If you found out that you have a life-threatening heart condition, would you get a pacemaker if it meant you’d live a longer life? What if you felt like the pacemaker would limit you to living just a shadow of a normal life? Would it be worth it to sacrifice some of your happiness if it would mean you’d make your loved ones happier by living longer?
That is the main question that Paisley Donovan ponders in Rebecca Yarros’s new release, Eyes Turned Skyward. I can’t say I have read many stories where I wonder if the main character will die on me (ahem, The Fault in Our Stars), but I was genuinely concerned about the sweet character Paisley. Yarros created an excellent character that was both strong and weak, brave and scared all at the same time. As the daughter of an Air Force General, it is no surprise that Paisley has some backbone, but what is surprising is that the bucket list she risks her life over is not filled with goals of her own. I won’t tell you whose goals she is trying to check off since that is would be a plot spoiler! However, I will say that while fulfilling an item on the list, Paisley nearly drowns after a drunk idiot tosses her in the ocean, ignoring Paisley’s protests that she can’t swim. Thankfully, Jagger Bateman, a tattooed “tough” guy, is able to rescue her before she dies. Jagger and Paisley have some serious chemistry, but Paisley is engaged to someone else so they part ways shortly after her rescue. A few months later though, Jagger and Paisley unexpectedly come face-to-face when Jagger becomes a flight school student on General Donovan’s base. Sparks fly again, but Paisley is still with her fiance who sees her as a delicate woman in need of cossetting due to her heart condition. The question is, will Paisley break up with her fiance and begin dating Jagger since he makes her feel alive? Will she ever tell Jagger about her heart condition? You’ll have to pick up this book to find out!
I received this book as an advanced reader from Entangled Publishing. As a whole, my eyes were glued to the page, but I must admit I was a little unsure if I would like it when I first started it. In my opinion, Jagger should have joined the navy because in the beginning of the novel, he swears more impressively than any sailor I’ve heard. His language almost took away my enjoyment of the unique, contemporary story line but his language improves as his character softens and falls in love with Paisley. Perhaps his character changed a bit too much to be 100% believable but you will have to read it to decide that for yourself!
P.S. Can I say how much I love the title? I love how skyward can be interpreted both as Paisley looking up in the sky as perhaps Jagger flies by or how it could reference her looking up to the heavens as she ponders her own mortality. Props to coming up with such an awesome book title!