Stargazing for Beginners reviewed by Tara

Meg dreams of going into space. She has her course to become an astronaut carefully charted and has already started to learn Russian in preparation. Her next step is to win the Reach for the Stars competition which will guarantee her a trip to Houston Space Centre. All Meg needs to do is overcome her fear of public speaking so she can deliver a talk on what space means to her.

The mission plan becomes more complicated when Meg’s mum spontaneously jumps on a plane to Myanmar to volunteer with an aid agency for two weeks. Meg is left in charge of her little sister, who she has never made any real effort to bond with. Despite a lack of experience or interest in babies, Meg figures if she can pull a computer apart and put it back together again she can get a toddler to sleep. Chaos follows as Meg struggles to get to school on time, experiences her first detention and attempts to keep pace with her main competitor, Ed King, while attempting to hide her mum’s disappearance from everyone.

Stargazing for Beginners is an enjoyable book suitable for teens and young adults. The story slowly builds over the first few chapters to become an absorbing tale. The characters are authentic, interesting, and diverse. I really enjoyed the way the characters are introduced through Meg’s strong viewpoint and, as the story progresses, unexpected facets of each character are revealed.

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