Monthly Archives: October 2014

25) The Chaos of Stars

By: Kiersten White

Date Finished: 09.08.14

by Kiersten White

All I know about American high schools is what I’ve seen in movies, and I doubt it’s very accurate.  Too many spontaneous, choreographed dances for real life.  That or the American education system is seriously screwed up.

Isadora had an unconventional childhood – as the child of the Egyptian god Osiris and goddess Isis, she never expected her life to be normal, but she had believed it would be permanent.  She grew up blissfully unaware of what it means to be the mortal offspring of an immortal family: Fleeting, forgettable, replaceable.  When her understanding of her family is abruptly shattered, Isadora tries desperately to get away, and to save herself from a future pain by avoiding attachments altogether.  But as it turns out, immortals are difficult to escape.

Isadora fascinates me.  Had she been presented differently, I may have found her annoying.  As it is, White connects Isadora’s rebellion and conflict with her mother to a place of very real pain.  And even as Isadora tries to build a fortress around herself, she’s incapable of shutting others out entirely.  I think it helps that Isadora has a clear and tangible passion (interior design) and is given opportunities to use that passion throughout the story.  Being able to see her shine while in her element made me more sympathetic when she freaked out over other things.

There’s a lot going on in this book: a prologue that sets up Isadora’s internal conflict, the main storyline, dreams that simultaneously depict childhood memories and an ominous future, and recaps of the real Egyptian myths.  Everything’s formatted uniquely and has a distinct use of tense.  It felt like a lot to keep track of at first, but I quickly settled into the rhythm of the different sections.  For the most part, everything contributes to the story intrinsically.  Only the dreams became repetitive and I wonder if I needed to know quite so much about her childhood.  The Egyptian myths seemed a touch overkill initially, but ultimately, I loved them.  Each myth is compacted into two or three short paragraphs and ends with a beautifully snarky comment.   They were always good for a laugh and turned out to be a nice way to break up the chapters.

I had the opportunity to hear White speak shortly after I read the book.  She said that reactions to this one are heavily divided — people either really like it or can’t stand it.  I would recommend it, having enjoyed both the story and the experience of reading this book.  Now, pardon me while I read all things Kiersten White.

At the end of the day: For me