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Chlorine Sky

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A novel-in-verse about a young girl coming-of-age and stepping out of the shadow of her former best friend. Perfect for readers of Elizabeth Acevedo and Nikki Grimes. She looks me hard in my eyes & my knees lock into tree trunks My eyes don't dance like my heartbeat racing They stare straight back hot daggers. I remember things will never be the same. I remember things. With A novel-in-verse about a young girl coming-of-age and stepping out of the shadow of her former best friend. Perfect for readers of Elizabeth Acevedo and Nikki Grimes. She looks me hard in my eyes & my knees lock into tree trunks My eyes don't dance like my heartbeat racing They stare straight back hot daggers. I remember things will never be the same. I remember things. With gritty and heartbreaking honesty, Mahogany L. Browne delivers a novel-in-verse about broken promises, fast rumors, and when growing up means growing apart from your best friend.


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A novel-in-verse about a young girl coming-of-age and stepping out of the shadow of her former best friend. Perfect for readers of Elizabeth Acevedo and Nikki Grimes. She looks me hard in my eyes & my knees lock into tree trunks My eyes don't dance like my heartbeat racing They stare straight back hot daggers. I remember things will never be the same. I remember things. With A novel-in-verse about a young girl coming-of-age and stepping out of the shadow of her former best friend. Perfect for readers of Elizabeth Acevedo and Nikki Grimes. She looks me hard in my eyes & my knees lock into tree trunks My eyes don't dance like my heartbeat racing They stare straight back hot daggers. I remember things will never be the same. I remember things. With gritty and heartbreaking honesty, Mahogany L. Browne delivers a novel-in-verse about broken promises, fast rumors, and when growing up means growing apart from your best friend.

30 review for Chlorine Sky

  1. 4 out of 5

    daph pink ♡

    "When I was younger, I thought I had superpower Thought if I sat real still and stared at a book No one would be able to see me I got so good at it I forget that I’m the only one playing the game" I am not crying you are! "When I was younger, I thought I had superpower Thought if I sat real still and stared at a book No one would be able to see me I got so good at it I forget that I’m the only one playing the game" I am not crying you are!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bookishrealm

    What a powerful YA novel written in verse! I listened to conversation that Melanated Reader had with Jason Reynolds and they talked about how the author has been working with poets for a while getting them published. It's nice to finally see her work out in the world. CW: bullying & (view spoiler)[sexual assault (hide spoiler)] I received this book for review. All thoughts are my own. At it's core, Chlorine Sky is a book that focuses on the loss of a friendship, a break up of a friendship, and th What a powerful YA novel written in verse! I listened to conversation that Melanated Reader had with Jason Reynolds and they talked about how the author has been working with poets for a while getting them published. It's nice to finally see her work out in the world. CW: bullying & (view spoiler)[sexual assault (hide spoiler)] I received this book for review. All thoughts are my own. At it's core, Chlorine Sky is a book that focuses on the loss of a friendship, a break up of a friendship, and the pain that comes with it. While this novel focuses on a variety of elements that break up friendships or any relationship, miscommunication namely being the major one, it also covers some topics that directly impact Black teens. There's conversations related to sexism, colorism, broken familial relationships, and featurism (this is one that I don't see talked about a lot). While I am an adult reader, it was easy to see how impactful this book will be to young adult audiences. Even though some people are blessed to keep friends that they make in middle school and high school, most of us don't. As a teenager I didn't have someone there to teach me what it meant to get through a friendship break up, a break-up that hurt me just as much as a relationship with a romantic partner. Browne beautifully captures those feelings and how the main character, Sky, is able to move on past them. There were parts of this book that broke my heart namely scenes where it felt as though Sky doesn't have anyone to lean on except her love for basketball. Nevertheless, Browne doesn't leave readers with feelings of brokenness. She reminds us that although friendships fall apart and cause us pain, it's okay to feel that pain, work through it, and move on. It's not a betrayal of your old relationship. Sometimes relationships just don't work and sometimes they are so toxic that it's importance to recognize one's self-work and let it go. As an adult reader, I wanted Browne to explore some topics a little especially those related to colorism and featurism; however, I do understand that I am not the target audience for this book and I don't ever want to assume that the target audience is incapable of understanding the meaning behind those terms and how they impactful they are. Overall, I think that this was a great book. It's one that I will continue to recommend to the teens that I work with!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Emma☀️

    This was an incredibly powerful and poignant coming-of-age novel. I highly recommend!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Claude's Bookzone

    4.5 Stars CW: (view spoiler)[Bullying, sexual assault (hide spoiler)] Well that was a powerful YA verse novel about conflict within a friendship. Mahogany's novel looks at the relatable story of how a once solid friendship breaks down. Jealousy, misunderstandings, and miscommunication are captured beautifully. I also appreciated how the author explored changing dynamics within relationships, and how personal growth alters the way someone connects with or relates to those around them. In this instan 4.5 Stars CW: (view spoiler)[Bullying, sexual assault (hide spoiler)] Well that was a powerful YA verse novel about conflict within a friendship. Mahogany's novel looks at the relatable story of how a once solid friendship breaks down. Jealousy, misunderstandings, and miscommunication are captured beautifully. I also appreciated how the author explored changing dynamics within relationships, and how personal growth alters the way someone connects with or relates to those around them. In this instance, as Sky becomes more sure of herself she is less comfortable having such a dominant friend. Lay Li expects Sky to conform to the standards she sets despite Sky not feeling these are a true reflection of who she is. I loved that Mahogany highlighted what equitable friendships look and feel like. Full disclosure, I had a few tear pricks of emotional pride at various points. Also, YES to another YA book with a skilled and ambitious sportswoman as the main character! Thoroughly engaging book about female empowerment.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sheena

    A novel told in verse always reminds me of Elizabeth Acevedo and Nic Stone. In my opinion, Chlorine Sky by Mahogany L. Browne is definitely able to be categorized in with them. Skyy is constantly dealing with a mean half sister and a best friend who isn’t a good friend to her. She learns how to stand up for herself and focus on what’s best for her rather than catering to others or being sucked into toxic relationships. Skyy finds her own hobbies such as swimming and playing basketball and along A novel told in verse always reminds me of Elizabeth Acevedo and Nic Stone. In my opinion, Chlorine Sky by Mahogany L. Browne is definitely able to be categorized in with them. Skyy is constantly dealing with a mean half sister and a best friend who isn’t a good friend to her. She learns how to stand up for herself and focus on what’s best for her rather than catering to others or being sucked into toxic relationships. Skyy finds her own hobbies such as swimming and playing basketball and along the way she finds a new friend. She does struggle with the fall out of her ex-best friend and I love how it was shown that it's not always easy to go through. Books don’t talk enough about losing friends and how hard it can be sometimes. The writing was done well at being able to portray these different feelings through verse. I look forward to more from Browne in the future! Thank you to NetGalley and Crown BYFR, Random House for a copy of this e-arc in exchange for an honest review. 

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

    Chlorine Sky is a novel-in-verse that is brief but packs a punch. It's a coming of age story following a Black teen girl grappling with first love, toxic friendships, difficult family circumstances, and casual misogyny while trying to figure out who she wants to become. It took a little while for me to get into the style, but it's a beautiful and certainly worth a read. I received an audio copy for review via the Penguin Random House Volumes App, and I think the audiobook is done very well. All Chlorine Sky is a novel-in-verse that is brief but packs a punch. It's a coming of age story following a Black teen girl grappling with first love, toxic friendships, difficult family circumstances, and casual misogyny while trying to figure out who she wants to become. It took a little while for me to get into the style, but it's a beautiful and certainly worth a read. I received an audio copy for review via the Penguin Random House Volumes App, and I think the audiobook is done very well. All opinions are my own.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Misha (Heartsfullofreads)

    This book is both a beautiful and powerful read. It is incredibly important for young girls to know that they are not alone in their feelings. Growing up can be hard. We adults forget that sometimes. Sky transported me back to the days where I was really just finidng myself. Sky shared her insecurities about not being able to dress the same as everyone else. She also felt that she wasn't as pretty as other girls. I remember the struggle of having petty girl fights and wondering if we'd still be fr This book is both a beautiful and powerful read. It is incredibly important for young girls to know that they are not alone in their feelings. Growing up can be hard. We adults forget that sometimes. Sky transported me back to the days where I was really just finidng myself. Sky shared her insecurities about not being able to dress the same as everyone else. She also felt that she wasn't as pretty as other girls. I remember the struggle of having petty girl fights and wondering if we'd still be friends the next day. Sky said it best 'heavy business. It’s like a basketball game with no referee Just two teams & everybody play by they own rules'. I very much enjoyed this read and can't wait to gift it to my daughter. What a great way to open the door for discussions about insecurities, tricky friendships, and first kisses.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Anniek

    I think I'm gonna have to reread this sometime to fully appreciate it. The writing is beautiful. I think I'm gonna have to reread this sometime to fully appreciate it. The writing is beautiful.

  9. 4 out of 5

    izzy

    poetry of the week #11 First off, this deserves all the stars in the world for that cover alone. Because, WOW. "Everybody wants to be a hero, but most of us are just misunderstood villains." But the verse inside is equally beautiful, startling in its simplicity of language, and depth and breadth of emotion. "In California, the weather will match your temper / if you ain't careful" Sky faces first love, familial relationships, and her relationship with her best friend, Lay Li, falling apart in a com poetry of the week #11 First off, this deserves all the stars in the world for that cover alone. Because, WOW. "Everybody wants to be a hero, but most of us are just misunderstood villains." But the verse inside is equally beautiful, startling in its simplicity of language, and depth and breadth of emotion. "In California, the weather will match your temper / if you ain't careful" Sky faces first love, familial relationships, and her relationship with her best friend, Lay Li, falling apart in a coming of age arc that resonated very deeply with me. Her love for basketball and swimming keeps her sane. "Lay Li looked at me & I looked back / Like that / Everything is dust" She also has to grapple with being a Black woman, and the effects of poverty on her and her neighborhood. The commentary on colorism was beautifully done, and overall, I appreciated how Browne explored many of the issues facing Sky and her community without leaning too heavily into 'trauma-porn.' There was always a levity and even hopeful tone, which was really nice. "until the sun gets so hot / I jump in & cool my sadness down" I just loved this. I should read more novels-in-verse.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Romie

    the audiobook—narrated by the author—is absolutely amazing! the story was really touching and really relatable when it comes to friendship breakups and doubting your worth because of the way your sibling treats you. and the writing was beautiful! (3.85)

  11. 5 out of 5

    Oyinda

    Book 42 of 2021 Lately I've been on a roll of anticipated reads that proved to be worth the wait and this one has been no different. I loved this book so much and the narration was just amazing. This novel in verse by Mahogany L Browne is short but covers a lot of issues so well! Trigger warnings for bullying, and sexual assault. Sky, the main character, is struggling with a lot. Her home life isn’t great as her sister seems to hate her. School isn’t great either, but at least she has her best fri Book 42 of 2021 Lately I've been on a roll of anticipated reads that proved to be worth the wait and this one has been no different. I loved this book so much and the narration was just amazing. This novel in verse by Mahogany L Browne is short but covers a lot of issues so well! Trigger warnings for bullying, and sexual assault. Sky, the main character, is struggling with a lot. Her home life isn’t great as her sister seems to hate her. School isn’t great either, but at least she has her best friend. Her romantic life is also non-existent. She seems to live in her best friend’s shadows in their social circles and seems to think she can’t measure up, especially when it comes to physical appearances. Sky thrives in swimming and basketball, and is at her happiest and freest when she’s in the water. She plays ball but tones her skills down so as not to intimidate the boys, to the dismay of her cousin who’s more of a sister to her. This book examines friendships, family, love, and the fragility of relationships. Relationships require effort, commitment, and communication to thrive – it’s not just about the tags or the longevity, as shown in this book. After a fight leads to her best friend icing her out and cutting her off, Sky finds herself completely alone. A new boyfriend, a new friend, and some experiences later, Sky learns a lot of lessons in this book and it was an emotional journey for Sky as well as for me as a reader. I found myself tearing up from very early on in this book, as some of Sky’s statements and sentiments about herself got to me. It’s a great book about letting go and moving on. Narrated by the author, the audiobook was simply exquisite. I enjoyed listening to it so much! I enjoyed this and I definitely recommend it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    I know Mahogany L. Brown from her work on the The BreakBeat Poets, Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic volume of The BreakBeat Poets, and here she writes a novel in verse about a teenager navigating tensions with a friend who she may be outgrowing. I listened to the audio as read by the author, obviously the best way. This will count for the middle grade or YA category of the #tfbwlreadingchallenge. I had advanced access to the book through the Volumes app; it comes out January 12th. I know Mahogany L. Brown from her work on the The BreakBeat Poets, Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic volume of The BreakBeat Poets, and here she writes a novel in verse about a teenager navigating tensions with a friend who she may be outgrowing. I listened to the audio as read by the author, obviously the best way. This will count for the middle grade or YA category of the #tfbwlreadingchallenge. I had advanced access to the book through the Volumes app; it comes out January 12th.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Toya (the reading chemist)

    If you are a fan of Elizabeth Acevedo then you NEED this book. Chlorine Sky is an incredibly powerful and poignant coming of age story written in verse. While Sky may be the best basketball player, she lives with so many insecurities. Sky battles some serious internalized racism thanks to the colorism comments she constantly deals with from both family and friends. She clings toxic friendships because it’s better than being alone. Sky has a half sister that doesn’t even acknowledge her existence, If you are a fan of Elizabeth Acevedo then you NEED this book. Chlorine Sky is an incredibly powerful and poignant coming of age story written in verse. While Sky may be the best basketball player, she lives with so many insecurities. Sky battles some serious internalized racism thanks to the colorism comments she constantly deals with from both family and friends. She clings toxic friendships because it’s better than being alone. Sky has a half sister that doesn’t even acknowledge her existence, and to top it off, her home life is far from stable. Sky’s story is gripping and visceral but very much rooted in the truth that so many Black teens face. This is such a fantastic novella. Thank you to Penguin Random House Audio for providing a review copy. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kajree Gautom

    I really liked the premise of this book. Friendship tales area one of my favorites and I was very excited to read it. While I did like the overall message that this book gave out, there were a lot of parts I didn't like. First, the pacing was so off. There was a constant break between one scene and the other and multiple distant stories played out randomly in the middle that kind of threw me off and I found myself skipping through those because they didn't really add much to the story. Second, I I really liked the premise of this book. Friendship tales area one of my favorites and I was very excited to read it. While I did like the overall message that this book gave out, there were a lot of parts I didn't like. First, the pacing was so off. There was a constant break between one scene and the other and multiple distant stories played out randomly in the middle that kind of threw me off and I found myself skipping through those because they didn't really add much to the story. Second, I wish there was more to the story, more about our MC's life and experiences that didn't relate with her friend and love interest. I wanted to see more of her ball playing scenes, more of her family life, how the relationship between her and her sister resolved? - I just wanted more as the ending felt so abrupt. It was poetic and had some beautiful verse, I don't lie. And I enjoyed the bits where the MC learns to stand up for herself. It was good but not my favorite, is all.

  15. 4 out of 5

    jut

    “i don’t know who i am. i don’t know if i’m okay. i don’t know. i don’t know. but i’ll figure it out.” going through a friendship breakup can be even harder than romantic breakups, this verses were so pure, they touch your soul!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    Written beautifully, great concept, short and sweet. The book was relatable for anyone who felt unseen as a teenager and was able to find their voice due to a dramatic event. I mostly related to the ending in which the protagonist affirmed her place in this word. Please keep in mind this was written in verse (I didn’t know before hand) and reads more like a poem than a novel. 4.5 stars rounded down because I wanted more examining of the relationship between the main character and her mother befo Written beautifully, great concept, short and sweet. The book was relatable for anyone who felt unseen as a teenager and was able to find their voice due to a dramatic event. I mostly related to the ending in which the protagonist affirmed her place in this word. Please keep in mind this was written in verse (I didn’t know before hand) and reads more like a poem than a novel. 4.5 stars rounded down because I wanted more examining of the relationship between the main character and her mother before the end.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Angélique Alexis Davis

    see. this is a book i needed before i met my first real best friend. the kind of book that helps the reader figure out what a real friend is and how to stop making themselves small to please other people. i liked sky. tolerated lay li. can't stand essa. see. this is a book i needed before i met my first real best friend. the kind of book that helps the reader figure out what a real friend is and how to stop making themselves small to please other people. i liked sky. tolerated lay li. can't stand essa.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Readingwithnori

    3.5 Quick read but still really good. Highly Recommend the Audio Book! It felt more personal to me. TW for Sexual Assault

  19. 5 out of 5

    Brandie Shanae Bridges

    This book is about a girl named Sky who is always concerned about herself. In her mind she wanted to know how/what people thought of her and what type of clothes she is wearing(wondering if people liked what she was wearing). The only reason why she thinks this way is because she cares about what people think about her. Though her so Calle friend Lay Li always tries to get her to wear certain clothes, etc in order for people to like and notice her. But the only person that builds her up and her This book is about a girl named Sky who is always concerned about herself. In her mind she wanted to know how/what people thought of her and what type of clothes she is wearing(wondering if people liked what she was wearing). The only reason why she thinks this way is because she cares about what people think about her. Though her so Calle friend Lay Li always tries to get her to wear certain clothes, etc in order for people to like and notice her. But the only person that builds her up and her confidence is her Aunt Inga. Now mind you Sky loves to play basketball because she feels invincible and on top of that she feels like she has control over her own actions and not worrying about how and what people say about her. Her friend Lay Li is definitely not her friend because she has people talk about Sky and she never has her back at all. It even came down to the point where Lay Li accused Sky of getting involved with her and boyfriend Curtis relationship, which was clearly not the case. And so Lay Li pretty much switched up on Sky and was treating her wrong. Though soon after Sky and Lay Li fall out, Sky meets a girl named Kiyana who definitely looks out for Sky and always has her back. As Sky developed a new friendship that was real Sky was beginning to develop confidence in herself. In the beginning her self-esteem was low, but the more and more she spoke with her aunt Inga and knowing what true friendship is she not only gained a true friend...Sk also gained confidence within herself and started to love herself regardless of what people thought of her. This was definitely a great read and I will be reading it again.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Adriana Martinez Figueroa

    I felt this could’ve been much longer and that there was much more meat to this story, but other than that, Mahogany L. Browne’s Chlorine Sky is a fantastic debut that explores Black girlhood, teen anxieties, relationships with other girls, exploring your self, and what family means. I look forward to reading more from Browne! (CW: sexual assault, absent parent, friendship breakups) Thank you to Crown Books for Young Readers and NetGalley for the e-ARC!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sana

    'A novel-in-verse about broken promises, fast rumors, and when growing up means growing apart from your best friend' Okay, I'm ready to get my heart broken 'A novel-in-verse about broken promises, fast rumors, and when growing up means growing apart from your best friend' Okay, I'm ready to get my heart broken

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    Soo stunning! I’m still processing what to even say about this book. Full review to come!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Gary Anderson

    Chlorine Sky is Mahogany L. Browne’s debut novel in verse that will appeal to fans of Elizabeth Acevedo, Jason Reynolds, and Ibi Zoboi. Skyy is a baller, a girl with mighty basketball skills. She also has dysfunctional relationships with her family and friends. The plot is a little thin, but the attitude and vibrant language break through as Browne finds the poetry in urban vernacular and reveals metaphorical life lessons through basketball. Young readers who enjoy discovering new authors will f Chlorine Sky is Mahogany L. Browne’s debut novel in verse that will appeal to fans of Elizabeth Acevedo, Jason Reynolds, and Ibi Zoboi. Skyy is a baller, a girl with mighty basketball skills. She also has dysfunctional relationships with her family and friends. The plot is a little thin, but the attitude and vibrant language break through as Browne finds the poetry in urban vernacular and reveals metaphorical life lessons through basketball. Young readers who enjoy discovering new authors will find Mahogany L. Browne an exciting voice to follow. Thanks to Libro.fm for providing early educator access to Chlorine Sky.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Alexis

    I listened to the audiobook which was the author reading and it gave me CHILLS the entire time. Her voice was magical and her rhythm was perfect. I loved how she portrayed high school and growing up and sometimes away from friends.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Alexia

    I really enjoyed how this book touched on colorism, the struggles of growing up, strained family relations, and friendship breakups. I wished there were more books on friendship breakups and how those can affect you, so this was a great addition to the existing collection. Browne is a very talented writer, and I can't wait to read more by them. *Thank you to the publisher for a finished copy. All opinions are my own* I really enjoyed how this book touched on colorism, the struggles of growing up, strained family relations, and friendship breakups. I wished there were more books on friendship breakups and how those can affect you, so this was a great addition to the existing collection. Browne is a very talented writer, and I can't wait to read more by them. *Thank you to the publisher for a finished copy. All opinions are my own*

  26. 5 out of 5

    TL

    *Overdrive app * Narrator: the author - 4 stars 🌟

  27. 4 out of 5

    LaToya King

    “Now I realize that being a girl is heavy business.” Being a girl is heavy; it’s beautiful, it’s discovery, and it’s BIG. Sky’s journey is familiar; it takes us to places we’ve been before—the pool, the basketball courts, the neighborhood, home, and it reminds us of the simple ways we question or doubt who we are until we realize the power in us. This novel in verse is a coming of age tale that illustrates the beauty of becoming who you are. There are bumps and bruises and losses. There are epip “Now I realize that being a girl is heavy business.” Being a girl is heavy; it’s beautiful, it’s discovery, and it’s BIG. Sky’s journey is familiar; it takes us to places we’ve been before—the pool, the basketball courts, the neighborhood, home, and it reminds us of the simple ways we question or doubt who we are until we realize the power in us. This novel in verse is a coming of age tale that illustrates the beauty of becoming who you are. There are bumps and bruises and losses. There are epiphanies and realizations. There are expectations set by gender and by family. It can be heavy, but when discovering the intention is not to play small, living in every element of your identity, the heaviness is bearable. I enjoyed the poetry and the message. I cannot wait to gift this to the young ladies in my life. Thank you, Mahogany Browne!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lena

    'The room is a graveyard of friends' I know what it feels like to have/Too much to say/So much you can't speak' 'Today is different/Because I say it is mine‚ Probably not for me, but still enjoyable. 'The room is a graveyard of friends' I know what it feels like to have/Too much to say/So much you can't speak' 'Today is different/Because I say it is mine‚ Probably not for me, but still enjoyable.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Amma

    Coming of age story = Check. Black Girl Magic = Check. So many poignant quotes = Check. The first time I heard Mahogany L. Browne speak in person (at the inaugural Well Read Black Festival), I became an instant fan. When I found out she was publishing her first novel, I danced a jig. She does NOT disappoint. Please please read and listen to this amazing story in verse.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Hailey Hartman

    A charming book in verse. Its exploration of identity was well done, but by no means the best I've read. It explores deep topics, but its length plays against it and there were more than a few times that I wished that something got more than a few pages. This book is worth a read, but do not expect it to become your favorite. A charming book in verse. Its exploration of identity was well done, but by no means the best I've read. It explores deep topics, but its length plays against it and there were more than a few times that I wished that something got more than a few pages. This book is worth a read, but do not expect it to become your favorite.

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