T.B. Cooper's Reviews > Where the Forest Meets the Stars

Where the Forest Meets the Stars by Glendy Vanderah
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it was amazing

THIS BOOK… wow. Debut Novel, huh? I picked this book for my Kindle First Read choice for February, and I devoured the 321 pages with curiosity & little effort. Here’s why Ms. Vanderah’s book gets 5 stars…

Plot: So, at first, you’re reading this story of an odd child, claiming to be an alien… COMPLETELY BELIEVABLE that this human- looking kid is REALLY an alien- RIGHT?? No. I should TOTALLY take off major points for (it) not being believable… right?? No, because the question of (why?) was too strong. “Why?” was pulling me deeper in… Why does this child think she’s an alien? Why are the M.C.s really nice, but, off? Why does the M.C. NOT believe she’s an alien, when I personally, was convinced she was, within the first two weeks of her being around (the book takes place over a summer)? And why, is it so hard to get this kid into child services and such?

Characters: The ‘why” grabbed my interest, but the characters KEPT me invested. Jo, the female lead; Ursa, the Alien child; and Gabe, the egg man neighbor, reveal parts of themselves slowly and in a reserved fashion that mimics people with sodden pasts. You find the most out about Jo, somewhat early on, but even some details are eluded to, but not fully explained until certain, “aha” moments where these puzzling details finally make sense. Gabe is a well-written, love interest, character that does a great job of being a supportive character, but it is Ursa, the child, that plays opposite of Jo. Ursa is an enigma… even after the five miracles have occurred, and piecing together her mystery doesn’t happen until damn near the end of the book.

The Writing: The writing was smooth and exceptionally easy to read. The story is told from a 3rd person POV… and for this book, that “Omniscient Narrator’s” perspective was perfect. It added the right amount of doubt and intrigue to the whole novel that I’d have found it hard to buy coming from one of the characters in 1st person POV.

In Case You Wanted to Know: There are very few scattered cuss words. Sex is mentioned but not described or detailed. BUT… IMPORTANT to KNOW… Child Abuse (in all of its ugly forms) is talked about and mentioned with some details, and there are times the descriptions and moments get pretty deep. There is also a moment of violence, guns involved, etc. that leads to this novel’s conclusion… And although the violence is unexpected and out of place with the majority of this story’s mood/theme, it is NOT in any way a crazy plot point or means to an end. It actually helps to explain a lot.

Overall: I read Ms. Vanderah’s debut novel quickly and enjoyed it, immensely. The devotion to character was clear in each one we met. Great Read. Well done!

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
February 3, 2019 – Shelved
February 3, 2019 – Finished Reading

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