Expected Publication: May 19th, 2015 by Skyscape
Source: eARC from NetGalley
Seventeen-year-old Emma was the only one who hadn’t given up on her boyfriend, Lucas. Everyone else—his family, his friends, his doctors—believed that any moment could be his last. So when Lucas miraculously returns from the brink of death, Emma thinks her prayers have been answered.
As the surprised town rejoices, Emma begins to question whether Lucas is the same boy she’s always known. When she finds an unidentifiable object on his family’s farm—and government agents come to claim it—she begins to suspect that nothing is what it seems. Emma’s out-of-this-world discovery may be the key to setting things right, but only if she and Lucas can evade the agents who are after what they have. With all her hopes and dreams on the line, Emma sets out to save the boy she loves. And with a little help from a distant star, she might just have a chance at making those dreams come true.
There's nothing inherently wrong with From a Distant Star. Do I think it could have been much better? Yes. But I think it'll work for people who like light sci-fi and quick reads. My problem is that I am a hardcore sci-fi lover, and at this point, I think we know I REALLY LIKE ALIENS. So this just didn't cut it for me.
Emma spends most of her time sitting beside her comatose boyfriend's bedside as his cancer eats away at him. (What kind? I have no idea. Maybe it was mentioned and I just didn't notice, but as far as I know it wasn't there.) This is incredibly upsetting of course because, naturally, Emma and Lucas are togetha 4eva.
"It didn't matter what he looked like, though. I loved Lucas more than I'd ever loved anyone in my life. I couldn't live without him."
That in itself was enough to bother me, but the problem is that because Lucas and Emma have already been together for so long and Lucas isn't himself for most of the book, we never see this love. It absolutely did not feel authentic to me. And also, she loves him more than anyone ever? That can't be hard, because it appears that Emma has no friends. No life. I have no idea what her hobbies are, what she likes to do besides being with Lucas.
???? Okay????? Once again, I never saw this relationship that was supposedly so much stronger than the "typical high school relationship." (Which is what?) I don't know, maybe this is how most teenagers genuinely feel about their high school relationships. I never had one, so I suppose I can't say.
"I wanted to protest that Lucas was irreplaceable for me too, that she'd underestimated us and our love. We had a bond way beyond that of the typical high school relationship. I adored Lucas, and no one else would come close."
Anyway. Beyond that, like I said, I have no grasp on Emma's personality. She doesn't seem to exist outside of Lucas. And because Lucas himself isn't present for most of the novel, I have no grasp on his personality. Instead, we get to see Scout, the extraterrestrial being that has taken over Lucas's body and miraculously cured him. Scout is innocent and pretty adorable, if you ask me. He grasps our language and humans fairly quickly, but it's all very unnatural for him.
"Why don't the people just make the world a better place and then they wouldn't need to get drunk?"
As seems to be the case as of late, this book fell very short in the sci-fi and alien aspects. I was just incredibly...bored. There are some evil "federal agents," of course, and Emma and Scout take a roadtrip but it's nothing interesting. They're driving to northern Wisconsin, which I just drove through literally two weeks ago, so I happen to know that it's beautiful in most areas, even on the highway. But we didn't get any description of it. No descriptions of anything, really. Just
Okay, cool. Do you want a medal?
"I never texted and drove, and I was proud of that because, believe me, even though I'd been tempted to do it many, many times, I always held back."
Plotwise, there's really only one thing going on: getting Lucas back to his former self. Nothing else to keep me interested. Scout does try to explain a little about his planet to Emma, but once again, I found myself drifting off into space (no pun intended) and had to go back and reread because I'd been too bored to really pay attention. The alien aspect is hardly delved into.
Overall: I had originally planned to give From a Distant Star 2.5 stars, but the more I think on it, the more I realize that I was truly just too bored for that. Ultimately, I think this would be okay for you if you don't tend to read a lot of sci-fi and don't like the heavier stuff. For me, both the characters and the plot fell very flat. 2 stars.