Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Book Group
Date of publication: October 4th, 2016
Genre: Young Adult
Eleanor & Park meets Perks of Being a Wallflower in this bittersweet 1980’s story about love, loss, and a comet that only comes around every ninety-seven years.
When Carrie looks through her telescope, the world makes sense. It’s life here on Earth that’s hard to decipher. Since her older sister, Ginny, died, Carrie has been floating in the orbit of Ginny’s friends, the cool kids, who are far more interested in bands and partying than science.
Carrie’s reckless behavior crosses a line, and her father enrolls her in a summer work camp at a local state park. There, Carrie pulls weeds and endures pep talks about the power of hard work. Despite her best efforts to hate the job, Carrie actually feels happy out in nature. And when she meets Dean—warm, thoughtful, and perceptive—she starts to discover that her life can be like her beloved night sky, with black holes of grief for Ginny and dazzling meteors of joy from first love.
Words can’t even begin to express what I feel about this book. I have so many feeling about it, good and bad. I was in tears for about 75% of this book. The depth of pain and guilt that Carrie has for her sister’s death comes off the page. She dealt with it the only way she knows how: by drinking, doing drugs and doing dangerous things sexually. Dealing with death at any age is awful but coupled with a parent checking out well that is devastating.
I am glad that the author decided to make Carrie as unlikable as possible. It only underlined how she grew as a person throughout the book, and I enjoyed that. She went from being a girl with grief and anger issues to a girl who was becoming happy with her life again.
Carrie’s romance with Dean was a slow burn. It was so slow that I felt that it wasn’t going to happen. Dean had his own issues, and it made him perfect for her. There are hints dropped when Dean arrived on the scene, but those hints don’t even begin to hint at what he went through.
The part of the book where Carrie went and worked for the rec department was great. That is what started her healing process. She was separated from her sister’s friends, surrounded by people who didn’t take her crap and she reconnected with an old friend.
I will say that the end of the book was pretty cathartic to Carrie and me. I was confused where her and Dean’s relationship was going. But in the grand scheme of the book, it wasn’t important. I felt fulfilled, as weird as it sounds, after finishing reading.
Oh, and I will say that the music (think the soundtrack to 1987) took me back to my childhood. I need to make a playlist now.
How many stars will I give Lost Stars? 3.5/4
Why? A wonderfully written book about healing and forgiving yourself. Like I said above, I was in tears reading it. I wouldn’t read without a tissue in hand.
Will I reread? Yes
Will I recommend to family and friends? Yes
Age Range: Teen
Why? Drug use, underage drinking, and some mild (very mild) sexual scenes.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**