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In trying to reunite with her mother, Winston discovers the many meanings of family and finds friendship in an unexpected place in this coming-of-age novel from the author of Waiting, which Kirkus Reviews, in a starred review, called "exceptional" and Glimpse, which Booklist called "gripping." Life is just fine for fourteen-year-old Winston. She loves her dog, Thelma, and a In trying to reunite with her mother, Winston discovers the many meanings of family and finds friendship in an unexpected place in this coming-of-age novel from the author of Waiting, which Kirkus Reviews, in a starred review, called "exceptional" and Glimpse, which Booklist called "gripping." Life is just fine for fourteen-year-old Winston. She loves her dog, Thelma, and although she never knew her dad, and her mom left ten years ago in search of Hollywood fame, Winston has family with Nanny, who is in her forties, and that doesn't even make her old. But a "just fine" life gets a lot more exciting when a letter arrives from Skye Harper, aka Judith Fletcher, aka Winston’s mother. She needs help, and Nanny says the best way to give it is to take a cross-country road trip—in a "borrowed" motor home—to go find Mama once and for all. Winston’s not so sure about this plan, but with a cute stowaway named Steve along for company and an adventure on the horizon, this is sure to be a summer to remember.


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In trying to reunite with her mother, Winston discovers the many meanings of family and finds friendship in an unexpected place in this coming-of-age novel from the author of Waiting, which Kirkus Reviews, in a starred review, called "exceptional" and Glimpse, which Booklist called "gripping." Life is just fine for fourteen-year-old Winston. She loves her dog, Thelma, and a In trying to reunite with her mother, Winston discovers the many meanings of family and finds friendship in an unexpected place in this coming-of-age novel from the author of Waiting, which Kirkus Reviews, in a starred review, called "exceptional" and Glimpse, which Booklist called "gripping." Life is just fine for fourteen-year-old Winston. She loves her dog, Thelma, and although she never knew her dad, and her mom left ten years ago in search of Hollywood fame, Winston has family with Nanny, who is in her forties, and that doesn't even make her old. But a "just fine" life gets a lot more exciting when a letter arrives from Skye Harper, aka Judith Fletcher, aka Winston’s mother. She needs help, and Nanny says the best way to give it is to take a cross-country road trip—in a "borrowed" motor home—to go find Mama once and for all. Winston’s not so sure about this plan, but with a cute stowaway named Steve along for company and an adventure on the horizon, this is sure to be a summer to remember.

30 review for Signed, Skye Harper

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    While the 70's really aren't that long ago Signed, Skye Harper has a historical fiction feel to it. References to General Hospital and music from that decade are scattered through the story. I like road trip stories and did enjoy this fast paced entertaining tale but it won't make it on a list of favorite reads. The chapters were very short which kept the story-line moving and kept me interested. The characters were quirky but likable. I thought his was well written and it had a unique feel that While the 70's really aren't that long ago Signed, Skye Harper has a historical fiction feel to it. References to General Hospital and music from that decade are scattered through the story. I like road trip stories and did enjoy this fast paced entertaining tale but it won't make it on a list of favorite reads. The chapters were very short which kept the story-line moving and kept me interested. The characters were quirky but likable. I thought his was well written and it had a unique feel that made it standout from many of the books I read that tend to blend together. Rating: 3.5 Stars - Good Book Content: mild language, nothing graphic but some content that might not be appropriate for younger readers as they discuss big breasts, sex, etc. Source: Ebook Review Copy

  2. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Fitzgerald

    Jumped ship and did not finish. Just couldn’t get into this one; the author’s writing style put me off.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Disclaimer: I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. My Summary: Set in the 1970's, Signed, Skye Harper follows fourteen-year-old Winston Fletcher as she discovers that the mother who left her ten years ago to become an actress is alive and in need of help. Together with her grandmother Nanny and Steve - the son of the owner of the RV - they set out for Las Vegas to find Winston's mother and bring her home. My Thoughts: Although this novel Disclaimer: I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. My Summary: Set in the 1970's, Signed, Skye Harper follows fourteen-year-old Winston Fletcher as she discovers that the mother who left her ten years ago to become an actress is alive and in need of help. Together with her grandmother Nanny and Steve - the son of the owner of the RV - they set out for Las Vegas to find Winston's mother and bring her home. My Thoughts: Although this novel was set in the 1970's, it felt as if I was reading a modern coming-of-age story. Winston was an extremely relatable character, and the situations addressed by the author have a timeless quality about them; first loves and forgiveness as well as second chances and absentee parents combine to make this a novel that could be set in any time period and still .resonate with readers. I really liked the cover, and I feel that it fits well with the story. The colours and model's expression in the picture reflect the overall atmosphere of the novel as well as Winston's uncertainty about the trip, her mother, and growing up. I also really enjoyed the humour, and the little moments here and there that made you stop and think. I'll definitely be on the lookout for more by Carol Lynch Williams! Final Thoughts: I recommend this novel to younger fans of contemporary literature as well as fans of romance and family-oriented novels.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    I won't go so far as to say there's anything actually wrong with this book, and while I loved the first book I read by Williams (The Chosen One) it's basically been down hill from there...In this case, the language drove me absolutely bonkers (trying a little too hard to sound innocent/backwoods hick) and I can only tolerate an 8 yr. old sounding 15 yr old frequently referring to her bosoms before wanting to windup & give a book the old heave-ho. If that makes mean, well that's okay. I won't go so far as to say there's anything actually wrong with this book, and while I loved the first book I read by Williams (The Chosen One) it's basically been down hill from there...In this case, the language drove me absolutely bonkers (trying a little too hard to sound innocent/backwoods hick) and I can only tolerate an 8 yr. old sounding 15 yr old frequently referring to her bosoms before wanting to windup & give a book the old heave-ho. If that makes mean, well that's okay.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Brianna

    This book was just not great to be honest. It was really fast-paced and I found the 70s vibe kind of cute, but the writing style was just not great. Seemed really try-hard and I couldn’t connect with the main character at all. Also, the love interest was not likeable in my opinion, and there were some sort of questionable/problematic things he did, that I was not okay with. A lot of this plot just made no logical sense, so unfortunately I was not the biggest fan. I honestly only finished this bo This book was just not great to be honest. It was really fast-paced and I found the 70s vibe kind of cute, but the writing style was just not great. Seemed really try-hard and I couldn’t connect with the main character at all. Also, the love interest was not likeable in my opinion, and there were some sort of questionable/problematic things he did, that I was not okay with. A lot of this plot just made no logical sense, so unfortunately I was not the biggest fan. I honestly only finished this book because it was such an easy and quick read. Otherwise I wouldn’t have spent the time to read this.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lydia Hephzibah

    A good younger YA contemporary set in 70s florida. The book didn't deal with the road trip to Vegas nearly as much as I thought it would, and it felt a bit distant despite being 1st person A good younger YA contemporary set in 70s florida. The book didn't deal with the road trip to Vegas nearly as much as I thought it would, and it felt a bit distant despite being 1st person

  7. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Nice read. Some of the motorhome trip was unbelievable. Overall story nice. Most times I I didn't remember it was in the 1970s. But I did live back then. Nice read. Some of the motorhome trip was unbelievable. Overall story nice. Most times I I didn't remember it was in the 1970s. But I did live back then.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    I received Signed, Sky Harper from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Edelweiss, Simon & Schuster Books for Younger Readers/Paula Wiseman Books, and Carol Lynch Williams. Oh man, I really wish I had enjoyed Signed, Sky Harper more than I did. I wish I could find more positive things to say about it. I didn't hate it, but I didn't like it either, I just found the whole thing rather pointless and anticlimactic. In actuality, the story is a little bit sad, I suppose. Or at leas I received Signed, Sky Harper from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Edelweiss, Simon & Schuster Books for Younger Readers/Paula Wiseman Books, and Carol Lynch Williams. Oh man, I really wish I had enjoyed Signed, Sky Harper more than I did. I wish I could find more positive things to say about it. I didn't hate it, but I didn't like it either, I just found the whole thing rather pointless and anticlimactic. In actuality, the story is a little bit sad, I suppose. Or at least Winston's background story is. Her mom left her in a small town in Florida with her "Nanny", which is what she calls her grandmother, at the age of 4 and took off to try to become a famous actress. So that part is pretty horrible. It is hard to believe though that Winston said her mom used to be a good mother. I don't know any good mother who would drop her 4 year old off with the child's grandmother and take off, never to return again. But that wasn't my issue with the book. I have quite a few issues. First of all, I couldn't relate to Winston at all. Not only couldn't I relate to her, I couldn't get a feel for who she really was. She seemed really immature for her age. I thought she was somewhere around 12 years old based off of her narration, but I believe it was mentioned that she was actually 16 or so. I don't know if the problem was poor character development and/or writing, or if she was made intentionally immature to emphasize that the book was set in the 70s or wha, but that was a major problem for me. I also didn't enjoy Steve as the love interest. I found him icky in several different ways. Nanny also got on my nerves. I get that she was the grandmother and never intended to raise another child at this time in her life, but I just found her attitude towards Winston to be not that great. It seemed like Winston was kind of on her own in a way. Everyone in her life was preoocupied with their own lives and didn't care to properly raise her. I also don't believe that Nanny would have taken someone's RV and not gotten caught, regardless of the fact that the owner's child happened to ride along with them. Nor do I believe that a woman who was supposed to be as poor as Nanny would have had the money for gas to travel cross-country in an RV no matter how cheap gas was back then. One last thing I feel the need to mention - that cover does nothing for me. Nothing about it is appealing to me. The only reason I requested it is because I have wanted to read a book by Carol Lynch Williams for quite some time now. The only good things I can really say about this book was that the chapters were short, although sometimes weirdly short, like only a sentence or even a half-sentence, which I found strange and maybe a bit gimmicky? I don't know. Also, it was a really short book, but even at that, it still took me a week to read. Sadly, I won't be recommending Signed, Sky Harper. Earlier in the review, I mentioned that I have been wanting to read a book by Carol Lynch Williams for a while. I actually have a few of her books on my TBR list. But The HavenThe Haven was one of my most anticipated releases of 2014 when I first heard of it. I loved the original cover and I loved the premise of it. But after reading this and seeing the ratings for both this book and The Haven, I think I'll be opting out of that one. I would still like to read one of her older books, maybe The Chosen OneThe Chosen One or GlimpseGlimpse.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kelsey

    My Thoughts: I suppose I should start with the cover since it's the first thing that you see. Kristen doesn't like it. She thinks that it's too washed out or something but I don't agree. I liked the cover a lot. I don't have many novels that use this colour palate. I know that isn't really important but I don't care. It needs to be said. It's a cute cover and would pick this novel off the shelf because of it. The time of this novel threw me. It never flat out told me a year. At least, I didn't no My Thoughts: I suppose I should start with the cover since it's the first thing that you see. Kristen doesn't like it. She thinks that it's too washed out or something but I don't agree. I liked the cover a lot. I don't have many novels that use this colour palate. I know that isn't really important but I don't care. It needs to be said. It's a cute cover and would pick this novel off the shelf because of it. The time of this novel threw me. It never flat out told me a year. At least, I didn't notice if it did. The novel gave hints as to the year through references. Talk of Olympics and Elvis and Richard Nixon were my hints. Later in the novel, it becomes clear which Olympics was being discussed; however, I had to have my mother explain what was happening and tell me some back story. I was thus sucked into a very long talk about the Olympics...it was a bit of a boring conversation. The time thing make me sad. I wish it would have started with a date (side note: if it was said than I apologize for not seeing it) but I did enjoy the little history lesson. Related to this is the strange slang. The wording took a little while to get used to. It's not bad, just different. That way that chapters were divided was a bit annoying. There was a ton of wasted space which means wasted paper which means that recycling was not happening with this novel. So much for being GREEN! Okay, so it didn't bother me that much. I just got a good work out flipping the page all the time. A MOTHER ISN'T A MOTHER JUST BECAUSE SHE GIVES BIRTH TO YOU. HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO HAVE THIS CONVERSATION WITH PEOPLE? If your mother is awful to you, please just cut her lose and move on with your life. There is a large chance that you're better off without her. It's harsh, sure, but also probably true. I just want you to have the best life you can have. I don't recommend spending all your money and chasing her down. I hated that whatshisname was basically forcing her to be with her mother. I wish there would have been more on how it ended. It wrapped up and, I guess, it explained everything. There just wasn't enough. It seemed kind of sudden. I don't really know how to explain it to you except that I was left wanting a lot more than I was given. I liked that the main character had a thing. She had a thing that she always went back to. It was clear who she was and what she wanted and that she would do anything to get what she wanted. She was steady because she had this thing to tie her down. That makes it even better when she related to others because of this thing. Also, major second hand embarrassment (this word has far too many consonants) ensues. P.S. to women of the world: WEAR A BRA!! Trust me, you look better with it. I would never lie to you. It's a pretty good book people. You should at least give it a quick flip through before you ignore it. I've never read a novel with the same premise. It was definitely a unique read. Basically: This was a cute novel but it felt like something was missing. The ending just didn't give me enough. I think this novel had tons of potential but it just didn't meet my expectations. I still enjoyed it though. I think it's a decent YA novel. I can't say I'll read it again but it wasn't a waste of time either. SEE MORE REVIEWS AT http://one-chapter-ahead.blogspot.ca/

  10. 4 out of 5

    John Clark

    When your mother abandoned you when you were four and you have no clue who your dad is, it could be pretty scary to be a teen, but Winston's lucky. Her gram has raised her in a loving and structured way. In addition, Winston has Thelma, her dog. Gram has Denny, a one-legged rooster she adores to the point where she lets him into the house, where lots of newspapers get used. Gram's past is interesting. She got pregnant by a guy who disappeared as soon as she told him. Leon, owner of the restauran When your mother abandoned you when you were four and you have no clue who your dad is, it could be pretty scary to be a teen, but Winston's lucky. Her gram has raised her in a loving and structured way. In addition, Winston has Thelma, her dog. Gram has Denny, a one-legged rooster she adores to the point where she lets him into the house, where lots of newspapers get used. Gram's past is interesting. She got pregnant by a guy who disappeared as soon as she told him. Leon, owner of the restaurant where she works (and really co-owns and manages) and real love of her life, couldn't handle her being pregnant and married someone else. While Gram still carries a torch, she's shut away her feelings, especially when working in the restaurant, concentrating on raising Winston instead. Because of her own history with men, not to mention that of Skye, Winston's mother, she's concerned that Winston may follow in their footsteps. Winston, however, has a pretty good head on her shoulders. She has a crush on Mark Spitz, has her own dream of becoming an olympic swimmer and knows she wants to go to college. She works as a busser in the restaurant after school and during vacations. A bit on the busty side, she really doesn't like wearing a bra and has developed a habit of shucking it while at work and hiding it in the freezer. One of her job-related duties is to water plants at Leon's fancy home. She has a secret crush on his son Steve who she doesn't think even knows she exists. Leon, his wife and Steve are supposed to be in Europe watching the Olympics. After giving in to the urge to strip and swim laps in the pool at Leon's, Winston can't help herself. She sneaks into Steve's room, terribly curious about what it looks like. Steve, however, didn't go with his parents for reasons that are integral to a later part of the story. He catches her in his room, and she runs off, leaving her bra behind in their freezer, because, after all, old habits are hard to break. When he sees her on the street not long afterward, he shocks (and thrills) her by giving her an on-the-mouth real kiss before jumping into a car full of his football buddies. Thus begins an extremely interesting odyssey, one not only of distance, but of emotion and discovery. After two letters arrive, sent by Skye from Las Vegas, begging Gram to come get her, Gram decides since Leon is in Europe, she'll steal his new motorhome and drive to Las Vegas and rescue her wayward daughter. A hundred miles down the road, they discover Steve has stowed away because he's as interested in Winston as she is in him. The journey is full of interesting discoveries, some geographic, most insightful and emotional. While there are disappointments in Las Vegas, what happens when everyone returns to Florida more than make up for them. I loved Carol's book Waiting, perhaps the most emotional book I've read in years. This one is as good, but in different ways. Quirky, short-chaptered and really getting inside Winston's head in ways that younger teen girls will really relate to, it's a no-brainer addition to any library.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Estelle

    A gem. Review originally posted on: Rather Be Reading Blog Fourteen and fifteen are some of the most awkward ages I remember from being a teenager. (Does that read as ancient as it sounds?) So it’s not surprise I totally related to Winston’s insecurities about her body, her dreams about succeeding, and secretly being in love with a boy she has always known but has suddenly been discovered by everyone else. In the beginning of the book, Winston mentions how she comes from a family of “sighers” and I A gem. Review originally posted on: Rather Be Reading Blog Fourteen and fifteen are some of the most awkward ages I remember from being a teenager. (Does that read as ancient as it sounds?) So it’s not surprise I totally related to Winston’s insecurities about her body, her dreams about succeeding, and secretly being in love with a boy she has always known but has suddenly been discovered by everyone else. In the beginning of the book, Winston mentions how she comes from a family of “sighers” and I laughed at this because (as I’m sure my mom can attest to) I was pretty moody as a kid too. (Truth: I never thought I was quite as moody as my mom thought I was.) But when it’s summer, it’s super hot out, your boobs are noticeably big and in your way, and the boy you like doesn’t really talk to you? I get it. Add in a mother who left you for grander things on the West Coast and is suddenly sending letters that she needs to be picked up. She wants to be welcomed back home. That’s a lot for one summer! One of the best parts of reading Signed, Skye Harper was this timeless feeling it evoked, so similar to all the Judy Blume books I loved when I was a kid and still love today. Even though the story is set in the 1970s, anyone could relate to a young girl on the cusp of womanhood, her close relationship with her grandma, and her observations about her family and people in her life. (Bonus: a cute, loyal dog and a one-legged rooster!) And the boy. Oh boy. Steve surprised me. I wanted him to be a sincere kid for Winston’s sake, of course, but he really surprised me. I was so upset when I realized Nanny and Winston would be leaving town for awhile and there would be no Steve, but he was a cunning one and ended up on the road, in the thick of things, with the two of them. There was definitely a nice chemistry between the two, and I got out of kick of watching them get closer through this experience. I honestly can’t say enough great things about Signed, Skye Harper. Would Winston forgive her mother? Could Skye be able to ever be a mother to Winston? And what about Nanny’s feelings? The importance of these situations were balanced so nicely with delightful details (even a Nanny love story) and happy endings you wouldn’t have completely expected. Plus, I loved how Winston was so focused on being a competitive swimmer and how her love of Mark Spitz and his time at the Olympics was folded in. Be ready to smile, swoon, and sympathize with Winston during this summer of discovery. I’m so glad I tagged along for the ride.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Original review can be found here. Love is a very strong word. I feel a lot of love towards this book and a lot of love happened throughout the book as well. Winston isn't your average teenage girl. She has a good head on her shoulders and she knows what she wants. And what she wants are pretty simple requests. She wants to swim. She wants Steve to notice her. And she wants her mother to come home with her. Sadly, only two of these things happen in the book. The love Steve started feeling for Wins Original review can be found here. Love is a very strong word. I feel a lot of love towards this book and a lot of love happened throughout the book as well. Winston isn't your average teenage girl. She has a good head on her shoulders and she knows what she wants. And what she wants are pretty simple requests. She wants to swim. She wants Steve to notice her. And she wants her mother to come home with her. Sadly, only two of these things happen in the book. The love Steve started feeling for Winston seemed a little forced at first but after getting to know Nanny and her story about Leon, Steve's father, things started to make sense. Maybe Steve was always meant to be with Winston. I like the name Winston and I enjoyed the teasing from Steve. Whether she was Winston, named after the cigarettes or Winston Churchill, named so by Steve, she was an amazing character. I believe going to get Winston's momma was one of the best things that could have happened to the small family. Sure there was heart break but in the end I think everyone ended up in a good place that fit them perfectly. I swear, I had a different image of what was going to happen in the end. I thought Steve was going to go back to school and ignore Winston. That is normally how cute summer romance type books end. But I was wrong! I also really loved the entire innocence of the book. Everything was so cute and refreshing. It was intense or dirty. It was just cute. This book is written in a way that makes it a very quick read. It is told in 183 very short chapters. I found myself putting off things I had to do and saying just a few more pages. I haven't read a book in a while that I couldn't put down so Signed, Skye Harper has broken that chain. I would recommend Carol Lynch Williams's books to anyone, really. She has such a diverse writing ability and I think everyone would enjoy it. Overall, I gave the book 4.5/5 Kitties.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Gabs

    I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Signed Skye Harper is a book that just sort of feels like summer. There's a road trip, a romance, swimming, and more. But it isn't fluff, either. The story has a lot of emotional depth. Winston, the MC of this book, is a girl with a dream; she wants to go to the Olympics as a swimmer. She has lived with her grandmother since her mother left when she was four. And then they start to get letters from her mom. S I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Signed Skye Harper is a book that just sort of feels like summer. There's a road trip, a romance, swimming, and more. But it isn't fluff, either. The story has a lot of emotional depth. Winston, the MC of this book, is a girl with a dream; she wants to go to the Olympics as a swimmer. She has lived with her grandmother since her mother left when she was four. And then they start to get letters from her mom. Skye's mixed feelings about her mother were portrayed in a very realistic way. I thought she was a very complex character. This is historical fiction that doesn't feel like historical fiction. A bit retro, but nothing with a super "old" feeling, so even teens who absolutely detest this genre won't be bothered, in my opinion. I liked that it isn't a time period that's overdone in stories; I was able to learn a couple new things, and it made it more original. The main thing I didn't like can be summed up in a word: Steve. Instead of sighing when Steve tried to be romantic, I was gagging. Steve was a major creeper, and no way would I ever want to date a guy like him. I honestly don't know what Winston saw in him. If Steve had not been involved in the story (or if he had a different personality) I would have loved this so much more. Also, sometimes I just could not follow Winston's train of thought. For instance, the grocery shoplifting scene. I read that over three different times and I didn't see how it was shoplifting. Maybe I'm just not connecting something here? This was a really minor thing, but still a bit confusing. A pretty good story with a less than appealing love interest.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    Winston lives in Florida with her grandmother, since her young mother has run off to Las Vegas to pursue an acting career in the 1970s. When Winston and her grandmother gets a letter from Judith Lee, aka Skye, Nanny is bound and determined to go and retrieve her wayward daughter. However, the family car is on its last legs, so Nanny decides to borrow the mobile home that belongs to her boss at Leon's. What she doesn't bargain on is Leon's son, Steve, stowing away in the vehicle and making the cr Winston lives in Florida with her grandmother, since her young mother has run off to Las Vegas to pursue an acting career in the 1970s. When Winston and her grandmother gets a letter from Judith Lee, aka Skye, Nanny is bound and determined to go and retrieve her wayward daughter. However, the family car is on its last legs, so Nanny decides to borrow the mobile home that belongs to her boss at Leon's. What she doesn't bargain on is Leon's son, Steve, stowing away in the vehicle and making the cross country trip with them. This complicates matters, especially since Winston has a huge crush on Steve, and Nanny was in love with Steve's father before getting pregnant very young with Skye. (Nanny is my age, and Winston is a year younger than my daughter. Hmmm.) Complications ensue during the trip to Las Vegas, and when the group arrives, they aren't quite sure what to make of Skye. Strengths: Even though I don't normally do well with quirky Southern books and I'm really tired of dysfunctional mothers, this kept me reading. Something about the 1970s setting, or Winston, just intrigued me. She reminded me a little of some of my cousins, I think. I do need books set in the 1970s, and this would appeal to girls who like YA romances. Not really anything inappropriate, although there's a lot of kissing, and a warning from Nanny not to get pregnant. Weaknesses: Winston likes to take her bra off and put it in the freezer. I found this a disturbing and unnecessary fact. I also didn't quite feel that her relationship with Steve was entirely healthy, put couldn't put my finger on exactly why.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Melissapalmer404

    Book #78 Read in 2014 Signed, Skye Harper by Carol Lynch Williams (YA) This is a young adult book in the realistic fiction genre. Winston is 15 and wants to become an Olympic swimmer. She lives with her grandmother and has ever since her mother took off to become a star when Winston was four years old. Winston has a crush on neighborhood jock Stevie. Unexpectedly, Winston's mother writes that she wants to come home but has no way to get there. Winston's grandmother steals the RV which belongs to S Book #78 Read in 2014 Signed, Skye Harper by Carol Lynch Williams (YA) This is a young adult book in the realistic fiction genre. Winston is 15 and wants to become an Olympic swimmer. She lives with her grandmother and has ever since her mother took off to become a star when Winston was four years old. Winston has a crush on neighborhood jock Stevie. Unexpectedly, Winston's mother writes that she wants to come home but has no way to get there. Winston's grandmother steals the RV which belongs to Stevie's parents. She does not know that Stevie has stowed away. The trio, along with black lab Thelma and one-legged rooster Denny, set off for a trip to Texas to get Winston's mother. Winston isn't really sure if it is a good idea or not for her mother to come home with them. Told in quick chapters, this book was a good, fast read. Winston is a likeable character--intelligent, spunky and funny. Nanny, Thelma, Denny and Stevie are all good secondary characters. This book has elements of romance and humor in it as well as angst. I enjoyed it. I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review. http://melissasbookpicks.blogspot.com

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kami

    - This was a cute and quick book. - I love how Carol plays with writing styles with each of her books. The short chapters are fun and more meaningful. Sometimes a few sentences builds more emotion than a whole chapter. - I LOVE the dog and the rooster. I have no idea why they brought a rooster on a road trip, but it was awesome! - I don't know how I feel about Steve. He seems nice now, but I feel like he'll break Winston's heart later on. - Grandma is awesome! I loved her stern and quirky personali - This was a cute and quick book. - I love how Carol plays with writing styles with each of her books. The short chapters are fun and more meaningful. Sometimes a few sentences builds more emotion than a whole chapter. - I LOVE the dog and the rooster. I have no idea why they brought a rooster on a road trip, but it was awesome! - I don't know how I feel about Steve. He seems nice now, but I feel like he'll break Winston's heart later on. - Grandma is awesome! I loved her stern and quirky personality. - There is a lot of talk about Winston's boobs. It got tiresome. I get it! You have big breasts! - I can't believe Winston likes to keep her bra in the freezer. That would be so awful to put on! I don't like wearing bras either, but it is embarrassing to not wear one. - I liked the ending. I knew what was coming, but I was surprised by the last letter Skye sent. It wasn't really a happy ending, but it was satisfactory. I felt peace for Winston and her Grandma in the end.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Raymond

    Such a strange read that doesn't quite know what it wants to be. Winston (named after the cigarette) is raised by her grandmother, as Winston's mother left ten years ago to follow her dream of being a star. Winston's mother has been in touch, though, and the family ultimately goes on a road trip to get her. Along for the ride is a boy that is really into Winston and a stolen RV, and all set among the backdrop of the 1970s. Is it historical fiction? A teen romance? Heck, a comedy? It tries to be a Such a strange read that doesn't quite know what it wants to be. Winston (named after the cigarette) is raised by her grandmother, as Winston's mother left ten years ago to follow her dream of being a star. Winston's mother has been in touch, though, and the family ultimately goes on a road trip to get her. Along for the ride is a boy that is really into Winston and a stolen RV, and all set among the backdrop of the 1970s. Is it historical fiction? A teen romance? Heck, a comedy? It tries to be a few of those things, and doesn't quite hit any of them, as Winston is the only character with more than one dimension or who shows much of any growth. The boy is especially one-note, and frustratingly so, as he's really just a stoner sex fiend and it becomes puzzling as to why Winston is interested at all. Just a frustrating read across the board. Super-short chapters and a disjointed narrative means this is closer to a 2.5, but not terrible as much as frustratingly weird.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Stacey Conrad

    Winston has lived with Nanny, her grandmother, since she was four, when her mother lefter to try to become a star. Ten years have gone by and now Momma is ready to come home. To get her, Winton’s grandmother “borrows” the neighbor’s RV, unfortunately the neighbor’s teenage son is sleeping in it when they leave for Vegas. This book is set in the early seventies during the summer Olympics. There are references to Elvis, Mark Spitz, Black September, and the Munich massacre. They color the story and Winston has lived with Nanny, her grandmother, since she was four, when her mother lefter to try to become a star. Ten years have gone by and now Momma is ready to come home. To get her, Winton’s grandmother “borrows” the neighbor’s RV, unfortunately the neighbor’s teenage son is sleeping in it when they leave for Vegas. This book is set in the early seventies during the summer Olympics. There are references to Elvis, Mark Spitz, Black September, and the Munich massacre. They color the story and set the timeline without confusing the reader who might feel like this was ancient history. Winston is funny, but hesitant to forgive her mother for leaving all those years ago. Stevie seems older than his years with his attitude, behavior and maturity. If you like stories about wayward mothers and learning to live without them you might also like Beauty Shop for Rent: . . . fully equipped, inquire within by Laura Bowers

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Winston (named for the cigarettes) lives with her grandma, their dog and pet rooster in 1970s Florida. When she’s not going to school or bussing at the restaurant where her grandma works, Winston dreams of becoming a champion swimmer like Mark Spitz. Ever since her mom left her when she was little, she’s grown accustomed to her grandma being her only family. But when her mom writes a letter asking to be picked up in Las Vegas, her grandma steals the rich neighbor’s RV and brings Winston along fo Winston (named for the cigarettes) lives with her grandma, their dog and pet rooster in 1970s Florida. When she’s not going to school or bussing at the restaurant where her grandma works, Winston dreams of becoming a champion swimmer like Mark Spitz. Ever since her mom left her when she was little, she’s grown accustomed to her grandma being her only family. But when her mom writes a letter asking to be picked up in Las Vegas, her grandma steals the rich neighbor’s RV and brings Winston along for the ride. But neither of them know that Steve, the rich neighbor’s son, has stowed away so he can join them. The book is good in a sleepy way. All of the action takes a backseat to character development, which is fine but not good for a reluctant reader. The cover is quite bad - two teens sitting in front of an RV. The chapters are short and there is good use of white space, but overall there’s no hook or energy that would keep a reluctant reader engaged.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Read InAGarden

    Signed Skye Harper is set in the 1970's but aside from a few cultural and historical references, it could easily be set in the 21st century. The gist of the book is that Winston and her grandmother live a quite life until Winston's mother decides she wants them to come to Las Vegas and pick her up. After consideration, Winston's grandmother "borrows" an RV and she and Winston set out on the cross country trip - with a little hitch. Unbeknownst to them, Steve (the son of the owners of the RV [and Signed Skye Harper is set in the 1970's but aside from a few cultural and historical references, it could easily be set in the 21st century. The gist of the book is that Winston and her grandmother live a quite life until Winston's mother decides she wants them to come to Las Vegas and pick her up. After consideration, Winston's grandmother "borrows" an RV and she and Winston set out on the cross country trip - with a little hitch. Unbeknownst to them, Steve (the son of the owners of the RV [and the object of Winston's crush]) is a stowaway on the RV. Through the road trip Winston learns about life, Steve and forgiveness. Something about the cover and the book description made me think that Winston was middle school age-ish and Steve was late high school age-ish. According to the book they are the same age, 14 - but they are written and act more like juniors or seniors.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    I loved Winston. I loved Nanny. And I loved their relationship. I also really liked Steve. He sometimes said things that were kind of weird or "inappropriate," but I feel like that's more because he didn't know how to talk to a girl like Winston (aka really awesome), so he was having to learn not to be chauvinistic. He was sincere in his retuning and in his relationship with Winston, which is a big part of why I liked him. He certainly wasn't perfect, but no one is. Also, I loved Denny and Thelm I loved Winston. I loved Nanny. And I loved their relationship. I also really liked Steve. He sometimes said things that were kind of weird or "inappropriate," but I feel like that's more because he didn't know how to talk to a girl like Winston (aka really awesome), so he was having to learn not to be chauvinistic. He was sincere in his retuning and in his relationship with Winston, which is a big part of why I liked him. He certainly wasn't perfect, but no one is. Also, I loved Denny and Thelma both. But especially Denny. Finally, I liked how the historical part of the story wasn't made in a thing. you could figure or what year it was by the hints given, but I really liked that it didn't feel TOO different from today, and that the year really wasn't that important (so you could figure it or if you wanted, but it was never the focus of the story).

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I read an ARC courtesy of Edelweiss and the publisher. This was an alright book, but I was mainly put off by the main love interest. I think he was meant to be a romantic and sweep-you-off-your-feet type, but he came off kind of creepy to me. I wanted Winston to have more agency rather than falling in with him. Despite the fact that this was set in the 70s, not much more than the allusions to Mark Spitz, name dropping some songs, and styrofoam McDonald's containers made me feel as if it were uniq I read an ARC courtesy of Edelweiss and the publisher. This was an alright book, but I was mainly put off by the main love interest. I think he was meant to be a romantic and sweep-you-off-your-feet type, but he came off kind of creepy to me. I wanted Winston to have more agency rather than falling in with him. Despite the fact that this was set in the 70s, not much more than the allusions to Mark Spitz, name dropping some songs, and styrofoam McDonald's containers made me feel as if it were unique to the era. I liked Nanny and her brash, yet vulnerable characterization, but beyond her I felt the characters were rather weak. Skimmable for me, yet a rather clean read that would be a good suggestion for teens looking for real life and love.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Adrienne

    In 1972, it has been 11 years since Winston's mother left her with her grandma (Nanny) and took off to California to try to be a star. Now, her mother writes asking Nanny and Winston to come out to Las Vegas to get her--which Nanny wants to do and Winston doesn't. However, for Nanny's sake, Winston goes along with her plans--including stealing a motorhome from their neighbors, which just happens to have Winston's crush asleep inside. I mainly read the book because I like Carol Lynch Williams. I t In 1972, it has been 11 years since Winston's mother left her with her grandma (Nanny) and took off to California to try to be a star. Now, her mother writes asking Nanny and Winston to come out to Las Vegas to get her--which Nanny wants to do and Winston doesn't. However, for Nanny's sake, Winston goes along with her plans--including stealing a motorhome from their neighbors, which just happens to have Winston's crush asleep inside. I mainly read the book because I like Carol Lynch Williams. I think she does a great job with characterization, but I didn't particularly connect with Winston's character. So, it wasn't the best choice for me, but I'm sure there are others who would really enjoy it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ella

    1/5. After reading all of William's other books I was very disappointed with this one. I did not like the writing style and the plot left a lot to be desired. A girl and her grandmother go on a roadtrip to retrieve the girls mother from Las Vegas, this story is their journey to get to the mother. I found it terribly boring and frankly a big waste of my time. The end of the book feels rushed and unfinished. Williams put all of the important information right at the end of the book, I feel like thi 1/5. After reading all of William's other books I was very disappointed with this one. I did not like the writing style and the plot left a lot to be desired. A girl and her grandmother go on a roadtrip to retrieve the girls mother from Las Vegas, this story is their journey to get to the mother. I found it terribly boring and frankly a big waste of my time. The end of the book feels rushed and unfinished. Williams put all of the important information right at the end of the book, I feel like this would have been more enjoyable if the book would have picked up from the end. Overall I was very disappointed and this is not at all what she usually writes. For Carol Lynch Williams fans I do not recommend this book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Joy Smith

    This is a good coming-of-age story written in diary format, which is enjoyable--and makes it easy to read. I like the characters and the setting, which is Florida and the world and the Olympics in 1972... Williams catches the hot, humid feeling of Florida in the summer perfectly, btw. She also captures the feeling of the women in that family--and, possibly, women in general. So there they are: the grandmother, the boy and girl with the hots for each other, a dog, and a rooster, off to fetch a mo This is a good coming-of-age story written in diary format, which is enjoyable--and makes it easy to read. I like the characters and the setting, which is Florida and the world and the Olympics in 1972... Williams catches the hot, humid feeling of Florida in the summer perfectly, btw. She also captures the feeling of the women in that family--and, possibly, women in general. So there they are: the grandmother, the boy and girl with the hots for each other, a dog, and a rooster, off to fetch a mother wishing to be rescued--and it's to Vegas and back again in a "borrowed" motorhome--though the story doesn't end there. It's a satisfying story, and recommended for girls, boys, and the rest of us.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Alicia

    Signed, Skye Harper is about 15yo (14yo? I can't remember) Winston, whose mother took off years ago to find her fortune in Hollywood, leaving Winston in the care of her grandmother. When they get a letter from Skye Harper (Mom, AKA Judith Fletcher), Winston and Nanny drive across the country in a stolen motor home with a one-legged rooster, a dog named Thelma, and an unexpected stowaway. Winston learns a lot about family and love and learning to trust. This book is full of unforgettable character Signed, Skye Harper is about 15yo (14yo? I can't remember) Winston, whose mother took off years ago to find her fortune in Hollywood, leaving Winston in the care of her grandmother. When they get a letter from Skye Harper (Mom, AKA Judith Fletcher), Winston and Nanny drive across the country in a stolen motor home with a one-legged rooster, a dog named Thelma, and an unexpected stowaway. Winston learns a lot about family and love and learning to trust. This book is full of unforgettable characters and the settings just breathe. I could see it easily as a movie. Much more easily than I see Paper Towns. It's a lovely, feel-good book. As Carol said, "This is a happy book. There's a little bit of murder in here, but not a lot. It's the happiest thing I've written."

  27. 4 out of 5

    Loretta Farnsworth

    This book started out a bit slow, but I loved it by the end. While the romance was fun, I appreciated that this book focused on the relationship between Winston and her mother and grandmother. I love Nanny’s sass. I also found the details funny—from (view spoiler)[a bra in the freezer to the skinny dipping! It certainly made me frustrated that Winston’s mother left anyway, but that felt realistic. I’m not sure I could imagine skinny dipping with my mother, but it worked for the character (hide s This book started out a bit slow, but I loved it by the end. While the romance was fun, I appreciated that this book focused on the relationship between Winston and her mother and grandmother. I love Nanny’s sass. I also found the details funny—from (view spoiler)[a bra in the freezer to the skinny dipping! It certainly made me frustrated that Winston’s mother left anyway, but that felt realistic. I’m not sure I could imagine skinny dipping with my mother, but it worked for the character (hide spoiler)] . Fun read!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    A sweet teen romance/family story about first love, absent mothers, and second chances. Picked up the ARC at PLA and I usually leave them in my room if I get them read, but this one needs to go to one of my MS or Hs librarian friends to share with a kid. (Carol Lynch Williams has long been one of my favorite YA authors.)

  29. 4 out of 5

    LuAnn

    Overall I enjoyed the book, but I thought too much time was spent talking about bras and bosoms, and not enough to make me really care about the MC. It was pretty obvious she would get the guy, but I was surprised there were no real consequences or major problems about stealing the motor home. The conflict just wasn't as developed as I've come to expect from this author. Overall I enjoyed the book, but I thought too much time was spent talking about bras and bosoms, and not enough to make me really care about the MC. It was pretty obvious she would get the guy, but I was surprised there were no real consequences or major problems about stealing the motor home. The conflict just wasn't as developed as I've come to expect from this author.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Stephi K.

    3 1/2 stars. This book is not going to be appreciated by everyone. In fact, I think my 16 yr old would hate it. The 15 yr old protag feels very young in this coming of age. It is also a very stylized voice from a southerner in the 70's. But I liked it. I related to the protag and I thought the story had heart. It also felt authentic to me. 3 1/2 stars. This book is not going to be appreciated by everyone. In fact, I think my 16 yr old would hate it. The 15 yr old protag feels very young in this coming of age. It is also a very stylized voice from a southerner in the 70's. But I liked it. I related to the protag and I thought the story had heart. It also felt authentic to me.

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