ARC Review: The Stars at Oktober Bend by Glenda Millard

The Stars of Oktober Bend by Glenda Millard

Publisher May 2018 by Candlewick Press

Genres YA

Pages 264

Goodreads / Amazon

Alice is fifteen, with hair as red as fire and skin as pale as bone, but something inside her is broken. She has acquired brain injury, the result of an assault, and her words come out slow and slurred. But when she writes, heartwords fly from her pen. She writes poems to express the words she can’t say and leaves them in unexpected places around the town.
Manny was once a child soldier. He is sixteen and has lost all his family. He appears to be adapting to his new life in this country, where there is comfort and safety, but at night he runs, barefoot, to escape the memory of his past. When he first sees Alice, she is sitting on the rusty roof of her river-house, looking like a carving on an old-fashioned ship sailing through the stars.
So our main character Alice has some trouble with her speech due to brain damage, however she is very intelligent and writes beautiful poetry. She finds it much easier to write down her words rather than speaking them. Enter Manny, a young orphan who discovers Alice’s poetry and doesn’t judge her by her disability and they quickly begin to grow close.
This book deals with a lot of sensitive topics, such as bullying and mental illness, as well as including a lot of diversity between the characters. Although I enjoyed the characters and watching their relationship develop, the book itself didn’t really have a strong plot line. This book deals with a lot of intense and fairly sad topics, which isn’t my favorite kind of book. I do believe books like this are important, however they are typically hard to read. Overall, I did enjoy the book, especially the unique characters and their developing relationship.
Thank you to Candlewick Press for sending me an ARC of this book.

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