Sarah's Stars

John Marsden. While I Live
Scholastic $20.99  ISBN 978-0-439-78318-7  299 pg.
Reviewed by Melissa, Age 15

Seeing Gavin walk in the door with his bunch of flowers really got to me. I was finding everything so hard to take. In particular the way in which my parents were everywhere I turned, as though they were still alive. Their presence was in every corner. Thisíll sound sick, but the same way that my motherís blood had spread to every corner of the kitchen, her life spread through every corner of the house.

Ellie Linton is finding it a little crowded at school, but that was okay. Because the war was over at last! Finally she could relax and have a loving family and a good education again.

At least, that is what she thought.

Unfortunately that was not the case, because it was too perfect to be true. Illegal over-the-border soldiers are kidnapping and hurting people; they seem to be unstoppable. The government wonít do a thing and Ellieís family gets the brunt of this mistake. No sooner had the unofficial soldiers started coming over the border, her parents are murdered in cold blood. Her life torn apart and now she must deal with a bankrupt farm, a younger brother and her schoolwork. How can she juggle it all when she is only a teenager?

I think that this book is very descriptive in the way of the main characterís thoughts, but almost to the point that it gets boring. It is an interesting plot, but it concentrates a little too hard on the characterís mind. Nevertheless, it is a good book. With suspense and gore I would recommend it for people thirteen years of age and up. It can be disturbing in places.

This reviewer gives While I Live four deadly stars.


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