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Jennifer, Beauchamps High School

The Stars at Oktober Bend

The stars at Oktober bend
By Glenda Millard

This is a beautifully written and thoroughly interesting book, containing two different narrators’ opinions on the events of their lives. One was told by Alice, the main character, a girl with no tomorrows and the other by Manny, her love interest, a boy with no yesterdays.
I found it really intriguing that the sections written by Alice had no capital letters. At first this was a little confusing but the farther into the book I got the more it made sense. Alice has a brain injury which she described as being her ‘faulty electrics’ this is a result of an attack made on her when she was only 12. Despite this problem, she is a beautiful poet and scatters her writing around the area in which she lives, her words attracted a young runner who later turns out to be Manny James.
Manny is an orphan boy from Sierra Leone, he lives with his foster parents the James’ who support him and help him with his problems but despite this he still has trouble forgetting his past of war and death. Manny is out on a daily run when he comes across the first poem, he makes it his mission to find the poet, he makes it his mission to find Alice. At night Manny runs the streets barefoot to clear his head and that’s how he meets Alice. One night when Manny is out running he looks up to the sky and sees a girl standing on the roof of a house he instantly notices that she is beautiful, with hair as red as fire and skin as white as bone, he knows that this must be the girl that writes the poems.
My favourite character is Alice as she has a particularly unfortunate life with a dead father a missing mother an ill gran a jailed grandpa and brain damage she is not the luckiest 15-year-old. Her brother joey is ‘the last man standing’ and he protects and looks after her and their gran, but Alice knows that Joey won’t be there forever and he starts to focus more on Tilda his girlfriend. Alice preferred it when she was the only girl that he loved but when she meets Manny her ‘twelveness’ begins to have less effect on her. Alice is a fighter who doesn’t let her weaknesses get in her way, she doesn’t wish for things she works for them. I like that she doesn’t let what other people say have an impact on her and just gets on with her life, I like that she does not let the cowards win.
This book may take some getting used to and so might the characters but in my opinion it’s well worth the wait. I really enjoyed this book.

“if we let cowards stop us living the way we want to, we let them win.” ~Alice Nightingale

Posted on: 22nd April 2017 at 08:27 pm

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