Sarah's Stars

Susan Carlton. Lobster Land
Henry Holt  $21.00  ISBN 978-0-8050-8096-4   224 pg.
Reviewed by Ceilidh, Age 15

I’m late to Français. Are all the French teachers on crack?

Madame Lamb lectures us about not passing up sex if we have the opportunity. My translation skills aren’t textbook, but still. Ew.

Just as I am thinking the day will never end, voilà! the bell bbbbrings, and I do the mad dash across to the post office (junk mail), then down the cobblestones to pick up the siblets.

Standing at the doorway of Small World, where I used to be the star toddler, I get a little pang that some nanny type will be taking over my afternoon duty next year.

Fern straightens her shoulders into ballet posture and says au revoir to a circle of well-scrubbed girls. “Did you hear my French?” she asks me.

“Flawless.” I say, giving her a petite kiss at the top of her French braid.

I wonder if next year’s nanny will speak Français. I can always send Fern tapes from my boarding school’s no-doubt-fabulous language lab.

Charlotte has grown up on a tiny island, spending her entire life there, so all she wants is to get away. Everyday, she gets up, and does the same thing. She eats, and takes the siblets to school on the ferry but that does not stop her from wearing a different pair of heels everyday. She gets to see her boyfriend everyday (yay!), and fight with her annoying best friend (nay!). She suspects her father of cheating on her mother, and running from the law. Meanwhile, her mother is popping every pill in the book. So, she has the perfect solution for herself: she can go to boarding school. But will she be able to leave the siblets that she treasures like her own children? Not to mention the perfect boyfriend, Noah? She has a choice to make, and she has a deadline, because her admission forms are due in a week.

In this novel, Charlotte provides the life, which the reader can escape into; sure she has a few minor problems but it can make the reader forget about anything in their own life. There are parts of this book which truly captured me, and made it so that I never wanted to put it down, but there were also a few boring parts. But, with every good book, there are a few parts that the reader has to get through to get to the better parts. Charlotte’s struggles are well illustrated and written, and the author makes the reader feel as if they are going through the same things. I also liked the aspect of using French words in this book; the main character can speak French, so the book includes a healthy mix of French and English. She throws in random words, which make sense in the story, and are not words that would be hard to translate. Being a Grade 10 French student, I had no trouble with them, and I actually found it quite entertaining to read. There are many things that Charlotte says that will make you stop and think about what she has actually said; she makes the reader realize that every once in a while, you have to stop and do things for yourself and not just for others. 

I recommend this book for ages 13 and up; it is the perfect book for those people who do not exactly love to read, but don’t exactly hate it. It has a big vocabulary, but it explains the meanings throughout. I give this book three délicate stars; only because I found it difficult to get into, and I was sometimes confused as to what was happening, though overall it wasn’t a bad read.

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