

    I’m so glad you liked it, though, Emily! 😀 Claire has a new book coming out and it looks amazing, as well.

    • It was also based close to me as well – I live near the Blue Mountains so I loved that aspect of it. Love Aussie fiction in general for that reason – I can visualise everything so easily!

      Claire Zorn is such an amazing writer. I just finished reading her new book and I absolutely LOVED IT. So pretty much Claire Zorn is an auto-read author for me. Two five-star ratings out of two books???? I mean that’s pretty impressive 🙂

  4. Oh, stahp stahp recommending me books BECAUSE I MUST READ THEM ALL AND LOOK AT MY TBR. It’s going to fall on me and squash me flat. But I loooove dystopians and I’ve been so disappointed with my dystopic picks lately. I want a GOOD one. Okay, I’ll just go see if my library has it. I won’t borrow. No no, I’ll be restrained.

    *wildly clicks all the reserve buttons on library website*

  5. Ha completely agree on ‘the snow’ being a destination rather than a season. Australians… what a bunch. Anyway you have now convinced me to add another 2 books to my to-read pile. I think, if I physically owned these books I wouldnt be able to see over them stacked. Starting to have a panic attack.

  6. Now I am intrigued. To be honest I’m completely over dystopia novels, but I may just make an exception for this one! Also the fact that this is written by an Aussie author does help, so that’s pretty cool. (HAHA. GET IT, COOL? LIKE SNOW? Okay, I’ll stop now.) *Adds to already over-large TBR list*

  7. OMG they actually have this at my library! It’s so good to see a dystopia that stands out from the crowd. Since it is Australian as well and has some issues there that we are aware of, it would be really interesting to read it. You’ve certainly convinced me!

  8. Awwwww *hugs* I am sorry you cried?? but that’s a good thing right? It means you really liked the book? I haven’t actually been in the mood for dystopia lately but this one… sound like my worst nightmare. I hate the cold. I hate the snow. And we have ‘that’ kind of snow here too (the kind described by your second picture) and to be trapped in the world of this book, I’d pretty much burst into tears.

    I am glad you loved this THAT much though, Emily! ALL 5 STARS!

    Beautiful review! 🙂

    • IT’S TOTALLY A GOOD THING. But yes, I would NOT want to go inside this book. I do not like cold one bit (and Australia’s winters are not even that cold by comparison to other countries). We don’t have snow at all. Where I live, at least 😛

  9. Pingback: This Week: Much NaNoWriMo, Very School | The Loony Teen Writer

  10. Oh my god, this book sounds absolutely amazing and totally relevant to the current political environment in Australia! I love the amazing character development and how it delves into some deeper topics here. Lovely review Emily, definitely looking for this at the library.

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