Where the Forest Meets the Stars by Glendy Vanderah – Book Review

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4/5

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Book Review

Where the Forest Meets the Stars

Glendy Vanderah

4/5

(The above links for Amazon and Kobo are affiliate links & I earn a small commission if you purchase a book through them)

Where the Forest Meets the Stars

Glendy Vanderah

4/5

Buy a copy:

The above link(s) for Amazon and/or Kobo are affiliate links & I earn a small commission if you purchase a book through them at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support.

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Sometimes bad things happen to make good things happen.

Synopsis

Joanna Teale is in rural Illinois working on her graduate research on nesting birds in, determined to prove that her recent hardships have not broken her. She throws herself into her work from dusk to dawn, until her solitary routine is disrupted by the appearance of a mysterious child who shows up at her cabin barefoot and covered in bruises. The girl calls herself Ursa, and she claims to have been sent from the stars to witness five miracles. With concerns about the child’s home situation, Jo reluctantly agrees to let her stay—just until she learns more about Ursa’s past. Jo enlists the help of her reclusive neighbor, Gabriel Nash, to solve the mystery of the charming child. But the more time they spend together, the more questions they have.

Review

When I discovered Where the Forest Meets the Stars on Goodreads, I was immediately intrigued by the title & cover. The synopsis topped that excitement off by mentioning an alien child from another planet. I thought, what better way to spend time than reading than with some sci-fi with fantasy elements, but what I got was much more.

First, I thoroughly enjoyed Glendy Vanderah’s prose and pacing in this story. In the beginning, it was a bit slow while we got to know the characters (not in a bad way at all). At around the 100-page mark, the plot picked up, and we went full speed through dramatic twists and turns. The ending felt a bit rushed, and I would have liked more development there, but I still liked it. To sweeten the deal, we had elements of romance sprinkled the whole way through.

Second, let’s talk about the hook in the first chapter with the little alien girl Ursa. It pulled me in and kept me wanting more the whole way through. I was always asking myself: Where did she come from? What happened to her? Is she truly an alien? Will she go back to her planet?

Third, the scenery was mostly in the forest, on a back road. It reminded me of where I grew up, and the location made this book hit close to home. I’m a sucker for forest settings; there’s something so magical and nostalgic about being there with the characters.

Ultimately, Where the Forest Meets the Stars dives headfirst into the human condition as we follow three main characters Jo, Ursa, and Gabriel; their history’s all wrapped in mystery, pain, love, and sorrow. This story drowned me in compassion and empathy; I found myself crying more than once.

The whole way through, we’re exploring the human mind and how we psychologically deal with the situations that life throws at us, from love and happiness to pain and traumatic events. The author did an exceptional job at tapping into those emotions and triggers. We see how the characters’ fight with their traumas and sequentially break free of their minds’ prisons or be consumed by them.  

If you’re looking for a book with elements of romance, mental health, almost sci-fi/fantasy, I recommend giving Where the Forest Meets the Stars by Glendy Vanderah a try.

Beware of the trigger warnings. I won’t post them here since I don’t want to spoil the book, but if you’re easily triggered, look ’em up!

Best,

Ashley

From novelfables.com

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