Book Review: Of Scars and Stardust
ashley | Of Scars and Stardust by Andrea Hannah starts out exactly how I hate – we are introduced to our heroine Claire, an average, relatable girl with a loving, near perfect family and adorable little sister and I know, I just know that all this happiness is about to burst. Something awful is going to happen to tear this family apart and my heart is already breaking and I’m only one chapter in. (Obviously by “what I hate”, I mean what I love because I love books that make me feel feels before I even know what is going on. This is the power of a good book.)
I’ve always loved the idea of wolves; the sentiment of the lone wolf, fierce protectors, wild-eyed predators. They are vicious creatures and this book brings that viciousness alive. There’s a ton of great imagery tied into these mythical wolves that supposedly haunt the cornfields outside Claire’s home town, they are her demons, her past, hunting her and staring her down from every dark, shadowy corner. But Claire is convinced that these wolves are real and when her younger sister Ella is attacked by one, she’s determined to hunt them down and prove to her small home town that she isn’t crazy, that they do exist.
I love the title – Of Scars and Stardust – that’s how Hannah describes Ella, magical and innocent and optimistic. And she is, she is what keeps Claire going, keeps her breathing. All the characters are well rounded and relatable, though I think a bit too much emphasis was put on Claire’s friend Rae, who other than being the one to tell stories about the wolves, didn’t end up playing much of a role in the whole thing. She was overly developed in the first half of the book and just sort of faded away.
This book teeters on the thin line of reality and is built on a foundation of anxiety. It twists and turns, convincing you of one thing and then proposing another. It definitely kept me on my toes running through the cornfields, chasing Claire as she chased those wolves. And the final “twist” if you will, could have gone either way but I really like where Hannah took it. Even though the ending was left a little bit open ended, I was really happy where we ended up.
The set of the town being surrounded by cornfields is utterly creepy. It adds a whole other level of anxiety and unease to the story itself. I couldn’t imagine walking by a field like that and not be paranoid about what might be lurking among the stalks and I guarantee you the next time I travel home and pass a field, I’ll see a shimmer of movement out of the corner of my eye and take a second look for wolves.
There are a few things that could have been a bit tighter with the story, some things were repeated a bit excessively, sometimes things seemed a bit unclear and confusing when they didn’t really need to be, but the overall story and the underlining message and subject matter was a solid premise for a book and I didn’t expect to be lead in that direction, but was really glad I was.
Of Scars and Stardust is available October 8.