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Under Shifting Stars
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Under Shifting Stars
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This heartfelt novel for fans of Jandy Nelson and Adam Silvera follows twins Audrey and Clare as they grapple with their brother's death and their changing relationships—with each other and...
This heartfelt novel for fans of Jandy Nelson and Adam Silvera follows twins Audrey and Clare as they grapple with their brother's death and their changing relationships—with each other and...
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Description-

  • This heartfelt novel for fans of Jandy Nelson and Adam Silvera follows twins Audrey and Clare as they grapple with their brother's death and their changing relationships—with each other and themselves.

    Audrey's best friend was always her twin, Clare. But as they got older, they grew apart, and when their brother Adam died, Clare blamed Audrey for the accident. Now, Audrey's attending an alternative school where she feels more isolated than ever. Tired of being seen as different from her neurotypical peers, Audrey's determined to switch to the public high school, rebuild her friendship with Clare, and atone for Adam's death . . . but she'll need to convince her parents, and her therapist, first.

    Clare knows her sister thinks she's the perfect twin, but Audrey doesn't realize that Clare's "popular" status is crumbling—she's begun to question old friendships, dress in Adam's clothes, and wonder what feelings for a nonbinary classmate, Taylor, might mean. As she grapples with not only grief but also her gender fluidity, Clare wonders where she'll belong if she sheds her carefully constructed image and embraces her true self.

    Will first crushes, new family dynamics, and questions of identity prove that Audrey and Clare have grown too different to understand each other-or that they've needed each other all along?
    Narrated by Rebecca Soler and Brittany Pressley.

Excerpts-

  • From the cover Clare

    My name is Clare. According to Baby Names R Us or whatever stupid website my friends were dicking around on, it means "illustrious." I wasn't entirely sure what that meant so I looked it up.

  • Highly distinguished, renowned, famous;

  • Glorious, as deeds or works;

  • Luminous, bright.

  • My brother's name was Adam. It means "of the earth." I can't even explain the feeling.
    We were in the library. We were supposed to be doing research for our project on Canadian identity, but of course my friends had no interest in doing what we were supposed to be doing, so they started looking up names instead. Adam. When the screen loaded, all I could see was in the earth.
    Next they looked up Audrey, even though I told them I didn't care. Noble strength.
    "Yeah, right." I rolled my eyes. "Let's spell it 'Oddrey.'" We're sorry, there were no results for baby names starting with ODDREY.
    My friends laughed, like I knew they would. I looked back at my screen. Luminous, bright. Perhaps my light died with you, Adam.
    Oh well, I can still remain highly distinguished, renowned, famous, and glorious.

    That probably makes me sound mean. Sometimes it feels like girls in grade nine have two choices: be mean or be a loser. So I pretend to be mean, only sometimes I don't know if I'm pretending anymore.
    After The Accident, my parents suggested I see a therapist. I told them No F-ing way. Audrey sees a therapist. So they talked to my teachers and it was "mutually agreed upon" that I would visit the guidance counselor once a week starting in September. You know, so I don't get behind on my studies. It was a valid concern considering I had no motivation to do anything, let alone schoolwork, but I'm not going to give them that.
    It's now May, so for the last eight months I've spent an hour a week with a bearded man who insists I call him by his first name, Kyle, and who tries to act like he's one of us even though he was a teenager in the eighties. His "office" is located right beside the front door and used to be the front-hall closet. That's just my theory, but I bet I'm right—there's no window and I think he has to crawl over the desk to get behind it. Sometimes I wish the fire alarm would go off just so I could solve that mystery. The extra-shitty thing about this already-shitty situation is that in order to not disrupt my core courses, they schedule my appointment during my option, which also happens to be my favorite class and the one in which I have the highest grade: graphic design and media.
    And I never end up talking about Adam. I always talk about Audrey.
    It's been three days since I found out Audrey might be returning to my school. Every afternoon, I've hung out as long as possible with my friends before going home and heading straight up to my room. When Mom calls me for dinner, I lie and say I already ate or that I'm not feeling well. It worked for the first two days, but now they've caught on.
    "Come down anyway and spend some time with us," Dad says.
    So I do, but I don't say anything. I hold a hot mug of tea in my hand and stare at the liquid's surface. I act mean.
    "It's not Audrey's fault," they tell me in private. I never would have gotten away with this behavior before. They have to be careful what they say around her now. She's struggling the most with Adam's death. She's trying, and I need to be more supportive and try too. She's my sister.
    After three days, however, they've had enough.
    "For God's sake, Clare! What's wrong with you?" Mom's...

About the Author-

  • Alexandra Latos lives in Alberta, Canada with her husband and children. This is her first young adult novel. Visit her at alexandralatos.com, or on Twitter and Instagram @alexandralatos.

Reviews-

  • School Library Journal

    August 14, 2020

    Gr 7 Up-Twins Audrey and Clare have been growing apart for a while, and it doesn't seem like high school is going to bring them any closer. Audrey is at a new school that has a better program for neurodiverse students, while Clare is struggling to maintain her popularity despite finding having little in common with her friends. Both twins are also grieving in their own ways for their brother, who died in a car accident a few months ago. Audrey knows that his death was her fault, and that Clare blames her too. Audrey also knows that if she can just get back to "normal" school with Clare, they can reestablish their bond and Clare will forgive her. She just needs to find a way to convince everyone else that it's a good idea. Meanwhile, Clare's grief causes her to withdraw from her normal life, and she pulls away more when she begins to explore her gender identity. Latos's character-driven narrative carries the twins along parallel paths. They fall in love, discover new passions, and gain a deeper understanding of themselves. As a second tragedy threatens, Clare and Audrey find their way back to one another. The straightforward writing allows readers to stand in the eye of a hurricane of issues, and depicts intersectionality so deftly that readers feel the chaos of Clare's thoughts and sympathize with Audrey's need to plan for every eventuality. VERDICT Highly recommended. Give this to readers who are looking for issues-based fiction and anyone who enjoys getting into a character's head.-Heather Waddell, Sargent Memorial Lib., Boxborough, MA

    Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    July 15, 2020
    Fraternal twins Clare and Audrey have always been together, but after the death of their older brother, Adam, a rift has grown between them. Clare explores her gender and orientation, weighing her identity and growing attraction to nonbinary student Taylor against her social life in public school. Meanwhile Audrey struggles to accept her neurodivergence and attendance at Peak, an alternative school for gifted students derided by her friends, who say it is for freaks. She tries to keep both facts hidden from her new friend and love interest, Calvin, who introduces her to the joys of LARPing. These two narratives are punctuated by bumbling attempts at a reconciliation between the twins; born 13 minutes apart, Clare is a Taurus and Audrey is a Gemini, a difference that is presented as symbolic of their contrasts. Latos' prose is highly relatable, giving an accurate and gut-wrenching depiction of the uncertainty of growing up and finding oneself. She emphasizes the pain that comes from knowing that someone you love has changed without you along with the fear of being left behind. Bullying of queer and neurodivergent students is shown in all of its bitter truth. At the same time, Latos reassures readers that these situations are not hopeless. Fourteen-year-old Clare and Audrey, along with the rest of the cast, are cued as White. A painful page-turner with heartwarming moments sprinkled throughout. (Fiction. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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