Chlorine Sky by Mahogany L. Browne

Published: 12 January 2021

Genres: Young Adult’s Fiction, Poetry, Bildungsroman*, Contemporary Fiction,

* Bildungsroman is a coming-of-age story

Available as: Hardcover, E-book, Audiobook

Summary:

As an audiobook, Chlorine Sky consists of 102 tracks narrated by the author, Mahogany L. Browne, with a total length of 2 hours and 4 minutes. The story, delivered in verse, begins with the main character, Sky, describing her best friend, Lay Li, and how her behaviour towards Sky changes as she changes boyfriends. As she spends less time with Lay Li, Sky feels alone and takes solace in the swimming pool. At home, her mother is at work most of the time and her half-sister, Essa, makes sarcastic and hurtful remarks. Her cousin Inga, rarely visits, but encourages Sky to be more confident and refuse to ‘be small’. As she struggles to understand herself, experience love with a boy named Clifton, and make a new friend, Sky begins to start asserting herself on the basketball court.

Review

“Everyone wants to be a hero but most of us are just misunderstood villains” – Sky

I would recommend this text to young adults, especially females of colour, who struggle with navigating relationships and building self-esteem. The author’s narration captures Sky’s struggles with being a female of colour well. The quote above is from the rising action of the story and touches on the idea of struggling to have confidence to be one’s self. Heroes are usually associated with perfection and having their flaws overlooked while villains’ flaws are magnified and begin to define who they are. In the text, rumours are the medium through which Sky notices others and herself being judged. It becomes hard to remain true to oneself instead of surrendering and behaving as the rumours dictate. The track that spoke to me the most was track 21. In Track 21, Sky lists places in school in which it is safe for her to exist. These places are very few and she emphasizes that these are spaces are only safe because she is ignored. She also mentions that she imagined her superpower as being ignored while reading a book. It is very sad to think that she implies that her entire self is a flaw.

Overall Rating: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ˜

3.25 – Would read again

Ending: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ• – 3/5

Plot: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ• – 3/5

World-building: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•- 3/5

Characters: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ• – 4/5

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