Happy Thursday and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for THE SKY ABOVE US! I’m so excited because today I have an interview with Natalie Lund to share with you! This book is truly amazing and I’m so so excited to for you to find out more about it!
The Sky Above Us by Natalie Lund
Published by Philomel Books on April 13, 2021
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller
From the author of We Speak in Storms comes a twisty, psychological thriller about three friends searching for the truth in the aftermath of a plane crash.
The morning after their senior year beach party, Izzy, Cass, and Janie are woken by a thundering overhead. Then they and their classmates watch in shock as a plane crashes into the water. When the passengers are finally recovered, they are identified as Izzy's twin brother, Israel, Cass's ex-boyfriend, Shane, and Janie's best friend, Nate. But Izzy can feel when her brother is in pain, and she knows he's not really dead. So she, Cass, and Janie set out to discover what actually happened that day--and why the boys were on the plane.
Told in alternating timelines and points of view, this powerful and captivating novel follows the three boys in the weeks leading up to that fateful flight, and the girls they left behind as they try to piece together the truth about the boys they loved and thought they knew. A spellbinding story about the ripple effects of tragedy, the questions we leave unanswered, and the enduring power of friendship.
What would you do if you spent the day with izzy, cass, and janie? Where would you go to eat, hang out, relax, etc.?
In a pre-COVID world, I would probably have said we’d go to the movies to watch a summer blockbuster, enjoy the air conditioning, and eat movie snacks (Reese’s Pieces or Sour Patch Kids). But now, I think we’d ride the ferry back and forth between the mainland and the island to watch the dolphins play and enjoy the breeze.
If izzy, cass, and Janie were to hang out with characters from other books, who would they be and why?
I think El from The Scholomance series and Stevie from the Truly Devious series would make great additions to the trio. El and Izzy would get along well—because they’re both fierce and a little prickly. And Stevie, with her love of solving mysteries, could probably help the girls with their investigation and, perhaps, enlist their help in the world beyond the pages of this novel.
Would you rather be a superhero or a supervillain? And what would your powers and name be?
I’d rather be a superhero for sure. My first thought was that I’d like the ability to communicate with animals, but my husband called me Dr. Dolittle for that answer. I asked a friend what she thought and she said she’d have an empathy squirt gun that makes people’s hearts grow (metaphorically, of course), and doesn’t that really seem like something our world could use?
If you buried a time capsule with three items inside, what three items would you choose and why?
All three of my books :). Just kidding. I would bury Amanda Gorman’s poem, “The Hill We Climb,” because I think it would preserve the losses and triumphs of this past year and communicate hope to whomever needs it in the future. I’d also include my grandmother’s recipe for ginger snap cookies (written in her tiny cursive handwriting) because I want the people who open the capsule to feel the love. The final item would be a copy of oral histories from COVID-19. I’d want people in the future to hear stories of this time that represent a wide swath of experiences. I think it would be a lesson in sorrow, but also, I hope, in the beauty of human nature.
What was your favorite bit of research you ended up not using?
In my first draft, I had a character that I intended to be a reference to Arnold Friend from “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” by Joyce Carol Oates. I hadn’t read the story in over a decade, so I reread it as research. Ultimately, that character and his role were drastically rewritten. However, there might be a few remnants of Arnold Friend in The Sky Above Us that missed erasure. Bonus points if you find them.
What is your favorite quote, scene, or moment from the sky above us?
My favorite quote comes from the very end of the book. I don’t think sharing it spoils anything, but I want to give a SPOILER ALERT just in case: View Spoiler »
“I gesture at the sky above us, the ocean at our feet, the place where the boys left this life and became something new.”
« Hide SpoilerThis quote was originally the final line of the book, and, as you can tell, is also how I came up with the title.
Natalie Lund is young adult author and a former middleand high school teacher. She graduated from Purdue University’s MFA program, where she taught introductory composition and creative writing and also served as the fiction editor of The Sycamore Review. Her debut novel, WE SPEAK IN STORMS, is on sale September 3, 2019.Natalie is a member of SCBWI and is represented by Sarah Davies of Greenhouse Literary Agency. She lives in Chicago with her husband and a very photogenic cat. Youcan follow her on Twitter or Instagram @nmlund.
What do you think about The Sky Above Us? Have you added it to your tbr yet? Let me know in the comments and have a splendiferous day!