Under Different Stars

Under Different Stars  - Amy A. Bartol I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

*Disclaimer: Spoiler-ish of first chapter only*

At the very beginning of the book, the main character, Kricket, reveals that she was in foster care and is taking precautions to avoid DCS until her 18th birthday, in order to avoid the horrors she experienced in foster care. Enrique, who I assumed was her best friend at the beginning of the first chapter, made me want to punch him in the face. Truthfully, if I had to read more of Enrique trivializing and even mocking the trauma Kricket obviously experienced in foster care, I don’t think I could have finished the book.

“Oh, (foster care) couldn’t have been that bad…” and Kricket has to tell him, “No, it was worse.” Then, he says “Of course it was bad” (looking guilty) “You didn’t know me then. Now you have my family….” Then he explains that his mother invited her for Christmas dinner before mocking the fact that she has never had a family:

Enrique: “’Either you are really naïve or you’ve really never had a family.”

Kricket: “Families are supposed to love you no matter what.”

Enrique: “You’ve really never had a family have you?’ he asks rhetorically.”

Kricket: “No, not one that ever lasted.”

Enrique: “You’re lucky, trust me. What are you doing this weekend?

So far, not liking Enrique….her “best friend” is either a complete idiot or an insensitive bastard.

Really, who tells their best friend that they’re luck that they’ve never had a family?!?! Especially because you’re afraid your family will judge you because you’re gay? So, in this guy’s mind, it is better to grow up being passed around from foster home to foster home, each one worse than the last, than to have to take your boyfriend to Christmas dinner and tell your family, who has been loving and supportive for your entire live, that you are gay.

However, after getting over my anger at Enrique’s remarks, I sped through the rest of the book. Truthfully, Enrique’s douchebaggery was the only part of the book I didn’t like. I loved Kricket. At first, I didn’t like the fact that all the crazy stuff that was happening didn’t seem to surprise her much, and she just kind of rolled with it. However, I realized that this is probably how she has had to live growing up in foster homes and running from DCS, so of course she just rolls with the craziness and tries to survive.

I love that Kricket is not one of the lead females so prevalent in YA today, constantly preoccupied with her self-pity. Although she does kind of fall in “instalove” with the obvious character, this is not as disappointing as it is in many books.

I loved the humor in this book. Not only is Kricket not about moping around pitying herself, but she makes the most of her situation and tries to find humor in it.

I did not want to put this book down, and for the most part, I didn’t. I finished it in a day and wanted to pick up the second book in the series, but convinced myself to go to sleep or I would be up all night trying to finish it if it was anywhere near as good as this one. The only thing that disappointed me is how long I will have to wait to read the third book in the series!