After The Prince and the Dressmaker I have been trying to read all of Wang’s previous and forthcoming work. And Stargazing is a touching middle grade about friendship and fitting in.
Moon is everything Christine isn’t. She’s confident, impulsive, artistic . . . and though they both grew up in the same Chinese-American suburb, Moon is somehow unlike anyone Christine has ever known.
When Moon’s family moves in next door to Christine’s, Moon goes from unlikely friend to best friend―maybe even the perfect friend. The girls share their favorite music videos, paint their toenails when Christine’s strict parents aren’t around, and make plans to enter the school talent show together. Moon even tells Christine her deepest secret: that she sometimes has visions of celestial beings who speak to her from the stars. Who reassure her that earth isn’t where she really belongs.
But when they’re least expecting it, catastrophe strikes. After relying on Moon for everything, can Christine find it in herself to be the friend Moon needs
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
Stargazing is a touching middle grade graphic novel about new experiences, not feeling Asian enough, and friendship. It’s a story about making mistakes, feeling so utterly alone, and trying to make up for hurting those we care about. I could deeply empathize with both Christine and Moon, but Moon’s story touched me the most emotionally.
Growing up adopted, I always got the sense I wasn’t “Asian” enough. I didn’t feel the pressure to be perfect as much as Christine struggles with, but Moon’s feelings of not fitting in resonated with me. Feeling like there are spaces we don’t belong in, conversations we don’t understand, and things we can never relate to. It has the same charming illustration as The Prince and the Dressmaker, although with less dresses, and presents a contemporary story about growing up and navigating the pressures and expectations.
Stargazing is one of those stories that has the potential to touch you deeply – about trying to fit in, finding friends, and our feelings of loneliness. I would have appreciated finding this middle grade graphic novel as a child. It’s about friendship and growing pains, if our bonds and experiences are enough to hold us together.