Friday, October 11, 2013

Review: Made of Stars by Kelley York

Made of Stars
 
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?
 
Publication Date: October 1, 2013
Publisher: Entangled Teen
 
GOODREADS
 
Kat's Review
 
Once again I'm a little late to the party when it comes to a particular author, but it looks like I arrived at the right time! This book blew me away. It's so poignantly written that I felt every emotion quite intensely. It's written in the dual perspectives of Hunter and his half sister Ashlin, who have moved in with their father for a year before heading off to college. Despite this, the story really belongs to Chance, the mysterious, lying, wonderful boy they've known since childhood, but who they now realize they never really knew at all.

 
Chance is uplifting and heartbreaking all at once, and this is one of those times when a book finished and I was actually worried that I may never find out what happens next. The book grapples with questions of sexuality quite strongly, but to say that this is a gay teen romance is to simplify the overall plot of the book. Hunter in particular struggles strongly with how he wants to identify, and I love the way the author shows his sexuality as something other than black or white. He cares for his girlfriend. He knows how pretty she is and he finds himself attracted to her at times. Yet. He can't get chance out of his mind.
 
The relationship between Hunter and Chance is beautiful and showed the kindness and tenderness that is often missing from teen romances. Kelley York manages to avoid stereotyping either character, and writes the scenes between the two of them are the most touching in the
novel.
 
There is a lot of darkness in this book too, which is why I mentioned earlier that to call it a gay teen romance is to simplify things. Chance's lies are all to hide the truth of his home life from his friends. His parents are abusive, and Chance often stays away to avoid having his bruises seen. When things finally explode for the last time, everyone's life changes.
 
Kat's Rating
 
This book is wonderful. Haunting, but wonderful. I love that all of the characters were both complex and caring, but also confused and unsure of where to go next. They made the types of mistakes that real teens (and some adults) make. They worry about telling the adults in their lives the truth sometimes. They question their own feelings. A really great read.
 
I received a complimentary copy of this title from NetGalley & the publisher in return for an honest review.
 

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