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Bella, British School of Gran Canaria

The Stars at Oktober Bend

Alice and Manny are both teenagers who carry the weight of their pasts on their shoulders. This book is about how they live their lives now, accepting their burdens as a part of themselves and finding comfort in each other and the people around them.
The story starts slow, where we're allowed to grow attached to the characters and the way their perspectives are told. Alice's point of view lets us know that even though she cannot speak words properly, she is extremely creative and emotive at heart. She tells us some events of her life through small pieces of poetry and the way her chapters are formatted makes it personal, as if it's the way she would've written it herself.
It took me two thirds of the book in to really get invested in the characters' lives, though I think I would feel differently if I read those two thirds again. As Alice and Manny faced more conflicts together, I became more intrigued in what their futures held.
The few side characters like Alice's brother Joey and grandmother were thoroughly fleshed out too; it's also about how they struggle alongside Alice and have their own problems to deal with. I did think it lacked a little bit more backstory, I wanted to know more about each of their families' pasts than what they'd told us briefly, although I understand it's a sensitive subject for them and they wouldn't want to tell us in detail.
This book isn't perfect, it's simple but that's what makes it compelling. It's not an action-packed adventure, but just the everyday lives of people who are getting by despite the difficulties they've faced before. That's what makes it worth reading.

Posted on: 26th April 2017 at 09:50 am

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