The Chaos of Stars

I’m drawn to beautiful covers and interesting titles, that’s hardly a lie and something I’ve started to accept more and more lately. Growing up, I’m sure everyone heard the “Don’t judge the book by its cover”, and there is truth in that. But when it comes to books, we as human beings are known to be drawn to colors, patterns and pictures. Covers are, therefore, very important because that is the first thing we see. A good and interesting title is vital as well. These are the things that will draw attention to itself when we wander around in a book store, not searching for anything specific. So when a book has a nice cover, a nice title and it turns out that the story seems nice to, it’s just too bad when the novel turns out to be anything but nice.

I first heard of The Chaos of Stars not too long ago, two months maybe, and I’ve been longing to read it ever since. The story is about a teenage girl named Isadora who lives in Egypt with her immortal family, all gods and goddesses. Isadora herself is not immortal and will be moving out in a few years, something she really looks forward to. There’s too much drama, intrigues, murder and cheating in her family to last her for, well, a lifetime, and she is more than sick of it all. So when an opportunity arises to move to San Diego and live with her (equally mortal) older brother, she jumps at the chance. But Isadora’s mother have strange, ominous dreams and even though Isadora tries to keep a blind eye to it, she has them too. There is danger lurking around them and it can strike wherever and whenever and from whatever way, all the while Isadora struggles to acclimatize to her new surroundings.

My hopes for this one was high, higher than they should, really. I thought a story about Egyptian mythology would be very interesting. A story about the mortal child of two gods set in the twenty-first century, can it get better than that? Apparently so, because this just didn’t make the cut. Now, the idea was great, excellent even. The execution, however, not so much. Author Kiersten White has created a very weak story and though it’s said to be about Isadora and her family of gods and goddesses, I found myself mainly reading about various interior design projects and different foods and desserts. Not quite what I bargained for.

Our main character Isadora is a very negative person who believe love to be poisonous and says she rather wants to spend the rest of her life alone then falling in love. Part of me can understand her, it’s all a fear of being hurt and left and Isadora believe that there’s no purpose in having a relationship when it will end no matter what. It’s quite understandable that she reasons this way, being aware from a very young age that she will die and that what she does in her life doesn’t matter the same way as what her parents do. She’s also hurting a lot knowing that her parents could make her immortal but have chosen not to, and, in her words, doesn’t love her enough to keep her around forever. She has a lot of hurt for her childhood bothering her in her teens, things she have to come to terms with to be able to live a happy life. There’s nothing unnatural about this and I would go so far as to say that Isadora could be anyone (well, if you take away the god/goddess parent thing) but her constant nagging, whining and bitching made her harder to read the longer the story went on.

Other characters include Isadora’s parents, Isis and Osiris, her older brother Sirus and his wife Deena and her friends Tyler and Ry. These are the ones we see most of (though still not very much). Tyler is Isadora’s first friend and they work together at a museum, at which Isadora is supposed to oversee an exhibition with things donated from her parents. They befriend each other on the very first day and Tyler introduce Isadora to her friend, Ry (and later her boyfriend, Scott, who makes about four appearances’ in the book). Ry and Isadora spends some time together, but when Isadora realizes that he might be interested in her, she leaves, knowing that nothing good can come out of him liking her (or, the horror, her starting to like him in return). When they both agree on only being friends Isadora accept Ry’s presence in her life again.

Like mentioned earlier, there’s a threat to both Isadora and her mother, but this is something that only pops up here and there (between all the work at the museum and all Isadora’s dinner dates with Ry). I suppose it was meant to be some kind of mystery, but when there’s only about eight gods mentioned, it’s not that hard to figure it all out. In the end, I wasn’t very surprised. What bothered me, though, was that it was over very quickly. Blink and you'll miss it. Isadora also spends the bigger part of the book feeling and thinking that her family doesnt need her. And when all hell breaks loose (and I use that term mildly) Isadora actually doesn’t really seem to be needed, but that doesn’t bother her at all. It just felt a little ambiguously after focusing so much on that throughout the book and then in the end she doesn’t even notice it. It feels like that could sum up the entire book, actually.

I had a hard time connecting with the characters. I understood how Isadora thought (well, for the most part), but she, just like Ry, was portrayed to be the most beautiful human beings to ever walk on this Earth, more or less, and that bothered me. It also annoyed me that Tyler’s boyfriend didn’t get a bigger part in the story (why couldn’t Isadora befriend him, as well, when Tyler, Ry and Scott were friends? Why did he get left out even though Isadora didn’t have a problem with him?). It just felt like White tried to give Isadora what she needed; a girlfriend in Tyler, whom she could talk to about whatever, and a potential love interest in Ry. I think Scott could’ve been a great addition, but alas.

Overall I thought the novel was weak and didn’t live up to neither my hopes nor standards. Neither of the characters except Isadora felt properly worked through and to call this a book with mythology, when so little appeared, felt like false advertisement. I would call this “Teen angst love story with a smidgen of mythology”.

This is not a book I will go back to and I won’t recommend it, either. It will look pretty on my shelf, though. Always something, I guess.