Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Alyzon Whitestarr” as Want to Read:
Alyzon Whitestarr
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Alyzon Whitestarr

by
3.85  ·  Rating details ·  1,251 ratings  ·  109 reviews
Are Alyzon’s new abilities a blessing . . . or a curse?
Alyzon Whitestarr doesn't take after her musically talented father or her nocturnal, artistic mother. In fact, she’s the most normal member of a very eccentric family . . . until the day that an accident leaves her more unique than she ever could have dreamed. Suddenly colors are more vibrant to Alyzon; her memory is f
...more
Paperback, 584 pages
Published September 26th 2005 by Penguin Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Alyzon Whitestarr, please sign up.
Recent Questions
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,251 ratings  ·  109 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Alyzon Whitestarr
Mari
Dec 26, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nardia
Sep 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This story was captivating for me, and as well as being exciting and fun to read, I thought it had really important underlying questions about the way people interact and how they're motivated, and lamenting a sort of sickness that seems to permeate society. I just love the way that those messages are woven through a story about a girl with extended--almost psychic--senses. Those sorts of stories are usually very introverted and self-centred, so this is the most wonderful portrayal I've seen of ...more
Tim
Jun 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 14+
Alyzon Whitestarr
Isobelle Carmody
Publisher: Ford Street Publishing (first published by Penguin Group)
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781925272185
Reviewer: Tim Harris

One of my favourite things about non-realist fiction is the capacity it gives writers to use fantastical elements to express nebulous, intangible concepts. In Alyzon Whitestarr, Isobelle Carmody does this very well, presenting a nuanced exploration of human nature and our equal capacity for both good and evil through the lens of Alyzon's hei
...more
Mariel
Apr 07, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who spell their names with a Z
Recommended to Mariel by: Shannon (Giraffe Days)

This dog doesn't just rely on his sense of smell. He can hear what a total butt people are without bending down to sniff 'em.

Isobelle Carmody's Alyzon Whitestarr was sometimes good, it could have been great if only it had been more balanced where it placed blame, less hysterical in its wrongs and all the rights that I'd never place Scott Baio in charge of (now, if I had teenaged daughters...). Hell, if it at least stuck to its own blood flow (okay, I admit I was thinking it didn't fit with how I
...more
Sarah Campbell
Nov 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, read-2016
Still love this book❤️ isobelle carmody is one of my all time favourites her work is unique and special.
Jennie Damron
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
I have mixed feelings about this book. Parts of it I loved and parts of it were so frustrating I wanted to tear my hair out. I guessed every plot twist which has never happened before. I wanted to scream at the main character because she would have these profound thoughts then not be able to piece the simplest thing together. It was maddening. I loved the loyalty and the love she had for her friends and her family, but that wasn't enough to make up for the things that just went wrong with the bo ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Breia "The Brain" Brickey for TeensReadToo.com

Alyzon isn't like the other people in her family. She wasn't born with a special gift, and she thought that she would always be the ordinary one in a family of super-talented people. When she experiences an accident that gives her powers of her own, Alyzon realizes there is more going on than what she initially figured.

Her new power enhances her senses so that colors are more vibrant, her memory is the best it's ever been, and her sense o
...more
Alissa
Mar 04, 2020 marked it as did-not-finish
Alyzon is the only "ordinary"(plain) member of a talented (and pretty) family. There's literally nothing special about her...until the day she gets whacked in the head by the rear door of a hatchback and knocked clean out. When she wakes, she has synesthesia-like symptoms. She can see auras and smell people (but not in the stinky need-to-shower way). But these new abilities are also somehow magical? There is a mystery to solve, of course. And Alyzon, with her abilities, is the only one who can g ...more
Eva Mitnick
Jul 05, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, ya
This fantasy has an excellent premise. What if all animals, including people, emitted all sorts of information, from emotions to basic messages to the nature of their very essences, that humans can no longer sense? Perhaps early in our evolutionary past, these messages were an essential means of communication, but as we developed complex language and society, we gradually lost the ability to “smell” each other.

After bumping her head, teenaged Alyzon falls into a month-long coma. When she comes o
...more
Emily Meldrum
Oct 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Ever wished you had extraordinary hearing, smell or vision? When Alyson Whitestarr wakes up in hospital after being in a coma for a month it takes her some time to realise the overwhelming surge upon her senses are just that. Her six senses are no longer at ordinary levels and her most remarkable skill becomes her ability to smell people’s feelings, their honesty, their essence. She can smell their goodness, their worries and ultimately some of their intent – good and bad.
While at first this da
...more
Tiana Mann
Aug 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Alyzon Whitestarr

Isobelle Carmody

Publisher: Ford Street Publishing (first published by Penguin Group)

Format: Paperback

RRP: ISBN: 9781925272185

Reviewer: Tim Harris

One of my favourite things about non-realist fiction is the capacity it gives writers to use fantastical elements to express nebulous, intangible concepts. In Alyzon Whitestarr, Isobelle Carmody does this very well, presenting a nuanced exploration of human nature and our equal capacity for both good and evil through the lens of Alyzon'
...more
Miss Clark
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tamara
Jul 29, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who wish to burn books and take a long, long nap.
Alyzon Whitestarr. Where do I start? I guess I should go ahead and deliver the bad news first in a to-the-point list.
Cons:
1) The characters were monotonous; they ended up all having the same amount of view points and being the same person (i.e., not much character diversity.
2)This book was from the view point of a teenager, yet it sounds like it all came from a forty year old woman with nothing better to do that conjure up a steaming pile of crap.
3)The audience it was supposed to be targeting pr
...more
TheCosyDragon
Feb 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review has been crossposted from my blog at The Cosy Dragon . Please head there for more in-depth reviews by me, which appear on a timely schedule.

Alyzon is the most boring member of her family. She isn’t artistic, she doesn’t play an instrument and she doesn’t have any interesting physical features. One day she is hit on the head, and wakes up with her senses overwhelmed by smells, real and dubious. She’s a response to a sickness that takes over spirits, and they’re after her… and her sist
...more
Paul Collins
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favourite things about non-realist fiction is the capacity it gives writers to use fantastical elements to express nebulous, intangible concepts. In Alyzon Whitestarr, Isobelle Carmody does this very well, presenting a nuanced exploration of human nature and our equal capacity for both good and evil through the lens of Alyzon's heightened senses, all the while telling a great, suspenseful story.

The narrative's pacing is spot on. There's always something to keep the pages turning, be it
...more
Ruth
Aug 20, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen, fantasy
Alyzon is the middle child of five, the only "normal" one in her family, she thinks. Her mother is an artist, who only works at night, and sleeps in the day. Her father is a musician; he's the lead singer/guitarist/songwriter for the (practically unknown) band "Losing the Rope", which is just starting to hit it big. All of her siblings seem to have inherited one or the other of her parents' artistic abilities - except for her. Until the day she has an accident that puts her in a coma for a month ...more
Hillary
Sep 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book starts off pretty slow in some ways, but having finished it, I can honestly say it's worth the long build up.
Alyzon Whitestarr is the "boring" one out of her large family of creatives until an accident sends her into a month-long coma and she awakens with an unusual new talent: the ability to smell people's souls. As she delves deeper into this new ability, she realizes that all of her senses have been heightened to perceive a person's soul essence. And with this new power comes the r
...more
Anne
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Alyzon is struck in the head one day and when she wakes up she finds she can smell things - people's thoughts and feelings, and something sinister and foul around the cute boy at school and the man wanting to manage her father's music career.

This is yet another great YA fantasy from my favourite author. If it's not available in your country: complain!!
...more
Wendy Darling
Mar 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Wendy Darling by: Cillian Beyond Birthday
4.5 stars So close to 5 stars, but for a fundamental flaw that I couldn't wrap my head around. Review to come. ...more
Rayne
Because Cillian says so.
Meel G
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. Alyzon Whitestarr is an example of being a book that is for its demographic. It's a beautifully written book about a girl who develops the ability to smell other peoples' emotions and "essences" (souls). It is a young adult fantasy and, while having a simple narrative structure, has the pacing to sustain a very enjoyable ride. If you're looking for a great epic with complex character goals and adult themes, this is not it.
At the heart of it, this is a book about famil
...more
Ruth Garlick
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It takes a very great writer to write something that’s so deeply absorbing, that you’re there during the events. You’re not noticing the pages turning, and it’s like you’ve been transported. You can see what’s happening as clearly as you see the real world.
Isobelle Carmody is such a writer.
Alyzon Whitestarr tells the story of a girl who has an accident, and ends up with extended senses, sort of like synaesthesia. But not only can she smell more than the average person, but she can also smell p
...more
♡AbbyBooks♡
I don't think I have ever giving such a bad rating To a book . The ending was cool but the whole story got me confused and I didn't understand most of the time what was going on . ...more
Nicola
Dec 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Lovely story but could have been about 100 pages shorter.
Kelly
Dec 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
Very strange. Kind of a cool idea at first, but then it went really weird, as if the author was trying to explain sin & atonement in a new, "non-religious" way. ...more
Emma
Jan 11, 2017 rated it liked it
I love Isobelle Carmody's writing, but this disappointed me. Maybe the mood I'm in (tonsillitis and school holidays), maybe I've read too many beautifully written books lately, but the quality of the writing lets this idea down. The Obernewtyn Chronicles are tremendous fun - but I suspect part of the trouble with Alyzon Whitestarr is that it is set in our world, and hence our normal rules apply. So gaps in the plot become a serious issue. I did enjoy reading this, but I didn't love it..... ...more
Jaye
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Addison
This is another one of those "saw a brief description in the library's catalog and thought it sounded interesting" reads and this time, my whims actually found me a book I enjoyed.

Alyzon is the most unimpressive member of her quirky and exceptionally talented family. All that changes when one day she suffers a blow to the head and awakens from a month long coma with dramatically increased senses. The taste of food moves her to tears, she can talk to her cat through scents, she can smell people'
...more
Tomás  M
May 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone into fantasy, people interested in good & evil, young adults
Recommended to Tomás by: morbane
In some ways Alyzon Whitestarr is almost a follow-up to Isobelle Carmody's The Gathering.

Alyzon Whitestarr, seemingly the ordinary, odd one out in her talented, disorganised loving family has an accident and suddenly is able to smell the essence and emotions of the people around her- and with physical contact, to even glimpse their emotional flashbacks. At first this ability overwhelms her. As she begins to adjust to her new life and abilities, however, she becomes aware of a curious disease
...more
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Butterfly Lion
  • The Things She's Seen
  • Half Lost (The Half Bad Trilogy, #3)
  • Hidden (House of Night, #10)
  • Destined (House of Night, #9)
  • Half Wild (The Half Bad Trilogy, #2)
  • Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick (Perry & Gobi, #1)
  • Perry's Killer Playlist (Perry & Gobi, #2)
  • Grade A Stupid (Darcy Walker #1)
  • No Brainer (Darcy Walker #2)
  • Foolproof (Darcy Walker #5)
  • 100 Proof Stud (Darcy Walker #3)
  • DEFCON Darcy (Darcy Walker #4)
  • For Better or Cursed (The Babysitters Coven, #2)
  • Tempted (House of Night, #6)
  • The Babysitters Coven (The Babysitters Coven, #1)
  • Every Other Weekend
  • The Forever Man (W.A.R.P., #3)
See similar books…
1,571 followers
Isobelle Carmody began the first novel of her highly acclaimed Obernewtyn Chronicles while she was still in high school. The series has established her at the forefront of fantasy writing in Australia.

In addition to her young-adult novels, such as the Obernewtyn Chronicles and Alyzon Whitestarr, Isobelle's published works include several middle-grade fantasies. Her still-unfinished Gateway Trilogy
...more

Related Articles

Kazuo Ishiguro insists he’s an optimist about technology.  “I'm not one of these people who thinks it's going to come and destroy us,” he...
291 likes · 27 comments
“The deepest wounds aren't the ones we get from other people hurting us. They are the wounds we give ourselves when we hurt other people.” 271 likes
“There are so many sad and ugly things in the world that I feel I must try to counterbalance them with whatever beauty I can produce. Setting a pretty table in a world of pain might seem callous, given that people are starving and living in dreadful disease and poverty. But in trying to create islands of beauty and peace, I feel I am honoring the dreams of the world.” 1 likes
More quotes…