Title: We Are All Constellations
Author: Amy Beashel
Edition: Paperback (Paper Orange Book Box)
The Paper Orange UKYA Book Box continues to deliver excellent YA fiction! I can see why this book came bundled in the book box with a tissue and a restorative eyemask – it’s definitely a tear-jerker.
Iris’s mother died when she was ten, and she’s spent the years since being strong, independent, and fearless. She explores abandoned buildings as a hobby, and thinks nothing of heading into the woods alone in the dark or climbing on rooftops to find a new place to explore.
Life with her dad, stepmum and stepbrother is calm and peaceful, and nothing like the excitement she used to experience with her mother. She remembers joyful dancing in the kitchen, driving out in the middle of the night to watch a meteor shower, and a surprise meal when her mother decorated the living room and pretended they were in France. But there are darker memories, too, and Iris tries not to remember the times when her mother’s behaviour was frightening rather than fun.
When Iris discovers the truth about her mother, she doesn’t know where to turn. Her best friend Tala is distracted by a poetry event, her boyfriend wants to come with her on the very definitely solo gap year she has planned, and the mysterious Orla might hold the key to the secrets of Iris’s past.
It’s a story about grief, friendship, and showing up for each other. What truths we tell, whether our actions match our words, and how we protect the people we love. Iris is a brilliant protagonist – she’s brave, resourceful, and independent, but also romantic, hurt, angry, and not as reliable as she claims to be. There’s a constant feeling that she might make the wrong decision at any moment, and a nagging uncertainty over whether she will push her bravery and independence too far.
I read We Are All Constellations in a weekend. Iris’s story is addictive, and the reader is drawn further into her world as the book progresses. I didn’t want to put it down, and I desperately wanted to find out how her plans, reactions and relationships would resolve in the end. Highly recommended.
Have you read We Are All Constellations? What did you think of Iris’s story? Click through to the full blog to access the comments section, and share your thoughts! No spoilers, though – you can post those on GoodReads!
YA review: We Are All Constellations cross-posted to GoodReads.
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