Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Of Scars and Stardust by Andrea Hannah

Author : Andrea Hannah
Series : N/A, Standalone
Genre : Young Adult Contemporary, Fantasy (Paranormal)
Number of Pages : 336
Publication Date : October 8, 2014
Publisher : Flux

Rating :

I received this book as a free copy from NetGalley. These books are given to me as review copies to read and evaluate. I am not obligated to write a review for any of the books I receive, but it is an encouraged practice. I choose which books I review on my blog and on my Goodreads profile. I do not receive monetary compensation for my reviews. My reviews are always honest...I never lie about books. My opinions are my own and may be positive or negative depending on my feelings about a specific piece. Keep in mind, just because I may like or not like a book may not mean that you will feel the same way.

After her little sister mysteriously vanishes, seventeen-year-old Claire Graham has a choice to make: stay snug in her little corner of Manhattan with her dropout boyfriend, or go back to Ohio to face the hometown tragedy she's been dying to leave behind.

But the memories of that night still haunt her in the city, and as hard as she tries to forget what her psychiatrist calls her "delusions," Claire can't seem to escape the wolf's eye or the blood-speckled snow. Delusion or reality, Claire knows she has to hold true to the most important promise she's ever made: to keep Ella safe. She must return to her sleepy hometown in order to find Ella and keep her hallucinations at bay before they strike again. But time is quickly running out, and as Ella's trail grows fainter, the wolves are becoming startlingly real.

Now Claire must deal with her attraction to Grant, the soft-spoken boy from her past that may hold the secret to solving her sister's disappearance, while following the clues that Ella left for only her to find. Through a series of cryptic diary entries, Claire must unlock the keys to Ella's past--and her own--in order to stop another tragedy in the making, while realizing that not all things that are lost are meant to be found.

- Goodreads blurb

This blurb kind of frustrates me, I'll be honest. I think they give away far too much of the story with it. It doesn't ruin the story, but I think it would be easy to become interested in the book with much less information.

Of Scars and Stardust was a departure from my usual reads, but I quite enjoyed it. It's kind of a fantasy, paranormal, delusions thing. It borders a little on horror. There isn't a good way to categorize it fully without giving away the story. I was a little nervous once I started reading it, but I was pleasantly surprised (and relieved) that it turned out well.

So if it was out of my comfort zone, why did I pick it? Well...it's kind of embarrassing really, but I have a bit of a cover lust problem. Yes...I actually chose it mostly because the cover caught my eye. Sometimes that ends disastrously, but I just can't help myself. The snow and the two sets of boots subconsciously reminded me of Jodi Picoult's Tenth Circle and drew me in. I say subconsciously because I didn't even realize that was the case until I was in the middle of the book. The story was really nothing alike, but just that little memory had my interest piqued to some degree.

The writing is good and skillful, but the narrative can be a little choppy. Scenes kind of blink in and out and the description is sometimes a little hasty, like someone should go back for a more thorough look. Since the book is written from Claire's point of view, I think this was done fairly well. It puts the reader directly in her mindset. The downside was that it made reading comprehension a bit difficult. If this approach wasn't purposely used, well...then I guess the setting of the book just works out to the author's favor.

Yes, I admit that I was a little lost and confused for a good portion of the book, which probably cost it a little in terms of rating. A little bit of clarity could be a good thing. I picked up bits and pieces along the way and could mostly keep up with what was going on, but it kind of made my head hurt on occasion. I think a lazy reader could easily give up on this one. I'm glad I kept working at it though, I think it was worth the effort. I will say that this is not a late night read after a long day. You'll never make it.

The plot kept me thinking and trying to figure out what exactly was going on, even questioning my own understanding of the story. This is one of those books that had me so twisted up mentally that it probably deserves a reread. Now that I know how it all comes together, I think that there is much more to be gleaned from the story and I think I may enjoy the book even more on the second pass. I'm still trying to sort through it all in my head.

The ending was very well written. She did a great job pulling things together, but I really could have done with more. This was a case where there was a lot of potential that wasn't used. The story really could have turned into something much bigger.

Good? Yes. I like a book that makes me think and pay attention. Great? I don't know. I had to really think on the book for a bit after I was done in order to decide where I wanted to rate it. The fact that the writing really did show skill is what pushed it up in my view. I think the fact that I'm still thinking about the book a month down the road also speaks to the staying power of the plot. It may be young adult fiction, but I like the meaning and complexity behind the basis for the book. It's very clever. I wouldn't mind reading more of Andrea Hannah's work.


  1. This sounds like something I'd like-going to add it to my TBR list :) Nice review today!

    1. Thanks Finley Jayne! It's definitely an interesting read.


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