Kit Frick’s See All The Stars hit shelves this week, and it’s one of those novels you just won’t be able to put down.
If you’re into young adult contemporary stories with plenty of twists and turns, Kit Frick’s See All The Stars is a new release you won’t want to miss out on. Told between the past and present, the novel follows Ellory as she navigates the loss of her boyfriend, four best friends, and confidence in herself.
Readers go on a journey with Ellory, first learning what happened that changed her life so drastically. Then they move on with her, observing as she learns to forgive herself and those who hurt her. But See All The Stars is so much more than your typical acceptance story.
This book reads like a contemporary, but it has the components of a thriller novel too. Frick’s storytelling will keep you on the edge of your seat, and it’ll surprise you when you least expect it.
Here are four reasons you need to pick this book up (and not put it down until you’re done).
A subtle start
One of the best things about See All the Stars is that it throws you right into the story. Frick doesn’t waste time with long-winded explanations of the characters’ relationships and experiences with one another. She lets us figure it out as the story unfolds.
If there’s one reason you won’t put this book down, it’s this. Frick masterfully hooks readers from the beginning, then leaves us wanting answers. But we’ll have to learn by flipping the pages.
And that’s half the fun, isn’t it?
Linear narratives can become dull at times, especially when it comes to contemporary stories. And a linear story wouldn’t have worked well with See All The Stars. Why would Frick hook us with all of these questions about Ellory’s junior year, only to have things happen as she experienced them?
Instead, Ellory’s story shifts between her junior and senior year. Readers do experience her junior year as it happens to her, but they already know the end result (or at least, they think they do). They know that by the end of the past narrative, Ellory will be broken and friendless.
The fun is in discovering how she becomes this way, and Frick drops plenty of hints during both narratives, allowing readers to piece the puzzle together. She also has a way of ending her chapters to make you want more — but you’ll need to get through another future chapter before you can return to the past (and vice versa).
Infuriating but lovable characters
Every character in See All The Stars will make you roll your eyes at times. I suppose that’s to be expected, given that they’re all teenagers with teenage dramas.
There’s Ellory, too wrapped up in her own fantasies to see what’s happening right in front of her. There’s Ret, the manipulative best friend who hurts the people she loves to make herself feel better. There’s Matthias, the typical bad boy who thinks he’s doing the right thing, even as he hurts the people he cares for.
You’ll be judging these stereotypical characters throughout See All The Stars, but you’ll also be invested in them. It’s weird when that happens, but it’s also the sign of a successful story. Despite their flaws, you’ll feel for Frick’s characters, and you’ll want to know how each of their stories ends.
One last twist
When it comes to Ellory’s relationship with Matthias, the truth becomes obvious as the chapters pass by. With Matthias pushing Ellory away, and Ret constantly mentioning a nameless new guy. there was only one way things could end — with the two of them breaking Ellory’s heart.
The best friend and the boyfriend is one of those clichés that pops up often in young adult books. I’ll admit that I was a bit underwhelmed that I had called the ending. That is, I was underwhelmed, until I realized that that wasn’t the ending.
Ellory spends the majority of See All The Stars loathing herself, and she never explicitly says why. It’s a little bizarre, seeing a character hate herself for something that her boyfriend and best friend did to her. It’s also strange that she only sees Ret when the two of them are alone by the river, but you won’t give much thought to that, not until the very end.
Frick does a great job building the tension, then defusing it with the first reveal. She throws our attention off, right before dropping the real bombshell. It proves her competence as a storyteller, and it will make you want to read more by her.
While See All The Stars reads like a contemporary, it ends more like a thriller. The final twist is one that readers won’t see coming, especially given how dark it is.
See All The Stars hit shelves on Tuesday, August 14. If you’re looking for something fast-paced and entertaining, you’ll want to pick it up.