When a bright object crashes into a small Ohio town, a group of teen investigators are catapulted into an unusual spotlight.
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Why I love it
To be very honest, I was initially drawn to When the Sky Fell on Splendor because it has a UFO on the cover. I like stories about people who find meaning in shooting stars and strange lights in the night sky—but I also love stories about found families, and it was the characters who brought this novel to life for me.
The book focuses on a teenager named Franny and her group of friends, all of whom are pushing at the seams of small-town life while dealing with the effects of an unthinkable tragedy that struck their town years before. They call themselves The Ordinary, and they play at being ghosthunters on YouTube to stay entertained. At the start of the book, they witness a bonafide supernatural event that sends them on a high-stakes search for answers, dealing with men in black and psychic powers—not to mention their summer jobs—as tensions rise among the friends.
While there’s a mystery that keeps you guessing and an action-packed climax, the heart of this novel is the people who make up The Ordinary, lonely teenagers drawn together by loss. Emily Henry expertly articulates what it means to live with grief: to survive a tragedy and deal with what comes next. This is a sci-fi novel that is as nuanced as it is exciting, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Almost everyone in the small town of Splendor, Ohio, was affected when the local steel mill exploded. If you weren’t a casualty of the accident yourself, chances are a loved one was. That’s the case for seventeen-year-old Franny, who, five years after the explosion, still has to stand by and do nothing as her brother lies in a coma.
In the wake of the tragedy, Franny found solace in a group of friends whose experiences mirrored her own. The group calls themselves The Ordinary, and they spend their free time investigating local ghost stories and legends, filming their exploits for their small following of YouTube fans. It’s silly, it’s fun, and it keeps them from dwelling on the sadness that surrounds them.
Until one evening, when the strange and dangerous thing they film isn’t fiction—it’s a bright light, something massive hurdling toward them from the sky. And when it crashes and the teens go to investigate ... everything changes.
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First sci fi that I’ve really loved. Alien-esque mystery, grief, small town drama. Hard to keep the chs straight at first but they’re all incredible by the end. Can’t wait to read more of her books.
Paranormal experiences with friendship and loss, you grow to love the characters and want them to stay together forever even though some are heading off to college shortly— similar to Stranger Things.
If Blake Crouch & Steven King wrote a YA book and then let Orson Scott Card add a few touches, this would be what they came up with. And it would be awesome. Enjoyable, thought-provoking, and GOOD.
Los Angeles, CA
massively underrated emily henry outing, WTSFIS has a special place in my heart because it was my first henry read. a must-read for lovers of found family stories. henry books are so cinematic, too!
I will forever read anything written by Emily Henry. She puts so much emotion into her works that her characters feel real, and despite the magic going on, the situations seem realistic as well.
Grand Junction, CO
Thought I had the ending figured out, turns out I was wrong! Very enjoyable and Henry has quickly become one of my favorite authors in the last couple years, thanks to A Million Junes from BOTM!
emily henry is amazing. and this book had all the emotions and healing and wonder and mystery and intrigue and friendships and love and supernatural amazingness i could have ever hoped for.
Virginia Beach, VA
I really like this book. I really enjoyed the relationships these charcters had with each other. I enjoyed the funny lines that the characters said to one another. Very good story.
I judge any media with a group of misfits by the "Goonie speech" spoiler alert, I really enjoyed Arthur's Goonie speech. I finished it Sunday morning at 4a. Could not put it down
Allendale , IL
This reminded me so much of a mix of stranger things, super 8, and at least the group of kids from IT. Supernatural, tight knit friends, and a beautiful ending. All the feels!
I love trying to solve a mystery and I love it when I'm reading a book that I can't figure out. The ending of this book wasn't anywhere near what I was expecting! 5 Stars
I really enjoyed this. It had a feel of Stranger Things and a little bit of The Goonies. I think you’ll love it! I’m a sucker for stories like this.
The supernatural is not my thing but dealing with tragedy is something we all know. Emily Henry does a good job of weaving a story on multiple levels.
EH does it again—this book is creepy, evocative as hell, and in places just gorgeously written. EH is fast becoming a must-read author for me.
I love this author’s writing and style. This book is so much more than magical surrealism. It is a story about love, loss, and friendship.
Fort Collins, CO
What an absolutely beautiful book about space, grief, family, friendship, and love the goes beyond the event horizon. Amazing.
University Place, WA
I really enjoyed Emily Henry’s adventure and it had some things I didn’t expect that added to the heart of the story.
So weird! Very much like AMJ but also very different! Quick read, enjoyable, a little weird at the end but solid!
Terrific! Reminded me of all those movies i loved as a kid like The Goonies and The X-Files.
la verne, CA
loved this book alot! would love to see it as a film and thought it was very well written.