Sunday, August 25, 2013

Early Review: The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White

Release Date: September 10, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Edelweiss
Author Links: Goodreads | Website |Twitter

Isadora’s family is seriously screwed up.
Of course, as the human daughter of Egyptian gods, that pretty much comes with the territory. She’s also stuck with parents who barely notice her, and a house full of relatives who can’t be bothered to remember her name. After all, they are going to be around forever—and she’s a mere mortal.
Isadora’s sick of living a life where she’s only worthy of a passing glance, and when she has the chance to move to San Diego with her brother, she jumps on it. But Isadora’s quickly finding that a “normal” life comes with plenty of its own epic complications—and that there’s no such thing as a clean break when it comes to family. Much as she wants to leave her past behind, she can’t shake the ominous dreams that foretell destruction for her entire family. When it turns out there may be truth in her nightmares, Isadora has to decide whether she can abandon her divine heritage after all.

If you go to Goodreads, you'll see some fairly low ratings for this book, but I don't think they're necessarily deserved. I actually thought this one was pretty entertaining.
Don't go into it expecting it to be an epic journey into mythological Egypt. No, it more of a story about growing up and realizing that just because your parents aren't perfect, doesn't mean they don't love you.

The older I (and my children) get, the more I understand my own mother. And by understand, I mean sympathize. She had no idea what she was doing! I don't mean that in a bad way, either. If you have kids, you know what I'm saying. I mean, everyone knows the basics. Feed them, take them to the doctor when they're sick, don't beat them, and don't sell them to strangers. Easy, right? Yeah. Not so much. Turns out there's a lot of grey area in there...
I have this friend (true story) who told me she was going to get Purity Rings for her sons when they started middle school. She was serious.
*crickets chirping*
When it was time to have the talk with my boys, I Googled 'penis sores/swollen testicles' and clicked on Images. 
Then I told them to think about that the next time they saw a pretty girl!
What I'm trying to say, is that those are both equally idiotic ways to try to keep our boys from having sex before mom is they are ready for it. Also, we both love our kids, but there isn't really a guidebook for how to do this whole 'parenting' thing exactly right. It's a  fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of job, and there's no way to say or do everything perfectly.

But my way was better. Admit it.

Isadora has lived a sheltered life in Egypt with her family. Now, her family is made up of Egyptian gods and goddesses, so it wasn't exactly a normal upbringing, but she had a happy childhood. 
Until she found out that her parents hadn't bothered to make her immortal. Nope. She was gonna die just like everyone else. Her father, being the ruler over death, had a nice tomb made up for her, though.
Screw getting a dumb pony! My daddy got me my very own sarcophagus!  
It also seems as though her mother only had her in order to keep from fading. See, the gods only exist if they have people who worship and believe in them. So every twenty years her mom has a baby, and Ta-da! a new worshiper is born. Isadora comes to believe that she does this to basically ensure that there is always someone out there believing in her and the rest of her immortal family.

The final straw for Isadora happens when her mother announces that she's pregnant. She feels as though she's being replaced (sooner than normal), and decides that she's done with her whole wonky family. Especially her mother. So when good old mom starts having dreams about something bad coming their way, Isadora see her chance for escape. With the help of her aunt, she manages to convince her mother that it would be safer for her to go live with her brother in California for a little while. Except her plans don't include coming back. Ever.

Once there, of course, she meets an awesome guy who thinks she hung the moon. He's gorgeous, he's talented, and he's perfect for her.
Pssst. He also has a cool secret, but I'm not going to tell you what it is...
Except she still can't get past the fact that she's going to die someday. For some reason, she thinks that since her life will eventually end, then there's no point in falling in love. 
I'll admit that was an odd focal point for all of the relationship drama, but I decided to just go with it. You know, think of it as a metaphor for all of the 'psychological damage from childhood' that we have to get over to become an adult.

Although, I find that most people who blame their childhood for the reason they can't function as a responsible adult are usually idiots looking for an excuse to behave badly.
For example (I know you've heard this one), "I can't be faithful to my spouse/lover because my parents divorced when I was 10, and now I just can't fully commit to anyone. *sob*".
For those first 10 years did they force you to live in a box and eat crickets or something?! 
No? Ok, then. Suck it up and move on.

And that's the plot of Chaos of the Stars. 
Oh, there's a bit of danger lurking in the background (the dream stuff), but it isn't the main part of the story. Don't expect much from it, and you won't be disappointed. On the whole, I thought it was entertaining, quirky, and different enough to keep me interested.

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Mariya said...

I always been intrigued since I first head about this book. Definitely gonna wait to read more reviews though b/c I've been so worn out on YA lately. Nice review.

erin said...

Ooohhh... this is the first I've come across this book and definitely sounds intriguing :) Thanks for sharing!

Mary Preston said...

I'd read this book for the cover. I have read some less then positive reviews. It is on my reading list.

Mel@Thedailyprophecy said...

I don't get the low ratings either. It's not the best book out there, but it was entertaining :) I liked the mythology and how Isadora tries to find her way in life. Great review!



It was entertaining and I didn't have to force myself to finish it...those are my two big 'tests' for any book. When I saw all of the bad reviews, I was shocked. My best guess it that they were expecting something different?

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