In the world of young adult fiction, Emily Henry‘s “When the Sky Fell on Splendor” has been making waves since its release.
The novel tells the story of a group of teenagers who witness a mysterious object falling from the sky, and their subsequent efforts to uncover the truth behind the event. As the characters grapple with loss, grief, and the complexities of teenage relationships, Henry weaves together a compelling narrative that keeps readers on the edge of their seats. Let’s take a look at When the Sky Fell on Splendor and explore what makes it such a standout addition to the YA genre.
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When the Sky Fell on Splendor
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 hurtling toward them from the sky. And when it crashes and the teens go to investigate…everything changes.
“There were still pieces of us we so badly wished each other could see and yet couldn’t make ourselves ask for, and there was anger and resentment and it still all hurt, but right now, we were here, and if we stayed long enough, things might start to heal, even a little bit.”
Emily Henry’s young adult science fiction novel follows a group of teenagers who witness a mysterious explosion in their small town of Splendor, Ohio. We’ll follow the seventeen-year-old Franny Jackson, who leads the group in investigating the aftermath of the explosion and unravelling the mysteries unfolding before them.
As they investigate the source of the explosion, they discover a strange object that appears to have crash-landed in the nearby woods. The group, which includes Franny’s best friend, Arthur; his younger brother, Sebastian; the eccentric town outcast, Remy; and the new girl in town, Sofia, become obsessed with the object and the mystery surrounding it.
The group, after their investigation grows deeper, begin to experience strange and unexplainable occurrences. Franny starts having vivid and realistic dreams about an alien invasion. Remy, who has always claimed to have psychic abilities, becomes more erratic and unpredictable, claiming to have visions of the future. Meanwhile, Sebastian starts exhibiting unexplainable physical symptoms.
As the group struggles to make sense of the situation, they are approached by a mysterious government agency that claims to be investigating the explosion. The agency warns the group to stay away from the object and threatens them with legal action if they continue to investigate. However, the group refuses to back down, determined to uncover the truth.
As they continue their investigation, they discover that the object is actually a spacecraft containing an alien life form that has been stranded on Earth for decades. The alien, who communicates through Franny’s dreams, reveals that it was sent to Earth on a mission to observe and collect data on human life. However, the alien’s ship malfunctioned and crashed on Earth, trapping the alien on the planet for years.
As the group races to help the alien repair its ship and return home, they must also contend with the government agency’s efforts to cover up the incident and silence anyone who knows about it. The group ultimately decides to go public with their story and expose the government’s involvement in the cover-up.
In the end, the group helps the alien repair its ship and bid a bittersweet farewell to their new friend.
When the Sky Fell on Splendor is a remarkably captivating and emotionally charged novel that follows a group of teenagers as they deal with the aftermath of a mysterious and life-altering event.
Our lovely protagonist, Franny, is struggling to cope with the loss of her mother and the strained relationship she has with her father. She finds solace in spending time with her friends and filming their movies, but the arrival of the UFO and the strange powers it grants force them all to confront their fears and insecurities.
One thing about Henry is her ability to explore teenage friendships without making them appear juvenile. She also highlights the different ways that trauma can affect individuals, and that it doesn’t discriminate. The characters are well-developed and each has their own unique personality and struggles that are explored throughout the book. We think that Emily Henry does an excellent job of showing how the group dynamics change as they all grapple with their new abilities and the potential dangers they pose. There’s a sense of fluidity in the group that many YA novels lack.
Although this novel is somewhat fantastical and Sci-Fi-heavy, there’s a sense of realism ingrained in the writing. The characters, the group, the emotions – they all feel so natural and real. It’s an easy book to relate to, minus the alien and all. We’re sure that any YA fans will enjoy this novel, not only those who are drawn to Sci-Fi.
Overall Rating: ★★★★☆
Frequently Asked Questions
What is When the Sky Fell on Splendor about?
When the Sky Fell on Splendor follows a group of teenagers as they investigate what they later find out to be a UFO crash.
Is there an order to read Emily Henry?
You can read Emily Henry books in any order as they are all standalone novels! Just pick your favourite and get stuck in!
What should I read if I like Emily Henry?
Here are some recommendations for Emily Henry lovers!
- One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
- Pineapple Street by Jenny Jackson
- Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
- You Have a Match by Emma Lord
- Home Field Advantage by Dahlia Adler