What I Loved:
The utter craziness of this story was so intriguing! I think that sometimes, it’s just so fun to dive into a book that takes you into the oddest moments and quirkiest characters, and that’s exactly what I got with this story!
How I Felt:
Above the Star was seriously one of the wildest, craziest books I have read in a while. The world was very different, and it takes some getting used to, but I think if there are readers that are interested in immersing themselves in a totally new and different place, this would be a great series for them! I also liked that there is a glossary in the back of the book to help you figure out what’s happening. I thought it was a needed, and nice, addition!
I was a bit surprised at the amount of detailed death that happened in the story. It’s YA, so that is fine, but I don’t know…the cover made me think one thing, and the book was completely different! So, just be warned it’s not all flowers and roses underneath this cute cover!
One additional thing that I really enjoyed was the added illustrations drawn by the character Ella. She adds a map to the book as well as sprinkling in drawings throughout the story. It was a surprising addition, but I thought it was a great idea, and i really enjoyed seeing them pop up!
To Read or Not To Read:
I would recommend Above the Star for young adult readers that enjoy stories of odd, but lovable characters and the crazy adventures they have!
Where to Find This Book:
Above the Star by Alexis Marie Chute is available at these sites.
Parents this book is a great way to explore and play with feelings together with your children. There are animal pictures that children can enjoy and talk about. This is a beautiful way for your children to make friends with their feelings and learn how to “play” with them. It’s also a way to encourage us to keep remembering and returning to positive and nurturing feelings and memories. This creates healthy neural networks in our brains. Something as simple as remembering an animal or happy feeling can change our whole body chemistry.
We can anchor happy feelings and memories in our neural networks by remembering them and “replaying” them to strengthen our “Happy Muscles”.
We probably all remember when we were young how feelings came and went quickly and didn’t “stick” so much. A simple belly laugh could easily erase feelings then and bring us back to joy and wonder.
This is the feeling of wonder and gratitude for just being alive. Watch as a child loses him or herself with an insect, animal, small pebble. or even a faraway star. They are lost in the feeling of wonder and joy. We can all remember that as our natural happy place we lived in when we were young. We can reclaim this when we give space to and appreciate our children’s silent moments of wonder and joy.
Just the Facts:
Above the Star by Alexis Marie Chute
Genre: Young Adult
Page Count: 368 pages
Pub Date: June 2018
Below the Moon
Below the Moon by Alexis Marie Chute
Genre: Young Adult
Page Count: 448 pages
Pub Date: October 2019
Ella Wellsley is not your typical teenager. Cancer left her mute, but not powerless. Trapped in a parallel dimension, Ella rallies her strength to join her family―her mother, Tessa, her grandpa Archie, and her magical boyfriend―in locating the cure to her illness. This cure is entangled in the fate of all worlds, and threatened by the presence of an evil Star anchored in the sea. The Star has thrown life everywhere into chaos―and it is Ella who holds the key to unlocking its mystery.
Caught in a web of betrayal, mistaken identities, secrets, and love triangles, Ella, Tessa, and Archie must overcome their troubled pasts to ensure a future for all worlds. On this journey―armed with unearthly abilities and unexpected allies―each member of the Wellsley family will learn the power of love in the face of their greatest fears.
Inside the Sun
Inside the Sun by Alexis Marie Chute
Genre: Young Adult
Page Count: 384 pages
Pub Date: April 2020
All worlds are dying, and it’s up to one broken and dysfunctional family from Earth―the Wellsleys―to save the day.
Cancer-ridden Ella celebrates her fifteenth birthday beneath an enchanted mountain, but it is what lies even farther below―the mysterious Star in the sea―that demands she grow up quickly. While Ella grapples with the sacrifice she must make and the lies she is forced to tell, her mother, Tessa, is hell-bent on protecting her.
Through bizarre encounters, love-sick Tessa realizes that she is not the lonely orphan she believes. Her husband, Arden, and father-in-law, Archie, are not the only ones with magical bloodlines. This revelation changes everything. As Archie chooses to embody his unexpected ancestry, he learns that leading the charge in the ultimate battle against evil won’t be as easy as he thought. He’ll need his family―and the strange allies he has gained―by his side to give Ella enough time to set things right.
Can they defeat the unstoppable Millia sands―and another unexpected foe―before everything they hold dear is destroyed? Or will their adventure tear them apart for good? The finale to The 8th Island Trilogy will hold you spellbound until the final page, and long after.
Alexis Marie Chute is an award-winning author, artist, photographer, art curator, filmmaker, and public speaker. She has received over 40 noteworthy distinctions for her visual and literary work.
Her award-winning fantasy series The 8th Island Trilogy includes, Above the Star, Below the Moon, and Inside the Sun. The series has been described as “A WRINKLE IN TIME meets THE PRINCESS BRIDE” by The Perpetual You magazine, and “Fast and bizarre… never a dull moment” by Forward Reviews. The 8th Island Trilogy “weaves STAR WARS-like characters with a WONDER-like message to form an enrapturing read for blooklovers of all ages” – US Review of Books.
Chute’s bestselling memoir, Expecting Sunshine: A Journey of Grief, Healing and Pregnancy After Loss, was a top Kirkus title of 2017 and received a plethora of other literary distinctions. The memoir was accompanied by the feature documentary of the same name, which has screened internationally for the last three years. Chute received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art and Design from the University of Alberta, Canada, and studied at Media Design school in Auckland, New Zealand. She graduated valedictorian with her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, USA.
Chute is a highly regarded public speaker. She has presented on art, writing, bereavement, and the healing capacities of creativity around the world. Contact the Author/Artist for bookings firstname.lastname@example.org
When not in her art/photo studio or at her computer, Chute loves to spend quality time with her family, read fiction and non-fiction, watch reality TV, paddleboard, and canoe. She is not a winter person but lives in frosty Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with her husband and their three living children.
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I was provided a gifted copy of this book. I am leaving my review voluntarily.