Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White

The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White

Kiersten White, New York Times bestselling author of Paranormalcy, is back with The Chaos of Stars—an enchanting novel set in Egypt and San Diego that captures the magic of first love and the eternally complicated truth about family.

Isadora's family is seriously screwed up—which comes with the territory when you're the human daughter of the ancient Egyptian gods Isis and Osiris. Isadora is tired of living with crazy relatives who think she's only worthy of a passing glance—so when she gets the chance to move to California with her brother, she jumps on it. But her new life comes with plenty of its own dramatic—and dangerous—complications . . . and Isadora quickly learns there's no such thing as a clean break from family.

Blending Ally Carter's humor and the romance of Cynthia Hand's Unearthly, The Chaos of Stars takes readers on an unforgettable journey halfway across the world and back, and proves there's no place like home. (blurb from Goodreads)

Rating: PG-13, 4 stars
Trigger warning: violence, familial dysfunction

I had some really mixed feelings about this book in the beginning. For awhile, particularly in the middle, it seemed as though Isadora was suffering painfully from “oblivious protagonist is oblivious” syndrome. Towards the climax of the book, that aspect of her character is resolved in a way that I totally didn’t expect. I won’t spoil anything, but I will say that I was really impressed when my frustration was nullified.

I also had a little trouble relating to Isadora for most of the book. She is incredibly stubborn, and I had a hard time empathizing with how strongly she was trying to break away from her family. However, that isn’t necessarily a detriment to the book. I don’t want to read books with protagonists who I totally and completely understand, because that means that they’re all the same, and they’re all like me, and that doesn’t sound like fun at all.

When I started this book, I was immediately drawn in by the writing. It’s not consistently the best, but there are moments where the language really shines, and as a poet, I always appreciate that. It also did a good job of surprising me with plot twists that I definitely didn’t see coming, which I find often doesn’t happen with YA paranormal romance novels.

Overall, The Chaos of Stars had some flaws, but it also used mythology in an innovative way (look, they’re not all Greek!), and used interesting language to boot! I recommend it if you like mythological tales and are looking for something that takes mythology in a different direction.

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