56 pages 1 hour read

Wendy Mass

Every Soul a Star

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2008

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Symbols & Motifs

The Ensemble Narrative

The Breakfast Club is a now-iconic 1980s coming-of-age movie in which five high school students from different walks of life get to know each other and forge unexpected friendships during a long Saturday in school detention. In the movie, there is no primary character, and none of the characters acts alone. Rather, their cooperation compels the action of the movie. Like that movie, Every Soul a Star is an ensemble narrative—that is, no one narrative or one narrator can entirely to tell the story.

Each main character speaks in a distinctive and identifiable style: Bree’s narrative voice is full of adolescent slang; Ally’s narrative voice reflects her experience of homeschooling, with sophisticated sentences and diction that is beyond the normal middle-school range; and Jack’s narrative voice is often stumbling, full of gaps that reflects his awkwardness and lack of social graces.

The narrative is told in short chapters, each from the perspective of Ally, Bree, or Jack. The narrative is not continuous and linear. Rather, new chapters will move back a bit before the ending of the previous chapter, and, from an entirely different perspective, the action of that chapter will be clarified.