Review: Amy Aislin – As Big As the Sky

Author: Amy Aislin
Reviewer: Lucy
Publisher: MLR Press
Genre: Mm Contemporary

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Summary: Sam wants nothing to do with his irresponsible, sarcastic neighbor…or does he?

Sam McAuley is having a rough start to the summer: Not only is he being sued, but the new guy running the animal rehabilitation center next door has no idea what he’s doing and his runaway chickens constantly end up in Sam’s pristine yard.

Everything is temporary for Bo Novak. For as long as he can remember, it’s been one town to the next, one school to the next, one job to the next. Even his current job—running his sister’s animal rehab center while she’s away on a four-month leave—is temporary. And he does know what he’s doing, thank you very much. Sure, things don’t always run smoothly, but the stick-in-the-mud next door could be a little nicer about it.

One overheard conversation, an olive branch, and a baseball game might show these guys that being at odds isn’t really what they want, and that what they want might just be each other.

Review: Sam likes his house and usually likes his life, but right now things are a little out of control. He’s being sued for copyright infringement, for one. He is friendly with his neighbor, Laura, who unfortunately has gone away to study, leaving her brother, Bo, in charge of her animal rehab center. Now, random chickens are showing up and Sam already knows Bo is “..a bit of a flake. He sucks at making decisions and he’s never really there when you need him.” These words came straight from Laura and who would know her brother better?

For his part, Bo dropped everything to be there when his sister needed him and he’s far from home, lonely and thinking he will at least make friends with the neighbor Laura says is so nice, Sam. Doesn’t happen obviously and Sam really is so mean to Bo. It takes an overheard conversation to a pig, of all things, to make Sam realize he’s really been unfair. Add in a phone call overheard to Laura, where Bo pretends that Sam hasn’t been a giant butthead, and Sam has to make it right.

Really, my heart hurt for Bo. He basically gave up everything to help out his sister, who doesn’t appreciate it and treats him like dirt. Even when the “reason” came out, Bo was a bigger person than I, because he is working on forgiveness and I hated her. He has “friends” who dropped him immediately when he went to run Big Sky. He is just so lonely. He isn’t a flake, he just didn’t know what to do with his life yet.

I loved how Sam admitted he was wrong and then supported Bo in the best way. Bo really was treated unfairly and I was so happy to see him begin to understand he had done nothing to deserve that. There’s a coincidence with an author Bo loves and trouble with animals that I actually found adorable. It’s a little bit insta-love enemies-to-lovers and there isn’t any angst. It was light and easy to read and worked really well for me.

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