I absolutely adored this book! Follow the Stars is a sweet, tender and emotional story with a main character on the spectrum who is trying to navigate his way in life after the death of one of his best friends. I loved the extra dimension with the neurodivergent representation, but most of all, I loved it for being such a gripping story about overcoming grief and finding love where you never expect it.
Follow the Stars has such a wonderful main character, Noah, who is on the spectrum. Noah has had two best friends, Rory and Ezra, who has loved him unconditionally and been his support system almost his whole life. But when Rory dies because of her cystic fibrosis, Noah feels completely lost and not being able to put words to his feelings without Rory’s guidance and help to explain the world. When Ezra suggests that he and Noah should fulfill Rory’s biggest dream and go on the road trip that the three of them had planned for years, Noah feels terrified and worries that the connection he has with Ezra will be lost without Rory helping them to communicate. Ezra on the other hand fears he won’t be able to hold back his feelings and will risk losing his other best friend too by letting him know how deep his love really is.
“If you follow your heart, can you find love as bright as the stars?”
Or will the road trip break the friends apart forever?
Gwen Martin did such an amazing job explaining the way a neurodivergent person experiences the world differently. As she pointed out in the introduction, Noah is just one representation of someone on the spectrum though, so of course there are million other ways to portrait a character with neurodiversity, but it was so well done and with such knowledge that you could really tell that Gwen Martin knew about this first hand and had put a lot of effort into the representation.
I also really loved the slow burn relationship development and how Noah was allowed to experience all these new feelings at his own pace. A part in the middle of the story dragged a little bit and at times I had some issues with the main characters age. They were supposed to be college graduates, but the way the interacted and depended on their parents made them sound more like high schoolers. But those are just minor details!
All in all, this was such a wonderful, gripping and authentic story about the world from a slightly different view and how much you can hurt even if you don’t express your feelings the same way others do. I really loved this heartwarming and hopeful story about overcoming grief and finding love and hope again and about being brave enough to risk losing it all for a chance of happiness.
Thank you to the author Gwen Martin for the opportunity to read this book in advance! I’m so happy it’s now out in the world for everyone to read!
4.5 shining stars rounding up to 5
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All 1 Star 2 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars 5 Stars Abbi Glines Abdi Nazemian Adam Silvera Adib Khorram Aiden Thomas Aisha Saeed AJ Collins Alexandra Christo Alexene Farol Follmuth Alexis Hall Alex Kelly Alex Sanchez Alice Dolman Alice Oseman Alison Cochrun Al Riske Alwyn Hamilton A. Meredith Walters Amy Aislin Amy Harmon Amy S. Foster André Aciman Andy V Roamer Angie Thomas Annabeth Albert A. Poland Ashley Poston Ashley Woodfolk Audrey Coulthurst Becca Fitzpatrick Becky Albertalli Benjamin Alire Saenz Beth Bolden Bill Konigsberg B.L. Maxwell Briar Prescott Bri Spicer Brooke Skipstone Cale Dietrich Casey McQuiston Cassandra Clare C.G. Drews Chris Bedell Ciara Smyth Clarissa Pattern C.L. Beaumont Colleen Hoover Crystal Frasier C.S. Pacat Daven McQueen David Biddle David Yoon Dean Atta Debbie McGowan Debbie Rigaud Deborah Harkness Delia Owens D.G. Carothers Dhonielle Clayton Douglas Stuart Dustin Thao Elizabeth Acevedo Elizabeth Arroyo Elle Kennedy Elle Wright E. Lockhart Emily M. Danforth Emily Mims Erin Watt Ernest Cline Evan J. Corbin Eve Morton Everina Maxwell Evie Dunmore Felice Stevens Grace Williams Gwen Martin Hanya Yanagihara Hayden Stone Heather Truett Hettie Bell Holly Black Hope Irving Hudson Lin Ingrid Sterling Jacqueline Lee Jacqueline Woodson Jamie Deacon Jandy Nelson Jax Calder Jay Hogan Jeanette Winterson Jeff Zentner Jenna Evans Welch Jenn Burke Jennifer E. Smith Jennifer G. Edelson Jennifer Gilmore Jennifer Iacopelli Jennifer Kropf Jennifer Niven Jenny Downham Jenny Han Jeremy Ray John Green Jonny Garza Villa Julianne Donaldson Kacen Callender Kami Garcia Kara Leigh Miller Kasie West Kate Larkindale Katharine McGee Kathleen Mareé KD Casey Kendall Grey Kevin Van Whye Kiley Reid Kim Fielding Kim Holden Kim Liggett Kitty Bardot Kris Ripper K.S. Marsden Laura Hall Laura Pavlov Laura Silverman Lauren James Laurie Frankel Leah Johnson Lee Matthew Goldberg Leigh Bardugo Leylah Attar Lisa Henry Lisa Williamson Liv Rancourt Liz Plum Lola Noire Lynn Michaels Mackenzi Lee Madeline Miller Maggie Doolin Maggie Stiefvater Malin Persson Giolito Malorie Blackman Margaret Stohl Marie Lu Mary E. Pearson Mason Deaver Matthew R. Corr Melina Marchetta Meredith Russo Miel Moreland Mila Gray Miranda Kenneally Moa Backe Astot M. Tasia Nancy Garden Natalie Haynes Nicholas Sparks Nicola Yoon Nic Starr Nic Stone Nina Kenwood Nita Tyndall Nora Sakavic N.R. Walker Penny Aimes Phil Stamper Quinn Anderson Rachael Brownell Rachael Lippincott Rachel Hawkins Rainbow Rowell Ray Stoeve Rhiannon Wilde River Braun Roan Parrish Roseanne A. Brown Rowan MacKemsley Ruby Moone Ruta Sepetys Ryan La Sala Sally Green Sarah J. Maas Sarah Waters Sarina Bowen Saundra Mitchell Sidney Bell Simone Elkeles Siryn Sueng Sophia DeRise Sophie Gonzales Stephen Chbosky Stephenie Meyer Steven Salvatore Susan Mac Nicol Suzanne Collins Tahereh Mafi Tamara Girardi Teagan Hunter Tiffany D. Jackson Timothy Janovsky T.J. Klune T.L. Bradford Tomasz Jedrowski Tomi Adeyemi Val Wise Veronica Rossi Veronica Roth V.E. Schwab Wesley Chu Victor Dixen Victoria Aveyard Xan Van Rooyen Yamile Saied Méndez