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The Art of Getting Stared At

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After a school video she produced goes viral, sixteen-year-old Sloane Kendrick is given a chance at a film school scholarship. She has less than two weeks to produce a second video, and she’s determined to do it. Unfortunately, she must work with Isaac Alexander, an irresponsible charmer with whom she shares an uneasy history. On the heels of this opportunity comes a horrif After a school video she produced goes viral, sixteen-year-old Sloane Kendrick is given a chance at a film school scholarship. She has less than two weeks to produce a second video, and she’s determined to do it. Unfortunately, she must work with Isaac Alexander, an irresponsible charmer with whom she shares an uneasy history. On the heels of this opportunity comes a horrifying discovery: a bald spot on her head. No bigger than a quarter, the patch shouldn't be there. Neither should the bald spots that follow. Horror gives way to devastation when Sloane is diagnosed with alopecia areata. The auto-immune disease has no cause, no cure, and no definitive outcome. The spots might grow over tomorrow or Sloane might become completely bald. No one knows. Determined to produce her video, hide her condition, and resist Isaac's easy charm, Sloane finds herself turning into the kind of person she has always mocked: someone obsessed with her looks. And just when she thinks things can't get any worse, Sloane is forced to make the most difficult decision of her life.


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After a school video she produced goes viral, sixteen-year-old Sloane Kendrick is given a chance at a film school scholarship. She has less than two weeks to produce a second video, and she’s determined to do it. Unfortunately, she must work with Isaac Alexander, an irresponsible charmer with whom she shares an uneasy history. On the heels of this opportunity comes a horrif After a school video she produced goes viral, sixteen-year-old Sloane Kendrick is given a chance at a film school scholarship. She has less than two weeks to produce a second video, and she’s determined to do it. Unfortunately, she must work with Isaac Alexander, an irresponsible charmer with whom she shares an uneasy history. On the heels of this opportunity comes a horrifying discovery: a bald spot on her head. No bigger than a quarter, the patch shouldn't be there. Neither should the bald spots that follow. Horror gives way to devastation when Sloane is diagnosed with alopecia areata. The auto-immune disease has no cause, no cure, and no definitive outcome. The spots might grow over tomorrow or Sloane might become completely bald. No one knows. Determined to produce her video, hide her condition, and resist Isaac's easy charm, Sloane finds herself turning into the kind of person she has always mocked: someone obsessed with her looks. And just when she thinks things can't get any worse, Sloane is forced to make the most difficult decision of her life.

30 review for The Art of Getting Stared At

  1. 5 out of 5

    Zoe Stewart (Zoe's All Booked)

    3.5/5 I loved the messages in this book, but I hated the main character for most of it. She treats some people like absolute shit for no reason except for the fact that her mother does it, so she does it too. They're both lovely people to everyone, but so judgemental when it comes to certain things. The MC has alopecia, which is sudden hair loss, either on the top of your head only, your entire face, or your entire body. There's a chance it will grow back, but it doesn't always happen. We find ou 3.5/5 I loved the messages in this book, but I hated the main character for most of it. She treats some people like absolute shit for no reason except for the fact that her mother does it, so she does it too. They're both lovely people to everyone, but so judgemental when it comes to certain things. The MC has alopecia, which is sudden hair loss, either on the top of your head only, your entire face, or your entire body. There's a chance it will grow back, but it doesn't always happen. We find out the extent of her hair loss as she does. The part I have an issue with is how she handles this. My fiancé had alopecia as a kid, just spots on his head that grew back eventually. I asked how he felt about it and what it was like for him, and he said pretty much what the main character was feeling - he was embarrassed and tried to hide it from most people. Key words - most people. Not everyone except his mom, like this MC did. She shut out everyone who cared about her because she thought they would be grossed out and judgemental because that's the way she would've reacted. She didn't tell her father for the same reason, someone who had shown her nothing but unconditional love. She didn't tell her best friend either because she's a hypochondriac, so she thought she'd be the most grossed out. (view spoiler)[ She turned out to be super supportive, and not grossed out at all. (hide spoiler)] A big part of this MC was her absolute refusal to make an effort to look decent. As long as her clothes were clean, she didn't care about anything else. Her mother had taught her that they were a family of smart people, not pretty people. Apparently, you can't do both. Who knew. Even worse, her mother taught her essentially to judge people who cared about their appearance. Honey, you don't need to put a full face of makeup on every day, but wearing clothes that actually fit your body does not make you conceited. Wanting to look nice by wearing makeup does not make you conceited. Judging everyone for not being exactly like you makes you an obnoxious asshole. Judging people for wanting to look nice while still being intelligent is a thing, and thinking it's not allowed makes you an obnoxious asshole. The worst of this is that (view spoiler)[ she absolutely refused to do anything to help her situation until the end, like wearing a wig and putting makeup on, because she was adamant about brains over beauty, and she didn't want to be seen as vain. Are you fucking kidding me? She's so worried about people judging her but won't do anything to hide her hair loss so people won't judge her. This hurts my brain. (hide spoiler)] Oh, and the worst part about this girl is how her mother went on a doctors without borders type trip earlier than expected for longer than expected. She left right after her daughter found out what was going on with her. The mom didn't plan this, but sometimes shit happens. The MC was so. pissed. at her mother for leaving on a trip that she couldn't cancel to actually go save lives. This girl's world was changing, sure, but she wasn't dying. She only wanted her mom to know, even though she could've just as easily told her dad and had him be there to support her. She tries to make her mom feel like shit about leaving to, once again, SAVE LIVES, because she's experiencing sudden hair loss. If this girl found out that she had something life-threatening, that would've been different. I'd want my mother there with me too. However, hair loss is not the same thing as finding out you're dying (even though she tries to say that alopecia isn't worse than cancer, but it's kinda worse because cancer is socially acceptable and hair loss for no reason isn't?) The annoying MC, her stupid ideas, and her judgmental mother aside, I did like this book. I liked the other characters, the writing style, and the general message it was trying to get across.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Giselle

    An Advanced Reader Copy was provided by the publisher for review. Quotes pulled from the ARC may be incorrect and may be subject to change. Sloane loves nothing but movies, making them, editing them and filming them. A documentary about shoes goes viral on the Internet and she gets noticed by a film school. Her teacher tells her to go for the scholarship that is being given but the deadline is tight, only a month away. With the help of her sexy classmate she tries to get her video done. But then An Advanced Reader Copy was provided by the publisher for review. Quotes pulled from the ARC may be incorrect and may be subject to change. Sloane loves nothing but movies, making them, editing them and filming them. A documentary about shoes goes viral on the Internet and she gets noticed by a film school. Her teacher tells her to go for the scholarship that is being given but the deadline is tight, only a month away. With the help of her sexy classmate she tries to get her video done. But then her hair starts to fall out in clumps and the worry and stress about how she looks like starts to get to her and she becomes a changed person. Will she realize there's more to life than just losing all her hair or will she also lose her ambition too? Sloane is one of those main characters that make you super frustrated. At first, she is driven and wants nothing but to go to film school. Then when she realized what her disease did to her hair, she became obsessed. And that obsession was with how she looked like, something I tried to understand. I felt that Laura Langston really had the voice of a teenager, one who whines and complains about her problems. I know those were her problems she tried to fix, but I really couldn't stand that she compared it to cancer. She gets to live and isn't sick at all. I wanted her to go through a huge character arc and realize how petty she's being. In the end, I kind of gave up on her changing her mind. One thing that I was dying to know was if she even got the scholarship. I was disappointed to learn that there was no conclusion to her hard work. A decent easy-to-read book with a disease that would feel like it's the worst possible thing to have. Langston writes with a true teenage voice, and I recommend it to anyone looking for a good contemporary read.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Larissa

    See this review at YA Midnight Reads I got this one unsolicited, so going into The Art of Getting Stared At I wasn’t sure what to except. I certainly hadn’t read anything before regarding autoimmune diseases and their effects in YA before, so this was a very enlightening and refreshing read for me. I had a lot of difficult mixed feelings towards the main character, and at first had a lot of trouble connecting with her. She felt pretentious at times and very judgmental, she was the type to conside See this review at YA Midnight Reads I got this one unsolicited, so going into The Art of Getting Stared At I wasn’t sure what to except. I certainly hadn’t read anything before regarding autoimmune diseases and their effects in YA before, so this was a very enlightening and refreshing read for me. I had a lot of difficult mixed feelings towards the main character, and at first had a lot of trouble connecting with her. She felt pretentious at times and very judgmental, she was the type to consider herself “above” those who cared about their looks. Sloane simply considered them superficial and would rather rely on her smarts. She was even judgmental to her own best friend, who would try to make Sloane care the slightest about her looks. Which you know, may be important if you ever went to a job interview or such. Wow, you don’t wear make-up. Doesn’t that make so much more better of a person than me?? You’re truly a special snowflake. Though Sloane initially grated on my nerves, as I went on in the novel I began to enjoy her narration. Sloane definitely went through HUGE character development regarding how she viewed beauty and her judgmental ways. I found her journey to be realistic, as it was based on her autoimmune disease. Once Sloane started loosing her hair she reacted in a way that I found to be quite relatable, as I personally wouldn’t be perfectly fine to loose my hair. She started to care about her looks and realized that they held a larger influence on her life than she thought. Sloane began to understand why people wore make-up, why people cared about beauty. She also understands that caring about how you look doesn’t make you any less of a person. Sloane learns about inner and outer beauty. I actually began to sympathize with this character who I once hated as she started loosing not only her hair, but her eyebrows. I think some would think that autoimmune diseases like Sloane has are nothing compared to others. While this may be true objectively, this novel paints the picture that we shouldn’t compare two completely different ideals. It demonstrates that human nature has let us become people who are reason “well somebody out there has it worse.” There’s something seriously flawed with this mindset and I’m glad this book brought it to light. Through Sloane’s emotional ups and downs you see that this disease brings its own set of trials that you have to overcome. I feel like Sloane’s character development and realization of her mistakes is best summed up in these quotes: I’ve been so worried about others’ judgments that I’ve paid no attention to my own and Appearance is superficial but beauty goes deep. Beauty is the way we live our life, how we dress, even how we do our jobs. Beauty is a art. And with so much ugliness in the world, beauty is never wrong. Beauty is doing the best we can with whatever situation we find ourselves in. There were also parental relationships present in The Art of Getting Stared At. The most remarkable one would be between Sloane and her stepmother, Kim. This relationship was decidedly negative at first, with Kim representing everything Sloane hated regarding beauty and appeared superficial. There was excellent relationship development between Kim and Sloane though, and it was interesting to me how the relationship developed and changed throughout the novel. Both Sloane and Kim certainly had different world views, but dealing with these differences is what made the parent relationship seem so realistic. In real life there’s certainly cases where kids think differently about the world than their parents, and this definitely raises conflict. I’m glad to say that The Art of Getting Stared At tackled this issue in a way that felt organic and true to the characters. I recently did a post that mentioned YA tropes, and of course we see another common YA trope in The Art of Getting Stared At. It’s in the form of the character Breanne, who undergoes absolutely zero character development. She’s the walking epitome of the mean girl trope. There’s no rhyme or reason to her hatred of the main character, it just exists. Breanne just floats through this novel, degrading Sloane and stealing her boyfriend. I wish we had gotten to see another side of Breanne, something about her backstory or history that has made her the way she is. There’s something that YA novels don’t understand, and that people aren’t mean for no reason. As humans we have a reason for our actions, especially if habitual, and it’s not just based on personality. I didn’t mind the romance in this one, I was glad that it didn’t take over the story. It wasn’t insta-love at all, and even at the end of the story you just begin to see the beginning of a romance start to flesh out. I enjoyed the love interest and his personality. It wasn’t overbearing and I found him to be quite sweet. There was a scene at the very end that really showed his true character and it definitely made me smile. There was an undeniable chemistry between Sloane and the love interest, they were drawn to each other and I thought we could really see that through their interactions. I don’t really have much to say on the romance just because it wasn’t the focus of the story. This story was more of one of self-discovery and perseverance through tough times. I’m glad that romance didn’t take over the plot or the story really would have felt inauthentic. Overall I would recommend The Art Of Getting Stared At for those looking a tale of self discovery with loads of character development and strong parental relationships. ~Thank you Penguin Canada for the review copy~

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    Rating: 2/5 ***Minor spoilers*** It has always been Sloane's dream to go to film school, but her parents don't really support her decision. When a video for her film class goes viral on YouTube, she catches the attention of Clear Eye, a film school, who will allow her to apply for a scholarship. Sloane is ecstatic at the opportunity. All she has to do is produce another video within a couple weeks, while working with Isaac, a relentless flirt. Everything is looking up for Sloane - until she notice Rating: 2/5 ***Minor spoilers*** It has always been Sloane's dream to go to film school, but her parents don't really support her decision. When a video for her film class goes viral on YouTube, she catches the attention of Clear Eye, a film school, who will allow her to apply for a scholarship. Sloane is ecstatic at the opportunity. All she has to do is produce another video within a couple weeks, while working with Isaac, a relentless flirt. Everything is looking up for Sloane - until she notices two bald spots on her head. Not long after, she notices increased hair loss. After visiting a specialist, she learns that she has alopecia - an autoimmune disease that may cause her to go bald. With more and more hair coming out everyday, she struggles to hide what's happening to her while producing a video for her scholarship application. This was another book I had to read for a book club at school. Unfortunately I haven't had much luck with any of them so far. I was actually feeling okay about this one, but all of the characters were so judgemental. Sloane doesn't care much about her appearance so much that she criticizes those who wear makeup and try to look attractive, which is their own preference. Her mother is the same. Kim, Sloane's stepmother, comes off as someone who cares so much about appearance that she criticizes anyone who doesn't meet her standard of beauty. Even Sloane's step-sister is the same. It seemed like there was nobody accepting in this book except for one person. I can't tell if everyone was so stuck up just to make that one person appear angelic, but if so, I think it would've been better to have more open characters. There was a bit of a romance in this. It was a slow burn, with a bit of wariness from Sloane because of her hair loss. She worries a lot that she doesn't appear attractive. Sloane's mind was a bit all over the place in this book - she always stressed that appearances don't matter but she's extremely self conscious throughout so much of the book. She's a bit of a hypocrite, in my opinion. I know she was going through a tough time but she wasn't living by her own words at all. At least Isaac showed her that appearances aren't everything - I feel like he was the only character who truly thought so. The other characters in this book grew in this department as well, but it never really got to a tolerable level. Overall, the story for this book wasn't awful, but I would've preferred for the characters to be less judgemental and hypocritical. I didn't like Sloane that much as a character. I know she was going through something I can't really understand, but she still irritated me. I also don't really like the ending, because (view spoiler)[ I wanted to know what ended up happening with the video, but it only ended with her and Isaac officially getting together. (hide spoiler)] I wouldn't recommend this for anyone who values good, likeable characters in their novels.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Humaira

    A-freakin-amazing!! Such a sweet and emotional story!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    Laura Langston’s Young Adult novel, The Art of Getting Stared At, is an edgy story that resonates. Langston skillfully and fluidly brings the reader into the mind and world of a sixteen-year-old girl, Sloane Kendrick, who is dealing with the usual high school turbulence: self-esteem issues, cliquey groups, and decisions that shape who she is becoming as she navigates her way through adolescence. The language and dialogue is current and universal. Young adults who read this book will instantly ma Laura Langston’s Young Adult novel, The Art of Getting Stared At, is an edgy story that resonates. Langston skillfully and fluidly brings the reader into the mind and world of a sixteen-year-old girl, Sloane Kendrick, who is dealing with the usual high school turbulence: self-esteem issues, cliquey groups, and decisions that shape who she is becoming as she navigates her way through adolescence. The language and dialogue is current and universal. Young adults who read this book will instantly make the connection; while adults will be transported back in time, remembering their awkward, flippant, cocky, confused, vulnerable, brooding selves. Sloane is trying to reconcile many facets of her life – a broken home, blended family, social hierarchy, a recent break up – and her own feelings about the struggle between being perceived as smart and strong-minded rather than beautiful and shallow. She observes the extremes and contradictions in her world. What is real beauty? What truly matters? What is superficial and phony? In the midst of receiving a dream opportunity to showcase her love for creating films, and possibly land a scholarship to film school, she is thrown yet another curve ball. Her health is in question, and the disease she is grappling with overthrows her previous perception of vanity and confidence. The Art of Getting Stared At is an emotional, courageous journey about embracing your true self and discovering what is most important and solid in life. It is also a story about striving to realize your dreams in the face of adversity. The writing is strong, evocative, vivid and intelligent, and strikes a deep emotional chord for anyone who has faced any kind of challenge and struggled with uncertainty; a wonderful, engaging read with a crucial message about finding your center, letting others in, and openly looking at the world and surrounding people with fresh eyes. http://gvpl.ca/five-questions-with-la... http://www.victoriabookprizes.ca/news...

  7. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    Okay, so I received this book as part of a giveaway and it would be the least I could do then to write a review. Not only that, but this book DESERVES a review. I was skeptical at first, this being more of a YA book, and so I expected more of a fluffy read with not much substance. Boy, was I wrong! The protagonist of the story is very likeable and you immediately relate to her. There was great character development, which is not always the case with young adult novels. I honestly hope this book Okay, so I received this book as part of a giveaway and it would be the least I could do then to write a review. Not only that, but this book DESERVES a review. I was skeptical at first, this being more of a YA book, and so I expected more of a fluffy read with not much substance. Boy, was I wrong! The protagonist of the story is very likeable and you immediately relate to her. There was great character development, which is not always the case with young adult novels. I honestly hope this book gets the attention it so deserves. Especially among young girls who have to bare the burden of a society which judges every aspect of their appearance. This could be very eye-opening for them. Oh, and did I mention there's a great love interest in this book too? Perfect for the young adult, but really it's great for anyone of any age. Good job, Laura Langston!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Chapter by Chapter

    The Art of Getting Stared At by Laura Langston opened up my eyes to an autoimmune disease that I had little to no knowledge about, alopecia areata. I can’t even begin to understand what sixteen year old main character, Sloane is going through…especially as a teenager where image is such a huge issue, as well as feeling accepted. Sloane seems to be on the right track in pursuing her dreams in the film industry. After a short video about shoes goes totally viral (with hundreds of thousands of views The Art of Getting Stared At by Laura Langston opened up my eyes to an autoimmune disease that I had little to no knowledge about, alopecia areata. I can’t even begin to understand what sixteen year old main character, Sloane is going through…especially as a teenager where image is such a huge issue, as well as feeling accepted. Sloane seems to be on the right track in pursuing her dreams in the film industry. After a short video about shoes goes totally viral (with hundreds of thousands of views), Sloane is given the chance to submit another video as an audition for a film school scholarship. Unfortunately, her teacher has partnered her up with Isaac Alexander (aka The Voice) to work with her on this project. Sloane and Isaac have worked together in the past, and her impression of him as a project partner is definitely lacking. Just as things are picking up for Sloane, she finds a couple of bald spots on her head. Sloane knows this isn’t normal and thankfully, her mother is a doctor. After meeting with a couple of specialists, it’s obvious to all that she has alopecia. With this huge project on her shoulders, and the fact that she needs to appear on camera, Sloane does whatever it takes to hide the effects of this disease from everyone at school, including her best friend. But secrets have a way of creeping up to the surface, and Sloane is faced with the realization that life has thrown her this huge curve ball, and sometimes love and support comes from the most unsuspecting people. There were parts of this book that I really enjoyed. Watching Sloane come to grips with alopecia, watching the relationship between Sloane and Isaac develop, watching the relationship between Sloane and her stopmother evolve, and how secrets from different characters come to light. What really bothered me about this story was the lack of presence from Sloane’s mother. I understand that she’s a doctor, and that she had made a commitment to travel to third world countries to help out, but come on…your daughter just found out that she has this terrible disease and in all reality, needs her mother! If it were me, I would drop everything and be there for my daughter and help her through this difficult time. I know that it was being shown that Sloane is a strong individual who can handle this, but still. Thank goodness for her father and stepmother. I did enjoy that the author had built up the love/hate relationship between Sloane and her stepmother. I understood what Sloane was going through, and I couldn’t understand why the stepmother was pushing Sloane to wear make-up and dress different. It wasn’t until further along in the book where you get the “Ohhh I see” moment, and appreciate what it was that she was doing for Sloane. I will admit that I wasn’t sure how I felt about Isaac, and whether or not he was just playing Sloane so that he could get the credits he needed by helping her out with this project. But as the story progressed, I couldn’t help but find Isaac completely endearing and a totally crushable character. I would recommend this read to teens everywhere. Not only to become aware of alopecia, but to read a story where looks are not everything, and that no matter what, things will be okay in the end…and to just laugh.

  9. 4 out of 5

    S.A.

    Before I start my review I wanted to say something to my teenage self. I will admit that I was very body conscious when I was in high school and I will admit that it has not fully gone away. I have always been somewhat overweight and I have been teased because of it. But in high school it was not as overt as it was earlier on. I walked around in very baggy clothes to hide the body underneath and if I had a chance to say something to that girl that was hiding behind concert t-shirts and baggy jea Before I start my review I wanted to say something to my teenage self. I will admit that I was very body conscious when I was in high school and I will admit that it has not fully gone away. I have always been somewhat overweight and I have been teased because of it. But in high school it was not as overt as it was earlier on. I walked around in very baggy clothes to hide the body underneath and if I had a chance to say something to that girl that was hiding behind concert t-shirts and baggy jeans I would say "It gets easier." I won't say that it goes away because I don't think that is possible but it gets so much better. I mean f you would have told me back then that I would be the first of my friends to get married, I would have laughed in your face because getting a boyfriend was something I never thought would happen back then. So yes, it gets so much better. The Art of Getting Stared at is a book that grabbed me right from the beginning and never let me go. I honestly don't know if I can put into words what this book did to me. But I will try. The portrayal of high school life was bang on, granted I haven't BEEN in high school for about 7 years, from what I remember, this book showed it. And having a main character like Sloane was perfect because she was normal, or what I would call normal. She was obsessed with film and film making and I loved that about her. I loved that she had a passion and she would have done anything to follow her dreams. This was something that i miss in YA because something its all about not being able to follow your dream, but for Sloane there was no other choice. She had to do it. The relationships in this novel were just as important as Sloane's perception of herself because it were these people were what made Sloane realize that the person on the inside was more important than what you see on the outside. Isaac I think was my favorite character in regards to his relationship with Sloane because he was the reason for her growth. Their relationship felt so real and yet the pace of it was extremely slow. I never thought I would say I loved the slow building of their love but I did. I think if it was any other way it would have taken away from the overall story of the book and the overall message of its not what is perceived but others, but what you perceive yourself to be. The Alopecia was a very big part of this novel because it was taking over Sloane's life and the way she perceived herself. And I think the author did an amazing job of capturing how panicked a person would be if they were told that they would go bald, especially when they are in an environment that is so focused on looks and perception. Sloane's reaction to all of this broke my heart because I felt for her. I knew while reading that I would have probably felt the exact same way and I honestly don't know if, in the end, I would have been as strong as she was. It was amazing to read a main character with so much growth because it is very rare in today's worlds that a character learns to love herself enough to look in the mirror and not see the person she was, but the person she is today. Overall The Art of Getting Stared At was a very emotional read and one I think all teenagers need to read because its message is so important and one i wish would be in all YA books. Please pick up this book because it needs to be read, it will change you because it change me after I finished it, and it begs to be read and it deserves all the praise in the world.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    Huge thank you to Razorbill Canada for this ARC! 4.5 This is a difficult novel to read, and one I think many may have to be in the right mindset for. I think The Art of Getting Stared At is a rich story that deals with illness and body image, and does it in such a way that it’s easy to relate to, but also something to reflect on. When Sloane is diagnosed with alopecia, she becomes what she hates. Sloane is someone who didn't care about appearances or body image, but with her new circumstances, she Huge thank you to Razorbill Canada for this ARC! 4.5 This is a difficult novel to read, and one I think many may have to be in the right mindset for. I think The Art of Getting Stared At is a rich story that deals with illness and body image, and does it in such a way that it’s easy to relate to, but also something to reflect on. When Sloane is diagnosed with alopecia, she becomes what she hates. Sloane is someone who didn't care about appearances or body image, but with her new circumstances, she becomes completely self-concious of the world around her. Sloane is an easy character to relate to — the discomfort that people are judging you, the fear of eyes all over you, it’s no wonder a lot of her personality takes such a drastic shift from the beginning of the novel. She’s very imperfect as well, and I think that is what I enjoyed most about her characterization: she judges others only to learn that if you judge others, expect to be judged in return. Seriously, a lot of this book is about her transformation and character development. Sloane is not an approachable narrator, but she’s one that if you stick with, you learn a surprising amount from. Sloane also has to fight with her diseases and the world around her, so it was amazing to watch her grow and transform. I did think Breanne was an odd character in the story. She is so mean and yet I don’t see what her point or deal was. Likewise, I was fine with the romance in this novel, but I didn't entirely care for Isaac initially. Towards the end though, his character really grew on me and I could see the genuine care he had for Sloane and her project. The parental relationships were really done well in this story, and I had an insane amount of sympathy for Sloane’s step-mother, Kim. More than I thought I would because her characterization is someone who if I met them in real life, they’d probably drive me crazy. Still, the development between Sloane and Kim and how they finally connect together was perfect. The Art of Getting Stared At is a fantastic look at body image, relationships, and the emotionally struggle of physical change. It’s a very thoughtful read and one that stays engaging throughout. This book is worth checking out if you’re interested in stories that deal with illness and overcoming personal struggles. I loved reading this book and despite some of my few complaints, I think it’s such an important story, and one that takes an overdone topic and makes it quite refreshing to read about.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jay

    This is another young adult contemporary that tackles meaningful issues while at the same time keeping the themes that make contemporary YA novels so loved (at least by me). In this novel, Sloane is a junior in high school and loved making films. Her dream is to go to film school. The book opens up with Sloane getting the chance to film another video; the first having gone viral and captured the attention of a sponsor that wanted her to enter a competition for a film school scholarship. Sloane i This is another young adult contemporary that tackles meaningful issues while at the same time keeping the themes that make contemporary YA novels so loved (at least by me). In this novel, Sloane is a junior in high school and loved making films. Her dream is to go to film school. The book opens up with Sloane getting the chance to film another video; the first having gone viral and captured the attention of a sponsor that wanted her to enter a competition for a film school scholarship. Sloane is so excited and takes the offer, the catch though is that she has to work with Isaac, who she’s always thought was cocky and apparently has bad history with. This is when the main complication of the novel is introduced… Sloane finds out bald round patches on her head and starts freaking out. It turns out she has a hair loss disease. Sloane has always taken pride in not caring about her appearance or what people think of her, especially since her stepmother cares too much about it (she’s a makeup artist). So now, it is full on freak out mode about her appearance and what would people think about her. I felt really sympathetic towards Sloane. It’s one thing to wear whatever you want by choice, it is another thing to lose all your hair with no choice. The internal struggle was so heartbreaking. This goes to show that every disease is heartbreaking and no one should undermine anyone’s struggles. I’ve seen many people always going to the “at least you don’t have cancer” statement. I don’t think people diagnosed with any ‘lesser’ disease take comfort in that. Sloane has a great best friend and even Isaac is a much-needed support system. I really enjoyed Sloane’s voice, even though she was stubborn and kept this secret for such a long time. I acknowledged her struggles and I especially loved her dynamic relationship with her stepmother. I assumed she would be the typical evil stepmom but I was completely wrong. This reminded me that the books I read would always be subjective for one person, the main protagonist. It reminded me that I shouldn’t rush and judge people without really knowing them and seeing the story from their eyes. Overall I really enjoyed The Art of Getting Stared At and I hope more books like it will keep on getting written.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tess

    So I got this book through Goodreads First reads. Sloane has just been given an amazing opportunity to win a film school scholarship. She does unfortunately have to work on her next video with Isaac a serial flirt who in her opinion is incapable of actually being any help. The Sloane finds that she has bald spots, that aren't normal and are growing. She is diagnosed with alopecia an autoimmune disease that has no clear cause or effective treatment. Her spots might grow, remain there for the rest So I got this book through Goodreads First reads. Sloane has just been given an amazing opportunity to win a film school scholarship. She does unfortunately have to work on her next video with Isaac a serial flirt who in her opinion is incapable of actually being any help. The Sloane finds that she has bald spots, that aren't normal and are growing. She is diagnosed with alopecia an autoimmune disease that has no clear cause or effective treatment. Her spots might grow, remain there for the rest of her life or grow over tomorrow. She has no way of knowing and in the shock of this hair loss Sloane changes she becomes fixated on her looks something that she never was before. She fears that those around her will discover her illness and that she will be judged, she judges herself. I like the story and let me just say when Sloane first got her diagnosis I was prepared to hate her for her irrational behaviour, this is a girl who reads to sick kids and she's freaking out about hair loss when she could have any number of more horrifying diseases instead. I wanted to shake her and tell her to get her priorities straight, but I didn't. I found that as horrified as I was by her sudden fixation, I was just as scared of what the other characters would do and say if they found out. I also loved her hypochondriac best friend Lexi, Lexi's attitude around Sloane reminds me of my mother's opinions on how you should dress nicely and wear a little makeup. The stepmother Kim is an interesting character because I found that I judged her almost exactly as Sloane judged her and I like the development of that relationship. A final point for goodness sakes what is wrong with the people who write the back cover of books?! It says "But when her condition is revealed publicly..." and I found myself waiting for that to happen, I kept on thinking as I went through "oh it'll happen now... or now... or now..." and it happened very close to the end of the book. I would have preferred for that not to have been mentioned before I started reading. It made me try and evaluate each person she encountered wondering if they would cause that event and when.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    "The Art of Getting Stared At" is not without charm, and Laura Langston brings visibility to a non-health threatening condition (alopecia arealis or universalis) that is devastating to those who are unfortunate enough to suffer from it. At adolescence, when appearance and peer approval is everything, Sloane Kendrick discovers that she is rapidly losing her hair, and two specialists confirm that she will likely lose all of it including body hair and eyebrows and eyelashes. At first Sloane is dete "The Art of Getting Stared At" is not without charm, and Laura Langston brings visibility to a non-health threatening condition (alopecia arealis or universalis) that is devastating to those who are unfortunate enough to suffer from it. At adolescence, when appearance and peer approval is everything, Sloane Kendrick discovers that she is rapidly losing her hair, and two specialists confirm that she will likely lose all of it including body hair and eyebrows and eyelashes. At first Sloane is determined to keep her condition a secret, but grows in the realization that this is impossible. This is where the book slides - it is almost like the author has a tick box of 21st century angst to check off and get Sloane through - trendy name, hypochondriac best friend with an internet obsession with medical sites, mother who is a physician volunteer in Africa, pilot father, a make-up artist step-mother, a film project involving a flash-mob and approved absence from school, problem solving over expensive lattes, a romantic interest who is non-caucasian. And the list could go on - if the condition of alopecia was not a reality, the book could be written off as "teenager suffers from first world problems". Dialogue is often trite and too much information about trivial detail drags down what could be an interesting story - particularly if the lead character had been a young adult without all the financial, medical, and personal resources that Sloane has access to. Despite all of the above, the book has momentum and both the characters and story have appeal.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    I received this book as a Goodreads FirstReads giveaway. This book was a very well-written look at a young girl dealing with a disease that is not fatal, but still feels like her life as she knows it is ending. I enjoyed going on Sloane's journey from her discovery of her first symptoms, to the rather open-ended conclusion. While the ending was happy, it did leave a lot of loose ends, and in this particular case it didn't bother me, because a story like this shouldn't have a hard and fast ending. I received this book as a Goodreads FirstReads giveaway. This book was a very well-written look at a young girl dealing with a disease that is not fatal, but still feels like her life as she knows it is ending. I enjoyed going on Sloane's journey from her discovery of her first symptoms, to the rather open-ended conclusion. While the ending was happy, it did leave a lot of loose ends, and in this particular case it didn't bother me, because a story like this shouldn't have a hard and fast ending. There were moments where I felt frustrated because of the melodrama that Sloane occasionally exhibited, but then I remembered that she is a teenager and the reactions that she had felt very genuine. As someone who is living with a disease that is also not fatal, but very visible and often judged, I can understand what it would have felt like had this affected me in my teenage years. I guess the only thing that drags this down to a 4-star book for me, is that I felt that all of the characters except for Sloane ended up feeling flat. They were not as fully developed as I would have liked and the character developments that do happen are very sudden and then quickly forgotten. It meant that I couldn't really care what was happening in any of her relationships, because I only really saw one side of it.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Breanna

    I received 'The Art of Getting Stared At' by Laura Langston from Goodreads giveaway. From the moment I started this book I couldn't put it down! Sloane Kendrick loves film and when she gets a chance to apply for a film school scholarship she is beyond excited. This is until she finds out she has to work with Issac Alexander,(school flirt). On top of everything Sloane is diagnosed with alopecia areata. In order to produce a video for the school scholarship she must find a way to cope with her hai I received 'The Art of Getting Stared At' by Laura Langston from Goodreads giveaway. From the moment I started this book I couldn't put it down! Sloane Kendrick loves film and when she gets a chance to apply for a film school scholarship she is beyond excited. This is until she finds out she has to work with Issac Alexander,(school flirt). On top of everything Sloane is diagnosed with alopecia areata. In order to produce a video for the school scholarship she must find a way to cope with her hair falling out and deal with Issac. When I first read the back cover about the book, I wasn't sure it would be for me or that I would enjoy it. Was I wrong! This book was touching and really made me think about life in the bigger scheme of things. I loved Sloane as a character and found myself being wrapped up in her world. If you get a chance to read this I would highly recommend it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Chantelle

    Thanks to Goodreads First Reads for this book. I found this book hard to put down. It's an excellent story with rich characters who develop over the course of the book. Although it could be uncomfortable for some readers who may not be familiar with every day life with illness and the obstacles which come along with that. It is a book that anyone could enjoy and perhaps gain some wisdom and perspective from it. Thanks to Goodreads First Reads for this book. I found this book hard to put down. It's an excellent story with rich characters who develop over the course of the book. Although it could be uncomfortable for some readers who may not be familiar with every day life with illness and the obstacles which come along with that. It is a book that anyone could enjoy and perhaps gain some wisdom and perspective from it.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Brianna

    Well I just read this quote and I cannot even believe this. She said and I quote "honestly cancer would be better. At least I could get chemo. And people would understand. Who understands baldness?" This is not okay. I understand she's a teenager in highschool and she'll probably be getting judgement from her peers but this quote made me so angry. if she had had cancer she'd be wishing for alopecia instead. I have a lot of issues with this book I would not recommend it to anyone Well I just read this quote and I cannot even believe this. She said and I quote "honestly cancer would be better. At least I could get chemo. And people would understand. Who understands baldness?" This is not okay. I understand she's a teenager in highschool and she'll probably be getting judgement from her peers but this quote made me so angry. if she had had cancer she'd be wishing for alopecia instead. I have a lot of issues with this book I would not recommend it to anyone

  18. 4 out of 5

    Manda

    “But there is no escaping the truth. I am losing my hair. I will become bald. I can try to hide it but I cannot escape it. People will, inevitably, find out. Many already know. Many find it funny.” The reality of anything is terrifying. In theory, everything is easy. Kind of like the first time you think about cutting your hair. The idea of it is great! You think, ‘I’ll look like a new person. I’ll look older!” How fascinating that our hair can add years or erase years on our appearance. How “But there is no escaping the truth. I am losing my hair. I will become bald. I can try to hide it but I cannot escape it. People will, inevitably, find out. Many already know. Many find it funny.” The reality of anything is terrifying. In theory, everything is easy. Kind of like the first time you think about cutting your hair. The idea of it is great! You think, ‘I’ll look like a new person. I’ll look older!” How fascinating that our hair can add years or erase years on our appearance. How fascinating that our hair gives us this new-found confidence, but what happens when we don’t have a choice. When our body goes against us and strand by strand or chunk by chunk your hair starts to fall out? Maybe you’d think, ‘I shouldn’t be so vain about my hair.’ But the reality of it is that when we lose something we’ve had for so long, it’s a strange feeling. If your haircut turns out the wrong way, you’ll be self-conscience, afraid of what other people will think. And it’s true! These little things we take for granted in life are the things that frighten us the most when they are gone. Laura Langston writes about this situation in The Art of Getting Stared At. Sloane Kendrick just had a video go viral, which soon leads to an available film school scholarship. A dream come true until she discovers her first bald spot. It’s small, maybe unseen to the natural eye, but then more and more spots start to appear. But Sloane has always been a carefree kind of girl. Why should this bother her? Nothing ever has. She’s worn the same dirty combat boots day after day even if people make comments about them. Even worse, her step-mother only cares about appearance. She’s a makeup artist who constantly picks on Sloane for her outfits. Not to mention, when she starts to wear a hat to cover the patches on her head, she even nit-picks on that. “Until I started losing my hair, I thought I was confident. More than confident. In a lot of ways, I felt I was better than other people… But it was a false confidence. I was judging others and finding them wanting so I could cover my own fear of not measuring up.” Aside from being into film and mapping out her success to the scholarship, Sloane also volunteers at the hospital. She hands out cookies and reads to sick children, and she’s especially fond of one patient named Jade who is going through chemotherapy. As Sloane loses her hair, Jade is a character who grows weaker and weaker. It’s these things we take for granted: what’s worse to lose a life or hair? Either way, it’s not fair what happens to people in life, and this book is a reminder of how terrible things can happen in life, but they can also be the most important lessons we learn. Another character, Issac or famously known as the voice, is loved by everyone. He’s a DJ and in commercials, but he’s also helping Sloane with her video project. Sloane mostly sees him as a flirt, but sooner or later comes to realize that he’s not just flirting with her. He genuinely likes being around her and when he learns of what is happening to her, he softens the blow of how terrible she feels. When he gives her clips he filmed for the project he includes an extra clip. A video of Sloane, smiling and laughing, doing regular things. “It is the real me, seen through his eyes. The bigger, fuller, wider me. Hot, salty tears drip down my face, pooling in the V of my T-shirt. A sob catches at the back of my throat. And I am beautiful.” In the culmination of our lives, we realize how we are worth more than our hair, our image, or all the things that worry us. Of course, we will always be afraid of things, but when we look back on our lives, we won’t be thinking about these frivolous things. I’m glad I found this book because it can really make you step outside little nuisances of life and think about more important things that can really alter our lives.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Shay

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. There were a lot of things I really liked about this story. For one, I liked how Sloane's thoughts and reactions were realistic, she may come off irritating or too winey but I feel like if I were in her position I would be thinking the exact same things and would have the exact same insecurities. I liked Kim's character but thought her 'good deeds' were a little too over the top. Suddenly Sloane has all these revelations and is told her stepmother is actually not a bimbo-airhead-makeup artist bu There were a lot of things I really liked about this story. For one, I liked how Sloane's thoughts and reactions were realistic, she may come off irritating or too winey but I feel like if I were in her position I would be thinking the exact same things and would have the exact same insecurities. I liked Kim's character but thought her 'good deeds' were a little too over the top. Suddenly Sloane has all these revelations and is told her stepmother is actually not a bimbo-airhead-makeup artist but actually this major philanthropist that gets beat up by crazy boyfriends with vendettas against covering up bruises?? I think that whole part could've been left out and Kim would've been just as likeable and Sloane could've still come to the conclusion that her somewhat-shallow stepmother is actually a good person. Because it is possible to be shallow and a good person at the same time, one trait doesn't discount the other. Another irritating thing about this story is the high school cliches. I don't know about all the schools out there but are kids REALLY that mean that they would blatantly laugh and make fun of somebody with a visible disease/condition? Also, what was with the whole 'drama geeks' and 'jocks'... not all high schools have cliques that are so clearly distinguishable. Overall, the high school dynamic could've been more believable. Something I really liked about this story, however, was that Sloane realizes that her mother is judgemental and doesn't know EVERYTHING. I feel like every young woman comes to the realization that her mother isn't Miss Perfect and doesn't always know everything. I liked that Sloane had that moment and was able to disqualify her mother's protests against her eyebrow tattoos. I also liked that Ella reacted like a typical ten-year-old girl when she found out that Sloane had alopecia. Her character was solid. On the other hand, I was a little weary of Isaac's character. Sloane is cheated on by her ex-boyfriend but so openly falls for a guy that flirts with every female with a pulse? If I were her I'd be cautious of making the same mistake twice. I mean, he even kisses another girl at the club in front of her! His antics were a little too suspicious. Overall, I liked this story. I liked the focus on Sloane's insecurities suffering the disease and coping through it. I liked her relationship with her best friend. I also liked how the story made wearing makeup and caring about your appearance okay. Too many books out there try to dismiss the importance of one's physical appearance, but at the end of the day people care about how they look and they might pretend like they're 'better' than that but something like alopecia could strike and show them just how wrong they are. There's nothing wrong with caring about your appearance so long as you maintain your confidence and sense of self-worth.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rachael Arsenault

    This book managed to scrape three stars. The message it tried to get across was often muddled and struggled to effectively make its point, and the point it ultimately reached didn't really feel like it justified the amount of drama that went into it. As far as I can tell, the book was trying to prove that beauty and intelligence/depth of characters aren't mutually exclusive and that it's okay to care about how you look - but also that you shouldn't care too much about how you look, at least as f This book managed to scrape three stars. The message it tried to get across was often muddled and struggled to effectively make its point, and the point it ultimately reached didn't really feel like it justified the amount of drama that went into it. As far as I can tell, the book was trying to prove that beauty and intelligence/depth of characters aren't mutually exclusive and that it's okay to care about how you look - but also that you shouldn't care too much about how you look, at least as far as other people's opinions of you are concerned. But the book is kind of inconsistent about this moral. While it's eventually demonstrated that Kim isn't as shallow or cruel as Sloane believed, no such revelation is ever made about Breanne and the "Bathroom Brigade". Part of Breanne's villification is certainly because she's petty, cruel, and convinced Sloane's boyfriend to cheat on her, but Sloane's actual focus when painting Breanne negatively throughout the narration is on Breanne's appearance. She's blonde, she wears too much makeup, and she has big breasts. This is translated into viewing Breanne as a slut, primarily for her body type and fashion choices. I'm absolutely sick of seeing girls treated this way in books. It's lazy, it's shallow, and it's hurtful. This book also makes some very strange choices. Why include Jade's story when there's no resolution? Is it simply so Sloane can lament that she wishes she had cancer because people would understand it better than alopecia and not judge her? Another issue is that there's no resolution about the video project and whether Sloane gets the scholarship to Clear Eye. That was a huge part of her character motivation and we never learn if she achieved her goal. Overall, the book fell flat. I enjoyed some elements of the writing itself - aside from a few editing errors and transition issues, the writing was tight and the characters mostly felt very natural and vivid. I can appreciate the message the book was trying to communicate, even if it fumbled. Ultimately, this is a book that squandered its potential and ended up rather disappointing.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin

    The overall message of the story is meaningful but the characters ruined the story. Sloane, the main character, was a hard POV to be in. She’s judgemental, rude, mean, and thinks she’s so much better than everyone. By the end of the story she obviously has a change of heart but at that point I didn’t care about her. She’s so against everything. She’s obsessed about how people will think of her with her bald patches and yet all she does is slap on a hat. If I were her and I wanted to avoid looking The overall message of the story is meaningful but the characters ruined the story. Sloane, the main character, was a hard POV to be in. She’s judgemental, rude, mean, and thinks she’s so much better than everyone. By the end of the story she obviously has a change of heart but at that point I didn’t care about her. She’s so against everything. She’s obsessed about how people will think of her with her bald patches and yet all she does is slap on a hat. If I were her and I wanted to avoid looking anything but normal, I would have opted for a wig. I mean, don’t they make realistic wigs???? It was also really annoying how she thought that her condition was an emergency. I understand where she’s coming from. I’d freak out if I had her condition. But there are so many ways to maintain a normal lifestyle and she doesn’t choose to do anything but cry and complain and push people away. The supporting characters were kind of 2D. They didn’t have much substance and realness in the story. I wanted more of a reaction from her best friend. I mean for frig’s sakes, Sloane was hiding it for weeks and she doesn’t get upset that Sloane wouldn’t depend on her in time of need???? I also don’t like the love interest, Isaac. He was there for convenience. He had a whole year to approach her and apologize for their past (if you can even call it that) and yet conveniently, he gives their project his all this time to apologize. He’s portrayed as a flirt and I don’t understand how Sloane can accept that. He says: “I might flirt with all the girls but you’re the one I want.” I mean wtf???? Anyway, the end was also really abrupt and I wanted more closure between Sloane and her mom and stuff. I can guess that it’s a happy ending but still. I think if there were another 100 pages I would have been happier.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kori

    I thought I really didn't like this book at first. The more I read it, the more I just wanted to shake the main character and tell her that she was being a hypocrite and annoying. Although, when I was telling my boyfriend about this book when he asked me about it, despite Sloane being a major annoyance, I understood her. Sitting now, I am a 26 year old woman and I can tell you that if I lost all the hair on my body (I wouldn't mind about the actual body body hair), I would freak out and start to I thought I really didn't like this book at first. The more I read it, the more I just wanted to shake the main character and tell her that she was being a hypocrite and annoying. Although, when I was telling my boyfriend about this book when he asked me about it, despite Sloane being a major annoyance, I understood her. Sitting now, I am a 26 year old woman and I can tell you that if I lost all the hair on my body (I wouldn't mind about the actual body body hair), I would freak out and start to feel ugly and like my life is over too. And to put myself at 16 and have that happen?! It simply wouldn't fly. Granted there are a ton of things I would be able to do to help, i.e. wigs, brow tattoos - like she did in the book; I definitely would have gone through the phases of grief that she did. The character development was there. It took her forever to get there and I think she made 10000 wrong turns before she got to acceptance, but what teenager doesn't? It taught a really valuable lesson on beauty, self acceptance, how we see those with illnesses/disabilities, and even the judgement we pass on other people.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Belinda

    Teen-angst is explored in this book from a health persepctive but also from a family perspective. The main character explores not only her own identity, but grapples with her perspective of others as well. A great quick read, I finished it in one go. For more reviews (and some videos too!), check out my Facebook page BELINDA'S BOOK CLUB VLOG. Teen-angst is explored in this book from a health persepctive but also from a family perspective. The main character explores not only her own identity, but grapples with her perspective of others as well. A great quick read, I finished it in one go. For more reviews (and some videos too!), check out my Facebook page BELINDA'S BOOK CLUB VLOG.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    I really wanted to like this book. The main character, Sloane, was so whiny. I know she had medical issues, but it could have been handled better. I really liked Issac as a character and wish he had been in it more.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Chanel Rice

    The last four pages of this book really made it good. If the ending hadn't been like that I wouldn't have liked it I don't think The last four pages of this book really made it good. If the ending hadn't been like that I wouldn't have liked it I don't think

  26. 5 out of 5

    Aafreen

    It's amazing, being there through her journey! Made a single tear fall down my cheek at the end! It's amazing, being there through her journey! Made a single tear fall down my cheek at the end!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kierstyn Putnoky

    Nothing like an unnecessary romance to kill what could have been a decent story.

  28. 4 out of 5

    nazahah

    Yikes. But also sort of maybe kinda relatable??

  29. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Giroux-Pare

    The ending came too fast. Needed more content. Not really a cliffhanger; just abrupt.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Adriyanna Zimmermann

    I was immediately drawn into The Art of Getting Stared At by Laura Langston. The plot and character development are superb! I’m a huge fantasy/sci-fi reader, so on the rare occasion I do read contemporary it has to really stand out. I usually love contemporary reads selected for the Forest of Reading awards and I’m glad Langston’s novel lives up to that reputation. There’s a lot of conflict thrown Sloane’s way and her growth as an individual is outstanding. Character development is huge in this n I was immediately drawn into The Art of Getting Stared At by Laura Langston. The plot and character development are superb! I’m a huge fantasy/sci-fi reader, so on the rare occasion I do read contemporary it has to really stand out. I usually love contemporary reads selected for the Forest of Reading awards and I’m glad Langston’s novel lives up to that reputation. There’s a lot of conflict thrown Sloane’s way and her growth as an individual is outstanding. Character development is huge in this novel and Langston makes sure to include various literary conflict. The protagonist, Sloane Kendrick is a very relatable character because she presents herself as a confident person while deep down inside battling with how people see her. She also battles with the idea of being pretty versus being smart. For years, she’s believed you can only be either or and lives with the decision of ‘smart’. Sloane’s mother believes you should be true with oneself while Sloane’s stepmother, Kim thinks Sloane should value looks. This leads to a lot of issues between the two, and Sloane has felt for the longest time Kim is trying to fix her. Sloane’s image of Kim is someone without substance, she only cares about being pretty and wearing make-up. The more I read, the more Sloane started to realize maybe there’s more to Kim than her pre-conceived image, and more importantly maybe Sloane can be pretty and smart. When I first started reading Kim’s portrayal as a vain individual, I was really hoping for character development like this. In my opinion, you can’t send an image like this to a reader and not further examine it. Langston is a genius at creating situations where the reader learns more about her characters, and where her characters learn more about each other. Sloane is a huge film nerd and I found that aspect of her personality very believable. I love when Langston introduces these little details, like Sloane observing a scene and thinking it’d make a great film shot. I don’t know much about film or have a lot of interest in it, but I do love art and photography so I’m always thinking about how that scene would make a great photo, or I wish I had a camera because that lighting is perfect, etc. In the novel, Sloane is diagnosed with alopecia areata, a disease where the immune system attacks the hair follicles, causing hair loss and I found this combined with her passion for film a very compelling element. While Sloane prefers producing film versus starring in it, she still has to engage with multiple people. All of a sudden Sloane is struggling with being seen and how she’s seen. Before the novel started, a film Sloane produced for a film class was uploaded onto Youtube and gained 600,000 views in under 24 hours. This catches the eye of Sloane’s top film school and she’s encouraged to apply for a scholarship. She has less than three weeks to create a second film and needs to work with Isaac Alexander, someone she doesn’t have the greatest relationship with. Both get to know each other and realize there’s more to the other person than previously thought. I did expect romance between the two, but it’s like that slow burn romance where both don’t realize they like each other until closer to the end. Isaac is more openly flirtatious and while Sloane gives off false confidence when he says things like “you’re beautiful”, inside she wonders how can anyone like her in that way. This conflict of Sloane versus self is huge here. As Sloane is coming to terms with her disease, the support system she wants most, her mother is away volunteering in Sudan [doctor]. Trying to hold in her frustration with Kim generates a lot of emotion. Every time this secret, that Sloane is losing her hair, is made known to another person and another, I felt her anxiety and fear. When a book creates such a great emotional response in the reader that makes a contemporary read so impressive to me. I was totally and completely in Sloane’s head and even though I know this isn’t real, I was upset for Sloane and felt her uncertainty of what the future holds. Langston is truly an exceptional writer and reading this book was like watching a film, the emotions of her characters is so well-done. I recommend this to both the contemporary and non-contemporary reader. The Art of Getting Stared At lives up to the reputation of the Forest of Reading program and most importantly, encourages me to continue participating in these programs [White Pine selection]. Langston ends her book with a lasting impression on the reader.

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