Book: Connect the Stars (2015)
Author: Marisa de los Santos & David Teague
Genre: MG, Contemporary
Basic plot: Aaron and Audrey both have special abilities. Audrey can tell when somebody’s lying. And Aaron has a photographic memory. When they end up at the same desert survival camp, that’s when things start to get interesting. They meet two more misfits and try to avoid the two bullies. But then one of the bullies simply disappears…
1) Let’s start with Audrey and Aaron’s special abilities (superpowers, if you will). It certainly makes for interesting reading! I love how these abilities prove to be their downfall at the beginning of the story, and that they have to “learn” how to use them. I love the juxtaposition of the “abilities” of the others in their group (Kate and Louis). While their abilities aren’t quite as spectacular, the four of them make a good team!
2) It’s written in the alternating POVs of Audrey and Aaron. I almost wanted the POVs of Louis and Kate as well, but I’m not sure if that would have made it better. I was nice to get the different perspectives. (I’m guessing each author is responsible for one POV.)
3) I liked the crusty Jare! (Sure, at times he was over-the-top; and if I were writing him, I’d have toned that part down.) He’s the leader of their group and I enjoyed the twists and turns and the mystery surrounding him.
4) Daphne and Randolph are introduced as your typical middle-school bullies. But the story takes a little turn and they turn out to be not quite so typical and I liked that.
5) At one point, the story seems to turn into a murder mystery! I loved how the little clues got the kids thinking along those lines. And I also love how the authors dealt with the “reality” of the situation.
WHAT’S NOT COOL…
1) The final question in the quiz competition (the one that is Aaron’s downfall) did not feel like a real quiz question. It felt forced to me, like the story needed it to be that way. Not a huge deal-breaker.
2) I kept wondering if a wilderness outing like this would be a legal nightmare, and thus, realistic in today’s world. But that’s probably just the grown-up talking in me.
You probably have to suspend some disbelief to enjoy this wilderness survival story. With a little mystery thrown in, and a lot of teamwork, the story was quite enjoyable.
Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
Note: I’m posting this for Greg Pattridge’s Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday…