“We’re all just star stuff, packaged over and over again”
If you didn’t cry reading that, I would be disappointed. Lost Stars is a bittersweet YA contemporary centring on Carrie who’s messed up due to grief. The only thing that keeps her alive, besides booze and drugs and getting angry, is astrophysics and an upcoming comet. As her life worsens, she crosses paths with her new neighbour Dean and things start to shift.
I love how this book explores the complexity of teenagehood. It’s not teens being overdramatic or feeling rebellious or just trash. There are reasons behind how teens behave and the book shows a diversity of teens. From the nerds to the popular but “screw ups” to the ones who are bad influences. Surprisingly, Carrie remains friends with the last two groups in the end.
This book impressively goes through Carrie’s mental health. You can feel all the rage and other intense emotions in her. Another thing is her love for astrophysics. She’s a typical teen, considered messed up, rude to everyone because of bottled up feelings/thoughts, but she’s smart too. So I really love her characterisation. She gets help from not only her love interest but other people too. Refreshingly, love or a boy doesn’t cure her. Much of it comes from self-reflection.
The romance is a slow burn and underdeveloped. I find the relationship between Carrie and Dean to be more platonic than romantic. Dean is sweet but I don’t find him a well rounded character so I found it hard to be invested in him as an individual.
While I think Carrie’s mental health was written well, some parts of the story regarding “crazy” and Dean were a little ableist. I’m not much of an authority on that but I felt uncomfortable reading those parts.
Anyway, Lost Stars is well written, bittersweet and an enjoyable read.
This is an honest review. Thank you Allen & Unwin for giving me the chance to read and review.
Title: Lost Stars
Author: Lisa Selin Davis
Publication date: 26 October 2016
Publisher: Allen & Unwin/HotKey
Australian RRP: $19.99