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Review: Rules For Stealing Stars

Corey Ann Haydu - Rules For Stealing Stars
Published: September 29, 2015 by Katherine Tegen Books
Genres: Fantasy, Magical Realism, Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction
Pages: 336
Source: Brought that ish 👀
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 3.5/5

In the tradition of Sharon Creech and Wendy Mass, Corey Ann Haydu's sparkling middle grade debut is a sister story with a twist of magic, a swirl of darkness, and a whole lot of hope.

Silly is used to feeling left out. Her three older sisters think she's too little for most things—especially when it comes to dealing with their mother's unpredictable moods and outbursts. This summer, Silly feels more alone than ever when her sisters keep whispering and sneaking away to their rooms together, returning with signs that something mysterious is afoot: sporting sunburned cheeks smudged with glitter and gold hair that looks like tinsel.

When Silly is brought into her sisters' world, the truth is more exciting than she ever imagined. The sisters have discovered a magical place that gives them what they truly need: an escape from the complications of their home life. But there are dark truths there, too. Silly hopes the magic will be the secret to saving their family, but she's soon forced to wonder if it could tear them apart.

Corey Ann Haydu is slowly (but surely) becoming one of my favorite authors. Literally, I am obsessed with her writing style. She's getting up there with a few of my all-time faves: Katie Cotugno, Sarah Dessen, Nora Ephron, Anita Hughes. Just to name a few. Take a gold-star from the roll, y'all deserve it. I currently have a copy of The Careful Undressing of Love on my shelf, but I've been holding off on reading it because my expectations are so high.

I related to this book, immensely. Corey Ann Haydu's books always focus on the same topics, but those same topics are ones I've often enjoyed: sisters, romance, magic, and Rules For Stealing Stars follows a similar route.

Marla, Astrid, Eleanor, and Silly are wise and wild, but being the youngest of the bunch, Silly feels excluded. So when their mother is discovered to be too sick to join in on breakfast traditions, and is eventually sent to be a treatment facility, their father's Sunday batch of pancake shapes can't resolve their familial tragedy. However, the sisters discover a secret passageway, closed within one of their closets, leading to a mystical, unexpected world of pretty leaves and mystique and it helps them to avoid the problems at home,

This book is a mystical, magical, familial-fun, real-life combination of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, Bridge to Terabithia, and Tell Me Something Real. Plus, an extra sister.

How did their father never notice his daughters were, um, GONE? Why don't you question what your children were doing all day? Dad was going through issues in his marriage and probably had trouble co-parenting four children by himself, but literally, be mindful. Pancakes aren't the solution to everything.

I would've liked to see Silly's family tackle their issue as a unit. All of them - the daughters, included - understood what their mother was dealing with. Instead, they all went to get ice cream, lounged on beaches, and yeah, it's summertime. They deserve to. Meanwhile, their mother was sent away to deal with her alcoholism, singlehandedly, and they should've had one weekly session of family therapy.

Corey's writing is flowery and fluorescent, and it does a lot more showing than telling, which is kinda bothersome, and it might be my only problem with her style. Instead of gorgeous descriptions, I would've preferred more conversations between the characters. Figure out your ish with conversational coolness instead of focusing on the amount of glitter on someone's cheekbone.


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