Warning – possible spoilers! (Tiny ones, though, and I’ll try to avoid even those; I swear I’ll give my best not to ruin it for you… :-))
What Stars Are Made Of by Sarah Allen – Book Details
TITLE – What Stars Are Made Of
AUTHOR – Sarah Allen
GENRE – middle grade, contemporary, #ownvoices
YEAR PUBLISHED – 2020
PAGE COUNT – 208
MY RATING – 5 of 5
RATED ON GOODREADS – 4.41 of 5
I am not much into middle grades. Almost not at all, to be honest.
I am hoping to read the Nevermoor trilogy by Jessica Townsend soon. But that’s because it is super popular right now, not because it is a middle grade. I have 2 spooky middle grades I’m saving for the next Halloween. And I really liked Coraline.
That’s about it.
But then I stumbled upon What Stars Are Made Of by Sarah Allen on Goodreads. I really liked the cover, so I went and read what it was about.
And my heart melted. It sounded beyond adorable. Just like that, I was 100 percent hooked and I couldn’t wait to read this story as soon as possible.
I don’t remember when was the last time a blurb has blown my mind like this. I went and bought the book right away. And I completely rearranged my TBR (I know, you’re shocked) so that I can put it on top. And here we are.
Oh, and BTW – What Stars Are Made Of is apparently a debut novel. And I had so much luck with debuts lately, it made me even more excited to read this book…
What It Is About
“I wondered if ideas were born the same way stars are, starting off small and collecting space clouds and dust until they have enough to burst open.”
Libby Monroe is a twelve-year-old girl in many ways similar to all other 12 year-olds. She has classes she is amazing at, classes she struggles with, a wonderful, loving family and all in all – a pretty happy life.
But, Libby also happens to have Turner syndrome, which makes some things more difficult than they are for most people.
And now her big sister Nonny is expecting a baby! Which is the best, the most awesome news ever… Except that Libby knows that sometimes babies are born with syndromes and conditions that can make things harder for them. Plus, Nonny and her husband are struggling to make the ends meet.
So Libby decides to strike a deal with the universe. She will complete a project about a woman who had first discovered what stars are made of. If she wins the contest, she will give all the money to Nonny’s new family. And in return, the universe will make sure that the baby is perfect…
What Stars Are Made Of by Sarah Allen – My Review
This was the cutest book EVER! 🤩🤩🤩
Why aren’t more people talking about it?
This book was just – beyond. Beyond amazing, heartwarming story. Beyond immersive storytelling. And beyond anything I’d expected.
The writing was excellent. Very engaging, very easy to go through. It is little over 200 pages long, but it felt shorter because of how quickly I finished it.
Of course, the best part were the characters and the wholesome, uplifting feeling it leaves you with.
I am not much of a crier-reader, but this book totally made me tear up a few times. The story was heartwarming and touching and magical and relatable in so many ways.
“And with strangers, I’m not so great at knowing what their facial expressions mean anyway, so I pretended they were all very nice. They probably were.”
Libby’s family was pure gold. Every time they were just around each other, it was very clear anyone could call themselves happy to have a family like that. Those parts were full of warmth and so precious, mostly because it was clear those moments were not special or rare, but just common, everyday moments in the Monroes’ home.
I loved Libby so much. From that first sentence when she said she was born with a heart three sizes too big and so she’s practically an Anti-Grinch, I knew this girl was going to be one of my most beloved characters ever.
Libby was smart, and optimistic and genuine and compassionate and contiguously enthusiastic. She’s someone who loves the world and people around her. So full of life and always ready to spill all of her love on anyone lucky enough to be around.
In the world where many of our heroes are morally gray, it was such a refreshment to spend some time with a girl able to remind us what truly matters in life.
“Real stars don’t have five points like the cartoon stars, though. They’re balls, big burning balls of fire. I wonder if we made up those five-pointed stars because then it looks like stars have a head and two arms and two legs, like we do.”
I also loved how authentic Libby felt as a character. Her differences never overshadowed all the ways in which she was exactly the same as everyone else.
She was happy, curious, earnest, brave, easily excited, caring, pure hearted, open minded and always ready to try and make people around her feel better. In many ways, she was the very essence of all the best things about being a kid. Or a human in general. Of being alive and having a fulfilled life.
I also loved that Libby tried to make a deal with the universe. Instead of just asking for a favor, she was willing to try and do her part to make the things better for the people she loved.
“If we can figure out the stars, then why are other people so confusing? I didn’t hear an answer, but a narrow square of sunlight coming in through the lunchroom blinds sat in the seat across from me.”
What Stars Are Made Of is a story about having dreams, big and small, and putting your heart into seeing them come true. And if that heart happens to beat a bit differently than most people’s… Well, that might give a different rhythm along the way, but it can still take you there.
Though technically a middle grade, I really think this is one of those books that can appeal to anyone. That is why I recommend it to all of you. Whoever you are. Wherever you are from. No matter your age or gender or general interests. This book is for everyone.
Hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did…
BTW, Sarah Allen’s second novel Breathing Underwater should be out soon. Can’t wait to check it out…