Book Review -“17: Sky Illuminating” by Luke LaChac (2011)

A dear friend of our family, 17-year-old Luke LaChac has had his first novel published and we congratulate Luke on this major milestone. The novel is written from the perspective of a 17-year-old with the unlikely name of Sky Waters. Luke disclaims any connection between his own personal views and those that are held by Sky.

The novel “17: Sky Illuminating” is reminiscent of the classic “The Catcher in the Rye” by J. D. Salinger which bodes well for Luke who plans, it appears, to continue with his writing career as noted by the last sentence in the book – To be Continued. “Sky” is an original piece of work with its own furbishes and need not rely on Salinger to bring it into prominence.

The character Sky tells his own story. His mother believes he should see a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist believes he should keep a journal. Therefore syllogistically, Sky’s mother believes he should keep a journal. This is the kind of thinking we are exposed to when Sky tells his tale. He relates that he attends a Catholic school although he is not Catholic and thus has a disconnect with some of his fellow students. His views on religion and philosophy, friendship and love, are quite mature for a 17-year-old, and reveal that his self-styled loneliness has produced an extraordinary world view uncommon in people of his age.

Sky falls in love with April who reciprocates the feeling, although April, a cheerleader, had just broken up with Joe, a quarterback, and certainly would not have thought of Sky as her type. Sky, however, is there to comfort April when her parents are in an automobile accident. Her father was killed and her mother is in a coma. April is sent to live with her Aunt Hannah, with whom she has nothing in common.

We learn about Sky mostly through his journal writings and his poetry which is quite good, and yes, profound. It would not be correct to say that Sky is a typical teenager but his exposure of his feelings are similar to what we remember of our own teen-age years.

Knowing Luke, it is clear that Sky is a product of his imagination and not an autobiographical assessment. However, it is safe to say that Luke must have experienced some of Sky’s methods of thinking either in his friends or in himself. The depth and width of his knowledge are extraordinary.

I am deeply happy that our friend Luke has had his novel published and I look forward to his sequel where he alludes to the fact that Sky becomes President of America. “17: Sky Illuminating” can be purchased at