When planning my reading schedule for the next few weeks
(yes I had to actually plan my reading because I have about 2786874 books I need to read in the upcoming weeks), I gave myself an entire week to read this book. Then I realised it was literally just over 100 pages long. And it took me 2 hours at most.
So YAY for quick reads!
Let’s talk about Naming the Stars!
Title: Naming The Stars
Author: Susan Koefod
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Series Status: Standalone
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fantasy
Number of Pages: 144
(Found on Goodreads)
16-year-old Mary-Louise comes home from swimming lessons one day to find she is absent from family photographs, her bedroom has turned into a linen closet, and all of her possessions have disappeared. More troubling, her family goes on as if she never existed. The only person in town who can actually see her is a boy she calls Fish, a YMCA swimming instructor, but Fish is hiding from a troubled past and the person he sees is entirely different from who she thought she was.
The girl he sees is entirely different from the insecure, unattractive girl Mary-Louise thinks of herself. The teens discover the photo of a spirited, beautiful young woman photographed many years before—Pearl—who exactly resembles the girl Fish sees. The truth about Pearl’s identity is the key to discovering why Mary-Louise has disappeared and why Fish left home, but his fears of being discovered are preventing him from helping Mary-Louise, after all, no one can see or hear her.
This coming-of-age story explores the important and often fragile connection between the roles we play in others’ lives—as siblings, children, friends, and partners—and the unique identity we must find in ourselves.
*I received this book in exchange for an honest review
I always find it hard to write reviews for books I read so quickly. It’s almost as if I didn’t get enough time with it, as if I didn’t pause long enough to think critically. But here’s to trying.
I’m actually really glad this was such a short read. It was just what I needed.
I enjoyed this book, but I definitely didn’t love it. It was quick and easy, you don’t have to think particularly hard about the setting surrounding the story or who the characters are, what they’re doing. There’s one main issue in the story, and that’s what you read about. No complications.
The main driving force of this book was definitely the mystery. The story is of a girl who just seems to vanish, with every trace of her life vanishing with her. But one boy can see her. Why? Well, that’s one of the many questions, isn’t it? Why has she vanished? Why is there no trace of her life? Why can this boy see her when no one else can? With only 144 pages, it doesn’t take long to find out.
And surprisingly, with all the mystery and intrigue, there was quite an even pace throughout. I honestly thought the story wouldn’t be able to be crammed into such a short amount of pages, but there was a nice even spread of mystery and answers. There was enough to keep you turning the pages, without the endless clues becoming frustrating. And with the character having an easy voice to read from, it only made the book pass quicker.
The only time that changed was towards the end. All the “reveals” of the story – the unravelling of the mystery – didn’t really make sense to me. I don’t know if it’s just me that didn’t get it. I kind of did. I kind of didn’t. I went from full focus to just “….eh?” Somehow it just seemed a little rushed, and for what I *think* happened, I’d have definitely appreciated a lengthier explanation. More description. More of a…“drawing to a close” feeling rather than going from mystery to BAMhere’swhathappened.
The only other problem I can pinpoint is the amount of times appearance was brought into it. I know when someone goes missing, appearance is important…but zeesh. I’ve never known a “near unibrow” be mentioned so many times in less than 150 pages. A lot of the time it just wasn’t needed. It just made the main character sound vain for focusing on it so wholeheartedly, even when no one could see her. As if her entire identity relied on her appearance. Again, that might’ve been the point of the story, but to me it didn’t seem that way.
So the promising story idea and the mystery induced plot was fulfilled for most of the book, but unfortunately the ending just flopped a bit in comparison. I enjoyed the majority of it, but when endings leave me more confused than ever, I can’t help but feel a tad disappointed by it. But with it being such a short book anyway, I don’t really hold a grudge against it. It was entertaining – just not quite as fulfilling as I’d have hoped.
Rated 3/5 stars
Share your thoughts!
Have you read this book? What did you think?
If you haven’t, do you plan to?
Have you read any others that sound like it?
Let me know in the comments!
Until next time…
Come and visit me!