From A Distant Star
Author: Karen McQuestion
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Romance
Release Date: May 19th 2015
Page Count: 272
Format: eBook ARC provided by NetGalley
“People change even under the best circumstances. And when you pull them back from death’s door, well, that’s no small thing.”
I went into this book with low expectations and I’m not entirely sure why that is. I’m not usually a fan of stories involving aliens and once again, I don’t really understand why because I find the idea of aliens and their most likely existence to be extremely fascinating. As it turns out though, I really thoroughly enjoyed this story! It wasn’t nearly as cheesy as I was expecting and I found that it actually felt pretty realistic.
Goodreads Synopsis: 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—believed 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.
Karen McQuestion has done a great job in creating a story involving an alien species that feels very realistic and could possibly happen if it hasn’t already. The writing style was very fast paced and there was not one moment where the story felt as if it were dragging on.
For the most part, this story is told from the perspective of Emma, a young teenager who is trying to cope with her very sick, and unfortunately, dying boyfriend Lucas. What I found particularly interesting and unique though, was that the opening chapter was actually told from the point of view of Lucas’ dog Mack. This was the only chapter told from this point of view, but as the story progresses there are a few chapters scattered throughout the novel that are told from another point of view (no spoilers, I promise!). These chapters are short and sweet and straight to the point.
“This is a very confusing planet. People believe things that aren’t true about other people just because of how they look and what kind of vehicle they drive. Why can you not wait and see who they are inside before you make a decision?”
I found that Emma as a character was a bit bland and was unfortunately shadowed by some of the other characters. There wasn’t much character development on her part. I really wish Lucas’ brother Eric was included more in the story, in fact I wish he could have been a part of the main storyline/adventure that takes place during a large chunk of this book. Eventually, we meet another character who is not from our planet Earth. The circumstances in which he is introduced to the reader was one of the things that I found the most unique and interesting. It probably isn’t the first time this approach has been taken in an alien-based story, but I found it to be believable and realistic. For lack of an English name, Eric decides to name this alien Scout based on his profession on his home planet. Out of every character within this story, Scout goes through the most character development. In my opinion, he was the best character throughout the entire novel.
One thing I was worried about when going into this story was the potential for unanswered questions. This could be another reason why I have a hard time getting into the sci-fi genre, but I hate feeling confused while reading a story. Most of the time, I tend to want answers. It seemed as though every time I questioned anything in this book or anytime I thought I had found a flaw, my question was answered. There were no loose ends and everything tied in well.
Overall, this was a great young adult novel to mix up the general contemporaries I usually read. It was fun to read something a little more paranormal even though it did end up feeling quite realistic and possible. This story had a great adventure/road trip element to it and it was definitely a fun, fast-paced and entertaining read from start to finish.
“The sunset,” I answered. “It’s gorgeous.” It always was. A dusky, blue backdrop interrupted by slashes of light and color. From night to night it was never quite the same, but somehow it was always familiar and beautiful. And it happened every single night. If you gave it some thought, you’d wonder why all of society didn’t shut down to watch this. If we were smart, we’d be turning off our electronics, leaving our homes, and settling down on our porches and driveways just to take it in. Each night a different miracle in the sky. But no, most of us never even bothered to look out the window. While this gorgeous light show went on outside, we did the dishes and texted and argued and watched TV. We let out all of those tedious, mundane, everyday things get in the way. “Tonight it’s really pretty.”