Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 1545
engaging story about grief
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
AS FAR AS THE STARS is a slow-burning book about overwhelming grief. Air (Ariadne) is a high schooler with heaps of responsibility on her shoulders. She has been her brother’s keeper for years, and right now, there is an extra weight in doing so. Blake, her older brother, is a musician touring England, and he’s a bit of a free spirit. He lost his phone and didn’t have enough money to book the flight he needed, so Air had to do it for him again. This time, she booked the flight into Nashville rather than the usual DC, because they have to be at their sister’s wedding.

She is on her way from DC to Nashville to pick him up when she gets his text that he is boarding and will arrive in Dulles (DC) at 10:15. When she questions him, he responds that yes, he is going to Dulles. Air assumes he must have switched the ticket or booked a different one, forgetting that she was supposed to meet him in Nashville. She rushes back to DC only to learn that the flight is delayed and then missing. But Blake was never supposed to be on that flight, so maybe he is actually in Nashville.

Christopher is folding paper and waiting for his father, who was on the same flight, but begins to talk to Air and then ends up accompanying her on her roadtrip from DC to Tennessee. Along the way, they talk about their families and lives, connecting on a deeper level.

What I loved: This book is a really deep character study into Air and Christopher’s lives. This type of book has its own appeal in getting entrenched in others’ lives. I actually did not like Air at first, but as we get to understand her better, she grew on me. I love her ambitions of becoming an astronaut, even though some of her self-constraints/punishments along the path seem over the top. She has a goal and is striving towards it the best way she knows how, and I admire that. Together, they add a lot of complexity- enough to fill a large book about a few days.

What left me wanting more: There were a few things that grated on me the wrong way, but which were overall small parts of the story. Air is upset about her older sister Jude getting married because Air believes that she is wasting her training at Julliard to become a wife and mother. I do not think marriage (or kids) is exclusive to career, and I felt like this sentiment was bandied about by Air too much. There is a bit of a discussion later between Jude and Air that somewhat gets at this, but I would have liked a bigger discussion about this ancient notion. The other thing was irresponsible pet ownership in that Air brings Leda, off-leash, everywhere, and lies about her being a service dog. She also does not seem to understand that people are very allergic to dogs when her mother brings this up as a reason to not allow the dog to roam the wedding. She also almost loses the dog a few times on a hike when Leda goes up to other people (who might be allergic or sensitive or anything else but are somehow super happy about it in the book) and when she takes off while they are talking. I felt like irresponsible pet ownership should have some consequences, as it may for other people (people with actual service dogs, people who are allergic, etc.). However, I recognize that these are relatively small points, but they did make the character more difficult for me to like, particularly at first.

Final verdict: Overall, this is an in-depth character study of family and grief with a tone and dialogue that really pulls you in to the story. The strongest part of this evocative story is the slow-burning romance that underlies the main plot. I highly recommend for people who like intensely personal YA contemporaries.
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 1 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Llama Llama Meets the Babysitter
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
With over 30 million copies in print, Anna Dewdney's New...
City (Wheels at Work)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Delivering, collecting, transporting and recycling! Lift the flap to see...
A Season of Flowers
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Michael Garland (Daddy Played the Blues) displays his impressive illustration...
You Are Fantastic!
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From Hello!Lucky, the creators of My Mom Is Magical! and...
Early One Morning
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Join a little boy searching the farm for his breakfast...
Little Sap: The Magical Story of a Little Forest Family
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
A little tree, guided by her family circle and forest...
The Little Things: A Story about Acts of Kindness
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
One girl’s simple act of kindness causes ripples in her...
The Cruelest Mercy (The Kinder Poison, #2)
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
In this sequel to The Kinder Poison—which People magazine proclaimed...
The City Beautiful
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Death lurks around every corner in this unforgettable Jewish historical...
The Shape of Thunder
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Cora hasn’t spoken to her best friend, Quinn, in a...
Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A lyrical and heartfelt collection by an award-winning writer that...
The Republic of Birds
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A young witch must save her sister from evil birds...
Fearless
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Better Nate than Ever meets Love Sugar Magic in this...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
"It was a test, you fool,” she sneered, “to see...
Ducks on the Road: A Counting Adventure
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
From Caldecott Honor artist Anita Lobel comes a touching and...
Sloth and Smell the Roses
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A playful board book about the pillars of mindfulness from...

Latest Member Reviews

Llama Llama Meets the Babysitter
 
4.0
"LLAMA LLAMA MEETS THE BABYSITTER is an overall fun new installment in the Llama Llama series. Following the usual format..."
City (Wheels at Work)
 
4.0
"WHEELS AT WORK: CITY is a simple but fun lift-the-flap book about vehicles little ones will see around the city...."
The Fault In Our Stars
 
5.0
"I had enjoyed this book to great extent. I loved the relationship connection between the two characters and how the..."
A Season of Flowers
 
4.3
"A SEASON OF FLOWERS is a lovely board book told from the perspective of flowers that appear from the spring..."
You Are Fantastic!
 
5.0
"YOU ARE FANTASTIC! is a brightly colored and cheerful read celebrating YOU! The book walks through some metaphorical compliments, such..."
Early One Morning
 
3.5
"EARLY ONE MORNING is a picture book walk around a farm. A little boy heads out to find a couple..."
Little Sap: The Magical Story of a Little Forest Family
 
4.5
"LITTLE SAP is a beautifully illustrated story about growing up, seasons, and forests. Little Sap can't wait to be a..."
The Little Things: A Story about Acts of Kindness
 
5.0
"THE LITTLE THINGS is a charming and powerful story about the contagious nature of kindness. A little girl heads to..."
The Cruelest Mercy (The Kinder Poison, #2)
 
4.7
"THE CRUELEST MERCY is an intriguing second book in an enthralling YA fantasy series. After the rush and danger of..."
Heiress Apparently (Daughters of the Dynasty, #1)
 
4.0
"What worked: This was a fun take on Crazy Rich Asians meets descendants of Empress Regent of China. Gemma..."
Fiver Finds Home
 
5.0
"'Fiver Finds Home' by Jill Bugbee, illustrated by Jennifer Davison, is a story of friendly Fiver, a blue giraffe who..."
The Lost Legends
 
5.0
"The Lost Legends is one of those books that has everything in it. A princess, an evil king, pirates, a..."
Ducks on the Road: A Counting Adventure
 
4.0
"DUCKS ON THE ROAD is a charming and simple picture book with a counting theme. Mama and Papa Duck are..."
Sloth and Smell the Roses
 
5.0
"SLOTH AND SMELL THE ROSES is another charming and colorful book from the fantastic sister duo, Eunice and Sabrina Moyle...."
Curious About Insects
 
5.0
"CURIOUS ABOUT INSECTS is a great non-fiction board book that lays out some basic facts about insects. Each page has..."
The Box in the Woods (Truly Devious, #4)
 
5.0
"THE BOX IN THE WOODS is a fantastic continuation of Stevie's story with a whole new cold case to solve...."
 
4.7
"Miles "Pudge" Halter seeks for a "Great Perhaps", and attends Culver Creek, a boarding school. Yet, he finds himself with..."
 
5.0
"To say that this book was one of my most anticipated releases for 2021 is an understatement. After the impact..."
 
5.0
"Oh my goodness what a way to end this series! I honestly took a little longer to finish this book..."
 
5.0
"I absolutely loved this sequel. The first one was such a good set up for this book. Nita is free..."