Summary and book reviews of All the Major Constellations by Pratima Cranse

All the Major Constellations

by Pratima Cranse

All the Major Constellations by Pratima Cranse X
All the Major Constellations by Pratima Cranse
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  • Published:
    Nov 2015, 336 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez

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Book Summary

When you're about to face the world, who do you turn to?

Andrew is leaving high school behind and looking ahead to a fresh start at college and distance from his not-so-secret infatuation: Laura Lettel. But when a terrible accident leaves him without the companionship of his two best friends, Andrew is cast adrift and alone—until Laura unexpectedly offers him comfort, friendship, and the support of a youth group of true believers, fundamentalist Christians with problems and secrets of their own. Andrew is curiously drawn to their consuming beliefs, but why? Is it only to get closer to Laura? And is Laura genuinely interested in Andrew, or is she just trying to convert him?

This provocative and compelling debut novel will resonate deeply with readers as it explores questions of identity, sexuality, and spirituality. 

Excerpt
All The Major Constellations

THE LIGHTS WERE DIM in the windows of Laura's house. She'd told him to come over at eight. He wondered if her par¬ents had gone out and if they were going to be alone. Then he remembered that Laura had lots of little brothers and sisters. She had older siblings too, who were at college or out of the country. Andrew couldn't keep track of her family—in fact, he'd never really tried. All he knew was that none of them were attractive. Laura was a genetic miracle among them.

As he drew closer to the house he saw that several cars were parked outside on the street. He could hear voices and the sound of laughter. Someone was strumming a guitar. Andrew stopped, rolled his eyes, and gazed heavenward.

"Really?" he said to the sky. There was nothing Andrew hated so much as an acoustic guitar-led sing-along, a rather inconvenient dislike if you grew up in Vermont. He realized even before he rang the doorbell that this was some ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Pratima Cranse's excellent book went with me to lunch, to the doctor's office, to the kitchen counter as I prepared dinner; its pages spattered with everything from coffee to marinara sauce. Part of it was being able to so easily slip into the indelible memories of a certain phase of adolescence. The rest was being able to pick up on themes that give 17-year-old Andrew Genter's life a point of view I hadn't thought about before. And isn't it the best thing in the world when you suddenly see something through completely different eyes?   (Reviewed by Donna Chavez).

Full Review (772 words).

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Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Cranse's compassionate debut astutely conveys the joys, heartaches, and angst of coming-of-age.

Kirkus Reviews
Starred Review. Easygoing Vermonter Andrew discovers the complexities of spirituality and sexuality in this heartfelt debut ... Readers will cheer him on as he makes a path to find his answers. A stellar voice to watch.

Author Blurb Diane Les Becquets, author of Breaking Wild and the award-winning Season of Ice
With a voice that is fresh, unique, and wry, Pratima Cranse, in her compelling debut, All the Major Constellations, captures the sexual frustrations, angst, and heartache of a young man on the brink of college. You will pull for Andrew to the end. This is a novel you won’t put down.

Author Blurb Sam J. Miller, author of The Art of Starving
Pratima Cranse's writing is wise, funny, provocative, beautiful, and heartbreaking. So are her characters. So is this book.

Reader Reviews

Hhh

Worst book ever
It had no direction, and I believe that the writer was trying too hard to make the readers feel certain emotions.

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Beyond the Book

The "Normal" Kid in the Family

In All the Major Constellations, Andrew, the 17-year-old protagonist, throws himself into his summer job as a laborer when his life becomes unmanageable. The heavy outdoor work where he toils alongside grown men becomes a safe refuge of physical exertion.

One day, over bag lunches, he unloads the sum of all his current problems – a dying friend, unrequited love, spiritual ennui, a bullying boorish brother, his mom not loving him, and more – on an adult co-worker. "I'm sorry I told you all of those things," he says. The man, named Cheeve, reassures him that sometimes it's easier to tell things like that to a virtual stranger. After admitting that he can't help Andrew with any of it he says, "I doubt that bit about your mom ...

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