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Even If the Sky Falls

Even If the Sky Falls

3.8 5
by Mia Garcia

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One midsummer night. Two strangers. Three rules: No real names. No baggage. No phones. A whirlwind twenty-four-hour romance about discovering what it means to feel alive in the face of one of life’s greatest dangers: love.

Who would you be if you had one night to be anyone you want?

Volunteering in New Orleans was supposed to be a change, an


One midsummer night. Two strangers. Three rules: No real names. No baggage. No phones. A whirlwind twenty-four-hour romance about discovering what it means to feel alive in the face of one of life’s greatest dangers: love.

Who would you be if you had one night to be anyone you want?

Volunteering in New Orleans was supposed to be a change, an escape from the total mess Julie left at home and from her brother’s losing battle with PTSD. But building houses surrounded by her super-clingy team leader and her way-too-chipper companions has Julie feeling more trapped than ever. And she’s had enough.

In a moment of daring, Julie runs away, straight into the glitter, costumes, and chaos of the Mid-Summer Mardi Gras parade—and instantly connects with Miles, an utterly irresistible musician with a captivating smile and a complicated story of his own. And for once, Julie isn’t looking back. Together Julie and Miles decide to forget their problems and live this one night in the here and now. Wandering the night, they dance on roofs, indulge in beignets, share secrets and ghost stories under the stars, and fall in love. But when a Category Two hurricane changes course and heads straight for NOLA, their adventure takes an unexpected turn. And, suddenly, pretending everything is fine is no longer an option.

Richly evocative to the heart-racing end, Even If the Sky Falls is a swoon-worthy debut to indulge in to the very last note.

Editorial Reviews

“Garcia’s debut is a wrenching, high-stakes exploration of self-discovery. Readers of GayleForman, Sarah Dessen, and E. Lockhart will find themselves engaged by Julie’s quest.”
Elizabeth Eulberg
“A riveting page-turner about finding your true self in the midst of heartbreak and disaster, Mia García’s stunning debut is a reminder of how one night can change everything.”
Renee Ahdieh
“Wonderfully atmospheric writing, a setting to die for, and a whirlwind romance that takes my breath away. García has written a book to fall in love with!”
VOYA, June 2016 (Vol. 39, No. 2) - Matthew Weaver
Reeling from a tragedy involving her brother, who is newly returned from military duty, Julie flees her youth group’s volunteer house in New Orleans to get away from Tavis, whose romantic interests are not returned. In a spur of the moment decision, she decides to investigate Mardi Gras, where she meets up with an attractive, soulful young man. They agree to wander the celebration, and the city, together, without revealing each other’s names, going by “Lila” and “Miles.” What follows is a walking tour of New Orleans and the festival, as the two try to escape the present and deepen their connection over the course of twenty-four hours, but another hurricane is on the horizon, and if the new duo gets separated, they might not be able to find each other again. Debut author Garcia deserves a lot of credit for not resorting to the usual young adult tropes. Julie’s brother’s backstory is suitably tragic, but feels like a relatively unique take on the sibling who returns home from war. One of Miles’s buddies is gay, but does not come across as a token, although the story belongs to the couple falling in love. Miles and Lila have sex; refreshingly, Julie is not a virgin and Miles comes across as suitably experienced. Their romance never quite rises to be an epic love story, but readers witness two likable characters figuring out their hearts. Reviewer: Matthew Weaver; Ages 15 to Adult.
School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up—A fun and light summer read that is rife with Shakespearean references. Shipped off by her parents to New Orleans to help rebuild homes, Julia becomes fed up with her Christian youth group and the weight of problems she left back home. In a moment of inspiration, she decides to run away and join a midsummer Mardi Gras parade. Her decision to live in the moment leads her to an attractive and mysterious boy, whom she nicknames Miles. The two are immediately smitten, and slowly throughout the day they unload their burdens on each other, making a deeper connection. Their romance peaks as a hurricane descends on the city. Can their love survive even when nature itself is tearing them apart? In her debut novel, Garcia constructs a love story that captures the mysterious and beautiful spirit of New Orleans. The plot itself unravels like a hurricane, building and surging along with the storm. The story plateaus and tensions relax during the eye of the storm, but as quickly as the storm returns, so does the building action, which rages on until the final page. While underage drinking, discussion of sex, and a mild sex scene may make this book inappropriate for younger or more sensitive readers, it could be incorporated into a more mature teen book club, as it encourages discussions of post-traumatic stress, Shakespeare, and natural disasters. VERDICT Give to fans of Just One Day by Gayle Forman, Tempestuous by Kim Askew, or When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle.—Ellen Fitzgerald, White Oak Library District, Lockport, IL
Kirkus Reviews
During a summer service trip to New Orleans, Julie escapes from her church group and revels in Mid-Summer Mardi Gras for one magical, romantic night. In New Orleans volunteering with her church, Julie sneaks away to the French Quarter to get away from a too-flirtatious team leader. There, after seeing the crowd dressed for August's Mid-Summer Mardi Gras, she crafts an impromptu fairy costume and then finds herself drawn to a black banjo player with an electric-blue Afro and a killer smile. They decide to spend the evening together but without the burden of real names. He calls her Lila (which means "night" in Arabic), and she names him Miles (like the musicians Davis and Kane) as they head out to visit his favorite haunts around NoLa. As the night progresses, the two are so caught up with each other they don't realize a dangerous storm is headed their way. The author's rich descriptions of New Orleans make the vibrant city come alive, from the music and ghost stories to the vampire lore and delicious beignets. The steamy atmosphere reflects the heated chemistry between Julie and Miles. Throughout the night, the characters share secrets, discuss serious issues, and explore Julie's Puerto Rican background in addition to Miles' experiences as a multigenerational New Orleanian. A compelling 24-hour romance that's as charged as its New Orleans setting. (Romance. 14-18)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.10(d)
760L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 Years

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Even If the Sky Falls 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Though the plot can be a bit confusing it's a great book to read. It really shows what one special night can do to a person without being overrated.
tayberryjelly More than 1 year ago
Escapism can be a handy trick for those who want to temporarily get away from a bad situation or for those who merely need a change of scenery, often to a place glamorous, exciting and maybe even a little dangerous. Julie, the protagonist of Mia García’s debut novel Even If the Sky Falls, needs both. While on a church-sponsored community service trip to New Orleans, Julie slips away one night into the heart of the city, only to find herself thrown into the glittery midst of Mid-Summer Mardi Gras. When she meets a boy with electric blue hair that she feels an immediate spark with, Julie takes a chance to escape from the storm of her personal life. However, she soon finds herself in the path of a very different kind of storm. Gorgeously and lyrically written with a distinct voice, García’s debut is a whirlwind of a story, one of grief, escape and growth. Julie’s struggles with a brother suffering from PTSD following a military tour overseas and the isolation she feels at home jump off the page. So do her adventures with Miles and the rest of the boys in New Orleans, from late-night beignet binges to impromptu ghost tours. The most developed character in the novel was its setting: the vibrant, mystical, complicated city of New Orleans. Each scene and description of the city was handled with strong, rich descriptions that made the action of the place come alive. The scenes that took place in the heart of New Orleans were also the heart of this book. However, for the people that populated this setting, the level of development varied in success. García’s does feature a diverse cast, though, adding to the richness of the novel. Julie’s arc felt mostly complete, albeit rushed due to the idea of her having one night to get away. The novel leaves unanswered questions about many of the other characters, especially Miles and his friends, and even Tavis, the touchy-feely leader of Julie’s church service group. Just a few more lines of dialogue or a few more lines of description would have went a long way in elevating the characters to the same level of detail as the setting. The characters were strong and likable, but they left me wanting that little extra push to great. Another part of this well-written and emotionally spot-on book that left me wanting more were the frequent flashbacks to Julie’s past. Some felt too long, others too short and a few just right. It should be noted, however, that overall, García’s novel was well paced. The last fifty of pages or so felt rushed to a hasty conclusion, but other than that, the novel flowed flawlessly. While the scenes from Julie’s past came together to form an overall picture in the end, they had a hard time getting there and sometimes felt at odds with the present storyline. A little more clarity and build-up earlier on was needed to balance out some of the later, heavier past scenes, which were, however, rendered with extreme honesty, sincerity and care. The songs that were scattered throughout the novel also felt out of place. It was unclear how they related to the present or if they were Miles’ or someone else’s. They were well written, but some kind of marker or indication might have helped them slip better into the story. Overall, García’s novel is a great read and she's an author with a great style to watch out for in the future. For those who frequent New Orleans to those who are stranger to the city, the book is an adventure. Julie’s story is one worth reading, and I highly recommend it
Laura_at_125Pages More than 1 year ago
I wanted to read Even if the Sky Falls as first glance. I have mentioned before that I am a cover judger and this one is so very pretty! Then I read the synopsis and was hooked. A YA romance, but with a very unique setup. Two kids wanting to escape for a little bit and just be free. They decide for one night to live with no names, no back stories, and no promises. As Julie and Miles explore New Orleans they face more than just upset parents when a massive storm rolls in and threatens all that they have. I was hoping that this was not going to be another disappointment as my last YA romance read with a fantastic cover was lackluster. But, yay! Mia Garcia crafted a read that I really enjoyed and the pretty cover was just a bonus. I enjoyed the plot of Even if the Sky Falls. It was a unique look at an insta-love story that did not make me cringe. Everything made sense in the scope of the story and Julie was not “fixed” by meeting Miles. There was one tiny plot point with Julie and a hometown boy that was unneeded in the whole but it did not detract from my overall enjoyment. The writing of Mia Garcia was a pleasant surprise. She was able to combine a very diverse cast in a way where it was not screaming I’m different, it was just a part of the tale. She crafted a detailed story that really showcased the city as a character in its own right. Speaking of that, the world built was shiny and bright. The city of New Orleans was an impressive backdrop and the detail incorporated was impressive. The pacing was rapid as the main storyline takes place over one night. There were a few bumps in the timeline of the flashbacks, but not enough to damage the story. There were plenty of emotions throughout. Even though this was an instant attraction/love story, I found the emotional arc to be surprisingly complex and am glad the author used such a broad brush. The characters were, for the most part, great. I did really dislike the hometown and found his entire storyline to be a distraction to the whole. However, Julie and Miles were such strong characters that they were able to overshadow that whole useless bit well. As I mentioned before, there was a great deal of diversity in the cast and I loved that it felt so natural. Even if the Sky Falls was a success. I often find YA romances to be too sappy sweet or too annoying. In my advanced age, I have become jaded and even though I know it is fiction still can’t get over my insta-love hate. But Mia Garcia did such a phenomenal job in crafting a tale that was an actually believable YA love story that I couldn’t help but like it. The cast was enjoyable, the tale was able to flip between vastly different emotions quickly and the majority of the characters’ actions made sense in the context of the story. Mia Garcia has thoroughly impressed me with her debut and I cannot wait to see what she has in store for her next book. I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
book_junkee More than 1 year ago
I loved the premise of this book. I was excited for the promise of a swoony boy and leaving problems behind for a 24 hour slice of time. Right off the bat, I struggled with the back and forth of the chapters. At first didn't realize that it was supposed to be a time shift. There isn't a heading indicating anything and I'm guessing it's supposed to like Julia is rehashing the past in her mind, for me it didn't work. As for Julia, she was a bit meh. I didn't have a reason to root for her. The issues she has {which took way way way to long to be revealed} are horrible, but I didn't get the importance of them. I didn't feel it. Miles is okay, but definitely not was I was expecting. I kept reading because I was expecting something epic to happen. The city they're in, the circumstances, the history, it's all so amazing. Sadly, the story failed to carry that spark over. **Huge thanks to Katherine Tegen Books and Edelweiss for providing the arc in exchange for an honest review**
Cupcakegirly More than 1 year ago
*Brb, caught up in a hurricane of emotion and I'm not ready to come back down yet.* Sometimes a book sneaks up on you, kicks you in the feels and steals your heart all while making you laugh and swoon. That's what this book did to me. When I picked it up at 11:00 last night, I only expected to read a few pages. By 1:30a.m., I had to force myself to put it down. Because sleep. And kids. And life. When I picked it back up again today, I didn't stop until I reached the end. Then, I wanted to go back to the beginning and start all over again. I've never visited New Orleans, but Mia Garcia made me feel as though I was a character in the story, watching from the sidelines, covered in glitter and stuffing my face full of beignets. And Miles...Oh.My.Miles. Charismatic, witty, charming, and almost too cute for his own good, Miles is the kind of boy who makes you believe in love at first sight. He's sweet too, with a genuineness about him that makes it easy to see how Julie could get swept up into an adventure with him, even if only for a night. This book delivers a hearty kick in the feels; Julie and Miles are both dealing with issues, but Mia Garcia does a great job of weaving romance and humor into their story. It left me with a feeling of hope, new discoveries, and healing. Adventure. Romance. Diversity. Swoon. This book has a little of everything. Fans of Paula Stokes, Sarah Dessen, and Gayle Foreman will enjoy this. Read it.