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The Wide Starlight

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  355 ratings  ·  117 reviews
The Hazel Wood meets The Astonishing Color of After in this dreamy, atmospheric novel that follows sixteen-year-old Eli as she tries to remember what truly happened the night her mother disappeared off a glacier in Norway under the Northern Lights.

Never whistle at the Northern Lights, the story goes, or they'll sweep down from the sky and carry you away.

Sixteen-year-old El
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published February 16th 2021 by Razorbill
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Christie«SHBBblogger» Ioana Harasim is the illustrator:
The designer is Kristin Boyle…more
Ioana Harasim is the illustrator:
The designer is Kristin Boyle(less)
Nicole Lesperance It is marketed as 12 and up, and I think it works as a younger YA. There's no sex or violence. However, there are some darker themes of death, grief, …moreIt is marketed as 12 and up, and I think it works as a younger YA. There's no sex or violence. However, there are some darker themes of death, grief, and mental illness (anxiety and depression).(less)

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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
This book was magical and has a stunning cover!!

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
4.5 stars

The Wide Starlight captured me immediately and completely. It is a beautifully written, deeply emotional story about a young girl named Eline (Eli) and her relationship with her mother. Ten years ago, when they still lived in Svalbard, Eli and her mother left their home in the middle of the night. She was found later by a rescue crew while her mother had disappeared without a trace. Now, she and her father live in Cape Cod and she is still plagued by that grief and feelings of abandonme
Renee Godding
Mar 29, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021-releases
3.5 stars
Angela Staudt
Feb 14, 2021 rated it it was ok
Thank you to NetGalley and PenguinTeen for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

I am definitely in the minority when I say this book just wasn't for me. I loved what the author was trying to do with mixing fiction and folklore together. I just felt like it was clunky and I didn't feel for the main character.

I loved how vivid the writing was and I did truly enjoy the "once upon a time" stories that we get that are about Eline, her mother, and her mothers-mother. I just felt like the author pu
belle ☆ミ (thisbellereadstoo)
rep: mental illness

the wide starlight is magical story about a girl who's desperately searching for her mother who disappeared one night along with the aurora borealis. after her mother vanished, eline's father moved them away from norway to the united states. as eline slowly filled in the gaps of not only what happened that night but also memories of her childhood, she discovered things about her mother that she didn't observed or knew in the past.

nicole lesperance's writing is simplistic yet a
Zoë ☆
Jul 13, 2020 marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2021-releases
Okay this sounds AMAZING and the cover is absolutely stunning!! 😍
“Once upon a time, far from the green house at the top of the world, a girl stood alone on a frozen fjord under an empty night sky, clutching a ring that had turned from gleaming gold to dull silver. ‘I wish for my mamma to come back.”

Ah, were do I start with this beautiful story. The Wide Starlight is magical and dreamy and so gorgeously written. The kind of book that makes you feel like anything is possible when you’re reading it. That maybe, just maybe, there’s some magic in the world that th
Adah Udechukwu
Feb 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The Wide Starlight was pretty cool from start to finish.
May 13, 2021 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I need to read this asap. Look at that cover. Beautiful. ✨
Feb 01, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars. This one was actually perfect for reading while we are currently in the middle of a winter storm since the setting is very wintry! I really liked the way the author wove magic and lore into a story about loss, and the ensuing grief and anger that follow, and appreciated the unique setting.
Savannah (forest_reader)
The cover and the whimsical description of the Northern Lights and finding a lost mother immediately drew me to this book, The Wide Starlight. And sure enough, the beautiful descriptions of Norway match the beautiful cover. However, I didn't feel as connected to the story. It boils down to me not loving magical realism. I just can't seem to wrap my brain around it, which regrettably seems to be the point of magical realism. Anyways. I couldn't connect with Eli because I questioned some of her ch ...more
Halli Gomez
Nov 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most beautifully written books I have ever read. Before I get into the plot and characters, which are just as amazing, I must talk about the prose. The words, sentences, and paragraphs are woven together in a such a way, you feel as if you are floating through the sky. They carry you throughout the entire story, no chapter from beginning to end losing that quality, they take you to the stars, then plant you carefully, yet firmly, back on the ground.

The characters are as deep a
Oct 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I don't know anything about Norwegian fairy tales, but I think I've just read one. And it was magical. THE WIDE STARLIGHT is a beautiful book about the depth and breadth of maternal love, and how a mother and daughter's ultimate task is to let go of one another. The story is ethereal and mournful and so atmospheric. The stark, icy landscape of Norway was vivid in my mind, though I've never been there. Legend and myth are quite literally knit into the story, all peacock blue and white. There was ...more
Sam Taylor
Apr 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Inspired by Norwegian folklore about the Northern Lights (so, you know, I automatically love it), this book follows Eli, a Norwegian-American girl searching for her mother, who was snatched up by the Northern Lights in Norway when Eli was only six. The writing is gorgeous, lyrical, and poignant with Eli’s longing for her mother and her efforts to reconnect with her broken family. And woven into Eli’s story are gorgeous, folktale-esque memories of Eli’s mother when she was a child, and every step ...more
Melissa Mitchell
Feb 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
“𝙄𝙩’𝙨 𝙣𝙤𝙩 𝙩𝙧𝙪𝙚. 𝙉𝙤𝙗𝙤𝙙𝙮’𝙨 𝙗𝙚𝙩𝙩𝙚𝙧 𝙤𝙛𝙛 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙞𝙧 𝙢𝙤𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧. 𝙈𝙮 𝙣𝙚𝙚𝙙 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙜𝙤𝙚𝙨 𝙗𝙚𝙮𝙤𝙣𝙙 𝙖𝙣𝙮𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙄 𝙘𝙖𝙣 𝙧𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙖𝙡𝙞𝙯𝙚: 𝙞𝙩’𝙨 𝙞𝙣𝙨𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙫𝙚, 𝙞𝙩’𝙨 𝙥𝙧𝙞𝙢𝙖𝙡, 𝙞𝙩’𝙨 𝙚𝙡𝙚𝙢𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙖𝙡. 𝙄’𝙢 𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙨 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙨𝙝𝙚’𝙨 𝙢𝙞𝙣𝙚 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙨𝙤𝙢𝙚𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙗𝙤𝙪𝙣𝙙 𝙪𝙨 𝙩𝙤𝙜𝙚𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙡𝙞𝙛𝙚𝙩𝙞𝙢𝙚. 𝙉𝙤𝙬 𝙞𝙩’𝙨 𝙧𝙞𝙥𝙥𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙪𝙨 𝙖𝙥𝙖𝙧𝙩.”—Nicole Lesperance

Dripping with Norwegian folklore, this magical novel follows Eli as she struggles with the loss of her mother. Ten years later, she tries to remember what happened that fateful night on the frozen fjords in Norway. Her
Colleen (Colleensreadingadventures) Scidmore
Eline’s mother has been missing for years. Ever since she was a little girl and her mother brought her out on the ice in Norway and whistled to the Northern Lights. Eline’s mother disappeared up in the sky before her very eyes and Eline was found alone, stranded on the ice.
Eline is older now and the same Northern Lights have come to Massachusetts Peninsula for exactly one night. Eline takes a chance and whistles to those lights and they bring back her mother. But there is something different abo
May 29, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to like this one but really didn't care for the main character. ...more
Feb 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
★★★★☆ 3.5/5

thank you to penguinteen and netgallery for the arc!

absolutely gorgeous and heartbreaking. i felt fully immersed in the story the whole time and felt myself struggling to put it down. a super quick read that feels so much longer and deeper (in a good way) because of all the beautiful stories packed inside
I loved this book SO much. Spun of Norwegian fairy tales, magical realism, and the northern lights, it delves deep into family relationships, forgiveness, loss, and moving on despite everything, this book really was right up my alley.

While I’m not a big fantasy reader, Lesperance wove the magic into the story in a way that didn’t distract from the main plot. Right away, I was pulled in by her vivid prose.

The story was told in three parts—seventeen-year-old Eli’s life, a diary of sorts from her t
Jennifer Loura
Feb 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a magical journey this book just took me on. I absolutely loved this book, it captured me from the very beginning. I loved the old Norwegian folk tales, as well as putting Eli's and her mother's stories into fairy tale versions. Five stars for sure! ...more
Kera (featherboundbooks)
In this beautiful and magical story, we meet Eline (Eli) as she tries to put the pieces together of what happened to her mother. Years ago, her mother whistled at the sky under the northern lights and she disappeared before Eli’s eyes. Afterward, Eli and her father left their home in Norway and reside on Cape Cod. When these same northern lights are visible over her Massachusetts peninsula for one night only, Eli takes a chance and whistles at the sky. And there she is! Her mother is here again ...more
Marti Leimbach
Jan 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
The Wide Starlight is the evocative, atmospheric story of 16-year old Eli, whose missing mother draws her into a strange and magical world.

Eli’s mother disappeared one night, leaving her stranded on a sheet of ice in Svalbard, north of the mainland of Norway, where she might have frozen to death or been killed by a polar bear. Remarkably, Eli was discovered and saved, but Silje’s body is never found. Is she dead or missing? Did her troubled mind finally snap, leading her to abandon her young dau
Brianna Bourne
Oct 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you liked The Astonishing Color of After, you MUST read this. It's so freaking good!!!

The Wide Starlight is INCREDIBLE. Stunningly magical and heart-achingly emotional, it's easily one of the best YA novels I've read this year.

From the very first page, I felt wrapped in magic, and instantly safe in the hands of a true storyteller. I loved the first half of the novel, but once Eline goes to Norway I was ENAMORED with this book. The descriptions of Svalbard (a Norweigan archipelago close to the
Aug 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cape-cod
Incredibly vivid tale of loss, grief, and family. Told through alternating perspectives of first person and myths/legends, "The Wide Starlight" is a highly readable, beautiful story for teens and those who remember being teens. Lesperance captures an area I know well--the Outer Cape--and one I will likely never get to see--Norway. I have always wondered what those Arctic terns think of Cape Cod, and now I have a better idea.

Digital ARC via Edelweiss
Nov 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
I wasn't too big on the magical realism since the story leaves it up to the reader to decide what is real and what isn't. I loved the beginning on the Cape and the descriptions sweeping across the Atlantic to a tiny archipelago in the Arctic. Thank you Edelweiss for the ARC. ...more
Laura Rueckert
Jan 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I was so impressed with this book! The gorgeous fairytale-like atmosphere that somehow still managed to have relationships that felt so real. The mistakes we make with friends and family. The heartbreak. Highly recommended!
caitlin ✶
Jun 04, 2019 marked it as to-read
So I’m mutuals with this author on twitter & I just read the summary of her book—it sounds so good wtf??
Jan 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Once upon a time, far from the green house at the top of the world, a girl stood alone on a frozen fjord under an empty night sky, clutching a ring that had turned from gleaming gold to dull silver. ‘I wish for my mamma to come back.”

Ah, were do I start with this beautiful story. The Wide Starlight is magical and dreamy and so gorgeously written. The kind of book that makes you feel like anything is possible when you’re reading it. That maybe, just maybe, there’s some magic in the world that th
Gabriella Crivilare
I read this in essentially one sitting and I have no regrets. Okay, my regret is that, instead of taking a break for lunch, I didn't just keep eating while reading, but this was a library book. I just say this to underscore how entrancing the story was.

This book has the perfect atmosphere; it's both unnerving and beautiful, like the Svalbard landscape. Honestly, I'm a simple girl, I see a book set in Norway (or in an Arctic-like area) and I think about East and how it's one of my favorite books
Feb 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
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Nicole grew up on Cape Cod and graduated from Wesleyan University. She spent a few years in London and now lives near Boston with her husband, two kids, and two rambunctious black cats. She writes young adult and middle grade books.

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“Tucked in my bag is another book from the shelf above my desk. Blue and cloth-bound, it's full of stories that I wrote myself. Stories from my childhood on Svalbard. These stories are nonfiction. They're pieces of my heart made of paper and ink.” 1 likes
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