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Stargazing For Beginners

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  473 ratings  ·  112 reviews
Science geek Meg is left to look after her little sister for ten days after her free-spirited mum leaves suddenly to follow up yet another of her Big Important Causes. But while Meg may understand how the universe was formed, baby Elsa is a complete mystery to her.

And Mum’s disappearance has come at the worst time: Meg is desperate to win a competition to get the chance t
Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 6th 2017 by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
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Average rating 4.05  · 
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 ·  473 ratings  ·  112 reviews

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Dannii Elle
Apr 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Such a gorgeously penned and emotive novel, dealing with the themes of love, loss, and finding one's self. Ultimate space nerd, Megan, has so much to teach the reader about identity and, of course, the solar system.

Aside from our shared love for outer-space, Meg made for such an endearing protagonist due to her immediately likeable nature. Her battles with her debilitating social anxiety, as well her new home-life struggles, could have made this a disheartening read. But her quietly witty perso
Lara (Bookish_turtle)
Ahhhhhh! It was so cute and adorable and perfect and just ! ! ! All the stars!

~ The biscuit club
~ Protagonist wants to become an astronaut & dreams big!
~ MC loves science. There's never enough of that!
~ Friendships with so much development
~ That cover! TBH it's the only reason I read the book & it is gorgeous
~ The spine is gold and shiny. I know I'm superficial, but the book is just so pretty!
~ Beautifully written
~ Meg's d
Mar 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Stargazing for beginners is such a great contemporary and although there is the cliche nerd girl ends up liking popular boy it was so cute and adorable I didn't care.

Meg is a teen, smart, ambitious, shy, and riddled with social anxiety when presented with groups of people. She can seem stand offish or "snobby" which rang true if you're awkward and shy a lot of people can see you like this which sucks but hey so can people, especially high schoolers.

Meg's mum is a free spirit to say the LEAST, after
Bee (Heart Full of Books)
Jul 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: ukya
Jacqueline Wilson for young adults!
Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
Mar 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fifteen year old Megara is an aspiring astronaut and in the midst of preparing for her presentation, an opportunity for an all expenses paid vacation to NASA headquarters, when her free spirited mother leaves for Myanmar, a Southeast Asian country where she will aid underprivileged communities. Her mother also leaves behind Elsa, an infant who cannot comprehend where her mother is and expects her elderly father to shoulder the burden of two children.

Rather than place Elsa in the dang
Stacey (prettybooks)
Jenny McLachlan's stories make me feel warm and fuzzy inside, and Stargazing for Beginners was no different. From the lovely opening scene describing a young Meg sitting in a cardboard spaceship that her grandfather made her, I knew it was going to be a powerful story – I love YA novels featuring female characters with a passion for science.

Continue reading this review over on Pretty Books.
Mar 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, arcs
I really loved this. In such a short contemporary, it manages to balance strong friendships, a family drama and a little bit of romance that was well grounded in friendship first. Meg's passion for space was so strong and it was great to see a character with a hobby. Like a Jacqueline Wilson book for an older audience, I had such a fun time reading this!
Stargazing for Beginners was an unexpectedly awesome a new fave for me - swoony, fun and a little bit quirky. I found the whole novel to be so charming and completely refreshing and addictive reading experience.

I love it when my fave literary things align to create a a brilliant read. Stargazing for Beginners had so many magic components for me:

Meg is just so delightfully endearing.

Though there are deeper issues in this book ~ it did not cast a dark shadow over the whole tone of the book. I l
This review also appears on Happy Indulgence.

I received a review copy from the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I’ve read two of Jenny McLachlan’s books previously and enjoyed them but Stargazing for Beginners left me kind of disappointed. I found the plot to be extremely boring and the abundance of disliked tropes in this book made it hard for me to stay engaged and get through it.

This book follows Meg, a space-obsessed 15 year old, who suddenly finds herself looking/>I
Perdita Cargill
Feb 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Stargazing for Beginners is Jenny McLachlan’s best novel yet. That is saying something; I’ve been a fan of her books since Flirty Dancing. Megara (Meg) is clever and resilient and comically unaware of her own appeal. The story packs a real emotional punch because Meg is dealing with a lot of chaos and too much responsibility (I was reminded a little of Clare Furniss’s brilliant The Year of the Rat). It’s cosmically informative, it’s laugh out loud funny, romantic (Ed is perfect!) and true and to ...more
Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Dany by: Jatin Tanotra
Couldn't be more perfect Middle Grade contemporary.

Meg is a space nerd with a big opportunity to go to Houston by giving a speech in front of a crowd. She's the one among the two selected from her school. The other one is Ed King. The perfect , flawless and popular Ed King who's always hanging out with the mean girl who basically makes Meg anxious.

As if things weren't bad enough , Meg's Mom leaves her and her sister Elsa to take care of themselves. Elsa is a toddler who has bad temp
Yolanda Sfetsos
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: YA Contemporary readers
Shelves: ya-contemporary
I absolutely adored The Ladybirds series, and was looking forward to reading Jenny McLachlan's latest book. So I was super excited when I received an ARC last week.

Thank you so much, Bloomsbury Australia. :)

Meg is fifteen, loves science and maths, is really clever, and wants to escape Earth by becoming an astronaut. She also spends a lot of time by herself because her interests don't fit in with what the other kids like. Plus she's always competing with Ed, and wants to beat him in the upc
Fifteen-year-old Megara Clark, Meg for short, finds herself abandoned by her mother and left in charge of her younger half sister, Elsa. Her mother, a nurse and volunteer, gets caught up in a new cause and flies off to Myanmar, leaving Meg in charge. Meg's grandad lives nearby, but he's often just as messy and unreliable as her mum, even though he's caring and supportive. Meg's plans to win a competition gets derailed by her mother's sudden absence, despite her attempts to stick to her plan. ...more
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was an absolutely lovely YA read.

15 year old Meg is an aspiring astronaut who dreams of escaping Earth. Meg is stuck with a super flaky hippie Mother who one day up and leaves Meg in charge of her toddler sister to go on a volunteer holiday to...Myanmar. I'll tell you, it's easy to hate Meg's mum who tells her that they have no money to pay for a trip to a NASA camp for Meg but can afford airfare to Myanmar. What a load of rubbish. Actually kind of disappointed the author tried to redeem M
Feb 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Many thanks to NetGalley & Bloomsbury Publishing (UK) for the ARC! I have voluntarily reviewed Stargazing For Beginners.

This book was such a pleasant read! The author manages to give us a little bit of everything, enough so no emotions are more overwhelming than others: Stargazing For Beginners is funny, emotional and true to teenage friendships, something I greatly appreciate when it comes to Young Adult books. I enjoyed the real characterization of each character and situations which are no
Apr 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely adored this! I actually read it entirely in one sitting today, I didn't want to put it down... Meg was an awesome character, in fact ALL of the characters were awesome - I loved the Biscuit Club to bits, loved Ed, loved Bella - the dynamic between her and Meg was just great, you could tell Bella was kindhearted and Meg's friend throughout but poor Meg was just too suspicious! Bless. Her trials and tribulations of looking after baby sister Elsa made for a fantastic read as well, as d ...more
Jan 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
I adored this book, read it in one sitting. It's just enough parts mad, emotional, and funny to keep you wanting to know more and perhaps even want for such a revelation of belonging yourself.
Wonderful plot, and a great characterisation of young teenagers. As someone who was also very nerdy and bookish, this really was easy and great fun to relate to.
Can't wait to recommend it to friends!
Apr 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Review also on my blog:
Stargazing For Beginners By Jenny McLachlan (Boolino Book Review) |

Space, the final frontier they call it. The great unknown and one of life’s many mysteries surrounds us on a daily basis. We humans go about our everyday lives completely oblivious to the fact that our sun that we use to tan and relax in is a dying s
Jun 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Read in two sittings over two days. Such an adorable yet touching read!
Review will be up on my blog soon;
Keri (BooksWithKeri)
Apr 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Stargazing for Beginners to a straight up brilliant book. It's well written, well researched. The characters are strong and hold this story with this wild personalities. Meg may be one of the most relatable characters I've read about in terms of how she feels afraid to speak out. It's interesting to show how what other people see to be harmless jokes can have a serious affect on someone's self-esteem, and it's so heartwarming to read about her overcoming that fear.

I definitely apprec
Apr 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Poor Meg has a completely insane family, which is probably why she like to be so organised. It feels a little bit childish to start though I think she is in her early teens, but the end is wonderful and well worth the read. I could completely relate to Meg's nerves at trying to get her speech just right, I'm going through something similar, wondering how to get my own astronomy enthusiasm across. An uplifting and inspiring read.
Karen Barber
Apr 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Meg is an out and out science geek. She dreams of being an astronaut and wants desperately to win the competition to visit NASA. Unfortunately Meg also has an incredibly selfish and immature mother...
We get to watch Meg look after her younger sister and keep her own interests ticking along after her mother hops on a plane and disappears to Thailand.
I got very irritated by the selfishness of mother, and couldn't get over how lenient our writer was towards her.
Good-humoured and n
Top-notch teen novel that doesn't use swearing or drinking or sexing to engage readers.

Meg is obsessed with becoming an astronaut but has to accept she can't do it on her own. Great budding friendships, adorable romantic lead, and strong family drama.
A book about an intelligent young girl who absolutely loves space and dreams of being an astronaut… That’s a big YES from me!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and really loved Meg. I thought she was a wonderful character and a great example to young people of how loving Science is not a bad thing. I did have a rather significant issue with her mother though. Meg’s mum is beyond irresponsible and it really bothered me but it also gave us the chance to see Meg bonding with her baby sister
Sarah Capon
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really, REALLY enjoyed this. Science is my thang and I loved learning more about the cosmos in this book.

Meg is obsessed with science and is determined to become an astronaut and to take the first step on this daunting journey she must win the trip to Houston. The only problem is, to win she must do a speech in front of a LOT of people, which is going to be very hard considering Meg cannot even give the speech in front of her dog and baby sister.

I loved all the characters
Mar 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley-reads, ya
Stargazing For Beginners had a lovable main character you can't help but feel an instant connection to. I felt her troubles like they were my own and I was fully engrossed in her story; however, i hated the situation she was placed in.

I was angry that a grandparent and a parent of two kids, one being an infant, could be so irresponsible and careless. It is something that really hit me hard and simply left me completely in a bad book mood. Just for this I would have given the book 1 star but t
Michelle (Fluttering Butterflies)
Utterly lovely, read in one day because I couldn't get enough of it.
Nina Rossing
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, young-adult
This was adorable! Realistic characters, realistic plot, funny scenes, questionable parenting, heartwarming friendships developing. Will definitely recommend.
Becca Watson
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
I loved this so much. It was realistic and ultimately common yet so unique. Being a space nerd myself, I understand her nerdy speeches and space references and for this, I love it more. Though, I don't get teased about this. I loved the character development within the main character Meg and Elsa, the baby, really made me think of my cousin Willow. I loved their relationship and I longed to hug my baby cousin all throughout. Ed and the crew were unique and so realistic in a sense that we can all ...more
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I have always loved reading and I studied English at university just so that I could read a bit more. Next I found my way into secondary teaching and discovered that I loved it too: I got to read more books, show off and hang out with very funny teenagers. What a great job!

Teaching English also encouraged me to write. Soon I had planned and started lots of different stories, but they w