My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Publication Date: October 4th, 2016
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Family, Troubled Teens, Romance, Music
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.
My advice to people interested in reading this novel is to be patient.
It doesn’t have the best of book beginnings, since the main character will appear extremely careless, reckless and sort of suicidal—a danger to herself.
But the best thing about this story is Carrie’s character development. Because of her stupid behaviour, her father sends her to a work boot camp for troubled teenagers, where they have to construct a footbridge.
The character development doesn’t happen in a single page or in a snap of finger. It takes time for Carrie to realize some things about the people who love her and the people she loves. Although she is almost impossible to like in the beginning, I still opened my heart to her. And I’m glad I did because, by the end of the novel, I wanted to applaud her.
The writing is pretty charming. I especially enjoyed the metaphors that center around the stars and the many mentions of astrophysics. It’s a believable story, in the sense that I had no difficulty imagining everything truly happening in front of my eyes.
My problem was with everyone who isn’t Carrie, her father, her sister or the camp monitor. Even her love interest, Dean, couldn’t charm me. Carrie’s friends are those kinds of people who know nothing else but to party, drink and flirt with boys, so I really couldn’t bring myself to welcome their role in the plot.
The romance is okay. If it hadn’t been so slowly introduced and explored, I would have cried insta-love, but it is, so thank god for no heavy love-triangle, insta-love or even insta-lust. Dean is not my type of book boyfriend—actually no one in this book resembles the people in my life—but I guess I liked how he made Carrie feel.
And well, hurray for a 80s setting. The mentions of countless old songs made me feel nostalgic. There’s a slightly melancholy atmosphere in this book here and there. It really is a good debut. Not incredible, but good still.
Follow me on: