Aster’s Good, Right Things
Published November 1, 2020
About Aster’s Good, Right Things
“I can’t let go of them – the good, right things—because if I do I’ll turn into a cloud and I’ll float away, and a storm will come and blow me to nothing.”
Eleven-year-old Aster attends a school for gifted kids, but she doesn’t think she’s special at all. If she was, her mother wouldn’t have left. Each day Aster must do a good, right thing—a challenge she sets herself, to make someone else’s life better. Nobody can know about her ‘things’, because then they won’t count. And if she doesn’t do them, she’s sure everything will go wrong. Then she meets Xavier. He has his own kind of special missions to make life better. When they do these missions together, Aster feels free, but if she stops doing her good, right things will everything fall apart?
The writing in this book is so, so amazing. Like, I felt like it just blew me away in some moments. It’s the perfect blend of poetic and frank and achingly good.
This is one of those stories that breaks your heart and fills you with hope. The fallout of Aster’s relationship with her mom– the hurtful words that cut Aster so deeply– was heartbreaking. Watching Aster navigate her hurt and learn how to reach out in spite of it, and because of it, was such a powerful thing to read, though. I loved the way she developed a community of friends around her. It was like watching a flower come into bloom.
I loved Aster’s relationship with the rabbit and its owner, Xavier. I loved the way she showed kindness to Indigo even when she didn’t deserve it, because she could see beneath her prickly, angry exterior.
It’s possible that this is one of those books that wraps things up a bit too neatly for some people to believe, but I felt like the ending was perfect for me at this moment. I needed hope. I need to believe that sometimes, even against the odds, things just come out right.
Recommended for Ages 8 to 12.
Major characters are white. Aster’s mother might be bipolar? It’s not diagnosed, but she appears to have depressive and manic periods. Aster and her friend have symptoms of depression. Aster’s aunt is a lesbian.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Aster’s mom says some really hurtful things to her.
Note: I received a free copy of ASTER’S GOOD, RIGHT THINGS in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support the costs of running this blog.