Monday, April 18, 2016

Rules for Stealing Stars by Corey Ann Haydu

Silly's family has recently moved to a house where they used to vacation.  Silly is the youngest of four sisters and is often left out but this summer she feels it more than ever when her two oldest siblings disappear for hours a time in their room and come back seeming to have secrets.  With their mother going through a bad spell again, Silly needs companions and eventually convinces her sisters to include her.  It turns out they have discovered that their closet  allows them to travel into the world of the dioramas they are creating.  It is exactly the sort of escape all the girls need from their alcoholic mother and their father who is in denial about the whole thing.  But one of the sisters is relying on the other world more than she should and is using the bad closet that could have dire consequences if they don't all work together to deal with their confusing world.  

Are you confused by that description?  I read the book and I'm not sure I get it all.  In particular, is the book fantasy?  Magical realism?  What exactly happened?  I liked the depiction of the chaotic alcoholic home and the girls' desire to escape by whatever means necessary.  And I was okay with the bit of fantasy in a mostly realistic book, although I wasn't sure if what was happening in the closets was really happening or if it was just a coping mechanism by the sisters.  But then the closets took over the story and things got weird.  So I'm left with a reaction of "Huh?" and feeling that it was just too weird for my taste.

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