June 11, 2015

(NetGalley) ARC Review: From a Distant Star by Karen McQuestion

From a Distant Star
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

*I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley*

Pub. Date: May 19th, 2015

Get a copy here!

This is my first time to review a book that I get from Netgalley. I joined NG several weeks ago and still trying to figuring things out with it. From a Distant Star attracted me because of its intriguing cover and blurb. Combination of sci-fi and romance is a big turn on for me. And I was so dead eager to devour this book and find some sweet romance between human and extraterrestrial being within the story.
Oh boy had I guessed it all wrong.
From a Distant Star isn’t a story about a human falls in love with alien. It hardly even contained romantic scenes. It was more like an adventurous sci-fi with a bit of friendship and romance. I admit I was really disappointed about this fact. God knows just how crazy I am over romance. And sci-fi combined. But turned out this book wasn’t like what I expected it to be and I was like…

But I had a mixed feeling about this book.
Despite my disappointment over the non-existence alien-human romance, I found this book really interesting! It surprised me that I really really enjoyed this book and only had one little complaint in the end. Yes, I am such a confusing five years old girl.
“I had once had a boyfriend, the love of my life, but now all that was left of him was a shell.”
(Chapter XIII, From a Distant Star)
Emma Garson and Lucas Walker had been together ever since they could remember. They might just an ordinary couple like the others but both of them believed their feelings were anything but ordinary. Lucas was the driver on their relationship and together they made a perfect couple high school sweethearts ever be. Even though Lucas’ parents seemed to always look down on Emma, he never once gave up on her. So when Lucas got cancer, Emma felt like the ground had cracked under her feet. 
Dropping out of all activities except school, Emma devoted to stay by Lucas’ side every day. Lucas seemed to get weaker day by day but Emma never once wanted to leave his side. No matter how hopeless the future seemed for them both. No matter how different Lucas’ appearance had become after months of chemo he’d been through. No matter how stern Lucas’ mother wants to shoo her away every waking second. Emma would do anything to get Lucas back on his two feet and looked at her with his heart-melting smile on his face. Anything, included praying harder than ever and believing some mystical magic potion could cure her boyfriend’s illness. Of course nothing was as easy as it seemed on fairy tales and Emma was left hopeless without anything to hang her hope on.
But then some mysterious events happened and when Emma felt her hope begins to vanish, Lucas opened his eyes. Lucas, who’s been on comatose and had very little progress to wake up any moment soon, who everyone seemed had given up, whose existence was believed would cease any moment, who Emma never gave up on even for a second, finally wake up in the blink of an eye. Everyone was elated. His magical recovery was reported to the entire nation. And surely Emma must be the one who’d cry loudly in joy right? Yes and no. Emma couldn’t stop grinning like an idiot seeing her boyfriend opened his eyes and made a small talk with people around him at first. But then she realized something bizarre on him. Yes, Lucas seemed much better and his recovery progress was even considered excellent but he acted nothing like the old Lucas at all. If any, it seemed like he was a totally different person trying to act like Lucas. 

When Emma noticed the strangeness of Lucas’ behavior was beyond acceptable, she found another surprising thing happened around them. An extraterrestrial object, a mysterious loud explosion sound heard three days before Lucas’ miraculous recovery, a strange visit from Federal agents, they all might be just the beginning of an even weirder enigma. When she learned that her suspicion might be true, Emma realized that her boyfriend’s life was at stake in the middle of this conundrum. This time it seemed like Emma was the one who should be the driver for them. Emma was forced to take action and brought Lucas along in a road trip to save innocent life from questionable agents and mysterious people from science research institute chasing after them. Once again, Emma’s devotion for Lucas was tested. And now Emma wouldn’t hesitate to risk everything to get Lucas back, body and soul, even if it meant risking her own life.

First of all, I loved how the story was told here. The perspective used here was a combination of 3rd person POV and 1st person POV by Emma. The plot was neat and engaging. I liked the bit of escapade feel in this book. Emma was a high school girl with devotion sized a mountain toward his ill boyfriend. This was the first thing that hooked me into the story. I loved her loyalty for Lucas even though sometimes it felt too much for a 17 years old girl. Lucas was described as caring and loving boyfriend who also never gives up on his girlfriend even though his parents against their relationship from the start. I actually melted several times witnessing how strong Emma’s love for Lucas but the fact that there weren’t any actual sweet moments of them together made me bitter…
But what really hooked me into the story was the character Scout a.k.a. the alien. I don’t know about you but I always read alien-related books where the alien appeared to be a hot gorgeous boy. Here, the alien was the kind that very innocent and almost child-like. I felt my soft spot growing for Scout and I think I even got all doe-eyed during all his scenes when he made me taken aback by his innocence. His pure opinion about Earth felt like a gentle slap in my heart…
“This is a very confusing planet. People believe things that aren’t true about other people just because of how they look and what kind of vehicle they drive. Why can you not wait and see who they are inside before you make a decision?”
“That is a sad thing… always thinking the worst of other people.” 

(Chapter XXVI, From a Distant Star)
Gosh, I felt like giving him a hug and reassure him that nothing in this cruel world could hurt his pure soul… and when he got all science-y, I wanted to pinch his cheek and give him a kiss in that exact spot afterward. In the end I realized that I fell in love with his character so much. Much more than what I felt for Emma or Lucas.
My only complaint would be that it’s actually kind of off when everything just got all smooth for Emma and Lucas on their mission trip. Lucas’ brother happened to have a car that they could use for the mission and they happened to meet a very kind couple who happened to have an advanced vehicle that they could borrow. I expected for a rougher kind of adventure actually, not a smooth one with saviors ready wherever they go.
Well, even though I didn’t get what I expected, this book managed to be a very enjoyable read through and through and I couldn’t be any happier it introduced me with Scout here :)

Love, read, and review,
Cynthia D.


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