Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Book Review: Made of Stars

Made of Stars
Published By: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: October 1, 2013
Page Count: 320
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Author
Audience: Young Adult - Contemporary

I always have to gear up before I embark on a Kelley York literary journey. Her novels are some of my favorites, but they are often laced with difficult subject matter and feature broken characters. York is indeed the master of creating the emotionally damaged male. In spite of the rocky literary terrain, I enjoy losing myself in the stories that York weaves. She gives a voice to the dark places that lurk within the hearts and minds of us all.

Made of Stars focuses on the story of Hunter and Ashlin, a brother and sister, and their best friend, Chance. Chance lives in rural Maine near the siblings' father. Hunter and Ashlin can't remember a summer memory that doesn't involve Chance. Since the moment the trio meets, they become inseparable. The bond forged between these three transcends normal friendship; they become a familial tribe of sorts. The year after high school graduation, Hunter and Ashlin leave their mothers and the homes they have lived in full time to spend time with their father and Chance in Maine. Hunter and Ashlin soon find that Chance is keeping dark secrets that threaten to change life for them all.

York's trademark broken boy comes to life in the form of Chance this time. He has so many heavy secrets hanging around his neck. After a lifetime of physical and emotional abuse, it makes sense that Chance would act the way he does. I only wish that he had trusted Hunter and Ashlin to help him before things got out of hand. In spite of all of his issues, you can't help but gravitate towards Chance. I wanted him to find his happy ending.

There is also an edge of a mystery/thriller running throughout this one. The tension is delicious and will keep you reading. This element is a bonus, but I would read York's work even if that was absent because I love her characters. She exposes the raw, bruised valleys of the heart in a way that few authors can.

It is also worth noting that there are some LGBT themes in this one. As always, York handles this subject in a realistic and heartfelt manner. 

One Last Gripe: My main issue with this one is that the beginning (while important to setting up the various relationships among the characters) drags a little bit.

My Favorite Thing About This Book: I really love the whole concept of people being made of stars. I enjoyed the conversation on the island about this topic; it was beautiful and thought provoking.

First Sentence: When we first met Chance Harvey, he was playing with Barbies.

Favorite Character: Ashlin

Least Favorite Character: Chance's Dad

When eighteen-year-old Hunter Jackson and his half sister, Ashlin, return to their dad’s for the first winter in years, they expect everything to be just like the warmer months they’d spent there as kids. And it is—at first. But Chance, the charismatic and adventurous boy who made their summers epic, is harboring deep secrets. Secrets that are quickly spiraling into something else entirely.

The reason they've never met Chance’s parents or seen his home is becoming clearer. And what the siblings used to think of as Chance's quirks—the outrageous stories, his clinginess, his dangerous impulsiveness—are now warning signs that something is seriously off.

Then Chance's mom turns up with a bullet to the head, and all eyes shift to Chance and his dad. Hunter and Ashlin know Chance is innocent...they just have to prove it. But how can they protect the boy they both love when they can’t trust a word Chance says?

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