May 11, 2015
From a Distant Star, by Karen McQuestion
Seventeen-year-old Emma was the only one who hadn’t given up on her boyfriend, Lucas. Everyone else—his family, his friends, his doctors—was convinced that any moment could be his last. So when Lucas miraculously returns from the brink of death, Emma thinks her prayers have been answered. As the surprised town rejoices, Emma begins to question whether Lucas is the same boy she’s always known. When she finds an unidentifiable object on his family’s farm—and government agents come to claim it—she begins to suspect that nothing is what it seems. Emma’s out-of-this-world discovery may be the key to setting things right, but only if she and Lucas can evade the agents who are after what they have. With all her hopes and dreams on the line, Emma sets out to save the boy she loves. And with a little help from a distant star, she might just have a chance at making those dreams come true.
I read the first half of this book in a single night. It is really easy to digest, which is to be expected for a book geared towards the YA audience. There were no themes or ideas that required me to strain my brain, and the story was very linear. While mostly told from Emma’s point of view, another character’s POV was used a few times. This POV switch wasn’t confusing, but I felt it unnecessary. The information could’ve been easily conveyed via dialogue without switching POV.
The sheer amount of teenage angst almost turned me off from the book. More than one antagonist was a cardboard cutout, and I didn’t really care about Emma for the first half of the book. I’m glad I finished reading it, because it was a cute romp through YA. My rating after reading the first half wavered between two and three stars, and after finishing it, it was a solid three stars. The things I criticized prevented it from wandering into four-star territory.
Karen McQuestion is the bestselling author of books for all ages. Some of her titles include Hello Love, Life on Hold, The Long Way Home, and the Edgewood series. Her publishing story has been covered by the Wall Street Journal, Entertainment Weekly, and the national NPR show, The Story with Dick Gordon. She has also appeared on ABC’s World News Now and America This Morning. McQuestion lives with her husband and kids in Hartland, Wisconsin.