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Alyzon Whitestarr

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3.84  ·  Rating details ·  1,154 Ratings  ·  103 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 i
...more
Kindle Edition, 514 pages
Published June 23rd 2009 by Random House Books for Young Readers (first published September 26th 2005)
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Hayden
I never would have finished this if I hadn't picked it up a teen librarian meeting and signed up to review it.

Alyzon Whitestarr (terrible title, by the way--I should have known) takes a knock on the head protecting her baby brother from injury. Afterwards, she finds that she has extended senses; she can hear and see far more than she could before, but most of all she can smell people. Not their b.o., but their essential smell. Turns out, the totally cute guy that she used to have the hots for ac
...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
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Mariel
Apr 07, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, read-2016
Still love this book❤ isobelle carmody is one of my all time favourites her work is unique and special. ...more
Tiana Mann
Aug 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
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
Sara
Dec 08, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: written-by-women
The positive: The main conceit of the book is that Alyzon (!) gets hit on the head, spends a month in a coma, and wakes up with the ability to smell people's intentions and feelings and essences and the like. I thought that was an intriguing and stellar idea, and enjoyed pretty much the first half of the book, where she's sort of trying to figure out how these new senses work, and what the smells mean, and such.

The negative: The "action" of the book was trite and boring -- fighting an ancient ev
...more
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!!
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.
Rayne
Because Cillian says so.
Emma
Jan 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.....
Eva Mitnick
Jul 05, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, fantasy
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Jaye
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Miss Clark
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
TheCosyDragon
Feb 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Adalira Morningstar
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
T M
May 09, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone into fantasy, people interested in good & evil, young adults
Recommended to T 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
Stacey
Sep 05, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 flawless; but strangest of all is Alyzon’s sense of smell. Her best friend smells of a comforting sea breeze. She registers her father’s contentment as the sweet scent of caramelize
...more
Stephanie
May 18, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
A truly captivating and compelling novel that when finished, will give readers an extreme satisfaction.

To be honest, Alyzon Whitestarr was really slow in plot. It took a long time for things to pick up and for the actual plot to happen. However, the way Isobelle wrote this novel made it okay - there wasn't any need to hurry through and instead, you felt this desire to slowly devour this book in all its goodness.

To me, it seemed as if there were two plots - the first where Alyzon first gains her
...more
Merrilyn Tucker
Parts of this book I absolutely loved and other parts I could pass on. What I loved: Alyzon's family, especially her father, and the way they share responsibilities and have open conversations. Having said that, I did not fully appreciate Alyzon's mother due to her artsy flakiness (although more comes to light about this at the end of the book). I also loved Carmody's characters; they were vibrant, complex, and real. On the downside, there were a tad too many of them. What I could pass on were t ...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
Annie Preston
Dec 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. It raises questions and thoughts that may not have otherwise come to mind, it has a fascinating plot, and the characters are very interesting. They all have different sides and really added to the story. Being Australian, I also always love when books are set here.
I can see why some people might not enjoy this book. It is a different story to what the blurb might lead to suggest, and a lot of the story was internal monologue. For me, this was fine, and I enjoyed this
...more
Alessandria
In Alyzon Whitestarr, Alyzon is born into a family of five, and is surrounded with talented siblings. Alyzon sees herself as the black sheep, the one person in the family that doesn't do anything exceptional. However, when Alyzon is hit by the back of a truck and wakes up from a month long coma, she realizes that she isn't the same as she was before. Alyzon's senses are now magnified, and she can tell what people are feeling, by how they smell, or the aura they give off. for example, her father ...more
Melissa
Ok so this was a tough book to review. I liked the framework of the story but I didn't like the underlying tone of it. It started out great with the main character able to smell people's essences or souls. And also smell how and what they felt. I thought that was really interesting. Especially when the heartthrob of her high school smells like death warmed over. Seems plausible that someone with a dark spirit would smell like rotten food. Unfortunately the author took it a whole different direct ...more
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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
More about Isobelle Carmody...
“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.” 259 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
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