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Freya , Impington Village College

The Stars at Oktober Bend

This book intrigued me. I felt excited, firstly because of the German spelling of the word October. And secondly, the prospect of reading a book which used poetry to convey thoughts.

I was disappointed.

From what I can gather from the somewhat confusing writing, Alice has just turned 15. Her father is dead, and her grandfather is in jail. She is living in poverty with her grandmother, who she refers to as ‘Gram’, her brother Joey and her dog, Bear.

Alice’s past haunts her and now she clings to the thoughts of her fearful 12 year old self. When she meets Manny who is an asylum seeker, the two form a special connection. Piece by piece they learn to accept their lives.

The first thing that struck me about this book was the lack of capital letters. I don’t know why the author chose to do this because it doesn’t seem to relate to the story. Also it lacked detail. I found it hard to picture the characters and the setting because there wasn’t enough description.

I thought that Alice’s poetry would improve this book and I think it was an interesting idea but it just further confused me. Additionally, it doesn’t clearly explain what actually happened to Alice which was what the story is based on.

Overall, I found it hard to concentrate because it was difficult to follow the slowly developing plotline which made it even harder to connect with the characters. And I couldn’t really see the message behind it, mostly because of the time not much happened or I couldn’t understand happening. I wouldn't recommend this book and sincerely hope it doesn't win the Carnegie award.

Posted on: 22nd May 2017 at 05:23 pm

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