Aug 31, 2015

ARC Review: Rules for Stealing Stars by Corey Ann Haydu

Title: Rules for Stealing Stars
Author: Corey Ann Haydu
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Hardcover, 336 Pages
Publication Date: September 29th, 2015
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Summary: Silly is used to feeling left out. Her three older sisters think she's too little for most things—especially when it comes to dealing with their mother's unpredictable moods and outbursts. This summer, Silly feels more alone than ever when her sisters keep whispering and sneaking away to their rooms together, returning with signs that something mysterious is afoot: sporting sunburned cheeks smudged with glitter and gold hair that looks like tinsel. When Silly is brought into her sisters' world, the truth is more exciting than she ever imagined. The sisters have discovered a magical place that gives them what they truly need: an escape from the complications of their home life. But there are dark truths there, too. Silly hopes the magic will be the secret to saving their family, but she's soon forced to wonder if it could tear them apart. 
I received an ARC copy of Rules for Stealing Stars from BookCon this past May. It's technically classified as a middle-grade book, but with my experience in YA books I can definitely assure you that reading this wouldn't feel like a middle-grade book at all. (I think it's only classified as middle-grade because the narrator, Priscilla - "Silly" - is eleven. But she's one of those children that act older than their age. She could easily have been a teenager.) So if you're hesitant to pick up this book because it's middle-grade, I wouldn't be.

It was a good book that I enjoyed. Silly is one of four girls in her household, dealing with an alcoholic mother and a flighty dad who loves his girls but does all that he can to keep from acknowledging their mother's problem. So, of course, nothing really gets done. The tension just continues to escalate more and more in the house, and the girls are looking for an escape from their father's blase attitude and their mother's drunken sobbing. So, they find something - something that I won't spoil for you, because you need to read the book yourself to find out! 

Anyway, the girls discover something that can help them escape their rough home life - a place where magic thrives, happiness is everywhere, and the threads of darkness aren't around every single turn. They begin to hope that this world will be able to solve their problems at home, but they aren't that lucky. With this magical escape comes a whole new set of problems - ones that they aren't sure they're able to fix.

I liked reading this book. The idea was definitely something that I'd never read about before - a magical world stumbled upon by four girls that can be an escape from the terrible home life they deal with. There were a couple of plot twists that I didn't see coming - they definitely shocked me and Haydu is good at the element of surprise.

I also really enjoyed the relationship between Silly and her sisters, Eleanor and Astrid and Marla. Each one of them had different personalities, and it was interesting to see them all working together, and it was heartwarming to see what happened when they put all of their minds together to solve a problem.

All in all, I enjoyed Rules for Stealing Stars. It was a heartwarming and interesting story about family, fantasy, and overcoming challenges that life throws at you when you can't rely on your parents for help. Even though this is classified as a middle-grade book, it still felt like YA to me and I think that YA readers would definitely enjoy this book without feeling that it's too "young" for them.

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