Cover Image: Swimming in a Sea of Stars

Swimming in a Sea of Stars

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Member Reviews

I really like how Julie Wright tackles the topic of suicide/attempted suicide. The book is formatted as a journal, but also shares perspectives from those that know, or come to know, Addison. Suicide affects so many more than we can comprehend, and I think Julie Wright has created something that will inspire others to want to live and make a difference.

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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for granting me free access to the advanced digital copy of this book.

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This is such a powerful story of how we cannot truly know what others are going through. Addison is returning to school after a suicide attempt. No one knows the reason behind it, and many of her acquaintances and friends have created a narrative about her. Returning is hard on her and those around her. What we get to watch unfold is telling- what you see is not what is truly happening. I loved watching all the characters learn and grow together. There were stumbles and falls, but ultimately they helped each other and all came out better people because of it. And important understanding that would be helpful for not just high schoolers, but adults too.

Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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Very interesting read! The book pulled me in from the start and I wanted to see how it ended. Try it and see if this book is for you!

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This book was emotionally gripping. Each of the kids have some mighty struggles to overcome. The main focus is Addison, or the girl who tried to kill herself. Each of the other characters are touched by her in some way, tying them all together.
This book deals with some hard subjects. Abuse, suicide, cancer, Alzheimers, and bullying.

Thank you to Shadow Mountain for the ARC.

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I think this story has a lot of situations that are very prevalent to things that teenagers deal with these days. Very well done.

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Realistic YA fiction at its best!
Addison tried to end her life and now she’s heading back to high school. This is giving her anxiety about how she’ll be received at school and how she’s going to make it through the day. When she arrives at school, she sees another student dealing with family problems. This helps Addison see outside herself and realizes she is in a position to help someone else. Hopefully the rest of her day will help Addison heal and regain hope.

Likes/dislikes: I enjoyed the writing because of the emotional intelligence, wisdom and humor. The author connected the characters’ lives smoothly. The story and characters are inspiring.
Mature content: PG for mention of suicide.
Language: G for 0 swears and 0 f-words.
Violence: PG for mention of abuse.
Ethnicity: mixed.

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Thank you to NetGalley, Shadow Mountain Publishing, Shadow Mountain, and Julie Wright for the opportunity to read Swimming in a Sea of Stars in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is heavy in the topics of suicide and self-harm and readers with depression or a history of depression or self-harm should read with caution. While this novel explores a lot of emotions, it has it joy and kindness within as well, the things that pull people through the hard times. 

Swimming in a Sea of Stars follows Addison's perspective through her journal entries after she survives her suicide attempt. Going to school is hard, because now she is known as the "girl who tried to kill herself." Her journal is where she expresses her feelings as an outlet. Upon her return to school, she learns that she certainly isn't the only troubled teen at school.

Booker, Addison's friend...or kind of boyfriend?...wanted to kiss her, but it was after that when she tried to kill herself. Booker beats himself up over the event, thinking the two are related, not knowing if they are. And can they still be friends?

Celia, another girl at school, feels like she understands Addison. Sometimes ones home life, especially when domestic abuse is involved, is enough to push anyone over the edge.

Damion helps take care of his mom. On good days, she might remember who he is. With little help from his brother, the responsibility is high. He thinks befriending Addison might boost his TikTok following. He wants the fame and adoration, for someone to know who he is, that he exists, when there are days his mom doesn't.

Avery doesn't know Addison, but of course she heard about what happened. With her own brother in jail and the secret girl and child he left behind, Avery finds herself lonely and stuck in her own downward thoughts. Maybe making friends with Addison would benefit them both?

I loved the journal-entry aspect of Addison's story, while the other characters had their own sections denoted by their name and told in their third person limited perspectives. I found Avery's story the second-most interesting. She has a lot going on! All of these characters are relatable in what they deal with in their lives. It is part of being human, and the struggles of the teenage years, that will bring any reader to connect with at least one ore more characters in this novel. Being human is hard, but it is the way we shine for each other that keeps us going and gives us purpose and meaning in our lives.

A phenomenal novel for a young adult audience filled with gripping emotions and real situations that are faced by the people we know. We just don't see what others are going through. That is why finding someone to be your anchor will benefit you both as you grow and find your purpose.

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*Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book for review, all opinions are my own*

Trigger warning for: suicide and different kids of abuse

I was not expecting to like this book, but it was so quick and evolving to read.
Is the kind of story that you want to keep reading to find out what happened and what is going to happen.
The thing that I didn't like was that we follow different points of view and some are more interesting the others and the fact that the book pass in only one day living somethings open in the end.
But I recommend the book, I think is a good read

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Have you ever wondered what one act of kindness can do for someone? This book attempts to answer that question. I loved the heartwarming stories from Avery, Addison, Booker, Celia, and Sebastian. They are all high school students attempting to grapple with very real and difficult individual hardships. Avery is just looking for human connection after her moms death and brothers arrest. Addison wants to know how to fully recover from her suicide attempt. Booker is looking for peace with his cousins cancer diagnosis and girlfriends suicide attempt. Celia is dealing with severe abuse and isn’t sure if what she is experiencing is right or not. Sebastian’s mother has early onset Alzheimer’s and he feels pressure to work in order to help pay for her medical bills.

The book follows each teenager through one day and shows their interactions. I thought that the author addressed depression, abuse, and suicide attempts with tact and very appropriately.

Thank you to NetGalley for the advance copy. All opinions are my own.

My Rating Calculation:
Hook: 7
Writing: 8
Format: 8
Plot and character development: 7
Content: 7

Average: 7.4
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️: 7-8
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️: 5.5-6.9
⭐️⭐️⭐️: 4-5.4
⭐️⭐️: 1-3.9
⭐️: DNF

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A story about how there is more in a person's life than what they show. After a student survives an attempted suicide, she must face her peers when returning to school. Her friends are unsure of how to approach her and do their best, but have situations of their own they must deal with from a family member getting cancer, to narcissistic abusive mothers.

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this is a very good read

thank you to the author, netgalley, and the publisher for this advanced copy to review!

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Swimming in a sea of stars is a move that isn’t easily forgotten. It’s a lighthearted way of diving into a dark topic of suicide, drugs, feelings of belonging, bullying and other issues that teenagers in our day and age deal with. I think it’s definitely a great way to open up on these conversations. I wish I had read this book as a teacher so I could have had a better idea of what some of my classmates were going through and how I could help and be kind. Details are often vague in this novel about the difficult topics (like how the girl tried to kill herself and why) but I felt that was good so that a younger audience can safely read it.

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Swimming in a Sea of Stars is a must have for any library. This YA novel follows Addison’s return to school after a suicide attempt. To help heal, she begins journal writing, which is how each chapter is opened before transitioning to other teens and their struggles. Their lives interconnect through their growth among these struggles.

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The last 20% of Swimming in a Sea of Stars had me crying in the middle of a coffee shop. What a beautiful and thoughtful portrayal of (trigger warning) depression, suicidal thoughts, abuse and grief. This was a great reminder that you never know what is going on in the lives of others, and you shouldn't be so quick to judge. Live a life leading with compassion.

Celia had me introspective on how different my life would have been had I knocked on my counselor's door. I am thankful for her inclusion in the story and how well her story was written. In addition, I loved how Addison, on her first day back at school, thoughtfully spoke and gave advice to the other characters, helping them in ways she could never imagine. When she felt like the one who was a burden and needed saving, she was the shining light for so many. A truly beautiful story I will likely revisit throughout the years.

A big thank you to NetGalley and the publisher Shadow Mountain Publishing for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

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The story is told primary through 5 characters: Addison's Journal entries, Booker, Avery, Damion, and Celia. Each character is dealing with a difficult situation in their personal lives, but the 4 teens are connected to Addison in some way.

Topics of suicide, parental abuse, young pregnancy, cancer, family in jail, and Alzheimer's.

Julie Wright did a wonderful job connecting the characters. The way each of them brought up their difficult topics either to each other or an adult was beautifully done.

Something important that I pulled from this book: start the hard conversation.

Thank you to NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing, Shadow Mountain for the eARC!

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Thank you NetGalley for an ARC of this book in exchange of an honest review.

This book was so emotional and so raw with felling. A beautiful story of healing, hope and friendship.

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I like the concept of this novel. The story follows an ensemble cast. It shows diary entries from a girl who’s recovering from a suicide attempt and the point of view of her former best friend, a boy whose cousin is diagnosed with cancer. We follow a girl experiencing domestic violence, a boy whose mother has early-onset Alzheimer’s, and a girl whose brother was recently arrested for trying to sell Fentanyl.

Each of them crosses the paths of the others, and each carries secrets the others are completely unaware of. I love that idea. It’s very much an embodiment of the expression, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”

Though the story touches on difficult issues (domestic violence, sexual abuse, homelessness, and terminal illness), it often keeps those things at a distance by sparing readers the painful details. I think this idea allows the book to be more accessible to younger or more sensitive teens than some of the other popular young adult titles on the shelves.

What I wish, though, is that the commentary on drug addiction wasn’t quite so judgy. I think also that in the attempt to keep difficult content to a minimum, the text sometimes veers into telling rather than showing the story.

On the whole, I still think this concept is really cool. I like that the author used a quote from a Linkin Park song to tie all the stories together. I’d recommend this for readers interested in heavier topics but not ready for or interested in the harsh details books on those topics sometimes deliver.

Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions my own.

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5 classmates with little ties to one another go through life changing events that intersect in a way and bring them close.

I enjoyed this book and it's definitely one that's up my alley with the subject matter. I do have to say that sometimes the switching between the 5 different perspectives made it somewhat difficult to follow, but still a great read nonetheless. I would highly recommend this read.

Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for providing a copy in exchange for my honest review.

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Never before have I ever read a more profound book. Suicide is a hard topic to talk about. But the way that Julie writes this story, she doesn't leave you feeling heavy or depressed. She gives you hope instead. As a adult or parent, she makes me want to go out and change the world. To let children and even adults know that they are not alone. That they are never alone. As a teenager, I can only hope that they feel like they can ask for help if they are ever feeling the same as the main character or even the side characters were feeling. That there is always someone that can help.

This novel all takes place within 24 hrs. Covering Addison's first day back to school in journal form, after her attempt to also a few other students that were dealing with their own issues. While there were some serious situations hinted on, Julie never makes the reader uncomfortable with details. You get the point of the story.

I can't recommend this book enough. I feel like many youth need to read this, and same with adults. Parents, and teachers alike.

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