Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Unlit Star by Lindy Zart

  Every bookworm should experience the euphoric feeling one gets when they read that book. The book that has you in the palm of its hand. The book that has you so emotionally involved/distraught/overwhelmed with its story, there's nothing you can do but sit there in awe, book laying open (if it's an actual paper book, if not, screen sitting there lit up) in your hand, as your brain works together what's currently happening.
  How could this happen? After all the author and you have been through- after experiencing these past 300 or so pages together- how could the author do this to you, their faithful reader?
  How can normal life proceed after this book is finished?
  Next comes the feeling of desperately wanting to talk to someone after you've finished that book, and not understanding when someone answers your frantic cries for help with an, "It's just a book."
  Every bookworm knows that it's never "just a book."
  This author has found a way into your heart through their writing and their words. They have found a way to capture your most raw emotions, drawing them out, coaxing them with their charismatic characters and utmost endearing plotlines, and then following it all up by leading your emotions down the dizzying and endless rabbit-hole known as "Falling Madly in Love with a Book."
  Out of the 700 or so books I have read over my years as an avid book lover, I have only come across 25 or so that leave me tear-streaked, sad, happy, and beyond the point of "book infatuation." I have crossed the line into "Past the Point of No Return" territory. This feeling occurs when you cannot move on to another book right away, when you just have to hold the book to your chest longer, for fear of the story disappearing altogether, leaving you with a broken heart and a nest of half-used tissues strewn around your comfy reading chair. You are so involved with this book, you don't know what to do with yourself. You sit there, crying (because even if you're not a typical crier when you read books, that one book that hits you like this will make you cry, even if you don't want to), and you want the rest of your life to be surrounded by this one story.
  Around the internet, you hear of this feeling called a "book hangover." This feeling leaves you breathless, it leaves you an emotional wreck, and you cannot, cannot imagine starting another story at the moment- still being stuck in the previous book's world. But the book I just finished is way beyond "book hangover."
  I have a "book hangover" that will last a lifetime. I have book-shaped impression on my heart.
  This book impression is in the shape of Lindy Zart's Unlit Star.
  When Lindy asked me to review her latest novel, I was of course more than happy to oblige. Every single book that I have read by Lindy Zart has been incredible in different ways, no matter the genre. From Ordinary, to Incomplete, to Take Care, Sara, I was in love with her work.
  What I didn't expect was to read something so extraordinary, that the only category I could file Unlit Star into wouldn't be "Lindy Zart's Books," it wouldn't be, "My Favorite Indie Books," it would be filed under, "My Favorite Books of All-Time/Life-Altering Books."
  I fell in love with Unlit Star as I did with Lindy Zart's other books; immediately. (With intriguing plots such as these, how could you not?) Although, Unlit Star had an extra ummph.
  I fell in love with Unlit Star as soon as our main character, Delilah, was introduced.
  We begin Unlit Star with Delilah working as the Young family house cleaner while their normal cleaner is on vacation for the summer. Delilah is well acquainted with the Young son who is her age, although they never quite meshed in school. Easy peasy; he was popular, she was definitely not.
  But after a tragic boat accident that summer, the son, Rivers, is left semi-crippled, scarred (inside and out), and almost catatonic. Delilah almost has to clean around him as he sits there and watches her.
  These two obviously don't go well together, but when a family illness lures Rivers' mother and step-father out of town, there is only one responsible person to sit and watch him to make sure he doesn't do anything reckless or stupid.
  Neither of them are too thrilled with this arrangement, but what can you do? Delilah can definitely hold her own, and she won't put up with Rivers' attitude.
  And right there is my #1 reason for falling in love with Unlit Star so quickly. Delilah.
  Of course after a few chapters, my love for Rivers followed shortly as his character progressed. By the end of the book, I was madly in love with both of them.
  This book affected me as one is affected on a roller coaster. First, your anticipation builds as you climb higher and higher on the tracks, your heart beating wildly out of your chest and your fear of having a heart-attack increasing. Next, you reach that peak where everything starts to slow, as if you're trudging through a river of molasses. You know something is wrong- you know if you stop now, there's no way you can roll back into the safety of the tracks you know. You'll head straight for the unknown track in front of you, diving head-first into a wild, hair-whipping course, so you know you're better off continuing this nail-biting journey willingly.
  And then...then you reach the fall. That weightless, heart-in-stomach feeling of the inevitable. That feeling of receiving a text stating, "We need to talk," before you actually know what you're meant to talk about.
  You're now free falling into oblivion, unaware of what awaits you, but you know that it'll be huge.
  This is what I experienced, word for word, when I read Lindy Zart's Unlit Star.
  I implore you, if you are a fan of these feelings, if you savor books that make you go, "Wow..." or even if you're in a book rut, looking for that next book to capture your every emotion, read Unlit Star.
  In all honesty, I've read one or two books recently that I've been requested to review that left me positively breathless. Unlit Star not only took my breath, it also stole my heart, my mind, and one of the spots on my "Favorite Books of 2014 List."
  Unlit Star was not just a story, it was life-changing, a work of poetry, a piece artwork, and a gorgeous, real-life story of two young adults transformed onto paper.
  Lindy Zart was born to write. A book like this that captures your soul so cannot be written by just anyone. Lindy Zart poured everything onto Unlit Star's paper that's required in order to create a masterpiece, and it shows. You know by reading this book that Lindy has put her blood, sweat, and tears into this story.
  Only a few books have affected me in this way. Only a few books in my entire lifetime, and Unlit Star is one of them. I want to continue to fully immerse myself in this story, but how is that possible once it's over?
  I need everyone to read this book. I want to spread the wealth and share the love of this story to keep it alive. I want to completely surround myself with its story again, and breathe in its riches. I miss Delilah and Rivers, desperately.
  I never say this- EVER- but I need to reread this book.

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