Book Review : Star in the Middle by Carol Larese Millward


Star in the Middle

Product Details
  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: WestSide Books; 1st edition (October 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934813133
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934813133
  • Available at Amazon :: Barnes & Noble :: The Book Depository

At 16, Star's life has changed drastically now that she's become the mother of a baby boy. To learn what's best for him, Star's taking parenting classes at a center for teen moms. But she's having trouble keeping up with the baby's demands, and her grandmother is threatening to force her to put the baby up for adoption. To top it off, Wilson, a popular star athlete, is in denial about being the father. He doesn't know about Star's terrible, painful secrets. But as Wilson's friends and family push him to accept his responsibility, he learns the truth about Star's disturbing past, facts that change his life forever. Told from Star's and Wilson's points-of-view, Star in the Middle reveals a compelling snap-shot of the difficult lives of teenage parents.
Star In The Middle is a story about a girl named Star who gave birth to a son as a result of teen sex. She named her son Wil after his father. She faced a lot of difficulties in caring for the child's needs and planning her own future, which seems bleak so far. And her boyfriend, the one who impregnated her is running away from his responsibilities as a father. He convinced himself that the child was not his and was doubtful about his maturity and ability to be a father when he still called his mother "mummy".

This novel portrays the hardships of a single mother, the aftermath of unprotected teen sex and how this social issue is ruining teenagers' lives. The entire story is told from Star's and Wilson's (Star's boyfriend) alternating perspectives. Even though I tried my best to understand the characters' respective voices, I didn't manage to successfully connect with any of them. I failed to 'feel' the novel. I think the author's writing can be further improved with a little more emotion and descriptive words. There's not much going on, until the last part of the story where Star's dark secret originating from her childhood trauma starts to bubble up the surface.

When Wilson learned about why Star had been acting so strangely, he tried to locate the one who caused her so much sadness and heartbreak. His actions were rash and irrational. I think this is where the story starts to appear not logical. The climax came and went hurriedly and easily, and this gave me an impression of a messy ending. Still, I won't say I disliked this book, for there are some parts where I really enjoyed reading. I observed the author's creativity in writing and her good sense of humour. She also managed to surprise me sometimes, such as how Star's best friend --- Elizabeth, reacts to Wilson's denial (not acknowledging his son).

To sum up, this book offers readers a glimpse of what will happen if we do something without thinking the consequences. If you wish to have a child, please make sure that you are financially able to support his/her life, and that you are properly married. A kid who is born out of wedlock will be look down by others. Sorry, I'm blabbering again, isn't it?

Pros: Original, amusing scenes, interesting climax.
Cons: First half is plain, messy ending.


This book contains teen sex and pregnancy, as well as one of the main character's dark past. Suitable for older teens only. Parental guidance recommended for younger teens.

Thanks to Carol for sending me a signed hardcover copy of this book! :) have always been a writer -- journaling, even as a child, was my way of getting to know myself and those around me. I think the most important thing that journaling taught me was to be patient. I have had the privilege of working with many wonderful children and young adults in my life. I found that it's children that bring out the best in me -- I love their spirit and their determination.

I have been married for forty years and have two wonderful children. They are both married to spouses that I would have chosen for them -- had they asked! Then there are the grandchildren -- six of them!

Carol Larese Millward

1 creative remarks:

Kimberly Franklin said...

Thanks for the review. I've never heard of this one before, but I'll be sure to check it out now! :)