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Bethan, John Mason School - Abingdon

The Stars at Oktober Bend

This book had me gripping my seat in anticipation and mystery. The story unravelled like a ball of string as the parts pieced together.
The story itself is split into two sections, Alice’s and Manny’s. In Alice’s side of the story, she talks about her messed up brain and feeling like she’s forever trapped in a loop as a twelve year old, even some 3 years later. Her mother, April, has left her, her father is dead and her grandfather in in jail. She is a 15 year old who’s looked after by her 14 year old brother, Joey, and elderly grandmother who’s struggling now that her lungs are filled with tar, and needs Alice to look after her because she doesn’t need to go to school. Her life begins to become troubled as Joey begins to fall in love with Tilda and Alice falls for Manny. Hamish O’Leary holds a grudge against the family for a reason they are yet to find out and threatens to hurt Alice if Joey keeps on seeing Tilda. Weaved in between all this are poems and stories that hint to us what gave Alice brain damage, Hamish’s grudge and the reason why her grandfather’s in jail.
Manny’s side of the story starts when he’s on a night-time run and sees Alice on her rooftop. He begins to follow and collect her poems and memorises them. His football training was after Alice’s ballet class, but the one time he saw her there was when she had a seizure. As they begin to fall in love, Manny begins to always be with her, accompany her and protect her. He took care of her and did what Joey would have done when Alice had a seizure. At the end, he made sure she was safe from the storm when they had left her alone.
I love how the author, Glenda Millard, has written the book with Alice’s character in mind. You can see this because her section is disjointed and without capital letters, which fully represents what it would be like if someone with brain damage had written it. It also warms your heart to see her improve and grow into the person she should be at her age.
I don’t think I would improve anything. It shows the love between family and to what lengths someone would go in the name of love. I think this is my favourite book so far as it shows how people can change and develop. Because of this, I would give it a 10 out of 10.

Posted on: 28th March 2017 at 02:02 pm

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