“If I’m going to wage battle with demons both on the street and in my own head, I’m going to do it with all of myself, and not weighed down by borrowed clothes and secondhand memories.”
The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf
Hanna Alkaf’s writing in The Weight of Our Sky is beautiful, her characters are emotive and powerful. Plus, her descriptions were perfectly balanced, giving the reader a full sense of place without feeling drowned in metaphors and adjectives. (Which, I have to admit, isn’t always a bad thing. Here’s looking at you, Roshani)
Melati is a fresh character, realistically confused and afraid. She’s conflicted and not always right, which we need more of in YA. Characters don’t have to be anti-heros just because they make the wrong decisions sometimes. This book also recognizes the guilt and trauma that can come with doing the wrong thing, even if (especially if) you don’t mean to.
The portrayal of Melati’s OCD/djinn is interesting, and generally very real. I have to say (SPOILER ALERT) that towards the end of the novel, the part where her OCD peels back for a moment felt a little strange/ But mental illness can come in waves, and it makes sense that after all the trauma Melati had been experiencing came to a pause she would feel a bit of the burden taken off her shoulders.
Overall, The Weight of Our Sky is perfect historical fiction, bringing sympathy to every side and portraying the true raw trauma warzones can inflict. Melati is tough on the outside, but the softness of her soul shines through and makes her effortlessly relatable. Hanna Alkaf is a true talent, and I’m sure whatever she does next will take me on a somehow even greater and more poignant emotional journey. Rating: five/five
- “Adults rarely like being told that they don’t have all the answers, or worse still, that the answers they do have are all the wrong ones.”
- “When there is so much broken about the world we currently live in, one cracked person is easy enough to excuse or ignore.”
- “It’s amazing how reassured you can feel just by the presence of light.”
Review by: Ivy
The Weight of Our Sky is on sale now!