Title: In Sight of Stars
Author: Gae Polisner
Seventeen-year-old Klee’s life has changed immensely in the past year. He’s living in the suburbs. He’s in love with the volatile and free-spirited Sarah. And his beloved father, who taught him about art and explored New York City with him, is dead.
When life with his ice queen mother gets to be too much and an unexpected betrayal sends him over the edge, Klee ends up in the “Ape Can,” a psychiatric hospital for teens.
Klee must deal with his past if he’s ever to get back to his real life, but that means exploring the darkness and the secrets he doesn’t even know are there. Pushing people away has always been the easy way out, but Klee will have to learn to trust if he’s ever to heal.
In Sight of Stars alternates between the present, when Klee is hospitalized, and the past, events leading up to his breakdown. Klee is a fascinating character: he’s broken, but he longs for wholeness and belonging, despite the blows the world keeps raining on him. This is a look at mental illness from the inside, gazing at the hurt and confusion that ripped one boy’s life to shreds, and how he learns to knit those shreds back into something whole.
I enjoyed reading this, and loved learning the truth right along with Klee, as he searches for the meaning in his past, his present, and his future. There’s a little bit of Klee’s brokenness in all of us. And, hopefully, his strength as well.
(Galley provided by St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review.)