Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Ryann Bird used to dream of traveling across the stars. But her parents have died, and she has had to give up her dreams of space to stay solidly on earth, taking care of her little brother and his baby son. But one day she meets Alexandria, a girl full of fury who rejects Ryann’s friendship over and over. When an accident leaves Alexandria with a broken arm, the two begin to draw closer despite themselves, and Ryann discovers what Alexandria has been hiding: she is the daughter of an astronaut who volunteered for a one-way trip to the edge of the solar system. As their friendship begins to deepen, Ryann learns how far she is willing to stretch her limits, and just how much her friends are willing to give up to support her dreams.
Ryann’s voice is what carries the book. Though the pace at times drags a bit, Ryann’s compelling narrative—sharp, poignant, and full of heart—makes the reader keep turning the pages. Ryann is volatile and complicated, but her rough edges belie a soft and sympathetic heart. Ryann’s friends, a group of misfits who love each other for their differences, are a refreshing look at high school relationships. The characters, rather than silently accepting their lots in life, push toward the future at full speed, taking their struggles and traumas by the horns and facing them head-on. The Weight of the Stars shows how people with weight pressing on their souls can find relief in supportive and understanding friendships.
*Contains moderate language, mild violence, and mild sexual content.