You can’t have a book that references Antigone without some dark family drama, and this book does rise to the challenge. Dead sisters, men abusing power, and questions about fate and guilt surface in a contemporary take on the way we protect and destroy our families.
Every star has its own path…
“I can’t ever be the blazing star that Iris was. I’m still just a cold, dark satellite orbiting a star that went super nova.”
Andria’s twin sister, Iris, had adoring friends, a cool boyfriend, a wicked car, and a shelf full of soccer trophies. She had everything, in fact—including a drug problem. Six months after Iris’s death, Andria is trying to keep her grades, her friends, and her family from falling apart. But stargazing and books aren’t enough to ward off her guilt that she—the freak with the scary illness and all-black wardrobe—is still here when Iris isn’t. And then there’s Alex Hammond. The boy Andria blames for Iris’s death. The boy she’s unwittingly started swapping lines of poetry and secrets with, even as she tries to keep hating him.
Heartwrenching, smart, and bold, Dreaming of Antigone is a story about the jagged pieces that lie beneath the surface of the most seemingly perfect life…and how they can fit together to make something wholly unexpected.
Readers will appreciate the honest depiction of the emotions and internal battles that are part of the aftermath of tragedy. Andria, the narrator, is compelling both for her normalcy and for the events in her life that make her anything but normal. Her conflicted attraction to the reformed bad boy she feels is responsible for her sister’s terrible spiral makes for an engaging set of complications as well. I have to say, too, that the author took a set of dramatic circumstances and managed to keep them from taking over the story. The focus here is really on the relationships, and I think that is why it worked so well. Feelings and reactions didn’t feel exaggerated or overblown, and I think YA readers will respond to this tone because it feels believable. Finally, you don’t gave to have any background knowledge to enjoy this book, but if you do, it adds another layer to the story. I particularly enjoyed the way Andria’s perceptions of herself shift how she relates to the Greek tragedy she is studying in high school. Overall, I think this book will be popular with my high school readers and I’m adding it to my high school classroom library wish list. While the themes are mature, the approach makes this book appropriate for grades 9+.
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.