Danny is young, gay, and homeless. He lives in the park, preferring to avoid attention, but when thugs confront a stranger, Danny rushes to his rescue. He and the would-be victim, Harry, form a cautious friendship that deepens months later, when Harry persuades Danny to visit his home. Daring to believe he has found happiness, Danny finds his world turned upside down yet again when tragedy strikes.
Until he runs out of options, Danny won’t trust anyone. Finally he has to accept the offer of a home, and Danny becomes David, but adjusting to a new life isn't easy. When he meets the mysterious Jack, it stirs up feelings he thought were long gone. Can David dare to allow himself to love? Or will the truth bring his new world tumbling down around him?
The fact is that life for many gay teens is less than ideal. I'm not sure what the statistics are in the UK (where this book was set) but here in the US, up to 40 % of homeless youth identify as LGBT and 7/10 of those youths cite family rejection as the reason for their homeless state. 62% of LGBT homeless youths attempt suicide. Do those numbers frighten you? They do me.
Homelessness doesn't sound romantic to me. It's a tragic circumstance that many people either find themselves in or choose. So I bought this book with some trepidation. Because I know what young people often have to do to stay alive on the streets.
Sue Brown tackles this subject with a fearlessness that at times took my breath away. She didn't sugar coat the conditions, or some of the circumstances that such a kid might find themselves it. Danny's trust issues aren't any surprise given the life he'd been handed. He had to fight for everything that he'd gotten, until he met Harry. A kid that had a huge heart, and together they began forming a happiness of sorts. Then the unthinkable happens and Harry slips out of Danny's life.
When circumstances back Danny into a corner, he find himself forced to take a helping hand and he begins a new life, as David. Enter Jack... There are some definite plot twists in there that you really just have to read about. This is an amazing story about a young man's determination to live despite the odds stacked against him. It's a story about how love can find us in the strangest circumstances. It's also a story about how a few people can make a huge difference, even if it's only one person at a time.
Sue Brown is a brilliant storyteller. She is always on my to buy list, and hopefully she'll make it onto yours. I would also like to point out that royalties from the sale of this book will be going to the Albert Kennedy Trust. That makes an amazing book even more awesome. :)
If you wish to purchase The Sky is Dead you may do so through