In Sight of Stars

In Sight of Stars

by Gae Polisner


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250143839
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 03/13/2018
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 206,079
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 12 - 18 Years

About the Author

Gae Polisner is the award-winning author of several books, including The Memory of Things, named a Nerdy Book Club Best YA book for 2016; The Summer of Letting Go, named a Nerdy Book Club Best YA 2014 and recipient of a Teen Ink Editor's Choice Badge of Approval; and The Pull of Gravity, a 2012 Bank Street Best, 2012 PSLA Top Forty, and a Nerdy Book Club Best YA for 2011. She also cohosts Teachers Write!, a virtual writers camp for teachers and educators.

Michael Crouch is an actor based in New York City. His audiobook narration has won the prestigious Audie Award for Best Narration, numerous Earphones Awards from AudioFile magazine, and Best of the Year accolades from Booklist, School Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly. He can also be heard on national commercials, cartoons, video games, and the anime series Pokemon XY and Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V.

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In Sight of Stars 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
JimRGill2012 More than 1 year ago
In this poignant and powerful novel, Polisner tells the story of Klee Alden, a high school senior and aspiring artist who experiences profound grief after his father’s suicide. Save for flashbacks and dream sequences, the novel is set almost entirely within the confines of a psychiatric hospital where Klee is undergoing therapy. The claustrophobic setting effectively echoes the increasing suffocation of the truth that Klee slowly uncovers during his stay. In similar fashion, the narrative itself—a woven tapestry of the present, Klee’s memories of his father, his friends, and his girlfriend Sarah, along with Klee’s dreams and fanciful perceptions of Van Gogh and his paintings—expertly reflects the seemingly disjointed but nonetheless connected stream of thoughts and feelings that cascade through Klee’s mind as he struggles to come to terms with both the causes and consequences of his father’s death. Polisner’s novel is remarkable not only for the honest emotion that permeates Klee’s story (when he finally understands just how little he knew about the father he loved, the revelation is bracing) but also because it grapples with the increasingly common phenomenon of adolescent depression. Featuring a broad range of captivating supporting characters that Polisner develops with skill (I’m still not convinced that Sister Agnes Teresa is real), this novel will grip you with its candor and hug you with its hope. Highly recommended—add bonus points if you’re an art lover.
JSnia More than 1 year ago
In Sight of Stars is the story of Klee (pronounced Clay: long-a sound, after the Swiss painter, Paul Klee), an artist and high school senior who suddenly finds his world turned upside-down. He lived in New York City, which was perfect for this budding artist — his father took him to all the great museums and led Klee to study the great artists — until his father’s death. Klee’s mother moves him to the suburbs. He is lost, until he finds Sarah, the perfect girl in his art class. Well, not perfect. Klee discovers his life is out of control, and he spins right into the “Ape Can” — a psychiatric hospital for teens. As Klee struggles to find out what in his life is real and what is imaginary, he holds tight to the artwork on the wall in the therapist’s office, and remembers his home in the city with his dad. Will he ever be able to overcome the dark nights? Maybe if he can set his sights on the stars… This book moved me. Many times I related to Klee as a mother, as a teacher, as a possible friend. I felt his experiences as he did, and I struggled with him until the end of the book. The art discussions between the characters led me to research artists on my own — Klee, Van Gogh, and more. The twists and turns of the plot events swirled in my head and my heart. One intriguing move Polisner made in this story is using alternating timelines. The flashbacks and present time frames made the twists even more realistic — my own head was spinning out of control with Klee’s memories vs. current actions throughout the story. The ending then dramatically, and yet gently, allowed me to breathe again with the main character. Since I read the book the first time, I find myself outside at night quite a bit, looking at the stars. The cover of the book notes, “To find the stars, you have to face the dark.” Perfect.
SMLockport More than 1 year ago
255 pages of addictive storytelling! Klee's story is rolled out fantastically by Gae Polisner (author of The Summer of Letting Go). The way this story is formatted reels you in and won't let you go. Halfway through I couldn't believe that this story could be concluded in 120+ pages. Masterful storytelling here! Enough art in here to make you want to look up Van Gogh works. Dr. Alvarez is my hero!
CrossoverBooks More than 1 year ago
Wonderful! This book will stay with me ~ just like the stars. The writing is powerful and moving and REAL. I love Klee, understand Sarah, and wish I had a Dr. Alvarez. I saw myself on the pages in so many ways and was taught by Klee, his father, the Dr, and the nun (loved the nun) to reach out, always reach out to those who love you. Thank you Gae Polisner for a beautiful book.
LMakler More than 1 year ago
I loved Gae Polisner’s previous book The Memory of Things , and was excited to be given an ARC of her new book, In Sight of Stars. The books are very different, but they are similar in that the characters are wonderfully drawn. The author has an amazing ability to write characters that are real, and multi-dimensional, and alive. I loved The Memory of Things because and in spite of the fact that I was brought back to the day of September 11th, the sights, the smells, the emotions. I loved In Sight of Stars because the reader is thrust into the swirling emotions, shock and internal thoughts of a teenage boy who is trying to make sense of a life turned upside down. As a high school librarian, I thought that The Memory of Things was really important for my students to read because they really should be connected to the real life of 9/11; I think that it is really important for them to read In Sight of Stars because while Klee’s life experiences are not specifically universal, his teenage brain and emotions and reactions are. Sometimes when I read a book, and I especially feel this way with good books written for young adults, I am blown away by and in awe of the vast knowledge that the author has sort of intrinsically written into the book. I remember feeling this way when I first read Harry Potter (very long time ago- but it is so clever and so well written, and really actually deep), and I feel this way about this book, and about Gae Polisner. I know nothing about art, and what I knew about Vincent Van Gogh is limited to what I remembered from reading the Irving Stone book Lust for Life in high school. I know a little more now, and what Gae does is weave Vincent Van Gogh and art into the book effortlessly. Above all, though, In Sight of Stars is the story of a teenage boy navigating through heartbreak, trauma, and the accompanying mental illness. It is the story of the world through Klee’s eyes, and as in life, what he perceives as reality is not always accurate. His mother is not as he believes, and neither was his father. I highly recommend In Sight of Stars, and I am looking forward to using it as a book for one of my monthly book clubs.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't cry at books, I just don't. I get sad and do feel emotion for whatever is happening, but I don't ever shed physical tears. BUT HOLY WATERWORKS. This book got me. In Sight of Stars by Gae Polisner melted my icy heart and sent tears streaming down my cheeks in droves. This story follows Klee (pronounced Clay), a teen struggling with his father's suicide, who in a moment of weakness hurts himself and ends up in a mental hospital (more fondly known as the Ape Can). It's then that he's forced to reconcile everything that's happened...with his dead father, with his mother, and most importantly with himself. This book is 100% character driven, which is good because the characters were fantastic. Sister Agnes Theresa was such a joy! While at first she was a completely random character with her board games and snack delivery, she ended up being one of the biggest supporters of Klee. I also absolutely adored Dr. Alvarez. I thought she was supportive and nurturing in all the right ways, letting Klee take his time with things and pushing just enough to let progress blossom on its own. Between what Klee did for her at the end and what she revealed about herself to him, I just couldn't hold myself together. I really didn't like Sarah, but I don't think I was meant to. She's the typical manic pixie dream girl who takes what she wants without giving anything back, and even at the end she just left a bad taste in my mouth. Klee's mother was a difficult character to crack, but the more the story developed, the more you start to understand why the "Ice Queen" is the way she is. And Klee himself, I have so much to say about Klee (but I can't without spoiling too much). From his love of Van Gogh to his fierce loyalty to his father, Klee is emotionally complex and raw. I loved seeing him open up to everyone in the Ape Can, and you could tell that no matter how much he was struggling, he really wanted to understand what was happening and get better. I loved all the stories and flashbacks with Klee and his father, and the tales he told Klee to teach him about life. The whole thing was beautifully written and like I said before, it takes a lot to touch me enough to make me cry, and this story succeeded. Trigger warnings for suicide and self harm are definitely needed, but the subject was touched on in a sensitive and tender way. This book was deep and emotional, and one that will definitely stick with me for a while. Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars A huge thanks to St. Martin's Press for sending me an early finished copy of this beauty.
DDMcNutt More than 1 year ago
Will update this. I was able to read an Advanced Reader Copy. Important book for teens and adults too. Written well, handling a tricky subject with such beauty. It's very REAL and also offers some hope. Kids need to know things CAN get better. I get the published version today and will write a FULL review then.
Florencia46 More than 1 year ago
This is a beautiful, heartbreaking, and often funny book about how 17 year old Klee reaches his breaking point, and how he finds his way back. Highly recommended.