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3.5 out of 5
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    2 Stars

    This is a genre (YA/Sci-fi) that I don't read often, but truly enjoy when I do. Unfortunately, All the Stars Left Behind was an exception and a difficult read for me. The story had a great premise and potential, but I struggled with various points in the execution. Throughout the story, I felt like there could have been more details or detailed writing. In the first few chapters, especially, there were whiplash inducing scene changes where I was left feeling lost and confused. Many times I had to re-read the previous paragraph to check if I had missed something vital. The lack of details created choppy transitions in the story and disrupted the entire reading flow. Also, while the book was an unusually slow read for me, the story's time frame was lightning fast. I'm not bothered by the insta-love between the two main characters, but with the pacing, some statements and actions didn't make sense to the time that they occurred. This pacing also made it difficult for me to connect with the characters and the story overall. After the 50% mark the story picked up exponentially. Personally, I didn't care for the direction and how it played out, but the story and flow improved. Since this is clearly my subjective opinion, I was vague with my own details so not to spoil anything for the next reader. (I voluntarily read an advanced copy of All the Stars Left Behind via Entangled Teen/Netgalley. This review was my honest and unbiased opinion)
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    Spectacular writing!

    Leda Lindgren’s father died two weeks ago, and her mother did not waste any time moving back to Vardø, Norway, where Leda’s parents were born. The Arctic is a long way from New York, and Leda is somewhat distraught, but she soon made a new friend in Nils, her odd neighbour. Her bombastic uncle Arne, a wood artist, is also a welcome presence, as Leda’s mother is cold, aloof, and always absent, and so is Leda’s grandmother. Leda is a great girl, outgoing and smart, but her Spina Bifida has made things awkward for her, as she must use crutches, and some people, even her own mother, find her lacking because of that. On day, Leda meets Uncle Arne’s assistant, Roar Bakke, and boom! He’s hot, nice, and that first contact was out of this world. Literally, it turns out. I don’t read much sci-fi, but ALL THE STARS LEFT BEHIND has an interesting premise, a great title, and the Norwegian setting, so why not! And I’m glad I chose to read it because Ashley Graham is an astounding writer! I got a clear notion of the characters straight away, although there are many secrets to be revealed; the author got everything about Norway just right; the writing is dynamic and vibrant, with a strong impression of movement and colour. There is no mistaking that THE STARS LEFT BEHIND is a Young Adult book, however the teenagers feel like today’s teens, and not as if they spoke or acted as if they had popped out of the 1950s. There is mild swearing, desires of a sexual nature, and some violence as well, especially from the part of a rather spectacular villain. Ms. Graham kept me on my toes from the onset as a humungous plot twist happens very early on, and if there was one thing I did not expect, it was that. I love how Ms. Graham ties in Norse mythology with Roar’s planet, Aurelis; it’s very clever, and the alien technology is futuristic, by our standards, but believable nonetheless. THE STARS LEFT BEHIND would be worth reading if only for Ashley Graham’s truly spectacular writing with its kaleidoscope of colours and emotions of every kind, but also for its very complex and engaging characters, natural and easy dialogues, a gripping plot and oodles of action. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book. I give 4 ½ stars
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