Mini Reviews – The Protected & The Sky So Heavy by Claire Zorn (In Which Kara Seriously Wonders Whether there is Something Wrong With Her)


First off . . . I just want to say that I wanted to love these books. I really, truly did. And there were elements of the stories that I liked – but essentially I think these books were a “it’s not you, it’s me” problem. You know when you think you should like books, and for some reason you don’t? And you feel horrible for not liking them? Yeah.


Title: The Protected 

Author: Claire Zorn

Format/Length: Paperback/264 pages

Publisher/Date Published: July 23rd 2014/UQP

Category/Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary

Source: Library

Goodreads | Bookworld


2/5 stars –


What I loved about this book was the raw, honest, stripped-back element of it. I also loved all the Aussie references in it; it’s awesome to read a book set quite close to where you live! The Protected had all the elements of a truly heartbreaking novel. It deals with death and bullying (people are horrible!), but for me – it didn’t work. Here’s why:

— While I found Claire Zorn’s writing style smooth and interesting to read, it lacked something. I don’t know what. Some of her sentences seemed . . . odd. Like her punctuation choices wasn’t quite right. (For me.)

— I didn’t feel “sad” or “heartbroken” while reading this. Again – I don’t exactly know why. I just couldn’t really connect with any of the characters. At all. Our main character,  Hannah, was hard to like. Don’t get me wrong – I felt sorry for her. But I constantly found myself frustrated with the way she was almost letting people treat with her. I wanted to shake her more than one time and tell her to stand up to her bullies. (Which I do realise is not an easy thing to do. I’m just saying it was really hard to read.)

rabbit animated GIF

Overall perhaps just not for me.

18169279Title: The Sky So Heavy

Author: Claire Zorn

Format/Length: Paperback/304 pages

Publisher/Date Published: July 24th 2013/UQP

Category/Genre: Young Adult/Post-Apocalyptic

Source: Library

Goodreads | Bookworld


 2/5 stars –


This was the second book of hers I read, having read The Protected first. And while I found that one to be largely underwhelming, I wasn’t excepting anything from this. In saying that though I did enjoy The Sky So Heavy more than The Protected.

disappointed animated GIF

I’ve seen this compared to Tomorrow, When the War Began, and now that I’ve read it, I can kinda see why. There’s a similar thread throughout the stories: both feature Australia succumbing to some post-apocalyptic event / war. Which is pretty cool to read about. (Um. Not so much to experience, I’d wager.) But the similarities end there, really. I have to admit that I wasn’t really a fan of either novels. And again, like in The Protected I loved the Aussie-ness of this.

I don’t know what it wrong with me. Seriously, there must be. Because there is not a single character in either of her books I’ve read that I’ve liked and / or connected with. Here’s the thing: I have no clue why! None at all. Even at the end with that plot-twist I couldn’t really feel sorry for any of the characters.  (Also? I didn’t see the point in that; I felt like the author did that for the shock value rather than anything else.) My next qualm was the majority of it was rather boring. From a post-apocalyptic novel I expect action. Excitement. I kept waiting for that exciting, thrilling something to happen, but it never came until the very end, which I’ve kinda discussed above.

Reaction GIF: disappointed, sad, Batman

Now, I don’t mind an open-ended book, but this bothered me a touch. The story feels unfinished. (Unless there is a sequel that I’m not aware of?) I just feel like there should be . . . more to the story.

Overall both very “meh” reads for me. Which I kind of hate myself for, but I can’t like every book I read, can I?


10 thoughts on “Mini Reviews – The Protected & The Sky So Heavy by Claire Zorn (In Which Kara Seriously Wonders Whether there is Something Wrong With Her)

  1. I know what you mean, Kara – there are just some books where you can’t really pinpoint why it didn’t connect with you (ahem, Throne of Glass). Which is a shame because I LOVED these two but we can’t all have the same tastes!

    And both books are set SO SO close to where I live and those references are awesome ;)

  2. I completely understand what you mean. Sometimes I want to like a book SO BADLY, but I just don’t like it, and that’s that. Too bad you couldn’t connect to the characters. Characters are just about the best parts of a story because they are what drive it, so when you can’t connect to the characters, the reading often becomes drudgery.

  3. To be completely honest Kara, I was already hesitant about reading this because some of my trusted friends (you as well now) didn’t enjoy it, so I wasn’t sure which side of the spectrum I’d be on. It’s a shame that you weren’t able to connect with this one though. :| Hope your next read is better! <3

  4. I know exactly what you mean. Everyone seems to be rave about a book, or a series, and you don’t even know exactly why you didn’t end up liking it.

    I’m still a little unsure about whether or not to give these books a try. They aren’t books that I would normally read, once again, but they’re on my TBR nevertheless. Oh, boy, its eems like I’m saying everything’s out of my comfort zone!

  5. Oh you definitely can’t like every book and I think that’s fair. *nods* I liked both of these, but ot be honest, I liked The Protected more. Though it was freaking weird that at the beginning of the book you think Hannah’s sister is like this goddess of niceness, and by the end, you know just how bitchy and cruel she was to her little sister. It made me sad. I have a little sister, so I think that’s a reason it really impacted me.
    My favourite character in The Sky So Heavy DIED, so that sucks. :(

  6. Hey, it’s totally normal! That happened to me with The Fault in Our Stars and I wondered if I was a soulless person for a while :P. Perhaps those are just not for you, or maybe you’d feel different if you reread them a few months/years later!

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