This review is spoiler-free!
The Weight of the Stars by K. Ancrum
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Contemporary
Release Date: March 19th 2019 by Imprint
Format: Hardcover, 384 pages
Find it here: Goodreads || Book Depository
Ryann Bird dreams of traveling across the stars. But a career in space isn’t an option for a girl who lives in a trailer park on the wrong side of town. So Ryann becomes her circumstances and settles for acting out and skipping school to hang out with her delinquent friends.
One day she meets Alexandria: a furious loner who spurns Ryann’s offer of friendship. After a horrific accident leaves Alexandria with a broken arm, the two misfits are brought together despite themselves—and Ryann learns her secret: Alexandria’s mother is an astronaut who volunteered for a one-way trip to the edge of the solar system.
Every night without fail, Alexandria waits to catch radio signals from her mother. And its up to Ryann to lift her onto the roof day after day until the silence between them grows into friendship, and eventually something more . . .
I wasn’t ready for what this book did to me.
Let’s just start off there. I went into the book thinking, “Oh, cool, a book about space and space-lovers and a queer romance. I’m all for that. Don’t like the look of that back blurb though.” I came out of the book thinking, “Damn. I should have trusted Ancrum. Pass me the tissues.”
What does that mean? I can’t tell you. You’ll have to pick it up, read the back (of the GORGEOUS hardcover version), and then read the book. I don’t want to say, because yes it’s a spoiler, but also it’s a lesson if you’re anything like me and you’ve been burned by the hand that writes you the stories you can’t stop consuming. Ancrum does not do you dirty with this book (or, at least, not in the way I was expecting to be done dirty), and I think that’s a massive praise point alone for the book.
It did have its faults, don’t get me wrong! I was not a fan of the bullying aspect by any stretch of the imagination and felt it 100% was not necessary even to convey the type of characters we were working with here. However, I have plenty of five-star books that are far from perfect but that had something about their writing or stories that I couldn’t dare knock a full star off over, and this is one of them.
Okay, it’s maybe more of a 4.75 star situation for some other reasons I won’t go into due to spoilers (it has to do with the final few chapters and how some things were handled, though I can say they felt a little rushed on top of the other problems), but Goodreads doesn’t allow anything less than full stars, so it’s a five at the surface level.
The best part of this book, for me, was the fact the romance wasn’t heavy-handed. I am so, so, so not a romance person. Do I like to read romance? Sure, sometimes. Do I like when it’s shoved in my face? Usually, no. There are exceptions, but they are painfully rare. I like a little romance with my character growth, and this did that such wonderful justice. To the point where, by that last chapter, I was crawling on hands and knees praising the execution of it.
Just. Ugh. That ending was exactly what I wanted out of this book, and I literally could not have asked for anything more.
(I mean, okay, I could have. I definitely could have. But I was happy enough with what I got that more didn’t cross my mind at the time, which is saying something.)
If you like space-obsessed queers (hi, hello, me) with a ragtag group of friends and a very, very strong sibling relationship, knock yourself out cold with this one. Seriously.
Thanks for reading!