As senior year draws to a close and college looms, Andrew finds himself very much alone. He’s lost his two best friends to a car crash, and his parents are more distracted than ever following his football star brother’s return. Andrew is left with nothing but his obsessive crush on Laura, the prettiest girl in school. But as he begins spending more time with Laura and her fundamentalist Christian youth group, he starts to question everything he’d once held true.
Debut author Pratima Cranse’s gentle treatment of a huge array of characters—from flirty to bookish, from deeply religious to sexually confused—paints a vibrant and familiar picture of a teenage social scene. Despite the large cast, Cranse treats every supporting character with equal respect, building complex personal histories that make each one as compelling and relatable as the protagonist.
And as for Andrew, the author deftly captures his frenzied attempts to navigate one upheaval after another during a summer that would be climactic under the most normal circumstances. Without his best friends by his side, Andrew’s desperation for community and belonging leaves him vulnerable to new experiences. As he begins to shed the assumptions he’d always held of Laura’s clique and see these kids in a new light, he can’t help but see himself differently, too. Cranse’s portrayal of Andrew’s struggle is sometimes heartbreaking, often wryly funny and ultimately very compassionate and true.
All the Constellations is a novel not to miss, and Cranse is a voice to watch.