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Cage of Stars

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3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  3,802 ratings  ·  539 reviews
12-year-old Veronica Swan's idyllic life in a close-knit Mormon community is shattered when her two younger sisters are brutally murdered. Although her parents find the strength to forgive the deranged killer, Scott Early, Veronica cannot do the same. Years later, she sets out alone to avenge her sisters' deaths, dropping her identity and severing ties in the process. As s...more
Hardcover, 289 pages
Published May 1st 2006 by Grand Central Publishing
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Ryan
Mar 29, 2008 Ryan rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Mormons & non
Recommended to Ryan by: HCPL
So I only read this book b/c it was available at our public library on Audio CD. And it was about Mormons. Well, the protagonist is Mormon, and it's fairly obvious that, unlike Jack Weyland books, this one is not intended for an LDS audience, b/c Jacquelyn Mitchard goes to great lengths to explain the Mormon church.

And she does an okay job, though there are some funny things that she gets wrong:
(1) There is a temple in Cedar City.
(2) The home teachers are a married couple.
(3) When the temple-mar...more
Dixie Diamond
Unrealistic, repetitive, and very uneven. The build-up takes forever and then the climax and dénoumént pass in a flash, and none of it leaves much of an impact. The plot, characters, and details are not at all believable. I guess it might make for a nice, frothy, feel-good read if you like that kind of thing, but it's a literary lightweight.

I did feel a little browbeaten by the repeated references to Mormonism, although maybe not as much as some people. I'm a Quaker; people have all sorts of wei...more
Alexandra
Aug 11, 2008 Alexandra rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone whose not afraid to cry while reading a book
I bought this book completely unaware it had anything to do with my faith and fell pray to judging a book by its cover (we've all done it) but it looks like I picked a good one. When I read the first page I almost shut it and took it back to the bookstore but I'm happy I gave it a chance and kept reading. This is not an Anti-mormon book and the author surprised me by actually writing a moving story about an lds girl that is actually almost realistic. She took time to understand the lds faith and...more
Carol Brill
A beautifully written story of grief and healing with finely wrought, sympathetic characters. I could not stop turning pages.
Marie
This book has been sitting on my shelf for some time. I received this book as a gift, and I didn't read it right away because the story summary didn't grab my attention.


However, once I started reading, I was taken with the story. A twelve year old girl witnesses the murders of her two younger sisters while she is babysitting them. In my opinion, I felt the book moved at exactly the right pace. I thought the descriptions and images of the grief were pretty accurate. There were many times through...more
Donna
I enjoyed this book. The main characters in it are Mormon, it's set in a small southern Utah town, and it's written by a non-Mormon author, so that was interesting. She got a lot of things about LDS beliefs right, though not everything. The story itself starts out being kind of tough to read with a terribly sad crime committed, and the ensuing tale is about the main character's quest for either revenge or forgiveness (she really wants revenge). So even though it was hard to read at first, it got...more
Rebecca
I think the author did a fantastic job with the story line. She handles a horrifying subject without gratuitous gore or sensationalism. She does a magnificent job showing emotional aftermath of a horrible crime. You really believe you are in the mind of the main character. That said there was one big problem that seriously detracted from my enjoyment of and wholesale immersion in the book.

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints (Mormons). I hardly recognized my religio...more
Anita
I've gone back and forth between 4 and 5 stars on this book. It really was a good read. I enjoyed it immensely. It delves into the repercussions of faith, repentance and redemption of individuals and families after a tragedy. A twelve year old witnesses the murders of her two younger sisters and lives with the fallout with a plan of revenge. An interesting point is that this family is Mormon. Mitchard does a great job of portraying a normal Mormon family and does a good job of describing the fai...more
Trent Mikesell
I read all the time (and don't even put a portion of the books I read on here), but mostly it's silly YA books that are fast paced and short. That's often my preferred kind of book because I can read it quickly and just enjoy it. However, every so often I like to read something more serious and thought-provoking. My wife brought this book home from a book fair at her school. What attracted me to it was that it is about an LDS family, but it is not written by an LDS author. It is about a girl who...more
Jeana
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jayci
It is hard to determine how I really felt about this book. I wanted to keep reading, but when I was finished felt unsatisfied. Cage of Stars is the story of a young Mormon girl, Veronica, who lives in a small town outside of Cedar City. After finding her little sisters brutally murdered, Veronicas world is turned upside down. Haunted by images of her sisters and their murderer leaves Veronica stuggling to resume her old life. Even more distressing, the girls parents choose to forgive the attacke...more
Jeannie
This is an interesting book to review. The story line is based on a young Mormon girl, Ronnie, living in Southern Utah. She is a witness to the murders of her two younger sisters and struggles with her feelings as her parents find it in their hearts to forgive. It is a mystery to many reviewers as to why the writer didn't have a Mormon from Southern Utah actually do some editing. Through the first two-thirds of the book the many pesky little errors become distracting. Although in another way, it...more
Robyn
This is the second book I 'checked out' from the library on my Kindle. So much better than the first but that is another story. I would have given this one 3 stars for the humor factor but I am so stingy about stars and feel the only reason I would recommend this book would be because it is so hillariously inaccurate.
The author, not LDS, writes about an LDS family who goes through a terrible tradgedy where two of their children are killed. The parents eventually decide they need to forgive the...more
Alex
Cage of Stars by Jacquelyn Mitchard was an average book. I chose to read this book because my English Comp. instructor assigned it to me and it seemed like a good book. The book takes place in a small close-knit community in Utah. Veronica, the main character, lives with her family in the country. Veronica is a dynamic character.She is very caring and she always helps her family. However, Veronica is faced with the hardship of her two sisters being murdered.

Her incandescent attitude has a posi...more
Rosina Lippi
There's a fiction subgenre that doesn't really have a name. The kind of novel I'm talking about isn't about romance or romantic love in the first line, though that may be one of the subplots. These are novels that examine the way families work, or fail to work, in the face of crisis. And I mean crisis in the bigger sense of the word. Divorce would be the least of the problems in this kind of book. We're talking accidental deaths, fatal illness, rape, murder, permanent disability, kidnapping, fel...more
Jessica
I've only read 25 pages of the book, but I don't think I can stomach any more. I picked this one up because my book club is reading it, so maybe I'll decide to finish it. But the writing is bad and while the non-Mormon author is respectful of Mormon beliefs, she gets so much of it wrong. The way she explains LDS culture and doctrine just sounds ridiculous and hokey much of the time. I felt like I was getting an insight into a different religion, not my own.

UPDATE:

Okay, so maybe I was a bit hasty...more
Robyn
This was a 'bargain bin' book buy. And I can see why I found it there.

I never actually read Mitchard's "Deep End of the Ocean"--only because I saw the movie first and I don't like reading books once I've seen the movie (I can handle it the other way around). I've heard it's her best book.

But Cage of Stars I found slow. Especially at the beginning. It picked up finally around page 200, but by then, you also wanted to get the point of the vague references to what would happen next to actually happ...more
Ellisa Barr
Although this book has some definite flaws, I thought it was a pretty enjoyable read.

I was born and raised LDS, so I am rather an expert on Mormons, and Mormon traditions and beliefs. The book was right in many ways, and totally off base in others. Many Mormon reviewers were outraged by the inaccuracies in the book. My thoughts on that were although the author was wrong about many of the doctrines and customs, she portrayed Mormons as overall good, faithful people. I think that's really what ma...more
Vannessagrace Vannessagrace
Twelve-year-old Ronnie Swan’s life, as she knew it, came to an end when her two younger sisters were brutally murdered by deranged killer Scott Early. Instead of the judge sentencing him to life in prison, he sentences Early to three years letting psychiatrists and psychologists learn from Early’s schizophrenia. Though Ronnie’s parents come to forgive Early, Ronnie doesn’t. She remains in her own prison plotting revenge. Cage of Stars is an excellent read on learning to let go and how to forgive...more
April
This is an interesting story. A little traumatic at the beginning.

The author seems to have wanted to give an accurate account of Mormon culture, but missed the mark a dozen times in small yet significant ways. Women do not baptize children, you do not take new babies to the temple to seal them to already endowed parents(they are automatically sealed when born) plus if you were being sealed as a family the whole family would need to be there not just the Dad. Anyway those errors and a strange fa...more
Frances
I picked this book up...where else...Goodwill...99cents. I had read The Deep End of the Ocean. It was good, but I could never reconcile in my mind the fact that the child was kidnapped in the first place. How do you not watch a 4 year old in a crowd like that. I'm over it now. (sort of) I wasn't sure what to think of this book after reading the dust jacket, but thought I would give it a try. Although it's not listed as a Young Adult novel, it felt like one. It's told from the perspective of a gi...more
Lara
Apr 18, 2011 Lara rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2011
Meh. I bought this book off the bargain shelf at Borders quite some time ago (you know, back when Borders was open...). My mom read it and really enjoyed it, so she suggested I pick it up again. I did, and maybe I was distracted or something when I gave it a try, but I just wasn't feeling the Cage of Stars love.

I will say, the characters in the book are Mormons, and y'all know I love me some Mormon lit from time to time (although usually of the polygamist variety). This book made me realize I t...more
Marianne
I still think the jury's out on this one...I'm just not sure how I feel about it. There were parts I liked and felt like I could relate too, but then there were other things that I just couldn't imagine feeling. I especially found the level of hatred hard to relate to. I can't even imagine how I would feel if I had gone through the same situation, but I really would like to think that that level of hatred was beyond me, but maybe that's wishful thinking.

I was also bothered that although the othe...more
Beth
I enjoyed the lessons learned in this book and how the main character struggles to find forgiveness but it really frustrated me that the author didn't research the LDS religion well enough. She had many things wrong that were never intentionally disrespectful but why wouldn't the editor have had a member look over the book first?

For instance when a new baby is born into the family, the father and daughter go to the temple with the baby to have it sealed to them. Another is that the dad wants hi...more
Karen
Apr 08, 2008 Karen rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Karen by: Julee Kowallis
We read this book for book club and it provides a lot of subjects for discussion. The primary themes are grief, justice, and forgiveness. The story takes place in a small Utah town as an LDS family copes with the murders of two of their children. It is told from Ronnie's point of view, who was their older sister and babysitting them at the time of their deaths. Make sure you read a later edition--not the first. The first edition has many inaccuracies about the LDS faith that were corrected in la...more
Oswego Public Library District
When bad things happen to good people, does the person who committed the evil act deserve forgiveness and compassion? This is the question that resonates throughout this moving story of mental illness that results in the unthinkable. Within a family that fully lives out their religious beliefs, each surviving member must wrestle with this question, and the most difficult struggle of all resides with the older sister, a witness to the crime, who struggles with constant nightmares. Respectfully ha...more
☮Karen
Oct 09, 2008 ☮Karen rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: cindy
Recommended to ☮Karen by: It was a b'day present from Dennis.
A young Mormon girl finds her 2 sisters in the process of being murdered, and spends her younger years trying to understand the man who commited the murder and how her parents could eventually forgive him. I have Mormon relatives but know very little about the religion, so was glad to get some insight on it. As the girl grew up, I empathised with her and her family. In the end, her faith helps her to come to terms, and she achieves happiness in her life.
Joanna
The overall story of this book was pretty good, but I couldn't get over the mistakes the author made in portraying "Mormon" lives. I think that it wouldn't have been too much to ask to have an actual LDS person read the book (before it was published)and correct any mistakes. However, perhaps "Utah mormons" do act like that. There were not any huge mistakes that I saw, just tons of little ones that made the story not ring true to me.
Alice
The story line was okay, but it was supposed to be about mormons, and it sounds like the author did her research online or second (or third hand) rather than talking to any actual mormons. It's AWFUL. HORRIBLE, PAINFUL. The only reason we finished the book was because we were stuck in a car driving home late at night with nothing else to listen to.

It made me want to laugh/barf every time a character talked about their religion.
Michelle
Not so great. I had no idea it would have anything to do with Mormons but was written by a non-mormon. She got quite a few things off. The actual story had potential if you took out the Mormon stuff. Took me weeks to read because I wasn't really into it. I ended up laughing out loud at how many things she got wrong about the church. Oh well b
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Jacquelyn Mitchard’s first novel, The Deep End of the Ocean, was named by USA Today as one of the ten most influential books of the past 25 years – second only to the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling (but second by a long shot, it must be said.)

The Deep End of the Ocean was chosen as the first novel in the book club made famous by the TV host Oprah Winfrey, and transformed into a feature film p...more
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“It was like a lucky pebble kept in my pocket that got so shined up from rubbing against the denim that no one could tell it had ever been an ordinary stone.” 1 likes
“Already there was black rain inside me.” 1 likes
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