Life's too short to play it safe...
Since her sister's death, twenty-year-old Paisley Donovan has been treated like delicate glass by her parents. She may share her sister's heart condition, but nothing will stop her from completing her Bucket List, even if it kills her. And it almost does, until Jagger Bateman pulls her from the ocean and breathes more than air into her lungs—he sets her soul on fire.
Jagger is enrolled in the country's toughest flight school. He's wickedly hot, reckless, and perfect for a girl looking to live life to the fullest. Except that Paisley is the commanding general's daughter, and her boyfriend is Jagger's biggest rival. Now Paisley must decide just how much to risk for a guy who makes her heart pound a little too hard.
They're flying through dangerous territory—and one wrong move could make them crash and burn...
Flight&Glory Book 1: Full Measures
Flight&Glory Book 2: Eyes Turned Skyward
Flight&Glory Book 3: Beyond What is Given
Flight&Glory Book 4: Hallowed Ground
About the Author
Rebecca Yarros is a hopeless romantic and lover of all things chocolate, coffee, and Paleo. In addition to being a mom, military wife, and blogger, she can never choose between Young Adult and New Adult fiction, so she writes both. She's a graduate of Troy University, where she studied European history and English, but still holds out hope for an acceptance letter to Hogwarts. Her blog, The Only Girl Among Boys, has been voted the Top Military Mom Blog the last two years, and celebrates the complex issues surrounding the military life she adores. When she's not writing, she's tying on hockey skates for her kids, or sneaking in some guitar time. She is madly in love with her army-aviator husband of eleven years, and they're currently stationed in Upstate NY with their gaggle of rambunctious kiddos and snoring English Bulldog, but she would always rather be home in Colorado.
Read an Excerpt
Eyes Turned Skyward
By Rebecca Yarros, Karen Grove
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2014 Rebecca Yarros
All rights reserved.
22. Ditch responsibilities and head to the beach.
Breathe and drop the towel. That's what people did at the beach, right? They wore swimsuits and didn't hide behind enormous beach towels. You can do this. I could be fierce. I used to be, I just had to remember how.
I sucked the humid Florida air past my lips, tasting salt from the ocean. My heart skipped, and I gripped the towel tighter.
"She was afraid to come out of the locker. She was afraid that somebody would see," Morgan sang next to me, her southern drawl even more pronounced than mine.
"You hush up," I whispered. I was embarrassed enough without her making a scene.
"You promised, Paisley." Morgan tugged at the towel, but I held firm.
I swallowed, trying to keep lunch in my stomach. "I know, and I'll do it. I just need a minute."
Her exaggerated sigh did nothing to calm my nerves. "It's just a bathing suit."
"It's a bikini, Morgan, which is most definitely not just a bathing suit." I dug my toes into the white sand.
"You've got an amazing body. I don't know why this is such a big deal." She adjusted her sunglasses and pulled back her ebony hair, her towel long since replaced by unwavering confidence. I may have agreed to a two-piece, but my boy shorts and a halter-style tankini top covered a heck of a lot more than Morgan's triangle confection. "Look, it's our one day away from everything before classes start. This was your idea."
"Right." Yes, one day of wildness, freedom, where I wasn't just a Donovan. Besides, the beach was the easiest box to check on the bucket list, and I was down to 231 days.
"Paisley, no one cares who you are here or what you're wearing. There are no expectations but your own, just another college girl at the beach. Pretend you're not ... you know ... you." She waved her hand at me. "Now drop that towel before I pitch a fit."
Pretend. Yeah, I could do that. Deep breath. I straightened my posture like Mama was watching and let go of the towel like she wasn't. Now, if only I could have shed my inhibitions with it. Morgan nodded with approval, and we headed toward a group of acquaintances from school.
"Hey, y'all!" Morgan called, laying out our beach towels at the edge of the group. I gave a small smile and wave, then turned down a beer, which Morgan claimed. By the looks of it, they'd all been drinking for a while. I sprawled out on my towel and debated wrapping myself in it. I was never allowed to be this exposed at home. What would people think? Mama's voice burrowed through the sunshine.
I ran my finger down the line of my sternum. No, I'd bare this little bit of skin while it was still pretty, before I let the surgeons get their hands on it. And really, it didn't matter what the outside of my body looked like, not when it was failing from the inside.
"You're going to burn that fair skin of yours," Morgan lectured, handing me a bottle of SPF 90. I thought twice, then slipped off my purple watch, stashing it away before slathering the lotion everywhere I could reach. I didn't want it to get all oily.
Oh, now that was a lie. I just didn't want to wear the darn thing.
"You blondes always seem to burn faster." A deep voice spoke from behind me.
I craned my head and lowered my sunglasses. The guy looked like every other college-aged guy I saw, nothing special or descriptive. Maybe being with Will blinded me to other guys, but I certainly didn't get the hormonal rushes Morgan cooed about.
Crud. He was waiting for a response. Don't embarrass Morgan. I gave an easy smile. "Sunscreen saves the day."
Sunscreen saves the day? Kill me now.
He gave me the "Wow, you're a total dork" look I knew well but masked it with a smile. "Right. Can I ... uh ... get your back for you?"
"I'd rather you didn't," I answered, shorter than I meant to.
"Oh, okay?" he said and quickly retreated.
Morgan's sigh reminded me how bad I was at this socializing stuff. "Just because you're pretty much married to Will doesn't mean a guy can't put sunscreen on you."
"Being together for a year isn't married, but I'm not about to let a stranger put his hands on me."
She spread the lotion across my back, careful to cover me completely. "I know, darlin'. How is it being in the same town with him?"
It took me a second to mull that over. "It's nice. I'm still getting used to seeing him more than a couple days every few months."
"Well, y'all rocked that long-distance stuff." She motioned to my Kindle. "Just don't forget about the real world, okay?" She gawked past me to a crowd of guys playing Ultimate Frisbee near the surf. "Like that piece of eye candy!"
I peeked to see what had her drooling like a hound. "You know, there's more to a man than how he looks. You have to know what's—"
Sweet Lord, have mercy.
My Kindle hit the sand with my jaw. I'd never seen a man so beautiful, so raw in energy, or so ... delicious looking. He stood easily over six feet tall and had no problem leaping for the Frisbee. His blue board shorts hung low on his hips, and his chest was beautifully bare, colored in tattoos that stretched across his abdomen, half his chest, and down one arm. The Florida sun caressed the line of his carved abs, giving him a fine sheen of perspiration that made his skin glow.
His blond hair was cut close, but long enough to wave, and it framed a gorgeous face. Strong nose, angular lines of his cheekbones, a solid chin, and oh ... dimples in his cheeks when he grinned. He belonged on a beach. I halfway expected to find a label on him that said "Mr. California." He looked laid-back, even by Florida standards.
My heartbeat sped up, my lips parted, and my hands itched to touch him. Heck, I was shocked my thighs hadn't popped open of their own volition. What color were his eyes? I couldn't tell from this distance, and maybe that saved me from the utter disgrace of admitting that I was attracted to someone other than my boyfriend.
I couldn't remember the last time I'd seen someone and simply ... wanted, but I sure did now.
Mr. California's eyes focused on us when Morgan whistled through her fingers.
"Morgan!" I hissed.
"Oh, lighten up, Lee. I whistled; I didn't drop his pants. Not that I'd mind that."
Heat raced through my cheeks, not because her suggestion embarrassed me but because in that second I envisioned myself sliding those board shorts down over his hips and—No! What on earth was wrong with me?
Will. Will. Will. I forced his face to my mind, his close-cropped brown hair, his gentle, amber-colored eyes. Yes, Will. Not golden beach god over there.
"You could say hi, Lee," Morgan suggested. "Flirting never hurt anyone."
"No, thank you." First, I wouldn't do that to Will. Second, what would I even say to someone like that? Hi, I'm Paisley. I'm twenty years old, and my heart is a ticking time bomb. Want to be friends? I thought not.
"There's Luke! Do you want to hop on the WaveRunners with us?" Morgan asked, waving back at a guy near the water.
"I'd rather not. There's a red flag out." Hence a giant vat of death just hankering to swallow me whole.
"That one's just the warning; the beach isn't closed or anything."
"I'm just not a fan of the water."
"Okay, well, I'm getting your feet in the water sometime today, spoilsport!" She took off with a smile and a wave.
I snuck a glance over at Mr. California, who was surrounded by at least four different bikini-clad girls. It was no surprise; boys like that attracted attention. Heck, I was happy with Will, but Mr. California had my attention, too.
I sighed. There would be no reading if staring at him was an option. I traded my Kindle for my hot-pink sarong and stood, wrapping it around my waist.
The pier jutted out over the crystal blue-green water, and I wandered over to it, keeping my eyes fixed in front of me and not on the Frisbee players. That would never be me, running up and down the beach for fun. I couldn't run like that if my life depended on it. Actually, my life depended on me not running.
A fresh wave of heat wafted off the wooden boards of the pier before a gust of wind took it away. My sarong billowed out behind me as I explored, entranced by the rhythm of the waves.
When I reached the middle of the deserted pier, I leaned on the railing, my hair whipping me in the face and sticking to my lip balm.
Someone touched my bare shoulder. I turned, pulling my hair off my face. It was one of the guys from Morgan's group. He was massive and scared the daylights out of me when he swayed, obviously drunk, and nearly knocked me over. "You're Lee, right?" he slurred, his eyes vague.
"Morgan told me to get your feet wet." He bent down and plucked me right off my feet. Ugh. He smelled like a brewery.
My muscles stiffened in protest, and I pushed away from him. "I'd really rather not. I'm fixin' to go read. Could you please put me down?" I tried to be polite, but when he started for the other side of the pier, panic set in.
"She said you'd say anything to get outta going in the water." He laughed, his drawl sounding more sloshed than southern.
"Please, don't!" I cried out, shoving away from him in earnest.
"Oh, come on now, it's just a little water. You can fix your hair once you're out." He leaned his head over the side of the pier, and my eyes popped wide at the twenty-foot drop. "This looks faster than walking over to the beach, doesn't it?"
"No!" I screamed, throwing everything my five-foot-two frame had against his concrete arms. "No! No! No!" I kicked, thrashing in his arms, but there was no give. My heart pounded and my throat closed up.
He laughed, like this was some kind of joke. "Aw, girl, you know you'll love it once we're in! You go first."
He climbed up onto the rail, and I had to say it—keeping this embarrassing secret was going to get me killed. "Please! I can't swim!"
He wouldn't stop laughing as he swayed unpredictably, leaning over toward the water.
"No, really, I can't!" I stopped fighting and started clinging. He wouldn't drop me over. He wouldn't. Things like this didn't really happen.
His hands gripped my waist and pulled me away from him. "In you go!" It seemed effortless to him, taking away my last vestige of safety, and he tossed me into the air.
Everything stilled. My heart ceased its beat as I was airborne. The fall took forever and was over before I could blink.
I screamed the whole way down.
Cold water engulfed me, and didn't let go. The impact stole the air from my lungs, and I clung to what was left, fighting the instant urge to suck in. I sank, my head far beneath the surface, but I was scared to open my eyes. My feet hit bottom with a soft impact, and I pushed up with every ounce of strength I had, clawing at the water. Momentum brought me to the surface, and as I broke it, I gulped in a breath and screamed for help.
The next wave smothered my cry, hurling me under in a twisted death grip. My body was jerked in the opposite direction of where I wanted to go. Salt water burned my nose. I kicked viciously, reaching for the surface. Where was it? I flipped over again. And again.
No surface. No air. Where was it?
My heart raced in a dangerous beat, too fast. Way too fast. If I wasn't going to drown, I was going to have a heart attack. But I still have 231 days!
A wave swept me to the surface, and I flung my head back, desperate for air. I spent a precious second pulling the hair from my mouth to get to the sweet oxygen and took a gasping breath. I couldn't manage a scream before I was swept down again, my mouth full of seawater.
The urge to breathe in overwhelmed every other thought, but I couldn't do it. I swept my hands up, trying to get to air, but the wave wasn't bringing me up this time. No, another one came, knocking me farther down. My chest was going to burst if I didn't let the pressure go. It would be so easy just to let it go. I'm going to die out here.
It was supposed to be peaceful, right? Drowning? This wasn't peaceful. This was terrifying, and it hurt. I wasn't giving in that easily or drowning because some drunk boy threw me into the ocean. Mama wouldn't survive it. Peyton would have fought ... if she'd had that chance.
Her face brought me the fight I needed, those green eyes that mirrored my own. I kicked harder, aiming for the sparkling surface above. Kick harder, Paisley. Don't give up. Not now. I heard her voice; lack of oxygen was shutting down my brain. It wouldn't be long before my reflexes took over and I either lost consciousness or sucked in a lungful of the Gulf of Mexico.
Another wave assaulted me, stealing the last bit of oxygen from my lungs. There was nothing ... left. Which direction was up? Where ... was I? Don't breathe in ... don't ...
I heard my mother's voice, but that was impossible, right? "Paisley, stop that nonsense. Peyton will always be older. That's never going to change. When you're six, she'll be eight. When you're sixteen, she'll be eighteen. Even when she's eighty-two, she'll be older."
"No, she won't. She'll be dead."
The wave tossed me into the pier, and I felt the impact on my shoulder before my head struck the wood.
Then I felt nothing.CHAPTER 2
One day I'm not going to fail, and it's going to shock the hell out of you.
Holy shit. Did that guy just throw that pretty little blonde off the pier?
I ditched the redhead in my arms and jumped the last two stairs onto the deck. Run. My strides consumed the distance to the railing where she'd gone over, my arms pumping furiously. Get there. Faster.
The asshole had thrown her into the water when she'd begged him not to. What the fuck was he thinking? Goose bumps erupted over my skin as she screamed, the sound tearing through me long after the water covered her.
I shoved the juicehead out of my way as he stood there gawking like he hadn't been the one to drop her twenty feet to the ocean. The waves weren't fucking around today, obscuring the normally clear water. I climbed the railing and balanced on the edge, scanning the water. Come on, Little Bird, where are you?
Her blond hair popped above the surface for a priceless second before a wave dragged her under again, but it was long enough for her to cry out.
"Get help!" I shouted at the fumbling idiot, whose slack-jawed expression suggested he might finally understand what he'd done.
Stepping out into nothing, my arms circled to slow my impact. A deep breath, and I cut into the water, submerging with brutal force.
I scanned around me fruitlessly before I had to get to the surface and breathe. One breath later, a wave came in and pushed me toward the beach, away from where I'd seen her. The hell with that. I wasn't leaving without her.
The salt water scraped my eyes as I dove, kicking deeper. There she is! Limp, her arms semi-raised, her hair floated in a morbid halo, the blond catching the light from the sun through the water. Fuck. I was not too late. I refused to fail. Not in this.
I swam down to her, looped one arm around her waist, and kicked furiously for the surface, my lungs burning. Give me skates and ice and I'd decimate everyone, but I was mediocre in the water. Mediocrity wasn't something I handled well.
We burst through to the air. I rolled onto my back, pulled her face up onto my chest, and kicked for the shore. A wave washed over us, sending water rushing up my nose, but I brought us back to the surface, keeping my arm like a vise around her. She wasn't breathing, but she wasn't too blue yet.
My legs caught the material of her skirt, and I untied the knot at her waist, letting it wash away. A few dozen sure, solid kicks later, we reached where the waves stopped fighting us and instead pushed us closer to the shore. Just another minute. She could make it another minute.
Stark relief gutted me when my feet touched the sand. I lifted her into my arms, trying to keep her head balanced against my shoulder. Still not fucking breathing.
Excerpted from Eyes Turned Skyward by Rebecca Yarros, Karen Grove. Copyright © 2014 Rebecca Yarros. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Holy. Wow. I make no secret of the fact it takes a lot to hook me into a romance book, and even more for me to adore one as much as I loved Eyes Turned Skyward. Because holy crap, this book <3 I'm seriously in love with Jagger, and I enjoyed Paisley's journey as well. Even their friends and how those relationships changed and grew over time were absolutely enjoyable. I'm so excited there are more books coming, and a first one already out! I didn't know this was part of a series until I finished it. Basically, Paisley and Jagger's journey in this book was great. I loved the humor, the love, the heart break, and the moments between Jagger and Paisley's dad. Those side moments, the quick ones so small you might miss them if skimming the book, those were as great as the bigger, more moving moments. I just loved this book, and will be checking out the first and rest of this series! 5/5 stars.
Wow again!! I thought the first one blew my mind but this one just tugged at Me! It was outstanding! So sexy and sweet. Loved it!
On to the next book in the series. Just loving this series because each book so far has been wonderful reads. Characters are fully developed and engaging. Sizzling chemistry and romance.
Eyes Turned Skyward is another wonderful installment in the Flight and Glory series. Jagger and Paisley’s story was a slow burn to an explosive climax and Rebecca skillfully managed the buildup, balancing laugh out loud humor with deeply felt heartache. Jagger is book boyfriend perfection with his loyalty, his passion and his desire to fully embrace life on his own terms and I really appreciate that Rebecca writes strong female heroines who know how to stand on their own and who look for partners who will support and enhance them as individuals rather than fix their problems. As in Full Measures, the supporting characters were outstanding, pulling from the history of the previous book but also enhancing the current story and paving the way for events yet to unfold. I am looking forward to seeing what is in store for Grayson as he meets his match!
Another must read by Yarros. Great characters, wonderful writing style.
This is the first book I've read of this author. Had to hold back the tears several times. You will absolutely love Paisley and Jagger story.
Such a great beautiful well written story.
Couldn't put it down!
Omg!!! This book is amazing!! So much love and passion between the characters. I couldn't put this book down such a touching story! Definitely a must read!
Love, love, love this story. Oh, the characters just grab you right up, from beginning to end. Could not put this down and was flipping pages quickly. I can not wait to read more from this author. So many emotions too. Ugh, you may need some tissues now and then, but other parts will have you ready to throw the book across the room (please don't, just keep reading)! I'll be recommending this story, well heck I have already started, but you know what I mean.
" If it's between being numb the rest of my life or burning exquisitely for even a moment, I'll take the burn. The best things in life are worth the burn, the risk." Rebecca Yarros has knocked this one out of the park for me. In Eyes Turned Skyward, Ms Yarros has written another heartfelt, touching story. Although this book does have some characters out of Full Measures, this can be read as a standalone, but I loved Full Measures so much, I would recommend you read that book as well. As with the characters in Full Measures, Paisley and Yagger immediately grabbed my attention and didn't let go. Their story was full of raw emotion, intense passion and poignant life situations that remind you of how precious life is and how we should all live life to the fullest. It reminds you to hold your loved ones close, treasure the details and live your life for you and not be pushed into living by someone else's guidelines. "I may be little, but I am fierce, and I'm going to live every day remembering that........I'm so sick of accepting anything less." Even though the characters were young adult, they were mature and real. Because of their life experiences, they were emotionally wise beyond their years, and it showed in their decision making and dialogue. I connected easily with both Paisley and Jagger and felt every tense moment, every spark of desire, every heartbeat and intake of breath as their story unfolded. I was right there in every moment. The added secrets and twists kept me fully engaged in the outcome of this story, giving more depth and emotional connection. Each had their own secrets, each their own demons and each their own history that brought them together in the most unlikely of circumstances. "I was everything she didn't need; self destructive, egotistical, and reckless. But damn if she didn't feel like what I needed. Even only as friends, I'd take whatever piece of her I could get." As their past was gradually revealed you cannot help but get caught up in their story and how it played out in the formation of their relationship. I loved how their relationship developed and I loved how they loved each other. They were perfectly matched and complimented each other beautifully. "I may have saved you but you're the one who breathes for me every day." Meeting some of the characters from Full Measures tied these two books together and the rest of the supporting cast added to the overall plot. I would really love to read more about this friendship group. There are some more stories that are begging to be told for sure. I cannot say enough how much I loved this book and am looking forward to reading whatever Rebecca writes next.
Ms. Yarros is a new favorite author- this one had it all! Great story, well written, characters that are well developed & you care about. This series is so very good, just please write faster!
WOW!! I loved Full Measures and I was so excited to see Book 2, this book was fantastic. The story was original and had surprises. I am not going to spoil anything or give to much away, just buy it and read it.
When I picked up Rebecca Yarros' first book, Full Measures, back in early 2014, I fell in love. Her writing, characters and the emotions she pulled from me made her an easy addition to my "auto-buy" author list. I waited (semi-patiently) to see what she would give readers next. The short answer? Another hit. Eyes Turned Skyward is a companion novel, of sorts, to Full Measures. I didn't know this going in, but it made me even happier because I got glimpses of Josh and Ember, characters I loved so very much in the first book. But, the real stars of this book were Paisley and Jagger. Oh, and how I loved them. They were both truly spectacular characters on their own, but when together, magical. My heart ached for Paisley with the loss of her sister and the fact that she herself might not have that much longer to live. I understood that she wanted to live each moment to the fullest, even if I didn't understand why she was choosing to do some of the things she did until later. She was easy to connect with and even easier to love. It's obvious things weren't going that well with her boyfriend. He treated her like she was far too fragile. She knew her reality. She didn't need him reinforcing it. She wanted love and passion. Enter Jagger. Holy mother of all swoony book boyfriends. He was precisely what she needed and everything she probably shouldn't want. After he saved her life, they became friends, but there was an underlying attraction trying to bubble to the surface. And when it did? Explosive. You don't go into reading a book about a young woman with a serious heart condition and think you're going to find a light, fluffy book. I knew this one would potentially wreck my life, and at the very least punch me in the feels a few times. It was a total roller coaster. There were laugh out loud funny moments, passionate and sexy romantic moments, and sob quietly into your iPad moments. I went through all the emotions. I felt every feel. I can't recommend this book – and Full Measures – highly enough. Nothing I can say in review can do justice to the gorgeous writing, incredible characters and the pure emotion in Rebecca's books. If you're a fan of new adult contemporary romance, you should be reading these books. I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
So this book is not part of a series but we meet some of the characters in Rebecca Yarros's other book Full Measures . This is my second Rebecca Yarros book and I have to say that she is making some positive waves in this NA genre. Her stories are emotionally angst filled story with heart and substance. Jagger has a dream, to be a helicopter pilot of an Apache and he doesn't need any distractions, so he vows off all women. But on a day before the start of flight school he finds himself saving a drowning girl who forever changes his world. Paisley is living each day as a borrowed day so she tries to make her way through her bucket list before its too late. She has overbearing parents and a boyfriend but craves 'life' so much. After getting thrown into the ocean and saved by some mysterious man she starts to want different things but it is easier to stay safe than risky. As luck would have it Jagger and Paisley find their paths crossed causing them to become friends, but this friendship is full of electricity. This spark is a gift and a curse for this duo but can't be resisted. Finally we get to see Paisley and Jagger together but their journey won't be an easy one because they are both keeping BIG secrets, so big the secrets aren't revealed to one another for basically three quarters of the book, which I have to admit at times got me a bit frustrated but when the secrets came out and the emotions were at the peak my heart started to break for these two. Choices are important but sometimes we can make the bad choice and have to pay the consequences. Does Paisley make the safe choice or the right choice? So many heavy variables are laid on Paisley to make the right choice causing her to lash out and push people away to unburden others. Thankfully Jagger ignores this and fights for his dreams which are now changing since he met Paisley. For Jagger and Paisley they learn that taking risks are important if they want their 'forever'. This was an emotionally charged NA book with depth, heartache and love. I did like this book and my fingers are crossed that we'll get to read more from Rebecca Yarros, hopefully the next books will be on Will then Grayson. Hmmmmm, just at thought.
Liked it a lot.
Love love love!!
My Thoughts: When I picked this one up, I knew it would be a somewhat heavy and intense read with the medical issues (and control issue due to them) at play. I just had no idea the kind of intense it would be--how emotional and touching. Paisley has a heart condition--one that killed her sister--and she's bound and determined to do all these things her sister wanted to do. After Jagger saves her life and they become friends, it's only a matter of time before their attraction becomes too much. They share an extremely hot kiss (like a real fan yourself kiss), bringing Paisley to a crossroads. There's still the boyfriend, Will, in the picture, and he's not willing to just go away. However, Paisley wants to live her life as she chooses. Unfortunately, her heart condition could always come to the surface and ruin whatever choice she makes. Eyes Turned Skyward is an absolutely heartwarming and beautiful read. Paisley and Jagger together are something inspirational--Paisley, so full of life and tenacious, and Jagger, willing to become a better person and becoming one. All I can say is, hellooooo swoon when it comes to him. After the wonder of this book, reading the other novel by Rebecca Yarros, Full Measures, is definitely higher up on my priority list. My Rating: Exceptional