Sarah's Stars

Nav K. Gill. Under the Moonlit Sky
Napoleon $15.95 ISBN 978-1-894917-99-5 345 pg.
Reviewed by Jenny, Age 12

Later I realized that life has a mind of its own. It doesnít pay any heed to the ways in which we try to convince ourselves that we have control over it. I wanted more time, because I wasnít ready to let go of my father. I thought I had it.

He never came home from the hospital, and we didnít make up for lost time. I never saw my father breathe, smile, talk, or open his eyes again. He passed away in my motherís arms. She soothed his pain and watched him go. Where was I? When my father needed me most, I wasnít there. Instead, I was out in the parking lot secretly having a cigarette, convincing myself that I had more time, because I wasnít ready to let go. The more I thought about it, the more I couldnít decide whether life was cruel, or I was.

Esha is a twenty-year-old girl who has just graduated from university. Esha is also a very good soccer player. Her parents hate the fact that she plays soccer and just want her to focus on being a Sikh, her parents' Indian religion. Esha doesnít want anything to do with her parents or their religion. But now her father is dead, and Esha must travel to his homeland of India to realize what itís like being a Sikh and to place his ashes in the sacred river in Kiratpur. In India, Esha stays with her fatherís family and meets many different sorts of people. Some whom she might befriend and others whom she might never want to talk to again. Itís weird for Esha, staying in such a beautiful country. Watching the stars light up the sky every night is what Esha looks forward to each day! Until one day the peace is shattered. Will Esha succeed in carrying out her fatherís last wishes?

OMG! What an amazing book! I found Under the Moonlit Sky truly appealing; it reminded me, at some parts, of the stories my brother told when he came home from India. Also, I absolutely adored the main character, Esha. She was so full of life and changes emotionally, and at some parts she reminded me a bit of myself. When things got rough, she just wanted to give in, run away, be done with it, but she knew she couldnít, so she just pushed right through. Under the Moonlit Sky had so many twists and turns, loves then hates, but Gill kept the story together so that it made sense the whole time. As I read the book, I could feel a very strong connection amongst the characters, which is really cool because then you can get closer to them. I find sometimes itís hard to get a good picture in your mind when you read if you donít know much about the place theyíre in, like India. But that was not the case for Navís Under the Moonlit Sky, as there was so much detail that sometimes I might have had a bit too much going through my head. I thought that the book ended much too soon! Also the end seemed too happy for the rest of the book.

Under the Moonlit Sky is Nav K. Gillís first-ever published book. As a kid whenever Navís grandparents came back from India, Nav would get them to tell her of all the times they had there. Then Nav would write and write, from different perspectives, the stories they had told. This is how Nav started out on her career as an author! Under the Moonlit Sky is a realistic fiction. Nav says that she thinks her book is best suited for people 14+ because of some inappropriate language use. I would recommend this book to anybody who has read We All Fall Down, Wave or any of Eric Waltersís newest novels, as they are easily as intense, realistic and emotional as Navís Under the Moonlit Sky.

It would be my pleasure to give Nav K. Gillís first book, Under the Moonlit Sky, four stars out of five.

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