See All the Stars

320p. S. & S./ Margaret K. McElderry Bks. Aug. 2018. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781534404373. POP
Gr 10 Up—Then: four best friends are inseparable. Now: Ellory is alone. Then: Ellory meets her first boyfriend and falls head over heels in love. Now: Ellory is returning to school after time off with no boyfriend and no friends. This novel is told in alternating time periods between then and now, and readers will push forward to figure out what has left Ellory boyfriend- and friendless. They will feel compassion for Ellory as she is ignored, bullied, and isolated, and seeks salvation through therapy and art. The dynamic of the four best friends is an overdramatization of the hierarchy of high school relationships between girls. Ret, the leader of the friend group, is troubled yet alluring and somehow has an unrealistic hold over the other three girls, who are dependent on her. The characters are flawed and layered; readers will relate to at least one of them. Fans of E. Lockhart's We Were Liars will enjoy this thriller/mystery/love story. Talk of underage drinking and hard drug use makes this more appropriate for older teens. The prose in Frick's fast-paced debut will pull readers in immediately.
VERDICT A coming-of-age novel that hits all the stops—drama, friendships, and first love—and would be an excellent choice for YA shelves.

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