Alyzon Whitestarr

This is a review of the novel “Alyzon Whitestarr” by Isobelle Carmody.

Alyzon is an somewhat ordinary girl in a not-so-ordinary family. Her mother Zambia is an introspective artist, her father Macoll – a musician. Her sister Mirandah is obsessed with colours and her boyfriend Ricki. Her other sister Serenity wears black and prefers to be called Sybl. Jesse, her brother is kind-hearted, insightful and thrums with intensity. And her baby brother Luke is the embodiment of the love they all share for one another.

Alyzon suffers a severe blow to the head and is hospitalized. She falls into a coma for a month. When she wakes she is assailed by her senses which seem to have been painfully intensified by the accident. Every person she comes across gives off a distinct scent. This scent can change with worry, sadness or love. Alyzon finds it very overwhelming at first, and it takes her some time to recover to the point where she feels comfortable enough to return to school, where she will be surrounded by lots of people.

She returns to school. Her senses do overwhelm her at first, but she discovers that they provide her with an insight toward others and toward life. She becomes closer to her friend Gilly, and her school work becomes markedly better. However when she gets close to her crush, hottie Harlen, she is aghast to find that her senses find him to be utterly repulsive. Confused and curious as to why this should be, Alyzon sets out to discover the underlying cause.

She forms a fast friendship with Gilly’s circle of friends: Harrison, Raoul and Sarry. She also notices a darkness hanging over her sister Serenity. And Alyzon is suspicious as to why her Da suddenly attracts the interest of a mysterious music agent-like man called Aaron Rayc.

Can Alyzon figure out what the horrible smell of Harlen means? Can she discover what is wrong with her sister Serenity? Just who is this Aaron Rayc man? And what does he want?

I really enjoyed this novel. I love Isobelle Carmody, and “Alyzon Whitestarr” did not disappoint me. It is full of meaning, and is a novel that makes you think about the world in a deeper sense.

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