Friday, August 5, 2011

Starless Sky by Paige Agnew

PhotobucketStarless Sky by Paige Agnew, read by Melba Sibrel

Publisher: Trafford
Release Date: January 20, 2010
Format: Audiobook
Source: Spring Brook Audio
Age Level: Young Adult
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Buy: Amazon | IndieBound

Life is funny sometimes. Little kids drop ice cream cones, people in general often run in to screen doors, there's even the occasional moment when one might trip going up the stairs. Kahlen could expect those things, deal with them even. But what she didn't expect, not even in her wildest, horrific nightmares, that just as something so terrible could happen, something so wonderful could follow after it. 
When Kahlen Thomas has a difficult time dealing with the lost of her best and only friend, she has hopes that the new boy at school, Kennley Morgan, will be the perfect distraction from her pain. She slowly realizes that Kennley doesn't as much distract her from her problems as much as he adds to them because of his own interesting past. (Goodreads)

Starless Sky is about a girl grieving the death of her best friend, and learning to open herself up again. The protagonist, Kahlen, is relatable and a pretty typical teen. I felt that Agnew did a great job of capturing the emotions and aspects of grief - the feeling of loss, the numbness, loosing the ability to focus on mundane things (school), and being afraid of heart ache again. I think Kahlen's reaction to loosing her best friend was very realistic, and this is impressive considering the author was only 15 when she wrote this!

Though I was impressed with the protagonist's characterization, the secondary characters seemed to fall flat. I even had a hard time connecting to Kennley, Kahlen's new friend and love interest… And unfortunately, this book has some editing issues. Many scenes felt drawn out, and some of Kahlen's inner reflections were repetitive. Honestly, I felt that at least ¼ of the book could have been edited out, without loosing anything pertinent to the story, which is very good.

I listened to this audiobook, which is read by Melba Sibrel. Maybe it was on purpose, but her voice… annoyed me. It seemed like she was trying too hard to sound like teenage girl. I actually liked the voice she used for Kennley more than the one she used for Kahlen. As much as I love audiobooks, I would recommend this book in print over the audio version.

Starless Sky is a sweet story about friendship, love, and loss. This is an impressive first novel by Paige Agnew, and I look forward to seeing how she grows as an author!

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.
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