Content/Trigger Warnings: Physical fight, bullying, injuries, hospitalization, sexual assault, trauma, pretend defense, mention of suicide, talk of loss/death of a loved one, abandonment, anxiety/panic attacks.
“Love is not about holding people where you want them. It is about doing what’s best for them because you need them to be okay.”
Dearest friends, my heart has been unraveled and then put back together in a thousand different ways. This book was truly so lyrical, so beautiful, and this book found every soft soft of my soul. K. Ancrum is an outstanding writer, a true gift to the writing world and this book alone makes me want to read anything she put out. Even though I knew this book was going to pack a punch to my feelings, I still went in expecting so light fun, but it was far from that. I love this book. I truly love this book with my whole soul and there will never be enough words to say what this book did to me, for me.
The Weight of the Stars is about a girl named Ryann who’s struggling through her senior year of high school while she takes care of her brother, James and his son. The one day a new girl named Alexandria rolls into town and suddenly Ryann is swept up into a world of stars, radio signals, space, and uncovering the truth.
At the surfaces this book just seems like it’s about two girls, but underneath there’s so much more. With underlying themes such as found family, loving unconditionally whether they’re friends and family or a romantic partner, what your place in the world it, and taking opportunities you never thought you’d get the chance to take because of who you are and where you come from.
🌟 Ryann – One of our main characters, beautiful black butch lesbian, loves her friends and family something fierce and would give up everything if they got to stay happy, in love with space and wants to travel to follow in the foot steps of her mother Gillie, rough on the outside but a total cinnamon roll on the inside.
🌟 Alexandria – Our second main character, new girl to the town, mother went off on a one-way trip into space and has been lonely her whole life, catching radio signals from her mother by sitting on her roof at night, minor OCD, irritable to Ryann at first but slowly blooms into something else.
🌟 James – Ryann’s brother whose trauma has caused him to stop speaking, loves Ryann something fierce, has a beautiful baby boy named Charlie and is an incredible father to.
🌟 Ahmed – Ryann’s best friend, who is Sikh son of three parents in a polyamorous relationship (and if you’re like me who just recently found out, definitely read The Wicker King, that’s all I’m saying!!!), boyfriend to Shannon
🌟 Shannon – The traditionally popular girl that shouldn’t fit into this group of misfits but somehow does anyway, declared nicest of the group of misfits, girlfriend to Ahmed.
🌟 Blake and Tomas – Both troublemakers but polar opposites to each other, Tomas is obsessed with Charlie (James’s baby boy) and loves video games. Blake does theater and travels three cities over to do shows. Blake understands Ryann on a mental level and sees right through her. Tomas tried committing suicide, Ryann saved his life.
“It is though. People are easy. We’re all made of the same stuff. Even if you arrange it in different ways or make puzzles out of it.”
If you asked me to name a book that I love with my whole heart, this is the book. Ryann is a character that I saw myself in and I knew, I just knew that this book was going to be impossible to put down. From the very first page, I knew this book was going to be beautiful, hard hitting, and that this would be the book to steal my soul. And I loved every second of it, no matter how many tears were shed.
These characters are impossible not to love, to get soft about, and they’re so diverse. From their home styles to what made them gravitate towards Ryann. Even Ryann herself is a character that’s impossible not to love. They’re all really endearing and they’re such complex characters with multiple layers. Even more so these characters would do anything for one another. Throughout this entire book we learn more pieces about each and every one of them. I would be lying if I said I didn’t want any novellas or want more books featuring these characters. I love found family tropes and I will forever be lured in by found family.
Speaking of family, the sibling bond between Ryann and James was just absolutely beautiful and I felt their sibling bond ten fold. Being an older sister to four siblings and being really close to my one brother, their sibling bond had me wrapped up in my emotions and feelings. I will always choose books with sibling relationships and this book does a fantastic job at portraying that sibling bond and relationship.
“Diversity is a flower that blooms with greater beauty and greater strength each time it is cross-pollinated.”
And before I go into anything else, I have to go off on a tangent about Mrs. Marsh. This is a long overdue part and the time has finally come to talk about how amazing this character is. Even though she is such a minor character in this book, she represents all the teachers out there who notice the students who are struggling, who are going through hard patches in their life, and take that extra time for those students. Her responses are absolutely delightful and I can’t even begin to express how hard I was sob laughing at the scene near the end of the book with Ryann and Mrs. Marsh. Though we don’t see much of her, she was a truly wonderful character to see in this book and I’m glad she was included.
Now let’s talk about romance. The romance in this book is absolutely stunning and such a slow burn too! The way Alexandria and Ryann fall in love with one another is so beautiful, like everything else in this book. I ached and I cried for these characters as they slowly came together and the way they love, it was absolutely everything. Watching them learn to come together and then to watch them let each other go, seeing them heal one another, and watching them give bits and pieces of themselves without even knowing they were; nothing was more beautiful or heartwrenching to read and experience, what a masterpiece.
And I have to talk about pinky promises! Pinky promises are such a minor thing in this book, but it holds so much weight. There’s such a serious tone that with each pinky promise you know someone is going to make good on it. It made my heart swell with pride and happiness because I am a firm believer of the pinky promise and I just loved seeing those exchanges with Alex and Ryann.
We also have another big love in this story between Alexandria’s mother and father in the transcripts. This was such a emotional move from the author. This romance comes fast and hits hard. God, I sobbed endlessly once I read through this part. I had to set the book down because it was so moving, so powerful, and something I never knew I wanted to read about until I read it. It was so brilliantly written and I don’t think I’ll ever get over that section.
Of course, if I didn’t say how much I loved the way space came into play with this book then I’d be lying. It’s another reason why I fell so madly in love with this book. Space is portrayed in a very mildly terrifying way in this book, but it’s also made wondrous. There’s such a peaceful calm, but also a great emptiness and loneliness. It opens the imagination to so many possibilities and the way Ancrum writes it, you can’t help feeling like there’s more out there, more worlds, more things to discover, and it really made me remember why I love the Mass Effect Trilogy so much.
I can’t say enough good and wonderful things about this book. I truly believe everyone can find something to love in this book whether it’s familial, romantic, self-love or found love, the idea of space, or just an emotional read; this book has everything and I think anyone who reads this will find something they can take away from it.
” ‘Cause the stars are beautiful, but I’d give them up for you just to see your face.”
Overall, I loved this book. I loved it so much, with every fiber of my soul. This is the first book I ever read by K. Ancrum and I’m so glad this was my first. I have fallen in love with her writing style, her characters, and the story she weaves for us. I laughed, I sobbed relentlessly, I laughed some more, and then I sobbed again. What a beautiful book, what lyrical writing, what a blessing K. Ancrum is!