Title: See All the Stars
Author: Kit Frick
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books/ Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: August 14, 2018
Rating: ⭐ ⭐
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(Digital ARC graciously provided by the publisher via Edelweiss)
Friendship, love, betrayal and forgiveness take center stage in Kit Frick’s debut See All the Stars.
It’s hard to find the truth beneath the lies you tell yourself.
THEN They were four—Bex, Jenni, Ellory, Ret. Electric, headstrong young women; Ellory’s whole solar system.
NOW Ellory is alone, her once inseparable group of friends torn apart by secrets, deception, and a shocking incident that changed their lives forever.
THEN Lazy summer days. A party. A beautiful boy. Ellory met Matthias and fell into the beginning of a spectacular, bright love.
NOW Ellory returns to Pine Brook to navigate senior year after a two-month suspension and summer away—no boyfriend, no friends. No going back. Tormented by some and sought out by others, troubled by a mysterious note-writer who won’t let Ellory forget, and consumed by guilt over her not entirely innocent role in everything and everyone she’s lost, Ellory finds that even in the present, the past is everywhere.
The path forward isn’t a straight line. And moving on will mean sorting the truth from the lies—the lies Ellory has been telling herself.
Trigger Warning: Alcohol & drug abuse / Grief / Depression
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one unpopular to most readers who have already finished and gave this book glowing reviews.
This is a story that has friendships at its heart. Narrated by Ellory Holland, the story jumps back and forth in alternating chapters between “Then” where the four girls – Ellory, Ret, Jenni and Bex appeared solid and inseparable, and “Now” where the group has fallen apart and each girl has gone her own way. It is immediately clear that something has happened, and it is this – the finding out of what happened in the past – which forms the backbone of this story.
Now, this is nothing new. I’ve read a whole lot of books that use this story device. Half the time it works and gives readers a clearer picture so that they can imagine the story better. Unfortunately, for See All the Stars, it goes the other way.
At first, the “then” and “now” format created mystery and I willingly dived into the story eager to untangle the clues Ellory lets slip and discover what really went down between her and her friends, and her and Matthias. But overtime things got repetitive and it dragged the story out that by the time I got to the big reveal the only thing I felt was relief that I was finally about to finish the book.
The plot twists were also pretty much predictable. I figured out one of the plot twists early on (If your boyfriend keeps on deflecting, girl, he’s doing something behind your back and is about to break your heart) and suspected the other one (When only one character speaks and interacts with another character, it’s usually suspect. Clue: “We Were Liars”). I usually don’t mind, but those combined with the dragged-out story, totally didn’t mix well for me.
The characters and portrayal of toxic friendships were, overall, okay. However, I didn’t find any of them compelling enough. They were, and this is harsh but totally my opinion and you don’t have to agree with me, forgettable.
Sadly, See All the Stars just didn’t work for me. The writing was good but even this couldn’t save this book from its fatal flaws. I’m sure many other readers will like this book, hell, even love it, but this girl will stick to re-reading We Were Liars instead.