The Chaos of Stars

The Chaos of Stars - Kiersten White I cannot believe this is by the same author that wrote the Paranormalcy trilogy. I think this book is a 1.5 because I must place it somewhere between terrible and bearable. It was such a hit and miss for me. Where Paranormalcy and its companions were always witty and quick on their feet with wonderful characters this book was falling apart at the seams in terms of its plot, characters, execution, just everything. It felt like White was attempting to repeat her past success by writing a story that had so much potential but fell flat to the point where it was difficult to appreciate almost anything.

The cover and title are very misleading, as several people have already mentioned. There isn't that much to do with the stars and what IS related to them is so exaggeratingly cheesy that I couldn't wrap my head around it. From the summary I expected this to be somewhat more energetic, in fact a bit different and more original, but it stuck to the comfortable existing framework of YA fiction. The beginning was confusing because I couldn't understand, for several chapters, just what the time period was, or how exactly Isadora and her family were living with their old traditions. It was quickly skimmed over and the story moved to the 'good stuff', which were really not that good.

I get that there are teenagers that dislike, or REALLY dislike, their families, but Isadora took it to a whole new level. She was so unnaturally whiny, annoying, and rather rude that it made me wonder if she was written this way on purpose as an attempt to appeal to a teenage audience. If that's the case, White failed. Miserably. I get that teenagers aren't perfect, that they come up with rude or mean nicknames for people, even family members. But Whore-us? REALLY? And it wasn't enough to say it only once, that I could've overlooked, but almost every time she talked about him Isadora referred to Horus by that nickname. Her thoughts, especially the one near the beginning at the airport, pay 18/19 I believe, somewhat annoyed me. It took the idea of obnoxious teenager to a whole new level. Although she got a bit better around the middle and near the end of the book, it was impossible for my opinion of her to change. She is by far one of the worst characters I have stumbled across in a YA novel, exaggerated beyond measure that any point or sympathy for her flew over my head.

Tyler was a rather plain and confusing character in terms of her role. Some of her actions annoyed me but overall she was just sort of there, that's all. The same was with Scott. Usually friends of the main character play a more active role and are more pleasant to read about; not in this case.

Ry is a part of the novel I can't decide on. The case of instant love, as is characteristic of teen novels, is worse here because it feels more forced and cheesy, especially when you throw in Isadora's conflicted thoughts and constant wondering about blue and how Ry has such blue eyes and how good he looks in blue. Even when he confessed that secret near the end, which was probably supposed to be a bit of a shocking/revelation kind of moment for the reader, I didn't engage with it, still struggling to swallow what felt like the unnatural relationship of Isadora and Ry.

Speaking o the ending, even that I feel could have been rounded up more smoothly with a conclusion rather than leaving the story hanging so abruptly with still a bunch of threads hanging loose. The discoveries of plots and betrayals at the end didn't phase me. The overall disappointment of the book tainted everything for me. The premise was interesting, the cover and title held quite a promise, and the final product was nothing like what I hoped or expected. It was a real let down, a book that I felt was incensere with its delivery and inner components, especially the characters. It wanted to appeal but didn't, it presented an exaggerated teenager and her life that even the most hopeful readers will probably find difficult to stomach.