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I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
THEN - They were four—Bex, Jenni, Ellory, Ret. Electric, headstrong young women; Ellory’s whole solar system. Lazy summer days. A party. A beautiful boy. Ellory met Matthias and fell into the beginning of a spectacular, bright love. NOW - Ellory is alone, her once inseparable group of friends torn apart by secrets, deception, and a shocking incident that changed their lives forever. Ellory returns to Pine Brook to navigate senior year after a two-month suspension and summer away—no boyfriend, no friends. No going back. Tormented by some and sought out by others, troubled by a mysterious note-writer who won’t let Ellory forget, and consumed by guilt over her not entirely innocent role in everything and everyone she’s lost, Ellory finds that even in the present, the past is everywhere.
I was really hoping to like See All the Stars by Kit Frick more than I did. I've seen so many glowing reviews for it and it's compared to We Were Liars by E. Lockhart and One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus which were stories I particularly enjoyed, but I just feel kind of meh about this debut. I mean, it isn't a bad read or anything - I was just never hooked like I was with the two stories it has been compared to. First, I'll talk about my favorite aspect of the novel which is the fact that it isn't told chronologically. The timeline is broken up, jumping back and forth between then and now asking the reader to put together the clues and try to figure out what happened between this group of friends. For this sort of story that aspect works really well, especially as things really begin to pull together the drama and the tension begins to ratchet up in decent increments that make you want to compulsively read through the story. Even if it isn't all that difficult to make an educated guess as to the truth.
Now for the aspects I didn't really care for, the story kind of drags - I didn't feel like I had to hang on to every word as I was turning the pages to learn the story behind the incident and the aftermath - and I wasn't invested in the characters enough to really care one way or the other before of afterward. I know the characters are supposed to come off as edgy or something, but I mostly came away with pretentious - looking back on the story I'm not sure why the reveal was such a surprise, especially to the characters who lived the story. One of the things that also bothers me in YA are absent or mostly absent parents - and that's what we get here - seriously, to the parents in YA just watch your kids, or have more than a minor passing role in their life.
Overall, See All the Stars by Kit Frick is a debut YA mystery for fans of We Were Liars by E. Lockhart and One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus. It wasn't quite as what I was hoping for but it is still engrossing and suspenseful. Thanks, NetGalley!
I read this ARC from July 25 - 27, 2018 and my review is also on Goodreads. See All the Stars by Kit Frick will be released on August 14th, 2018.