Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Review: The Star Shack by Lila Castle


Title: The Star Shack
Author:
Lila Castle
Genre: YA fiction
Publishing Information: June 1, 2010 by Sourcebooks Fire

Where I got it:
E-book from the library

One sentence:
Pete and Annabelle were soulmates until Annabelle becomes obsessed with astrology and challenges the skeptic Pete to open a summer business with her giving advice based on the stars.

Themes:
Astrology, romance, friendship, summer, rivalry, soulmates

Main characters:
3/5
Pete and Annabelle are cute and fun, if slightly shallow in development. I feel like they lack depth and true flaws. Castle creates interesting dynamics with their rivalries in baseball allegiance (Yankees all the way), and Pete’s dislike of Annabelle’s new obsession of astrology. However, the characters lack enough depth to make them more than just sweet and simple.

Secondary characters:
3/5
Very minimal contribution to the plot. Most of them were clients of the Star Shack or vacationers. Sarah was slightly unrealistically catty and jealous, which made her seem one-sided and flat. However, they served their purpose, which is to provide a catalyst for the main characters in their personal development.
Writing style: 3.5/5
Effectively switches between Pete and Annabelle’s point-of-view, which creates an unbiased picture of their relationship. The characters are written well, particularly their conversations, which are simple and realistic. There was nothing particularly sophisticated, but the pace was right and the style got the job done.

Plot:
3/5
Sweet and funny, but unfortunately, pretty predictable. I thought that some of the elements were slightly too dramatized as well, but that’s a very opinionated view. There wasn’t a lot of added depth, but I enjoyed how Castle inserted extra elements, like the astrology, the baseball rivalry, the beach-town atmosphere, etc.

Ending: 3/5
Completely predictable, but not overdone. Cute, but not saccharine or over-the-top.

Best scene:
When Pete first shows up Annabelle while giving advice.

Positives:
Cute, fun and light story, realistic characters, effective writing style

Negatives: Sometimes a little boring, predictable, lack of depth

First Line: The first time I saw Annabelle Lomax, she was holding a gun.

Cover: Cute. It’s definitely how I pictured the town and the couple and I liked the background astrology image.

Verdict:
A laid-back and cute summer read.

Rating:
6.2 / 10

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