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A Sky for Us Alone
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A Sky for Us Alone

3.30  ·  Rating details ·  40 ratings  ·  17 reviews
In Strickland County, there isn’t a lot of anything to go around. But when eighteen-year-old Harlowe Compton’s brother is killed by the Praters—the family who controls everything, from the mines to the law—he wonders if the future will ever hold more than loss. Until he meets Tennessee Moore.

With Tennessee, Harlowe feels for the first time that something good might happen,
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published January 8th 2019 by HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books
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Showing 1-30
3.30  · 
Rating details
 ·  40 ratings  ·  17 reviews

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Joleen (starlightbooktales)
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: edelweiss
Received a copy from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

2 Stars

In a small town such as Strickland Country, there isn’t much of a future unless you belong to the all-powerful Prater family. When Harlowe, a young boy witnesses one of the Praters kill his only brother, he makes it his mission to find answers. While his obsession for answers grows, so does his love for new girl Tennesse, who has her own troubles. Together Tennessee and Harlowe forge their own path and discover the answers th
Samantha (WLABB)
Dec 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Rating: 3.5 Stars

I have complicated feelings about this one. It was dark and gritty and there are a lot of sad parts with murder, addiction, and a community seemingly at the mercy of a demented man, who is poisoning their land. But there were these lovely bright spots, like the Draughns, Omie, Tennessee, Nuna, and even Red, and I was absorbed in Harlowe finding the answers to all his questions regarding his brother's murder. Given the darkness that surrounded a majority of this book, I was grate
Jan 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Rating this 3.5 stars. I honestly loved the tone of the writing. It was a nice break from all the fantasy I've been reading lately. It had just enough story to keep me turning pages. I was rooting for Harlowe from the start and I'm glad he got his happy ending. Not the exact happy ending I was hoping for, but it wrapped up the story really well.
Sandie, Teen Lit Rocks
Very much in the vein (although not as breathtaking) as Jeff Zentner's work. I appreciate books that are set in rural towns, and stories about Appalachian teens are so few and far between. The pacing is slow, and there are several unanswered questions, but it was still worth reading, and I think the author has a good bit of potential.
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018, ya
Sorry, this just wasn't good. Bad pacing, horrible dialogue, characters I didn't care about at all (and truly forgot who was who because they weren't memorable).

His brother's murdered body is dropped on their front porch, they bury him the next day, and then later THAT DAY, kid falls head-over-heels for the new girl in town? Like, I know teens are fickle, but THE SAME DAY?
Jan 03, 2019 rated it liked it
A SKY FOR US ALONE by Kristin Russell is a YA coming-of-age novel filled with mystery and heartache. It’s set in a poor section of Appalachia that’s run by the mines and the man who owns them. When Nate, Harlowe’s older brother, starts searching for a way to get out, he ends up with a bullet through the chest. Determined to figure out why Nate was killed, Harlowe sets out on a mission to uncover the truth, but gets sidetracked when he meets Tennessee, a beautiful girl with her own problems. Thou ...more
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Kristin Russell’s A SKY FOR US ALONE begins with the protagonist, Harlowe, celebrating his 18th birthday. Harlowe has invited everyone he cares about from his brother, Nate, his best friend, Jacob, and Mama Draughn --- someone who acts more like a mother to him than his own. Nate gifts him with new equipment for his future woodworking business, something Harlowe and Nate have been dreaming about for years.

As the party slowly winds down, everyone begins to go their separate ways and Harlowe heads
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was a slow burn for took me a little bit to fall in love with the characters but when I did it was hard.
Harlowe is stuck in a town that is controlled by one powerful family; when his brother is killed by this family it is just another tragic incident in a long line of tragedies. Harlowe has resigned himself to the fact that he isn't getting out of Strickland County and that everything his parents deal with he will have to deal with....that is until he meets Tennessee Moore. Te
Anna (Scones & Tomes Society)
An amazing debut from Kristin Russell, A Sky for Us Alone is the story of Harlowe's journey from boy to man in a backwoods town where the townsfolk have only three choices; work in the Prater's mines, make drug runs for the Praters, or just shut up and stay out of their way. After his brother shows up dead on his doorstep and the new foreman's daughter has more going on than she's letting on, Harlowe embarks on a journey to find the truth about what's going on in his town and decide if he's goin ...more
Erin Quinn
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
I really appreciate books that let me have a glimpse into a way of life I have no experience with. A peek into rural Appalachia, this book deals with topics that no doubt are things people who live in that place are dealing with, like poverty, what happens when the mines close down, and drugs. Unfortunately, though the issues were real, the author just didn’t do a great job executing. The characters were forgettable, pacing was way off, and the plot was unbelievable, and not in a good way.

Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a coming of age novel set in the hills of Appalachia.
The problems that are unique to the area (Like "Yellow Boy", a river of poison from the mines) and problems that are everywhere, (Drugs, greed and misery) come together in this story.
The man child hero is really a hero.. proven by many events but really capped by the wisdom he shows when his girlfriend is deciding to leave or to stay.
Good book.
Ally Renell
Jan 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Not bad, a grim depiction of a small town on the brink of falling apart. I think some side characters could have been developed more and the ending seemed a little rushed. The brother's motivation wasn't super clear to me either. A decent debut novel, I'd be interested in seeing what she does next.
Nakesha Brown
Feb 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Although it felt a bit disjointed at times, it was pretty good. I liked the idea of the book from the synopsis and I was into the story of Harlowe and Tennessee but the pacing was a little off in my opinion. I don't have a problem with insta-love within YA so that didn't bother me but some of the other things that happened throughout were unrealistic.
Feb 12, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2019, young-adult
This book tried to do too many things at once, and failed at all of them. There's too much going on with the brother's murder, a corrupt police force, the impact of the mines, the love story, the opioid drug crisis, the love story. Nothing was well developed or resolved in any real way.
Arrow Nox
Jan 29, 2019 rated it did not like it
DNF at page 50

I'm sorry but I could only think of one word for fifty pages: painful. Nothing clicked, I had no idea what was going on, and I couldn't even understand how many characters I was working with.
Dec 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teenscene
The setting of this book is like nothing else I've read. As a West-Coaster, before I read this I would have assumed Appalachia was a foreign country but NOPE it's in the US even if it does read like another country. I'd also read the Loretta Lynn biography around the same time and it was incredible to put these two books together to frame a place in the country I never really knew existed.

That said...

The book started with a bang (dead brother? intrigue!) then slowed down for a bit before I was r
Amalie Jahn
rated it it was amazing
Feb 14, 2019
rated it it was ok
Jan 13, 2019
Neelam Babul
rated it it was amazing
Feb 05, 2019
rated it really liked it
Nov 22, 2018
Susannah Smith White
rated it it was amazing
Feb 13, 2019
Ciara Alley
rated it really liked it
Jan 30, 2019
rated it liked it
Feb 03, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Feb 04, 2019
rated it it was ok
Jan 19, 2019
rated it it was ok
Jan 21, 2019
rated it liked it
Feb 12, 2019
Brenda-Lee Struthers
rated it really liked it
Feb 07, 2019
rated it it was ok
Jan 13, 2019
Kelly Hager
There are two stories here: the town and the opioid crisis, mixed with poverty and health problems, and the love story with Harlowe and Tennessee. I really enjoyed the first part; it was captivating and devastating. The love story aspect distracted me and, for me at least, seemed like it was thrown in because contemporary YA novels have to have a love story. (This is not true but it feels like some imprints and authors insist it is.)

I love the first aspect, though. You could feel the desperation
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