Title: OF SCARS AND STARDUST
Author: Andrea Hannah
Publication Information: Flux, 2014
Genre: Young Adult – Mystery
Rating: 4 Stars
Recommended For: People who love them some plot twists with a heaping side of guilt.
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 eyes 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.
(Summary from Goodreads)
Why I Picked It: I follow Andrea on Twitter and Instagram (which didn’t influence my review at all). Also, the cover is gorgeous.
First of all, I want to talk about how well the cover ties into the book. We’ve got the two girls clutching each other, which accurately speaks to the fact that this is a story about two sisters. Then, the sisters are standing in the middle of some really creepy looking trees, which I think accurately reflects the feel of the book since it definitely had me on edge the entire time I was reading it.
The book started off pretty slow for me. The entire first section of the book shows up what happens before the main story – the part where the main character, Claire, is trying to find her missing sister, Ella. I understand that the information we get from that part is important to understanding Claire’s mental state and Ella’s motivations later on in the book, but I have to wonder if it needed to be presented that way since I felt like it slowed the pace down a bit toward the beginning.
Once I got through Part One, though, and the mystery really kicked into gear, I was in. OF SCARS AND STARDUST is full of twists and turns that had me saying “NO WAY!” in multiple places. As soon as Ella goes missing and Claire and Graham start looking for clues and start uncovering the truth about certain past events, the book is fast-paced and never slows down.
I also loved how well Hannah presented Claire, whose sanity is in question throughout the entire book. The entire time I was reading, I had to question if certain things were actually happening, but at the same time, I really wanted to believe Claire because it was so clear how much she cares about Ella and feels responsible for what happened to her. Claire may or may not be experiencing delusions, but she always felt fully formed, which I feel is important when dealing with a character like this.
Another thing I really loved is the setting. OF SCARS AND STARDUST takes place mostly in a small town in Ohio, and captured that small town feel. But at the same time, it was really atmospheric and because of that – as well as how Claire perceives her surroundings – it added a lot of tension to the book.
TL;DR: OF SCARS AND STARDUST starts off slow, but once the mystery element of the story comes into play, it’s a fast-paced story full of twists and turns that’s hard to put down.