The Stars In Her Eyes

Fiction - Short Story/Novela
112 Pages
Reviewed on 08/18/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Isabel comes from England, but lives in Switzerland with her parents and her brother. She works with children, which she adores, but she also loves to write; especially in the genres of fantasy, poetry and romance. She uses experiences and images as inspiration to create words. Isabel also loves to express herself by drawing.

When she’s not writing you can find her on Twitter at @IzzyS97 or instagram at @Isabelscheck97.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite

The Stars In Her Eyes by Isabel Scheck is a novella about the evolution of the relationship between two individuals, one who is so enamored by and in love with a young teenaged woman (or girl, as she is often referred to) that they equate her with and describe her as a shining star. The story is told in an entirely poetic format, delivered in lilting stanzas in the first person and always from the point of view of the one who adores the star. As the relationship appears to grow closer—at least in the eyes of the narrator—the frailty of his lover is slowly, steadily exposed, hinting at the diminishing brilliance of the star. Throughout, the narrator-protagonist remains true even as the people who surround the couple question their roles since it's clear the pairing will likely come to a tragic end.

The Stars In Her Eyes is absolutely gorgeous, with Isabel Scheck delivering a masterful story that could not have possibly been told with the same beauty in a traditionally formatted style. The build-up between the couple, from its love-at-first-swing origins and the subsequent development—its meteoric rise as the girl, the star, herself begins to fall—does well in allowing the reader to foretell (to a certain extent) what is to come. In the case of this book, less genuinely is more, and the lightness of its word count does nothing but increase the depth of the tale itself. The closing, which features an additional reason for the star being called as she is, is a bit of a twist that solidifies a sad but lovely story as a bright and shining piece of work.

Romuald Dzemo

The Stars in Her Eyes is a tragic story in a poetic style, a story you can read in less than an hour. It is poignant and emotionally rich. The story is about “her”, the girl with the brightest stars in her eyes, beloved of the narrator. The light in her starts at 100% and ebbs through each decreasing percentage, through each page, while the young lover watches helplessly, unable to rescue her. Yet as he watches her pick up the note he leaves in her locker, a smile on her lips, he feels like heaven. But he undergoes great suffering, as the cracks appear in her soul, cracks caused by bullies, by those who tell her that she is not a star. He will watch life ebb from her until sadness kills her. He sobs as she is cremated, his Stella, who couldn’t truly be happy with him.

This is a beautiful poem, a story of a young man who loves a girl so passionately. The style is very simple, mimicking the naïve, yet engrossing voice of the narrator. The poem is broken into short stanzas, each page a moment of the story, each page capturing an emotion, each page marking a decrease in Stella’s color. The poetry is beautiful and the imagery captivating, and the author succeeds in portraying the languor in a fragile heart and illustrates with vivid images and emotion what bullying can do to a young soul.

The Stars in Her Eyes is a story that will inspire young readers to learn to be sensitive and to treat their peers with respect. This is a very inspiring tale with well-crafted imagery that reaches readers' hearts. It is not surprising that the author of this book enjoys working with children for she captures emotions with the skill of a professional, allowing humanity to shine through the poetic narrative.

Peggy Jo Wipf

The Stars in Her Eyes is a unique work that will completely surprise you with the depth of feeling, description, and soul within its simple verses. Isabel Scheck paints a picture of a boy in love and the sadness of being bullied that sucked the life out of his girlfriend, Stella. He compares her to the heavenly stars, and the joy he gets just watching her fills him. He slowly watches her spirit die as she surrenders her self-confidence to depression and the mean girls in her school. Regretfully, it isn't until the damage has taken its toll that the girls regret their actions.

I found Isabel Scheck to be a powerful author with a rare voice that young people can relate to. The Stars in Her Eyes is a strong message about suicide and the one left behind. The question was asked that is seldom voiced, but always felt: "Why wasn't I enough for you?" Isabel Scheck documents the thoughts of this young man and the helplessness he felt as he watched his universe turn inside out. Isabel Scheck captured the emotions like a screen shot in verse, allowing the reader to relate to their relationship in joy, sadness, anger, fear, and hope. Hope that this young man won't complete her cycle. I also felt this author can relate to and wishes to prevent someone else from committing this act. Plus, this novella puts into words what someone may be experiencing but be unable to express themselves. The most important implication would be that the one who is left behind is affected the most.

Asher Syed

The Stars In Her Eyes is a short story written by Isabel Scheck. The narrative of the novella is a free form poem from start to finish with most pages having three to five stanzas in a variety of lines (and a variety of syllables within those lines). Scheck is still able to make the free form sound metered and, in doing so, the flow of the whole short story is evenly measured while still being succinct. This is to the reader's benefit as the underlying theme deals with depression and bullying, with love and an element of co-dependency at the forefront. The narrator is a teen in his youth that has a relationship with a girl he equates to a star (in the sky, but also occasionally in the context of being popular or famous). The girlfriend is beaten and bullied at school and the boyfriend is helpless to stop it, offering his heart and unconditional love even as his girlfriend struggles as a result.

The Stars In Her Eyes is an extremely timely and relevant story in an era where teen suicide is at the highest (recorded) rate in history. The girlfriend (the star) seems to have everything; beauty and intelligence, and a boyfriend who is deeply devoted to her. So devoted, in fact, that at times it is clear he is willing to sacrifice anything to please her. I read Isabel Scheck's novella as something of a modern-day version of The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. The lines are well composed and simple, and I will be passing this on to my teen daughter in the hope that it will be just the book needed to get her interested in poetry. Highly recommended.

Astrid Iustulin

The Stars in Her Eyes by Isabel Scheck is a collection of short poems telling the story of a beautiful girl from her boyfriend’s point of view. In plain language, the young man recalls the radiant beauty of his girlfriend, dimmed by the moral and physical abuse of some jealous girls. Little by little, the stars in the girl’s eyes fade away forever. Written without pretension and with honesty, The Stars in Her Eyes is a love story as well as a cross-section of our (at times) merciless society. It reveals the affection and powerlessness of the young man and points out some important issues.

The comparison of the girl’s eyes to the stars is not unusual, but Scheck’s The Stars in Her Eyes is remarkable for its original development. First of all, the use of percentage at the beginning of each poem is very impactful. Starting with brightness and stars at 100%, they slowly arrive at 0%, when there is no joy or beauty left. Seeing the percentage go down is distressing, considering what is connected to it. Second (and more importantly), the story of this unlucky girl reminds me of other similar episodes. It happens more and more often nowadays that young people find it impossible to be happy or cannot be happy anymore because of physical abuse. The Stars in Her Eyes gives an accurate picture of a part of our society. I recommend this book to teenagers and young adults because it invites reflection on contemporary themes in a simple, direct way.