This book isn’t part of my Ultimate Reading List, but I do have a book on it by the same author (The Prince and the Dressmaker). The other day I went to a library for the first time in over a year and let me tell you… libraries are AMAZING! Unfortunately, none of the next books on my list were available, but I found some others including this one.
One thing I’ve learned after writing my first graphic novel review is to try not to blow through it in fifteen minutes, but I’ll try to go back and notice things I liked and disliked.
Here’s what it says on the back cover:
Moon is everything Christine isn’t.
She’s confident, impulsive, artistic… and though they both live in the same Chinese American community, Moon is somehow unlike anyone Christine has ever known.
When Moon’s family moves in next door to Christine’s, Moon goes from unlikely friend to best friend. Moon even tells Christine her deepest secret: that sometimes she has visions of celestial beings who speak to her from the stars. Who reassure her that Earth isn’t where she really belongs.
But then catastrophe strikes. After relying on Moon for everything, can Christine find it in herself to be the friend Moon needs?
Author-illustrator Jen Wang draws on her childhood to paint a deeply personal, yet wholly relatable, friendship story.
I rate this three out of five stars. In a nutshell, it was good, just doesn’t stick out as something I’d reread or strongly recommend.
After reading the Afterword and the About-the-Author, I learned that many of the events in the story were based on Jen Wang’s childhood. [Spoiler Alert] A main example is that later in the story, the characters realized Moon had been acting out because she had a brain tumor — a similar thing happened to the author in her childhood. I found it interesting that she chose to write the book from the perspective of a friend of Moon’s, rather than from Moon herself, considering she knew sort of what Moon was experiencing.
First, I liked the drawing style. It was unique and realistic (obviously not actually realistic; it’s a cartoon, but real as in the face and body shapes looked genuine), yet still simple. The characters’ faces are also very expressive.
As far as I remember, it didn’t say the ages of the characters, but I’m guessing they’re around 9-12, in which case I think the author did a good job representing how kids at that age (not to generalize) would talk and act. Some authors tend to have characters my age and younger either acting like an adult or like a littler kid.
To wrap this up as one of my shorter book reviews, Stargazing was a sweet, one-day read that I recommend if you want an easy graphic novel you can smile at.