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Northern Lights

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  15 ratings  ·  10 reviews
A stunning debut novel set in the late 1990s as an androgynous youth arrives in small-town Minnesota, searching for the mother who abandoned him as a child.

On a clear morning in the summer of 1997, Shane Stephenson arrives in Holm, Minnesota, with only a few changes of clothes, an old Nintendo, and a few dollars to his name. Reeling from the death of his father, Shane want
...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Expected publication: February 12th 2019 by Simon Schuster
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Joseph
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Northern Lights is the Story of Shane, a boy who had recently lost his father, thrown out by his uncle, and searching for his long-gone mother. He arrives in Holm, Minnesota the last place he received a letter from his mother. She is gone, and no one has much to say about her. He meets new friends resigned to live in Holm. Holm has been dying for a while. Walmart moved to the fringes of town and destroyed downtown. It seems the only people with money are the drug dealers. Shane himself is androg ...more
Lissa
Dec 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley-books
4.5 stars. I wasn't sure at first if I would like this book but as the story progressed, I found that as the story progressed that I really started to become immersed in the story and the atmosphere of the small Minnesota town. It takes place in the late nineties as a teenage boy travels to the small town of Holm in search of his mother. He encounters a depressing drug scene and prejudice against his long hair and sexuality. He stumbles a lot as he tries to deal with his loneliness and confusion ...more
Lou Jacobs
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A gut wrenching exploration of the hardship of life and awakening sexuality. Seventeen year old Shane Stephenson has just lost his father ... his sole anchor in life. And his uncaring uncle throws him out of the house. In an inspirational moment he sets out on a quest to find the mother, who abandon him as an adolescent. Relying on a solitary Christmas card received many years ago he sets out to reconnect with her - hoping she still resides in the small town of Holm, Minnesota. The town proves t ...more
Heather
Nov 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018, netgalley
First, thank you to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster for an ARC of this book.

Northern Lights follows Shane as he is looking for his mother, who abandoned him as a child. He heads to Holm, Minnesota because that was her last known address. Upon his arrival in the small town he learns she's moved and no one seems to know much about her. Shane stays in Holm and gets involved with a group of young adults who are mixed up with the local drug dealer. His search for his mother takes a back seat to h
...more
Andrew
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
With the intent of searching for his mother, Shane finds himself caught in the motions of a small, conservative, drug-addled Minnesota town of Holm, the last known place she'd taken up residency. Shane's androgynous looks alone are enough to rattle the townsfolk, even without mention of his sexuality. Strom writes a dreary yet shocking portrayal of the community through an outsider's eyes, showing us that the life of an addict is not a black and white concept. In Holm it's common, and though man ...more
Jean
Dec 09, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you NetGalley and Simon and Schuster for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest feedback.

This stories follows Shane as he looks for his mother after his uncle has kicked him out of the house when his father dies. While on his journey, he meets up with young adults who are also on the fringe of society wanting to belong and be wanted. The author tries to address the topics of abandonment and wanting to belong with modest success. While the story held my attention enough for me not to re
...more
Jackie
Oct 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shane is an androgynous young man who comes to Holm in search of not only his errant mother, but also himself. Shane meets Jenny and Roger, other young people also searching for a meaningful life. The author ably evokes Shane's wistful longing for a lost childhood while giving us hope for Shane's future
Laurel
rated it liked it
Nov 03, 2018
Chuck
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
An intense and disturbing book, It's the very personal story of a boy who decided to seek out his mother, who left many years ago; his father has recently died, and he's visiting Holm, Minnesota, trying to find out where his mom ended up.

With complex characters, most of them with the interconnections that are inevitable in a small town, Sex, drugs, beatings, and even murder are among the things he finds along the way. It's graphic but not in an offensive or licentious way, more like a factual re
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Gidget
rated it it was ok
Jan 05, 2019
Cat
Dec 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shane is a beaten but hopeful young person searching for his mother while on the way to college who makes the mistake of walking into a human cesspool of nothingness along the way. This is a difficult book to read; Shane is androgynous and the little backward town of Holm isn’t ready for him. As always happens with lonely and lost humans, the only people who befriend him are troubled youth who float thru days and nights drunk or high, stealing to get by, no regard for self or compassion for othe ...more
Kimberley
Dec 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Northern Lights is a teenage coming of age story about Shane, a recent high school graduate. At a very young age, Shane was abandoned by his mom. His dad raised him, but when his dad passes away, Shane is left to live with his uncle. An uncle who is less than understanding about Shane’s long hair and teenage ways.

I found this book to be pretty powerful about what it’s like to be a teenager in a small town. Shane has long hair which seems to frighten or offend most of the people in the town. He g
...more
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