The Weight of the Stars by K. Ancrum
Ryann has a gift for connecting with troubled kids. When a new girl named Alexandria comes to her school, Ryann’s teacher tells her to befriend Alexandria. Their interactions are initially hostile, but after Alexandria breaks her arm due to an accident, Ryann works to make amends. She learns that Alexandria’s mom was one of a crew sent up to explore space for the duration of their lives. Every night, Alexandria sits on the roof to try to pick up signals from her mother. As Alexandria shares this passion with Ryann, the two grow closer and develop a friendship that turns into romance.
Queer, science fiction, contemporary
Ryann Bird dreams of traveling across the stars. But a career in space isn’t an option for a girl who lives in a trailer park on the wrong side of town. So Ryann becomes her circumstances and settles for acting out and skipping school to hang out with her delinquent friends.
One day she meets Alexandria: a furious loner who spurns Ryann’s offer of friendship. After a horrific accident leaves Alexandria with a broken arm, the two misfits are brought together despite themselves—and Ryann learns her secret: Alexandria’s mother is an astronaut who volunteered for a one-way trip to the edge of the solar system.
Every night without fail, Alexandria waits to catch radio signals from her mother. And its up to Ryann to lift her onto the roof day after day until the silence between them grows into friendship, and eventually something more . . .
The Weight of the Stars is a poetic story filled with deep appreciation and wonder for outer space. Most of it takes place on Earth in a contemporary setting, but the passion for the stars is laced throughout. While relatively short, it is packed with power.
It’s a story about adolescence and the struggles of working through it without adult support. Ryann lives in a trailer park and must shoulder the responsibility of caring for her brother and his son at an age when she herself still needs support. Her friends are labeled delinquents, yet when united they form a strong and bonded family willing to do anything to support each other.
It’s a powerful story of friendship and family, of how we can make it through extraordinary circumstances when people we love are with us. Filled with all the angst and emotion of adolescence, the main characters stumble but find their way to young adulthood.
A beautiful story infused with wonder for the stars which tells of the isolation people can feel, and the bonds that heal it.