A gorgeously written story about first love, loss and friendship.
See All the Stars by Kit Frick
Blurbs that compare a book to other books are always dancing on a thin line and can fall into spoiler territory pretty quickly. I somehow managed to ignore that first line of the description until I was about halfway through, but then it hit me. Does that mean…? It didn’t ruin the story, but took away from the mystery a bit.
The story is centered around Ellory May and her group of friends: Ret, Bex and Jenni. Their borderline toxic relationship is explored in depth as Ellory switches back and forth between then and now. The before and the after. This is not your typical frenemy story, however. There’s a fine line between someone feeling lost and insecure lashing out and one being outright manipulative for the sake of drama, and for quite a long time I was not sure just what to make of these girls.
The budding romance between Ellory and Matthias is pretty vanilla, and despite them being together for about nine months, it always seemed kind of innocent and cute. Until of course it wasn’t… Their relationship is not free of difficult moments, but they don’t center around some stupid love triangle or steamy drama, but happen because teenagers are not always equipped to deal with shit life throws at them. I loved how the author laid out their emotions so clearly, and yet Ellory refused to see the signs. Choosing to ignore what’s right in front of us is one thing many of us can relate to.
Ellory is a lovely girl with dreams of living in Portland and studying art, a clear plan for the future I found admirable, and a set of parents who are, in her words, annoyingly present. We never really meet them, but it’s clear they are involved in her life and are supporting, gently steering her down the path of self sufficiency.
One thing I particularly liked was the Ellory’s unapologetic mention of her therapist she started seeing after everything happened. She treats her visits as a necessary and helpful way to overcome her trauma, and never as a taboo, or something she should think of as a sign of weakness. Why should she? Therapy, and getting help for one’s mental health should never be something one should be ashamed of.
I wouldn’t say this was a thriller though. See All the Stars is more like a slow burning, character driven mystery, and while certainly suspenseful on occasion, the emphasis is on the emotions, not so much on the actions. There’s a lot of dreaming and wallowing going on, but it’s understandable under the circumstances and I found it conveying the story in a way that will hit you in the feels.
Who is Kit Frick?
Kit Frick is a novelist, poet, and MacDowell Colony fellow. Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, she studied creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College and received her MFA from Syracuse University. When she isn’t putting complicated characters in impossible situations, Kit edits poetry and literary fiction for a small press, edits for private clients, and mentors emerging writers through Pitch Wars. Her debut young adult novel is See All the Stars (Simon & Schuster / Margaret K. McElderry Books, August 14, 2018), and her debut full-length poetry collection is A Small Rising Up in the Lungs (New American Press, fall 2018).
Where can you find her?
I’m afraid this time this is only open for the US only.
Prize: One finished copy of See All the Stars by Kit Frick (USA only)
To enter the giveaway, click >> HERE <<