Saturday, October 27, 2012

Review: And All the Stars by Andrea Höst

Come for the apocalypse.
Stay for cupcakes.
Die for love.

Madeleine Cost is working to become the youngest person ever to win the Archibald Prize for portraiture. Her elusive cousin Tyler is the perfect subject: androgynous, beautiful, and famous. All she needs to do is pin him down for the sittings.

None of her plans factored in the Spires: featureless, impossible, spearing into the hearts of cities across the world – and spraying clouds of sparkling dust into the wind.

Is it an alien invasion? Germ warfare? They are questions everyone on Earth would like answered, but Madeleine has a more immediate problem. At Ground Zero of the Sydney Spire, beneath the collapsed ruin of St James Station, she must make it to the surface before she can hope to find out if the world is ending

eBook, 296 pages
provided by NetGalley by Andrea Höst
 (Summary provided by GoodReads)
Yeah, just like that, Anchorman

I was not expecting to love this as much as I did.  The story was addictive and mysterious, and I could not put it down.  I even did the occasional happy dance while reading.  Or sometimes I’d have to put it down, pace around the room, bite my nails, and keep reading.  It happened: I got “the feels,” the indiscernible feeling of connecting with a story beyond the story itself.  I felt as though I was connecting to real people in a real world and about to burst with emotion.

Andrea Höst’s vision of an alien apocalypse is nothing short of original.  Dust spewing from giant spires erupting from the Earth, changing people into Greens and Blues?  Yep, never heard of that before.  This made it so intriguing to read; I really had no idea what was going to happen next right along with the characters.

The characters were the fuel to the novel; they kept the story going.  They were all distinct personalities, even with different ways of speaking and each displaying different, understandable reactions to an alien apocalypse. .  But beyond that, how these wonderful characters formed their web of relationships was just a joy to read. 

I particularly loved Madeleine and Noi’s friendship.  Madeleine, quiet and reserved, and Noi, energetic and forward, are the epitome of the saying “opposites attract.”  Each with their own talents and abilities, they make the apocalypse work.  Seeing how these two girls came together and grew to lean on and love each other was beautiful.  This quote says it better than I can:
“It was an impulse born of more than just a practical need for allies, or a change in herself to fit a new world.  There were some people that you were just meant to be friends with.”
-pg. 92
This story was like every survival, post apocalypse, and alien book rolled into one with only the good stuff.  So yeah, thanks for tearing my soul apart, Andrea Höst.

Final Thought: All of the toadstools                                 

This review is also available at GoodReads

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