Friday, October 24, 2014

Book review of Of Scars and Stardust by Andrea Hannah

After her little sister mysteriously vanishes, seventeen-year-old Claire Graham has a choice to make: stay snug in her little corner of Manhattan with her dropout boyfriend, or go back to Ohio to face the hometown tragedy she's been dying to leave behind. 

But the memories of that night still haunt her in the city, and as hard as she tries to forget what her psychiatrist calls her "delusions," Claire can't seem to escape the wolf's eyes or the blood-speckled snow. Delusion or reality, Claire knows she has to hold true to the most important promise she's ever made: to keep Ella safe. She must return to her sleepy hometown in order to find Ella and keep her hallucinations at bay before they strike again. But time is quickly running out, and as Ella's trail grows fainter, the wolves are becoming startlingly real.

Now Claire must deal with her attraction to Grant, the soft-spoken boy from her past that may hold the secret to solving her sister's disappearance, while following the clues that Ella left for only her to find. Through a series of cryptic diary entries, Claire must unlock the keys to Ella's past—and her own—in order to stop another tragedy in the making, while realizing that not all things that are lost are meant to be found.

Expected publication: October 8th 2014

ARC provided by the author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I recently read the ARC of this book, which was a first for me! I was not disappointed, but rather really enjoyed this book. I read Of Scars and Stardust while reading two other books simultaneously, and  because it was an ebook, it became the obvious choice for bedtime reading, being on my phone. I thought it might be a good read to fall asleep to, but I actually lost a lot of sleep because I…Could…Not…Put it down. It was just one of those stories that keeps you on the edge of your seat, heart racing, making quick glances around you to make sure you’re not being watched, because believe me, you will feel like you are. Of Scars and Stardust (great title, by the way), is one of those creepy-without-trying-too-hard kind of book, a psychological thriller of sorts, in a subtle but effective way.

Picture being stalked by wolves. All the time. They follow you everywhere, just watching. Waiting. You know they’re coming for you, but you don’t know when. No one else sees them or believes you and everyone thinks you’re insane. Are you?

This is Claire Graham’s life after a violent attack leaves her younger sister, Ella, bleeding and unconscious in the middle of a cornfield in their town of Amble, Ohio. Claire blames herself for letting her sister go off alone into the field where legends say the wolves lay in wait, always watching. Too traumatized and guilt-ridden to cope, a fifteen-year-old Claire moves in with her aunt in New York City where she thinks she will be safe. But she knows that despite all impossibility, the wolves have followed her there, and that she is next.

Two years later, Claire must return home when Ella suddenly disappears, believing that she is the only one who will be able to find her. With the help of a boy from her past, Claire embarks on a search to solve the disappearance of her sister while facing the memories and the place she tried so desperately to leave behind. She must work quickly though, because the wolves – real or imagined – know she’s back…and they’re getting closer.

I debated for a while, whether to give this book 3.5 or 4 stars but anything less than 4 just didn’t feel right. I loved the concept way too much that it overrode anything I didn’t love about this book (I can’t even remember anything specific). I just wanted to keep reading so I could figure out if this girl was delusional or not. Even without knowing the answer, the IDEA of the wolves was creepy enough in and of itself. Personally, I can’t resist this type of psychological teaser: What is real and what is not? What really happened and what is fabricated? If you agree, pick up this book when it comes out this month. It’s an easy read, but a captivating one. I suppose it falls under the Young Adult genre but doesn’t necessarily read like one, which I liked. I wouldn’t say that it is the best book I’ve read this year, but I was thoroughly entertained and did not fall asleep once without finishing a chapter (or five).
I will definitely be buying this book in print edition when it becomes available, which says enough. Go read. Enjoy.

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