Before her older sister, Ginny, died, Carrie was a science nerd, obsessively tracking her beloved Vira comet. But now that Ginny is gone, sixteen-year-old Carrie finds herself within the orbit of Ginny’s friends, a close-knit group of seniors who skip school, obsess over bands (not science), and party hard. Fed up with Carrie’s behavior, her father enrolls her in a summer work camp at a local state park. Carrie actually likes the days spent in nature. And when she meets Dean, a guy who likes the real Carrie—astrophysics obsessions and all—she starts to get to the heart of who she is and who she wants to be.
LOST STARS by Lisa Selin Davis is a charming and heart breaking story that follows Carrie – a closeted astrophysics nerd who runs with an older crowd; the crowd her sister use to hang out with, before her sister died. As Carrie spins further and further out of control, her father comes to the end of himself and enrolls her in a summer work program at a local state park.
Carrie comes a long way over the course of the novel and it isn’t even until closer to the end that you realize how far gone Carrie had really gone. The character development doesn’t happen in a single page or in a snap of a finger. It takes a lot of time for Carrie to realize some things about the people who love her and the people she loves. Although she is incredibly difficult to like in the beginning, you find yourself feeling sympathetic for her because of all the chaos happening around her. By the end of the novel, she’s still not a character I would want to be friends with but she is easy to cheer for.
The writing is incredibly charming. I especially enjoyed the 80s setting with the emphasis on music and all the nerdy astrophysics conversations between both Carrie and Dean, her love interest, and Carrie and her work friends.
What Left Me Wanting More:
While Carrie was a character I could cheer for in the end, she was the only one. Every supporting character felt flat to me, a one note song. Even her love interest, Dean, felt shallow to me. They just didn’t jump off the page like Carrie eventually did. The romance is also very slow moving, something that frustrated me in some points.
Even though the story lags in some points, it’s a great story about grief and figuring out how to put the pieces of your life back together after tragedy. Carrie’s story is one that you’ll find yourself cheering for long after you’ve closed the last page.