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Hollow Stars


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The rebellious lead singer of a rock band starts experiencing mysterious blackouts and suspects sabotage in this psychological thriller.

The drunken blackout: we've probably all been there. Whether intentionally or not, you drink too much, lose time and memory, and have to ask about your behavior in the morning. But what if these kinds of blackouts happened even when you didn't consume any mind-altering substances? What if they happened whenever, wherever--completely outside of your control?

This is the terrifying situation plaguing Kennedy, the main character of Lauryn Dyan's psychological thriller Hollow Stars. Kennedy, an up-and-coming rock musician, is no stranger to blackouts. She's the lead singer of the band Tracing Stars, and her life on tour involves a hefty dose of alcohol, drugs, and partying. She's also hooking up with Rickly, an attractive blonde guy who plays in one of Tracing Stars' opening acts. When Rickly and Kennedy decide to take their relationship to the next level, they agree to tone down their rambunctious nights (in order to avoid jealous fights over drunken flirting with fans). There's only one problem: Kennedy keeps blacking out, even when she's sober. And she's pretty sure foul play is involved. Someone's trying to ruin her musical career.

Kennedy's blackouts and panicked behavior land her in a psychiatric institution, where she spends time trying to recall her lost memories and solve the mystery of what happened to her. Dyan's novel transitions back and forth between Kennedy's past memories and her time in the asylum, although all the sections are written in the first-person present-tense. This POV consistency across past and present timelines is a good way to indicate Kennedy's fragmented mindset, but it sometimes strains suspension of disbelief (would Kennedy really think in cliffhangers, in real time?). Despite this criticism, Dyan deftly manages the climactic scenes, when past and present literally collide.

Dyan is excellent at creating memorable characters, from Kennedy's best friend and band mate Sonny to Lita, a sympathetic woman with depression who Kennedy meets in the institution. She also has an ear for smart descriptive sentences, my favorite being this line about Kennedy's therapist Craig: "The tall string bean with the cul-de-sac head of gray hair." While some of the plot twists are predictable and over-the-top, Hollow Stars is always entertaining. Dyan takes the reader on a truly wild emotional ride, from fun performances and parties that sound amazing to horrific incidents of uncontrollable psychological and physical trauma. Your best bet is just to sit back, relax, and enjoy the music.

Reviewed by

Co-Founder of The Haint
Batavia Public Library Tech/Reference Assistant
Literary Agent Assistant at Barbara Braun Associates, Inc.
Personal Assistant to Marilyn Stasio at the NYTBR
Book Review Editor for KGB Bar Lit Mag
Business Manager of Columbia Journal
MFA in Fiction, Columbia U

About the author

Lauryn Dyan is a marketer by day, author and designer by evening, and black-eyeliner-wearing-mosher that loves to sing her lungs out at concerts by night. When not busy with real life, she is continually working on, or at least thinking about, her next great story that will keep you guessing. view profile

Published on June 10, 2019

Published by Solstice Publishing

90000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Thriller & Suspense

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