Paperback, 321 pages
Published July 9th 2014 by Text Publishing
“It’s going to happen,” she would tell me calmly. ”I even know when. It’s a twist in my stars. It’s written there, and we have to accept it.”
Avicenna Crowe’s mother, Joanne, is an astrologer with uncanny predictive powers and a history of being stalked.
Now she is missing.
The police are called, but they’re not asking the right questions. Like why Joanne lied about her past, and what she saw in her stars that made her so afraid.
But Avicenna has inherited her mother’s gift. Finding an unlikely ally in the brooding Simon Thorn, she begins to piece together the mystery.
And when she uncovers a link between Joanne’s disappearance and a cold-case murder, Avicenna is led deep into the city’s dark and seedy underbelly, unaware of how far she is placing her own life in danger.
Reasons to Read This
- I’m usually made of stone when reading books but this book made me tear up. TWICE.
- I’m still amazed.
- But really, this book is vastly different from a lot of other YA churned out simply by virtue of its protagonist.
- Now I know we’ve heard intersectionality bandied around lots but there may be some people who don’t know what it means. Wiki has handily defined it as: “the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.”
- Which more or less is correct.
- The reason I mention this is because Avicenna…as I think of a correct word to put here… it is 2 am so you’ll have to excuse me…brings intersectionality to the forefront simply by being who she is. She’s of mixed heritage (mom’s white Australian while dad’s Chinese Australian), poor, female, visibly scarred (cheeks plus a melted ear). All these things make her one of the most interesting people I have read about in the longest while especially in a YA novel.
- We meet her as she sits frozen in a dump of an apartment (hers now) wondering whether she should call the police now that her mother has been missing 24 hours.
- Her despair is so real that I had goosebumps.
- Her mother’s an astrologer but before you start scoffing, it’s kinda scientific and Lim must have done a LOT of research because everything sounds logical and the narrative seamlessly incorporates the research so that we’re given the details in a readily believable tone and not something that sounds like a wiki entry. Ya know?
- But this is largely slice of life so the emphasis is placed on the missing mom and the procedures involved in you know finding out what’s happened. There’s a boy.
- Of course there’s a boy and initially he’s a jerk. I mean, his name is Simon Thorn. Even his name labels him a jerk.
- But he kinda breaks your heart.
- And I mean smooshes it to pieces.
- Like is that a fragment of my heart under the chair. Oh yes, it is. Ouch.
- And there’s another boy. He’s beautiful. We all agree. But there’s no room for love triangles and we all understand that. (I really liked the way Cenna thought about this. I’m a Cenna fan!)
- The Astrologer’s Daughter could have been many things but it thankfully is a gripping tale about mothers, daughters, decades old murder and the search for truth.
- It is also a coming of age story and is kinda brutal on the emotional scale.
- There are thrills and old Chinese men and restaurants and murderous privileged white men. As par for the course.
- The book is slim but it packed such a punch that I’m still reeling.
- This is one of the strongest YA novels I’ve read–and totally a crossover read in case you are hesitant.
- Because, damn.
- Read this. You won’t regret it.
- Just be prepared, kay?