Tuesday, September 20, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: Lost Stars by Lisa Selin Davis

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. The scheduled publication date for this book is October 4, 2016. 

Before her older sister, Ginny, died, Carrie was a science nerd, obsessively tracking her beloved Vira comet. But now that Ginny is gone, sixteen-year-old Carrie finds herself within the orbit of Ginny’s friends, a close-knit group of seniors who skip school, obsess over bands (not science), and party hard. Fed up with Carrie’s behavior, her father enrolls her in a summer work camp at a local state park. Carrie actually likes the days spent in nature. And when she meets Dean, a guy who likes the real Carrie—astrophysics obsessions and all—she starts to get to the heart of who she is and who she wants to be.

Okay, I kind of tolerated this book for most of it and then it just went downhill. I swear this book was average for most of it and then towards the end, I just became annoyed. So Carrie is upset at the death of her older sister, Ginny. Ginny drank and did drugs and of course, Carrie picked up the role of "rebellious child" after her death. Carrie uses Ginny's death as an excuse to push people away and act selfish and generally just act mean towards everyone. But I guess it's okay that she does that because she's grieving, right? She doesn't even acknowledge the feelings of Ginny's two friends who were actually in the car with her when she died. Nope, Carrie is the only one hurting. 

Carrie's mom left soon after Ginny's death because that's apparently what you do: one kid dies and instead of dealing with it, you leave your other two children alone. Makes sense. Carrie's dad was a hard one. I alternated between liking him and hating him, but then I realized that he was kind of realistic. He stuck around, unlike Carrie's mom and he did the best he could to take care of both Carrie and Rosie (Carrie's sister). He got frustrated with Carrie because she stayed out all night and did drugs and made everyone around her miserable. There were times when I thought he could have reached out a little bit more, but he was doing the best he could. The problem was that Carrie did NOT make it easy. I did like that her father was not willing to give up on her and he was willing to set boundaries with her and he tried his best to discipline her. 

Okay, so there is a reason why I thought this book was a bit better than it was for a majority of the book: there was an interesting twist on the whole "acting like a bitch because I'm sad" thing. The author alluded to the fact that Carrie had been diagnosed by a therapist as having impulse control disorder. That got my attention. How often is THAT mental illness talked about? Never. The way Carrie was out of control and the way she would totally overreact to stuff emotionally seemed to fit with that. And I got the feeling that her issues started before Ginny's death, but they just became so much worse after the fact. I was so interested in how that part of the storyline would play out. 

The problem though was that, aside from that one mention by the shrink, there was no other mention of it. With impulse control disorder, the patient needs therapy and medication. Well Carrie had stopped her therapy and there was no talk of medication. There were times when I wasn't sure if the author was trying to portray Carrie as mentally ill or if she was just throwing a temper tantrum. But the worst part, the absolute worst, was that the author made it seem as if Carrie's relationship with Dean was the answer to her problems. Carrie was desperate for a boyfriend; she got one. And once, Carrie felt herself start to overreact and have a "fit," as she called it. But guess what happened? One conversation with Dean and it was gone. Poof. Just like that. So freaking annoying. And she never had another episode again. Okay, I don't know that for sure, but that's definitely the direction the author was going with it. Sorry, but people who actually have impulse control disorder need a bit more help than a boyfriend can provide. 

Buy/Borrow/Skip: I would just recommend skipping this one.


  1. Ohhhh nope. Yeah, hard pass. First, to not elaborate on the mental health is not okay, but to have it "cured" by a boy? Rage. I am filled with all the rage. Thanks for the heads up, I shall be skipping for sure! Fabulous review!

    1. Thanks Shannon! I really, really, REALLY hate it when authors write about a mental health issue and then do an awful job with it. So disappointing.