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Jan 23, 2021IndyPL_ChaseM rated this title 4 out of 5 stars
Set in 1986, “The Prettiest Star” by Carter Sickels tells the story of a young man dying of AIDS who returns to his childhood home in a small Ohio town for the last moments of his life. The story borrows heavily from an infamous episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” where Oprah visited a community that had made national news when an AIDS afflicted man had swam in the town’s public pool. It’s a brutal episode to watch as the man faces the anger and fear of a town filled with ignorance and no compassion. (This episode can be found online, and I recommend watching it after reading this book.) This fictional account is a heartbreaking tale told from the perspectives of the young man, Brian, his mother, and his little sister. These characters feel real as they reveal their weaknesses, prejudices, and eventually growth. Even though this book tells a story about a disease we’ve grown to understand better, it still holds relevant in today’s current atmosphere as we once again face a different type of pandemic where misinformation, paranoia, and loss are prevalent.