In Sight of Stars: A Novel, by Gae Polisner
Seventeen-year-old Klee’s father was the center of his life. He introduced Klee to the great museums of New York City and the important artists on their walls, he told him stories made of myths and magic. Until his death.
Now, forced to live in the suburbs with his mom, Klee can’t help but feel he’s lost all the identifying parts of himself―his beloved father, weekly trips to the MoMA, and the thrumming energy of New York City. That is until he meets wild and free Sarah in art class, with her quick smiles and jokes about his “brooding.” Suddenly it seems as if she’s the only thing that makes him happy. But when an act of betrayal sends him reeling, Klee lands in what is bitingly referred to as the “Ape Can,” a psychiatric hospital for teens in Northhollow.
While there, he undergoes intensive therapy and goes back over the pieces of his life to find out what was real, what wasn’t, and whether he can stand on his own feet again. Told in alternating timelines, leading up to the event that gets him committed and working towards getting back out, Gae Polisner’s In Sight of Stars is a gorgeous novel told in minimalist strokes to maximal effect, about what makes us fall apart and how we can put ourselves back together again.
“An intense, sometimes graphic, totally heartbreaking portrait of a character who will keep pages turning.” - Booklist, Starred Review
"In Sight of Stars deals with mental health, Vincent Van Gogh, family and recovery; all told in some of the most beautiful prose you will probably ever read. As far as I'm concerned, [this novel] is the equivalent to “Starry Night Over the Rhone,” making Gae Polisner the Vincent Van Gogh of young adult fiction." - Teen Reads
"In the vein of Ned Vizzini's It's Kind of a Funny Story, Polisner's short novel destigmatizes mental illness, emphasizing that everyone needs a little help sometimes. Readers will laugh, cry, and ache alongside Klee as they follow his recover. In a sea of recent contemporary novels about teens with mental illnesses, this one stands out for its strong writing, likable protagonist, and overwhelmingly positive messages." - School Library Journal
"An unapologetic and wry story about a teen finding his way out of a personal crisis." - Kirkus Reviews