Of Scars and Stardust - YA Review By Rayna Grace

Reader: Rayna Grace C.
Age: 15
Title: Of Scars and Stardust
Author: Andrea Hannah
Publisher: Flux
Pub Date: 10/08/14
Galley: Yes
Top 25: No
Convince us to read the book: This book was so strange. It was totally working the mystery/cheesy romance power combo … until about the last forty pages, when everything took a complete 180° turn and dropped a giant, steaming dump on everything it had created. I’m not sure if this was the intent of the novel or if the author backed herself into a corner and just went with it.  This book was upsetting because it presented itself as a love-will-heal-all-wounds sort of book someone (probably a pre-teen girl, but I won’t judge) might read when they’re a little down and won’t mind if the main character is a bit overdramatic; however the resolution completely wrecked this persona.
     This novel was not bad, that isn’t what I want to say here. I actually really liked it until those last forty pages slapped my budding feelings right in the heart and left the smell of burning cake lingering in my nose. I mean, the romance was realistic; the characters made sense and very well could have been real people; the plot thickened appropriately; the author had the perfect amount of back story explanation without becoming mundane; the small town aspect was original/realistic enough to not bug me.  BUT THE END WRECKED ALL THAT WE HAD. I wasn’t even all that invested in this book until Andrea Hannah wrecked all the fun I was having. Then I became upset.
     SLIGHT SPOILERS: If you plan on reading this book, you probably should not go on. I mean, the end is not explicitly explained here, but this could ruin some of your fun* I honestly thought the whole the-wolf-did-it scenario was either some sort of plot hole no one could convince the author to remove or a metaphor for the real culprit who had the facial resemblance of a wolf, a surname that meant a wolf (Lupa, Lobo, Loup, etc.) owned a wolf, or something of the like. I even thought the knife development was somehow going to be explained away by the perpetrator during their grand reveal, like on Scooby Doo. The conflict resolution was nothing like I expected and it made me very sad.
Memorable or Forgettable: This book was memorable because this was the first cheesy romance I have read with a surprise dark ending… This is probably for good reasons. The novel should not have ended the way it did, period. There was nothing to take away from the book because the ending was so “WHAT?!” I mean, I just don’t know what the end was supposed to mean to the reader. The only possible lessons I learned from this book were things like, “even crazies need love,” “no one said a teenage romance couldn’t be troubling,” “love is a relative term,” and last but not least, “the insanity plea is important because this girl needed it.” Of course, none of these can translate in the average reader’s everyday life in any way, shape, or form, which is a shame, because that twist ending even shocked me, which rarely happens in any genre. If the ending was somehow profound, the book would have been 1000x better. I think I will remember this book as something that might have made me happy, but decided to hurt me instead.
Cover: The cover is pretty good. I honestly have no comment on it... the trees are really pretty?
Age Range: 12 through 15
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal
Additional CommentsHonestly, the more I write this the more I think I am just kind of bitter because this is the first romance I have actually maybe enjoyed, and Andrea Hannah ruined it for me with the falling action/resolution.

tags:  paranormal/psychological suspense / ya lit

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