Saturday 19 September 2015

Book Review: Sky's Fireworks by Cynthia Bruner

Last Updated: 21 May 2021

Sky's Fireworks by Cynthia Bruner book cover

AD* | Sky has one more chance to make her happily-ever-after happen, and the only thing that could stop her is the perfect man standing by her side.

Since she was a child Sky Fischer has known she’s destined to marry her next-door neighbour Kevin, but he hasn’t realised it - yet. This Fourth of July, Kevin’s back in town and Sky’s found a brilliant way to get his attention. She’s brought co-worker Boone along to act as her boyfriend. But Kevin is oblivious, her brothers are determined to chase away her suitors, and worst of all, Boone might be a little too perfect for his role. What if the future she’s been planning isn’t right for her?

I've never been to Montana. I've never experienced the Fourth of July celebrations. I've never even been to America. Yet having read this book, I feel as though I've done all those things.

The story is set in the fictional Willow, one of those stereotypical small American towns that literature seems to love. Coming from an entirely different background, the whole concept of knowing everyone in your town and all coming together for holidays is completely alien to me. Over here we nod politely to our neighbours and maybe exchange small talk on occasion, but apart from that we maintain our distance and live our lives privately because we're British, dammit.

Small Town Life

Still, Bruner has managed to capture the essence of what I imagine small-town life to be like. The whole town is like one big extended family, and everyone has a sense of belonging. I can just picture celebrating the Fourth of July in a town like Willow, where everyone comes together and joins in to enjoy the holiday together. Fireworks, dancing, and cowboys abound, yet in the middle of it all is Sky.

As the main character, Sky is good. But she's also really, really blind to what's right in front of her. The basic premise is that Sky wants to get with Kevin (her childhood crush), so she brings along her co-worker Boone to make Kevin notice her and get jealous. I found that a bit weird in itself (what good would a fake boyfriend do?) but I was willing to accept it.

All's well and good till we meet Kevin. In short, Kevin's a douche. He's a slimy salesman with an alcohol problem and no respect for women. But, of course, Sky can't see that because she's still hung up on the star receiver and MVP that he used to be. On the other hand, Boone is Kevin's polar opposite. He's a computer geek with a penchant for long bike rides, who - shock, horror - is actually a really sweet guy.

The Wrong Man

So what happens? Sky spends the entirety of the story chasing after the wrong man while the right man is under her nose. That should be endearing, but in reality, it's just kind of frustrating. It was a case of the sooner she realised, the better, in my opinion. And unfortunately, it took far too long to get there too.

I should also mention that Sky's Fireworks is a novella, so if you're looking for a more substantial read this probably isn't the book for you. Still, I read it over two days, so it's perfect for a light-hearted summer story. I just wish I'd had the opportunity to read it back in July!

Rating: 3 stars

Sky's Fireworks is available to buy now (paid link; commission earned).

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* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review 

Will you be reading Sky's Fireworks? Let me know in the comments below!

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