Ryann Bird dreams of travelling across the stars. But a career in space isn’t an option for a girl who lives in a trailer park on the wrong side of town. So Ryann becomes her circumstances and settles for acting out and skipping school to hang out with her delinquent friends.
One day she meets Alexandria: a furious loner who spurns Ryann’s offer of friendship. After a horrific accident leaves Alexandria with a broken arm, the two misfits are brought together despite themselves—and Ryann learns her secret: Alexandria’s mother is an astronaut who volunteered for a one-way trip to the edge of the solar system.
Every night without fail, Alexandria waits to catch radio signals from her mother. And its up to Ryann to lift her onto the roof day after day until the silence between them grows into friendship, and eventually something more . . .
I received an uncorrected proof copy for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Any quotes used in this review are subject to change upon release.
Having read The Wicker King in January, I jumped at the chance to get a hold of The Weight of the Stars when Kayla offered it out to any bloggers who followed her on Twitter – all you had to do was email. It was too good a chance to pass up and I am so glad I took it because this book was everything. I enjoyed The Wicker King a lot, but this surpassed it for me in every way and will probably end up on my top reads of 2019. It was funny, emotional, inspiring and everything in between.
This review is probably going to be super rambling because I love this book so much, but have no idea how to articulate it.
“The stars have weight and my little life wasn’t heavy enough to outweigh your want of it.”
K. Ancrum’s writing style – As with The Wicker King, The Weight of the Stars has very short concise chapters. We’re talking like one or two pages here and while you may think this breaks things up, personally I think it speeds everything along. It’s one of the reasons I devoured this book in about three hours. It keeps it fast paced, but without you feeling like it’s underdeveloped or skimming over things. It retains detail and keeps you fully involved in the story. I adore it. I wish every book could be like this, but then again, Kayla would lose her magic if that were the case. And I never want Kayla to lose her magic.
“Diversity is a flower that blooms with greater beauty and greater strength each time it is cross pollinated.”
Diverse cast of characters – One of the key parts of the book is the fact that our protagonist, Ryann, is good with people. She ‘collects’ the outcasts, the newbies, at school and helps them find somewhere they belong. With this, naturally, comes an incredibly diverse ensemble who support Ryann and Alexandria’s narrative. Within the friendship group we have biracial characters, bisexual characters, gay characters, a polyamorous parental unit, a teenage single father, an older sister as a guardian for her sibling, and on it goes. It highlights individual experiences and brings them together in this beautiful friendship group and I loved it so so much.
There’s even a cameo of a few characters from The Wicker King, so look out for that.
“All that I am is a terribly brave small thing, with a terribly brave small life, and a terribly brave love that spans eons.”
Familial relationships – This book has a huge focus on family. It shows families of different makeups such as an elder sibling guardian, a single father and teenage single father, polyamorous parents, and both strict and lax parenting in nuclear families. It’s incredibly interesting to see the comparisons between these different families and how the children of the parents act, react, grow and learn. The group themselves are a found family, and these familiar themes throughout the book were both heart warming and intriguing.
“Fighting for yourself is another way of loving yourself .”
Following your dreams and believing in yourself – Another thing I loved about this book is the emphasis on following your heart and your dreams no matter your means or circumstances. Sometimes you have to come first, and you can transcend the constraints on your life through perseverance and belief. I needed this.
“I spent month trying to unlearn loving you, trying to forget the strength of your hands and the worlds in your eyes. But, there is no part of me that you have not touched.”
Slow burn F/F romance – Warning: this burn is slow. as. hell. And dear god was it good. I spent so much of this book wondering if Ryann and Alexandria would get together or not, and their relationship definitely has some rocky patches, but I love the two of them with all my heart. Just thinking about it warms my heart all over again.
“I’ll be coming for you. We are better and smarter than they were, and we have more time. I’ll find a way, and then I’m coming for you.”
TL;DR – Beautiful, diverse contemporary with an outer space element. The perfect balance of contemporary and sci-fi with an amazing slow burn F/F.
Representation: LGBTQIA+ (primarily a central F/F relationship, polyamorous relationship, gay and bisexual characters), PoC, teenage parents, mutism, poverty rep.
Content Warning: Grief, loss, bullying, falling from a height, discussion of a historic car accident. Please research for more if you think this book may be triggering.
Have you read The Weight of the Stars? Let me know in the comments!