this blog entry is the translation of my last book review. The book I reviewed was written by a German author, so you will still find the German cover and title. I hope you enjoy it.
If you have the same rainy autumn weather as me, there is more colourful foliage on the streets than on the trees and you, like me, love to cuddle with a Chai latte (or any other warm drink ^^) in a blanket in front of a fireplace and just read the whole evening, I have here the perfect novel for you: Dort, wo die Sterne im Wasser leuchten (means “There, where the stars shine in the water”) by Clara Blais (was published by Kirschbuch Verlag on October 13, 2020 and is available under ISBN 9 783 948 736 033 in most shops and online retailers for about €12). This incredibly good debut novel does play in the summer, but I think that you can read books at any time of the year whose story, characters and writing style are so captivating. In addition, the novel is very emotional and what fits better to emotional mood than rainy weather and hot cocoa?
As always, I start with the first impression, with the cover: this is a very good example of a book whose first impression created by the cover is not disappointed after reading it. Quite the reverse, I have rarely seen so far that the book cover reflects the content and the feeling of reading as well as this one and thus already gives a really good insight into the work itself. It is beautifully matched in colour and also shows the hardly tangible, but always strong connection between the two main characters. In addition, the aesthetic use of the starry sky leads to a beautiful overall picture.
In the 410-page story (in the print edition), it’s not just about how Skylar loses her best friend Matt as a child and thinks she’s going crazy because she still sees him sometimes. Not only is it told how she leaves the city to start over, but then she gets to know Damian in her new home. Damian, who looks like her best friend to be confused, but doesn’t seem to have anything in common with Matt’s character. Not only does Clara Blais describe the romantic story between the two main characters, she also writes about subjects such as bullying, homosexuality, traumatic overcoming and mental health without beautifying or excluding the possibility of healing and forgiveness. The book ensures that problems are addressed sensitively and emotionally without losing their seriousness, and that is incredibly important if you want to communicate something to society. I also think that probably a lot of readers can identify with some aspects of Skylar’s and Damian’s life without wanting to admit it. At least that’s how I deal with some of the characteristics and problems of the female lead role.
In order to convey the topics addressed to the reader well, a pleasant writing style is naturally important. Clara Blais’ style of dealing with words is not only pleasant, but captivating. The flow of reading was not disturbed at any point so that one could fully immerse oneself in the events. If I hadn’t had to sleep, eat and work these past few days, I probably would have read the book in one piece, because I just didn’t want to let go of this wonderful, impressive story.
This review is rather short, because there are no important points for me to criticize in this work. For all readers who always find something to complain about and also want to read criticism in every review I’m sorry, this debut novel in my opinion deserves nothing but praise. Even the ending, which is difficult to choose in many books, has been optimally designed. One always says so beautifully that for a happy ending you only have to stop telling in the right spot. Well, I’m not sure if we can talk about a happy ending here, but it’s stopped reporting at a good point.
To sum up, Dort, wo die Sterne im Wasser leuchten is an absolute must for any lover of romance and mystery. I certainly haven’t read the book for the last time. I am already looking forward to the many additional hours that I can spend cuddled in and drinking Chai Latte, while reading it in its entirety again and again. For all my readers who don’t speak German, I hope there will be an English translation of the book soon.