*image via GoodReads, review copy c/o NetGalley & Flux
It's been two years since Claire Graham moved to Manhattan, haunted and wracked with guilt at the memory of the tragedy which left her sister, Ella, scarred, bloody and only just alive in a cornfield in her former hometown in Amble, Ohio. Though written off as an accident, Claire is convinced it was the bloodthirsty infamous Amble wolves that tried to take Ella's life.
Now Ella's missing again, and Claire returns to the sleepy small town. Armed with only a handful of clues, including Ella's cryptic diaries from after the accident, and the help of soft-spoken Grant, a boy from her past now the Sheriff's assistant, Claire is now racing against the clock to find Ella before something truly horrific happens. And she needs to hurry as the wolves are starting to bear down on her and her quest for the truth.
So what’s my verdict?
Of Stars and Stardust is told in a first person narrative, the audience essentially lives out the entire story as Claire experiences it. This style is great for preserving the real mystery of what happened right until the end and you also get a feel of the emotions Claire experiences as she unfolds the mysterious events that happened. However, for the most part the story weaved round in so many circles that I personally was left a little lost at what was even happening. In hindsight this may have been deliberate on the author's part and it did mean most of the reveals in the book were definitely surprising.
I also felt a little mislead by the description of this, which made it out to be more of a paranormal mystery, than the psychological thriller it turned out to be. In fact the whole book seemed to be a mismatch of genres, from a psychological horror, to dark family drama and even romance. Despite the thriller tag I've given it, the pacing of the story was very stop/start during the first 3/4 of the novel and I found myself just reading on because I needed to find out the ending already. I will give credit to Hannah for creating a pretty believable and heartfelt bond between the sisters though, the dynamic between the two was one of the few things I enjoyed about the book.
All in all, it was a bit hit and miss for me, but may be one to take at a slower pace on a re-read.
Rocks & Water: Deb Talan; Symptoms: Atlas Genius; Fangs: Little Red Lung; Dirty Paws: Of Monsters & Men; Pressing Flowers: The Civil Wars; Wolf & I: Oh Land; Fever Dream: Iron & Wine; Seven Devils: Florence + the Machine
For lovers of...Donnie Darko, Thirteen Reasons Why and Gone Girl.
This post was written by regular reviewer Ria, get to know her here.