Release Date: October 1st 2013
Published By: Entangled: Teen
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list
Rating: 4 out of 5
Synopsis: 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?
Review: Made of Stars is an interesting non-stereotypical coming-of-age story, where lies, dark secrets and hidden feelings are at the heart of the journey.
Hunter and his half-sister Ashlin have spent every summer with their dad, which is where they befriended the charismatic but mysterious Chance. Every year they spend summer together, making memories that will last a lifetime and building a friendship like no other. Over the years, they have come to think of Chance of family, however now the siblings will find that Chance is not exactly what he made out to be. In fact, he has been keeping secrets and lying to them for many years. The siblings learn that they do not really know Chance at all, and the more they get to know who he really is, the more Chance tries to hide the truth. But once Chance’s mum is murdered, and all eyes turn to him, how can Hunter and Ashlin save him, when he won’t trust them with the truth?
Judging by the summary, I expected this to be a standard YA mystery, but I was wrong! There was so much more to this book – tragedy, lies, realism, hope, desperation, untold feelings, and internal conflicts. I loved the non-stereotypical aspects to this story – and to be honest, there was something about this storyline that I didn’t know going into it, but I found this to be extremely refreshing (yes, I am keeping it to myself).
What I found very interesting, is that Made of Stars is told through the dual perspectives of Hunter and Ashlin, but it really is Chance’s story. As it was told through the perspectives of the siblings, piece by piece you got to hear Chance’s bittersweet story, however there was always a little mystery surrounding him – he was always a little bit out of reach for the reader. Chance is a very complex and broken character, a master of hiding behind his own lies – and being that this story was told through other characters, I felt that I did not get to know him fully – and it left me wanting more. Although, I feel that this was done intentionally, as this puts you in the shoes of Hunter and Ashlin, who are continually learning more about Chance, constantly wondering who he is, always wondering what he is going through… and I guess that is the tragedy of it all.
The group dynamic between Chance, Hunter and Ashlin is very interesting. There is clearly a solid bond between the three of them, and even some unspoken romantic feelings – and while the siblings find that they don’t really know a lot about Chance at all, their feelings for him never waver. And although Chance has so many walls up around himself, it is clear that he cares for the siblings, to the point that he would be willing to do anything to protect them.
The love story – well people, let me say, there is not 1, but 2 triangles in this book. But don’t get me wrong – there is only really one love story. Now to the triangles; the first one, which I would have expected to become very messy and complicated, was handled very well (although, awkward!) . The second triangle had a little bit more of a focus for a part of the book, but to be honest, this one was really required (yes, I did just say that) for character development.
The thing that tears me up about this book is the ending. On one hand, it is the perfect ending to this tragic story – it kept true to the tone and the characters… but I generally like something a little more. But, if I had of gotten a little more, I probably would have felt that it wasn’t true to the story and it would have felt like a cop out. What bitter sweet situation it is when you think the ending was heartbreakingly appropriate, but still not completely wrapped up – much credit goes to Kelley York for not taking the easy way out on this ending!
“That’s the sort of person Chance is. He gets under your skin, and even when he’s gone, you still feel him there like a dull ache. A warm memory you can never quite reclaim.”
“We’re all made of stars” “We burn bright, then we flicker away”
“He’s an idiot. Not for the stars thing, but for everything else”
“Do you love me?”