Review: From a Distant Star by Karen McQuestion

from a distant star -karen mcquestionSeventeen-year-old Emma was the only one who hadn’t given up on her boyfriend, Lucas. Everyone else—his family, his friends, his doctors—believed that any moment could be his last. So when Lucas miraculously returns from the brink of death, Emma thinks her prayers have been answered.

As the surprised town rejoices, Emma begins to question whether Lucas is the same boy she’s always known. When she finds an unidentifiable object on his family’s farm—and government agents come to claim it—she begins to suspect that nothing is what it seems. Emma’s out-of-this-world discovery may be the key to setting things right, but only if she and Lucas can evade the agents who are after what they have. With all her hopes and dreams on the line, Emma sets out to save the boy she loves. And with a little help from a distant star, she might just have a chance at making those dreams come true.

2.5 Drink Me Potions

A copy of this book was given by Netgalley for an honest review.

The cover’s gorgeous. Too bad the story itself couldn’t match that.

To be honest, the whole story felt way too slow. It was understandable at the beginning because it took time and skill to catch us up to what happened to Lucas and to get a glimpse at his relationship with Emma. After that though? Not so much. It really tried my patience.

And this may seem like a spoiler – but honestly, you’ll figure out what’s so “different” about Lucas pretty quickly. Think a cross between The Host and E.T.. Did you guess it? That’s right. An alien has crawled his way into Lucas and is using him as a host body. Think that’s freaky in a cool way?

Guess again.

If there were more exciting moments, this would’ve been an interesting premise. If this story wasn’t just solely based on Emma’s journey in getting the alien – his name is Scout – back to his home planet, I would have definitely upped my rating. As it stands, the whole “journey” was rather predictable….and slow . I swear the driving part was where I was really contemplating putting this book down. And I NEVER really give up on books. So I’m serious when I say it was slow-paced.

But obviously, there were certain things that saved the novel too, in a way. After all, I managed to get through the rest of it, right?

For you romance lovers out there? Don’t expect too much. I FINALLY found a YA novel that does NOT centre on it. That’s not a bad thing. A rather refreshing accomplishment as most books throw it in rather heavily. Emma’s love for Lucas, the true Lucas and not Scout who’s just using Lucas’ body, was steadfast. From a Distance Star is not a book where someone falls in love with the alien trapped in the human body (aka The Host). No, this is the kind of love that speaks of believing till the very end. No cheating or even slight temptation at loving some other guy in that way. She never gave up on him, even when his family seemed to think there was no hope left for him.

And by that, I do mean his parents practically had his funeral and everything planned out. Man, I hated his mother. Mrs. Walker literally demeaned Emma, barely standing her presence in the house while she stayed and comforted Lucas – who was in a deep coma, by the way. Absolutely detested her. She even explicitly told Emma she did not hate her, she despised her. My goodness, Emma was some strong girl to have stayed respectful towards that woman.

You’d think I really liked Emma from the sounds of that, don’t you? Well….I can’t say I loved her completely. She was the dependent person in the relationship, always letting Lucas decide everything for them. Where they ate, what movies to watch, etc. That irked me a bit. Girl, some backbone, will ya? But she did grow from the experience as Scout obviously didn’t know the ways of Earth so Emma had to take charge. That is what I appreciated. Character development.

The only other redeeming quality was a few of the characters. Lucas’ younger bro, Eric, was just lovely. He’s brilliant in his own way, yet their mother obviously favoured her golden boy and firstborn. He never let it get to him, and was the one who convinced Emma to help Scout out. Speaking of our resident alien, I couldn’t decide on what I thought about him at first. There are tiny chapters that look at the situation from his perspective, though not written in first person. It made understanding him easier and I found his shy and caring personality endearing. I almost wished Emma couldn’t send him back to his home planet. He had a childlike wonder at everything on Earth that reminds me of how much I take all this planet has to offer for granted. That’s oddly deep…from a book that lacks in pretty much everything else.

Overall Recommendation:
From a Distant Star had the slowest storyline and nearly no twists in its plot, but there was just something that managed to keep my attention. I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone. Maybe just for those who don’t mind a slower paced book. A few of the characters were solid and it was a refreshing look at teenage love that is based more on actual friendship than attraction and lust. At the end of the day, it wasn’t great, but it wasn’t all terrible either. Reading it is up to you.

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