"A binary star is a system containing two stars that orbit their common center of mass," proclaims the nameless narrator of this incandescent first novel. She's seriously anorexic, circling an alcoholic lover, and the pithy, streaming, verbally one-upping narrative recalls an extended road trip they took, where they try to help each other without much success. VERDICT Not your standard read, this book is recommended for anyone (including ambitious YAs) interested in an intense, spot-on investigation of destructive behavior and a damaged and damaging relationship. [Page 82]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews
A teacher in training struggles with anorexia and a troubled relationship in this fast-moving debut novel in verse by Gerard (author of the chapbook Things I Told My Mother). The unnamed narrator, who weighs 98 pounds at the story's outset, thinks about her hunger, fear, guilt, and personal disgust while reflecting on her tumultuous long-distance relationship with her alcoholic lover, John. She recalls the previous winter when she and John drove along the perimeter of the continental United States. The narrative follows the couple's journey northwest from John's apartment in Chicago, south down the Pacific coast, east across the South, and north alongside the Atlantic. As their respective compulsions grow increasingly out of control, their relationship begins to resemble a dying star. Gerard's spare and methodical prose mirrors the narrator's obsessiveness. Many passages read like concise notes taken at an astronomy lecture, and the narrator speeds through the events and dialogue of her road trip with John, listing details rather than describing them. The pages catalogue consumption: what characters eat and drink, what they read, what pills they take and how often. The cold distance of the protagonist's tone also complements the form of the book and its allusions to outer space. Gerard has produced a powerful, poetic, and widely relatable novel that eludes easy classification. (Jan.) [Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC
A portrait of young lovers, told from a nameless narrator's perspective, as they struggle with personal issues, explore veganarchism, and recount a trip around the perimeter of America.Review by Publisher Summary 2
*Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist.*A Best Book of 2015 —NPR, BuzzFeed,Vanity Fair, Flavorwire, Largehearted Boy"Rhythmic, hallucinatory, yet vivid as crystal. Gerard has channeled her trials and tribulations into a work of heightened reality, one that sings to the lonely gravity of the human body." —NPRThe language of the stars is the language of the body. Like a star, the anorexic burns fuel that isn't replenished; she is held together by her own gravity.With luminous, lyrical prose, Binary Star is an impassioned account of a young woman struggling with anorexia and her long-distance, alcoholic boyfriend. On a road-trip circumnavigating the United States, they stumble into a book on veganarchism, and believe they've found a direction.Binary Star is an intense, fast-moving saga of two young lovers and the culture that keeps them sick (or at least inundated with quick-fix solutions); a society that sells diet pills, sleeping pills, magazines that profile celebrities who lose weight or too much weight or put on weight, and books that pimp diet secrets or recipes for success."The particular genius of Binary Star is that out of such grim material in constructs beauty. It's like a novel-shaped poem about addiction, codependence and the relentlessness of the everyday, a kind of elegy of emptiness." —New York Times Book ReviewReview by Publisher Summary 3
An intense, elegiac portrait of young lovers as they battle personal afflictions, toy with veganarchism, and traverse the American countryside.