Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Review: Lost Stars by Lisa Selin Davis

Before her older sister, Ginny, died, Carrie was a science nerd, obsessively tracking her beloved Vira comet. But now that Ginny is gone, sixteen-year-old Carrie finds herself within the orbit of Ginny’s friends, a close-knit group of seniors who skip school, obsess over bands (not science), and party hard.

Fed up with Carrie’s behavior, her father enrolls her in a summer work camp at a local state park. Carrie actually likes the days spent in nature. And when she meets Dean, a guy who likes the real Carrie—astrophysics obsessions and all—she starts to get to the heart of who she is and who she wants to be.

Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Expected publication: October 4th 2016 by HMH Books for Young Readers

Terri's Thoughts

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  The book was just released.

I will begin my thoughts with what confused me about this story.  I was quick to discover that this story took place in the eighties.  While there was no specific mention of the period of the story, the reference to cassettes, jelly shoes, shoulder pads and balloon pants was a dead giveaway.  While I enjoyed revisiting my youth, I do fear that the demographic that this story is geared to may be too young to identify with this.  Maybe I missed a reference indicating that the story took place in the eighties, or perhaps this is a re-release?  I don't know.

As a main character, Carrie is a little hard to like.  She lashes out at everyone and makes fun of everything.  She is so unlikeable that you start to question why you are investing so much time in her journey.  Many times I found myself thinking that I would write her off if she acted that way towards me.

Alas, the point of the story is her journey (read synopsis) to healing and accepting who she really was.  While painful at times, you know you have to stick with it to get to the good stuff.  I looked forward to her astrophysics rants because for once she was passionate about something that was not negative.

The story of Dean and Carrie is a little bit slow and really not the main point of the whole story.  It reminds you of what you of what young crushes and romance is like but to be honest, there are much better stories that focus on that.  What was interesting was their exchanges about music.  While it became quickly evident that my musical taste did not match theirs, it was also clear that Davis must have a keen interest in music to reference so many artists and songs.  It is that or she just really remembers the eighties.  I myself only recognized the extremely mainstream music, clearly I would not be favored by Carrie and Dean.

While this is a story about dealing with an emotional trauma, healing and learning about oneself, it was just ok for me.  I feel that if Carrie was just a tad more likeable, if even in her own head, that I would have enjoyed the story a whole lot more. 

About the Author

(from her Goodreads profile)

I'm super crazy excited to have my first YA novel, Lost Stars, come out in October 2016. I also have a novel for grownups called Belly, published by Little, Brown a few years ago. For the last 12 years or so, I've paid my rent by writing articles for The New York Times, Time, The Wall Street Journal and a zillion other publications. Before that I worked in film and TV, doing props and other art department jobs, including a four-year stint making props for Nickelodeon's Blue's Clues. I live in Brooklyn (but, hey, I moved here before it was cool) with my hubby, two kiddos and our kitty


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