Find my full review here FAR AS THE STARS is a slow burning book about overwhelming grief Air Ariadne is a high schooler with heaps of responsibility on her shoulders She has been her brother s keeper for years, and right now, there is an extra weight in doing so Blake, her older brother, is a musician touring England, and he s a bit of a free spirit He lost his phone and didn t have enough money to book the flight he needed, so Air had to do it for him again This time, she booked the flight into Nashville rather than the usual DC, because they have to be at their sister s wedding.She is on her way from DC to Nashville to pick him up when she gets his text that he is boarding and will arrive in Dulles DC at 10 15 When she questions him, he responds that yes, he is going to Dulles Air assumes he must have switched the ticket or booked a different one, forgetting that she was supposed to meet him in Nashville She rushes back to DC only to learn that the flight is delayed and then missing But Blake was never supposed to be on that flight, so maybe he is actually in Nashville.Christopher is folding paper and waiting for his father, who was on the same flight, but begins to talk to Air and then ends up accompanying her on her roadtrip from DC to Tennessee Along the way, they talk about their families and lives, connecting on a deeper level.What I loved This book is a really deep character study into Air and Christopher s lives This type of book has its own appeal in getting entrenched in others lives I actually did not like Air at first, but as we get to understand her better, she grew on me I love her ambitions of becoming an astronaut, even though some of her self constraints punishments along the path seem over the top She has a goal and is striving towards it the best way she knows how, and I admire that Together, they add a lot of complexity enough to fill a large book about a few days.What left me wantingThere were a few things that grated on me the wrong way, but which were overall small parts of the story Air is upset about her older sister Jude getting married because Air believes that she is wasting her training at Julliard to become a wife and mother I do not think marriage or kids is exclusive to career, and I felt like this sentiment was bandied about by Air too much There is a bit of a discussion later between Jude and Air that somewhat gets at this, but I would have liked a bigger discussion about this ancient notion The other thing was irresponsible pet ownership in that Air brings Leda, off leash, everywhere, and lies about her being a service dog She also does not seem to understand that people are very allergic to dogs when her mother brings this up as a reason to not allow the dog to roam the wedding She also almost loses the dog a few times on a hike when Leda goes up to other people who might be allergic or sensitive or anything else but are somehow super happy about it in the book and when she takes off while they are talking I felt like irresponsible pet ownership should have some consequences, as it may for other people people with actual service dogs, people who are allergic, etc However, I recognize that these are relatively small points, but they did make the characterdifficult for me to like, particularly at first.Final verdict Overall, this is an in depth character study of family and grief with a tone and dialogue that really pulls you in to the story The strongest part of this evocative story is the slow burning romance that underlies the main plot I highly recommend for people who like intensely personal YA contemporaries. Air s job has always been to wrangle her older brother, and this weekend is the most important mission of all get him to their sister s wedding in time to sing the song he composed for her But he s taken the wrong plane, and as she waits in the airport rumours start circulating the plane went down It s crashed into the sea No survivors.Determined to prove he wasn t on it, she starts out for the airport he was supposed to arrive at Accompanied by a teenage boy who also has a relative on the missing flight, she crosses America in a desperate bid to save the wedding.Road trip books are always strange for me they re almost all set in a America, and I have only a very hazy idea of America s geography, so I never really know if the trip described is long, short, difficult or anything else This one, though, very effectively conveys the sort of numb panic that sets in when there s literally nothing to do but keep moving forward I did get a little confused about the timingI was sure several days had passed in the car, but then someone comments that it all happened two days ago, but it can t have been that long I was probably thrown off by the fact that the characters are sleeping at odd times and driving over date lines a couple of times.I enjoyed this read very much and will look forward to selling itWhat were you scared of Christopher asks I keep pulling him behind me Everything Everything Yeah I was scared of other people And dogs I look over at Leda who hasn t budged from her rock And of making new friends And of big trucks And loud noises I was basically scared of every damned thing in the world I pause I was even scared of those I look up at the sky.He follows my gaze The stars I nod How they re too far and too close all the same time How we don t know anything about them not really And I was scared of the sky too, how big it was And the dark And the moon And what might be out there You were scared of all the stuff you live for now I turn to face him The stuff I live forno one s ever put it like that Like they understand Why are you staring he asks You re pretty awesome, you know that, Christopher He blinks and looks down at his feet. 4.5 StarsI received this book from NetGalley in exchanges for an honest and unbiased review of the book.This book took me by complete surprise I went into relatively blank as I didn t want to be spoiled as to what this book was going to be about, so when the main event happened, so even the prologue took me by surprise I enjoy the feeling of going into a book completely blank and uncovering everything while you re reading it, whether that s good or bad Sometimes descriptions and trailers give too much away But what I m about to says in the description, but I ll try not to give spoilers.The story follows Air Ariadne and Christopher and their journey and story after the plane, UKFlyer0217 from Heathrow has gone missing Both of them have someone on that flight, or think they have someone on that flight as Air goes into complete denial She goes on a journey of her own, as she booked a completely different flight for her brother Blake, so why did he get on this flight Still holding on hope that he got on the flight she booked for him and he got confused and sent her the wrong details Christopher however, knows his dad was on the flight, as his dad was the pilot and he keeps seeing his face popping up everywhere This book was so beautifully written and with the imagery it described There were moments of pure bliss and peacefulness, then you d remember what this book was about It was done so well To look at these two characters, barely 17 18 years old and how they deal with such events It was gripping and had me hooked It s such a delicate subject, death always is and it was done perfectly It was an emotional read because of how realistic it is There are scenes that I just won t forget, especially when Air finally gets to the wedding and after the eclipse There s one scene in particular that just got me, which I want share because of spoilers, that made me feel bad for Christopher and brought me back to the prologue and how he ll never know. I started this book with no expectations at all and was completely taken by surprise This book was beautifully written There were moments of extreme calmness then I d remember what exactly what the novel was about Some parts made me laugh and then I would think about the main characters, so young and what they were having to cope with As Far as the Stars was totally gripping, dealing with the subject of death so tactfully and considerately This was such an emotional and realistic read and one that I highly recommend Rating five stars.I hope to readfrom Virginia Macgregor in the future.I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel, at my own request, from HQ via NetGalley This review is my own unbiased opinion. It s a pretty book, both the cover and language The metaphors used for stars are beautiful, and the topic of death by flight is so emotional and yet something that could happen to any of us I felt so bad for Christopher because of what happened in the prologue, and I think the romance is done so that it s not over romantic, as they both are grieving over their loved ones. There s a wedding to attend, a family in peril, a sister in crisis mode Meanwhile Blake is nowhere to be found and many wonder is this some cruel hoax, a joke, a skipping out of sorts It began with his sis Air Ariadne purchasing a plane ticket to London but resulted in a possible wrong purchase or even a mix up with the schedule and Blake getting on the wrong plane.Whatever the case may be the result could be tragic after learning that UkFlyer0217 was delayed and then labeled missing.How can an entire plane go missing As the story progresses we learn of Christopher a man of many talents including model airplanes and art with a story to tell His parents made him feel abandoned, isolated, worthless and now his father we learn was piloting the plane and may have made a grave error in judgement.Was it mechanical error Human Error The case results in lost lives and much heartache but perhaps in the ashes is a shining star and a beacon of light The entire process between Christopher and Air is quite interesting as the relationship progresses through travelling buddies and later a surprise visit or two to see one another.The idea of an unwanted pregnancy in addition to everything else just adds fuel to the fire.I enjoyed this story and hope others do as well. 3.5 read Georgias review it s exactly how I feel 3.5 rounded down because AIR IS SUCH AN ANNOYING CHARACTER I couldn t stand her and I m supposed to sympathise with her I loved the idea and the writing, but I hated Air She was rude, selfish, naive, and just plain irritating. This book was a strange one for me I really enjoyed the plot and was excited to get to know the charactersand get into why Air and her brother were so close.I love emotional contemporary books with a love story in the middle These two characters both have loved ones on a missing plane and you get to see their anguish and worry at points throughout the book however the actions they take whilst not knowing where their family member is, is quite strange.During the road trip Air and Christopher begin to bond over their families and their little quirks I connected with Air because she was like me as a child, she didn t want to dress girly and play with dolls she wanted to explore and get stuck in with her brother Blake I ve always wanted an older brother to explore the wilderness with Christopher is quiet yet brave and they do bounce off each other once they get past the awkward first stages of their friendship.I did feel like they forgot about their loved ones at times, e.g they went skinny dipping and jumped off a high rock into a rock pool randomly which i didn t understand Also the way Air kept talking about her brother Blake and the way she described his body at a certain point made me a feel a bit uncomfortable I feel like everything she did she mentioned her brother and it was like she couldn t go a second with mentioning him.Although i found a few things that irritated me this is still a good book to read, the writing style is easy to follow and it would appeal to a lot of people Also the book cover is so pretty and the astronomy side of the story was really fascinating. Praise For Virginia Macgregor I Defy You Not To Fall In Love Clare Mackintosh How Do You Change What S Already Written In The Stars Christopher Is The Sort Of Guy That No One Notices, Yet When Air Catches Sight Of Him Making Intricate Paper Birds In The Airport, She Can T Look Away But Their Worlds Are About To Collide In Ways They Never Expected Someone They Love Is On FlightFrom London Heathrow And It S Missing Convinced That Her Brother Was On A Different Flight, Air Drives Them Hundreds Of Miles Across The Country, On A Trip That Will Change Their Lives Forever But How Do You Tell The Person You Re Falling For That You Might Just Be The Reason Their Life Has Fallen Apart
www.virginiamacgregor.com where you can find out about my life as a writer, upcoming books and events.
- 439 pages
- As Far as the Stars
- Virginia Macgregor
- 06 December 2017 Virginia Macgregor