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The Great Unknowable End

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Slater, Kansas is a small town where not much seems to happen. Stella dreams of being a space engineer. After Stella's mom dies by suicide and her brother runs off to Red Sun, the local hippie commune, Stella is forced to bring her dreams down to Earth to care for her sister Jill. Galliard has only ever known life inside Red Sun. There, people accept his tics, his Tourette's Slater, Kansas is a small town where not much seems to happen. Stella dreams of being a space engineer. After Stella's mom dies by suicide and her brother runs off to Red Sun, the local hippie commune, Stella is forced to bring her dreams down to Earth to care for her sister Jill. Galliard has only ever known life inside Red Sun. There, people accept his tics, his Tourette's. But when he’s denied Red Sun's resident artist role he believed he was destined for, he starts to imagine a life beyond the gates of the compound... The day Stella and Galliard meet, there is something in the air in their small town. Literally. So begins weeks of pink lightning, blood red rain, unexplained storms... And a countdown clock appears mysteriously above the town hall. With time ticking down to some great, unknowable end they’ll each have to make a choice. If this is really the end of the world, who do they want to be when they face it?


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Slater, Kansas is a small town where not much seems to happen. Stella dreams of being a space engineer. After Stella's mom dies by suicide and her brother runs off to Red Sun, the local hippie commune, Stella is forced to bring her dreams down to Earth to care for her sister Jill. Galliard has only ever known life inside Red Sun. There, people accept his tics, his Tourette's Slater, Kansas is a small town where not much seems to happen. Stella dreams of being a space engineer. After Stella's mom dies by suicide and her brother runs off to Red Sun, the local hippie commune, Stella is forced to bring her dreams down to Earth to care for her sister Jill. Galliard has only ever known life inside Red Sun. There, people accept his tics, his Tourette's. But when he’s denied Red Sun's resident artist role he believed he was destined for, he starts to imagine a life beyond the gates of the compound... The day Stella and Galliard meet, there is something in the air in their small town. Literally. So begins weeks of pink lightning, blood red rain, unexplained storms... And a countdown clock appears mysteriously above the town hall. With time ticking down to some great, unknowable end they’ll each have to make a choice. If this is really the end of the world, who do they want to be when they face it?

30 review for The Great Unknowable End

  1. 5 out of 5

    C.G. Drews

    it's a bit early for a review, so a few things this book is about! → it's set in 1977 → lots of music references → there's a girl struggling to take her dead mother's place + a boy leaving the commune he's lived in his whole life to visit the outside world → Galliard had Tourette's! → kinda a Stranger Things mild sci-fi/magical realism vibe? → the cover is prettyyy

  2. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    The Great Unknowable End by Kathryn Ormsbee is a historical young adult read that takes a reader to the small town of Slater, Kansas in 1977. Along with being set in the past there’s also a bit of a fantasy vibe involved too as this small town and our teen characters experience some odd phenomenon. Stella is an average teen that is doing the best she can with her situation. A bright girl she should have big plans for college and escaping her small town except she can’t bare the thought of leaving The Great Unknowable End by Kathryn Ormsbee is a historical young adult read that takes a reader to the small town of Slater, Kansas in 1977. Along with being set in the past there’s also a bit of a fantasy vibe involved too as this small town and our teen characters experience some odd phenomenon. Stella is an average teen that is doing the best she can with her situation. A bright girl she should have big plans for college and escaping her small town except she can’t bare the thought of leaving her father and sister after having already lost their mother and brother. Galliard is a member of Red Sun, a hippie commune on the outskirts of Slater. Having been born into the community Galliard never really thought o f leaving until he’s passed over for his dream job. When Galliard begins venturing out he and Stella become friends despite their differences. The Great Unknowable End was a fun trip back into the late 70s bringing in music and events of the era to set the tone. Galliard and Stella were both likable characters you couldn’t help but feel for each o f their situations. Galliard having Tourette’s also seemed to be well done and brought another layer to his character. The thing that had me rating this one at 3 1/2 stars was it felt like it just fizzled out at the end otherwise it was a nice story. I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley. For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/

  3. 4 out of 5

    Stacee

    I was completely sold by that synopsis and the previous book I read by this author. Sadly, this title was disappointing. I liked Stella and Galliard well enough. They’re both struggling and trying to figure out what they want from life and it was easy to root for them. There are a few other characters, but no one stood out for me. Plot wise it was boring. I was expecting all of these odd things {and they happened}, but the ending and so called explanation was a let down. The movement of the stor I was completely sold by that synopsis and the previous book I read by this author. Sadly, this title was disappointing. I liked Stella and Galliard well enough. They’re both struggling and trying to figure out what they want from life and it was easy to root for them. There are a few other characters, but no one stood out for me. Plot wise it was boring. I was expecting all of these odd things {and they happened}, but the ending and so called explanation was a let down. The movement of the story was slow and repetitive and absolutely missing a spark for me. Overall, I liked the growth of the characters, but definitely wanted a lot more out of this book. **Huge thanks to Simon & Schuster BFYR for providing the arc free of charge**

  4. 4 out of 5

    emma

    after the beautiful masterpiece that was Tash Hearts Tolstoy I will read anything Kathryn Ormsbee writes!!! so uhhh cover?? release date???

  5. 4 out of 5

    Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)

    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight I have really enjoyed everything I have read by Kathryn Ormsbee. And I didn't dislike this one, but it definitely isn't my favorite of hers either. There are definitely some good points, and some that are... less so, so might as well break 'em down! Things I Liked: •The atmosphere and time period were fabulous! The 70s, punctuated by some eerie shenanigans, was quite the trip to read a You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight I have really enjoyed everything I have read by Kathryn Ormsbee. And I didn't dislike this one, but it definitely isn't my favorite of hers either. There are definitely some good points, and some that are... less so, so might as well break 'em down! Things I Liked: •The atmosphere and time period were fabulous! The 70s, punctuated by some eerie shenanigans, was quite the trip to read about! I mean, 1977 Kansas probably wasn't the most exciting place to grow up, so an unexplained potential "end of days" has to shake things up. I definitely felt the vibe of both the time period and the ominousness of the events taking place. •I enjoyed the mystery aspect, and wanted to know how it would unfold. I mean, what is happening here? And why? And what about everywhere else? Can it be stopped? Will it be stopped? So many questions, right? And I was quite eager to find out the answers, since I really didn't have any idea where things were headed, which is another plus. •The character growth was really well done. Stella really needed something to shake up her daily mundanity. She was stuck, let's be honest, and she wasn't going to become unstuck without some serious intervention. Galliard was stuck too, though I suppose in a more literal sense, considering he was in a cult. But they're at a precipice when the book starts, and it's clear that they're going to have to decide what they want out of their lives. •Speaking of the characters, I really enjoyed the family dynamics, especially within Stella's family. Her sense of responsibility and duty warring with her own dreams and desires is all too common. I also loved the friendships that were presented during the book, and yes, eventually the romance! Things That Sent Me Down a Research Hole: •There is no such thing as 98.5 AM. Okay look obviously I am not going to factor this into my rating, but it drove me bananas, because 98.5 is an FM frequency. I searched many, many sites to make sure that back in the 70s, frequencies weren't done differently, and my research seems to indicate that this distinction between AM and FM radio has been in practice in the US since the 1930s. If anyone has any different info, please share! Anyway it's mentioned so many times in the book that I just couldn't let it go, so here I am, perseverating on a tiny detail. 🤷‍♀️ Things I Didn't Love: •The "talking to dead musicians" is my least favorite trope in the history of books. Ugh I don't even know why I loathe it so fully, I just know that it irks me and I can't help it. •I wanted the cult to be... cultier. The cult wasn't actually all terrible? Which is not what I want from my cult! I wanted it to be a little more awful, I guess. Maybe some cults aren't the worst, and this is some kind of... equal opportunity cult representation? I have no idea, but when I hear "cult", I am hoping for dark and twisted, and it really wasn't so much here. •I didn't feel as connected to the characters as I'd have liked. I liked the relationships and their struggles and development and such, but I just wanted to feel a little more of an emotional connection with them, and I didn't. •The end was a little underwhelming for me. I don't think I necessarily had any particular expectations for how I wanted it to be, but it just felt a little easy, perhaps? Anyway, I don't want to say anything else about that, for obvious reasons. Bottom Line: Not bad, but not as epic as I'd expected. The friendships, family, and ambiance made it worth it, though.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kales

    I am so pleasantly surprised by this book. It was weird but in such an endearing and wonderful way. Kathryn Ormsbee is one of the most underrated YA authors and if you haven't read one of her books, you definitely should. The individual journeys that each Galliard and Stella take are commendable. They are dealing with realistic teenage issues of the time and yet, issues that people of many ages can relate to. The feeling of being split between love and duty is a universal theme but I adored how t I am so pleasantly surprised by this book. It was weird but in such an endearing and wonderful way. Kathryn Ormsbee is one of the most underrated YA authors and if you haven't read one of her books, you definitely should. The individual journeys that each Galliard and Stella take are commendable. They are dealing with realistic teenage issues of the time and yet, issues that people of many ages can relate to. The feeling of being split between love and duty is a universal theme but I adored how they were portrayed there. The "cult" life was an interesting aspect of this as well. I haven't read a lot of books with this aspect that weren't true crime. Most of them had negative connotations whereas this was rather positive or at least, multi-sided. It bordered on being negative and creepy but the redemption at the end was refreshing. Additionally, Stella's final lesson about letting go was awesome. I liked the conflict of liking vs loving people you love. And how, just because you are related to someone, you don't have to like them or get along with them or agree with their choices. Finally, the doomsday bit was interesting. I was a little dissatisfied with the fact that there wasn't an answer but at the end of it all, it was ultimately okay. Some of the elements of it all were interesting, rather unique and fascinating. And I liked the fact that it was set in the 70s. The importance of radio and nightly news is also wonderful because of the lack of social media and that is now news got around that time. It was education and really captured the time. I hope you all pick up this book in February. It found it immensely satisfying and a unique read. I find myself wanting to know more about these characters and hope they have good lives. Conclusion: To purchase

  7. 4 out of 5

    Celia McMahon

    Thank you Edelweiss for the chance to review this book. Wow. This book was weird and fun, and surprising. This story is set is the 70's in a town called Slater, Kansas and involves one girl and one boy whose lives could not be more different. Hey, let's throw in some mysterious phenomena and here we have The Great Unknowable End. Enter Stella. She lost her mother to suicide and works two jobs, one at an outdoor movie theater and another at a hair salon. She puts her dreams of becoming a space engi Thank you Edelweiss for the chance to review this book. Wow. This book was weird and fun, and surprising. This story is set is the 70's in a town called Slater, Kansas and involves one girl and one boy whose lives could not be more different. Hey, let's throw in some mysterious phenomena and here we have The Great Unknowable End. Enter Stella. She lost her mother to suicide and works two jobs, one at an outdoor movie theater and another at a hair salon. She puts her dreams of becoming a space engineer to the backburner to care for her father and little sister when her older brother suddenly leaves for a commune called The Red Sun without a word two years prior. Her family has distanced themselves from a town who associates evil with The Red Sun. They're loners, but they're loners together. Enter Galliard. He was born at The Red Sun and has little knowledge of the Outside. When he loses a spot as the resident artist within the commune, he seeks answers beyond the commune's gates. But will the world outside accept his Tourette Syndrome without judgment as The Red Sun? Strange things begin to happen in Slater. From red rain to eyeless snakes. The town puts the blame on the Red Sun. The Red Sun returns blame to the Outside. Meanwhile, Stella and Galliard meet and strike up an unlikely friendship. In the backdrop of all of these strange happenings, there's a girl with a weird face and a boy with tics who find each other amongst their secrets and pain. What this book reminded me of: The Twilight Zone, Donnie Darko, and Stranger Things. I absolutely loved this book. I loved it because the two main characters were so flawed and so real that I couldn't stop reading to see what would happen to them. I love magical realism, and I love it more when there's no explanation for it. For some reason, that mystery is better for me. But you can speculate, and I am sure there might have been something I missed that wrapped it all up together. What drew me into requesting this book was the magical realism aspect. What I got was the stories of two teenagers whose lives weaved with each other with that desire to be found and understood. It's about devotion to family, no matter blood-related or not or how blindly it is. There's a reminder in there about no matter what happens in life, be it a loss or the world coming to an end, that there are opportunities to follow your heart and to never give up on your dreams. This is the type of book that sticks in your brain long after you've read it. When I finish a book, I usually move on quickly, but this one has lingered. I've never read a character with Tourette's, and I'm grateful for the education about the disorder. And a girl who is in love with the stars? GIVE IT TO ME. In closing, add this to your reading list, preorders, whatever. I am certainly going to add it to my shelves.

  8. 4 out of 5

    belle ☆ミ (mybookcastle)

    overall, i enjoyed stella's journey into finding herself, discovering what she really wants in life, and actually doing something to achieve it. i did find the ending a little anti-climatic though. full review to come!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Claire (bookscoffeeandrepeat)

    PRE-REVIEW Inspired by The Twilight Zone, you say? Well, sign me the hell up! (Note: These gifs are from the episode, Monsters are due on Maple Street. All I can say is... ALIENS!) I'm a huge fan of this series. I've only watched it the first time when I arrived to America (7 years ago). I was born in the Philippines, so give me a break! I've watched and re-watched the episodes of The Twilight Zone ever since I lived in the United States... My top 3 favorite episodes would be: 1) The Eye of the Beh PRE-REVIEW Inspired by The Twilight Zone, you say? Well, sign me the hell up! (Note: These gifs are from the episode, Monsters are due on Maple Street. All I can say is... ALIENS!) I'm a huge fan of this series. I've only watched it the first time when I arrived to America (7 years ago). I was born in the Philippines, so give me a break! I've watched and re-watched the episodes of The Twilight Zone ever since I lived in the United States... My top 3 favorite episodes would be: 1) The Eye of the Beholder or The Private World of Darkness (not really sure what the title was) 2) Number 12 Looks Just Like You 3) To Serve Man If you've lived in America all your life and haven't watched a single episode of The Twilight Zone, WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE??? Anyway, let's get back to the book - I CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS BOOK! The premise sounds like the Maple Street episode, which involves mass hysteria, conspiracy theories, and mistrust amongst other people. SPRING 2018 WHY?! GIVE IT TO ME!!!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Stefani Sloma

    Give me all the cult books!

  11. 4 out of 5

    USOM

    (Disclaimer: I received this free book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) The Great Unknowable End is about self-discovery. Whether it be Galliard and his questioning of his Red Sun life, or Stella's assumption of her motherly role towards her family, both of our main characters are at points in their life where they have figure out who they want to be. When you don't think you can be anything else than what you've known, what you've thought, how do we (Disclaimer: I received this free book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) The Great Unknowable End is about self-discovery. Whether it be Galliard and his questioning of his Red Sun life, or Stella's assumption of her motherly role towards her family, both of our main characters are at points in their life where they have figure out who they want to be. When you don't think you can be anything else than what you've known, what you've thought, how do we break free? How do we become something we never thought was possible? full review: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/revi...

  12. 5 out of 5

    Seoling :)

    CAN I GET A HECK YES? I am so excited for this book. Why is summer 2018 not here yet?

  13. 4 out of 5

    Teenreadsdotcom

    Slater, Kansas, is like most Midwest towns --- record shops, hair salon, an outdoor theater and Red Sun, a nearby pacifist community that strives toward unity, shunning the Outside and its corrupting influence on relationships and the environment. While the commune is far from a mystery to the town, it certainly isn’t embraced, frequently the scapegoat for incidents in Slater. For some, however, tensions with the commune run higher --- like for the Mercer family. After Stella’s brother Craig leav Slater, Kansas, is like most Midwest towns --- record shops, hair salon, an outdoor theater and Red Sun, a nearby pacifist community that strives toward unity, shunning the Outside and its corrupting influence on relationships and the environment. While the commune is far from a mystery to the town, it certainly isn’t embraced, frequently the scapegoat for incidents in Slater. For some, however, tensions with the commune run higher --- like for the Mercer family. After Stella’s brother Craig leaves home for the community, she struggles with the bitterness of his abandonment, especially after her mother’s death by suicide, and wonders what could have persuaded him to leave their family behind. But Galliard, born and raised in Red Sun, thinks that individuals on the Outside miss the value of the community he calls home --- until he finds himself assigned to menial work in the kitchens, passed over for the artist position in the community that would allow him to become the musician he’s dreamed of being. Meanwhile, Slater itself faces more than internal tensions --- strange weather events, from pink lighting to tornadoes, keep occurring, while a countdown clock appears in the town. What are Stella and Galliard, and the rest of Slater, heading toward? And who will they become before what might be the end? With THE GREAT UNKNOWABLE END, Kathryn Ormsbee explores dreams, responsibility and identity in a novel that captures the distinct attitude of late 70s and early 80s. One of the most distinctive features of the story is the historical context and the way that Ormsbee recreates its unique feeling. With bicycle rides, supernatural events and teens exhilarated by possibility and chance, THE GREAT UNKNOWABLE END brings to mind classics of the era like E.T., while Ormsbee also includes the intersection of hippie culture, environmental activism, a thriving music industry and, most importantly, Star Wars. Even the reactions of the characters echo the mindset of a decade where global powers interacted in unexpected and, at times, frightening ways, and project the uncertainty of the time. Down to the smallest detail, Ormsbee includes little reminders of the historical context, demonstrating her concrete understanding of the time period and successfully making the story feel firmly integrated into the era, rather than existing in the time period on a superficial level. In terms of the content of the story, Ormsbee develops the central conflict between personal aspirations and responsibility that shapes identity, exploring this same idea from the two unique perspectives of her main characters. While Stella debates her commitment to her family, particularly her little sister, Gillard wrestles with his bond to his own community, and the role he needs to take for the harmony of the group as a whole. Stella’s characterization, in particular, feels deeply developed, with a vulnerable and honest narrative that allows readers to connect with her. However, Galliard’s personality feels somewhat less explained by the end of the novel, and his character could have been made more compelling with a deeper understanding of his relationships with others in his community, as well as the history of his connection with music. Even without these details, though, both characters prove relatable and passionate. Where Ormsbee’s novel may fall short for some readers, however, is in the pacing and closure of the novel. The strange, almost supernatural events of the story slowly gain intensity, keeping the reader engaged in the unexplainable, while the reactions of the townspeople seem realistic and add to the tension of the events. However, the climax itself feels rushed, with many events happening in such a short span of time that they lose their individual resonance, leaving the reader looking for more. Additionally, the resolution of the novel lacks a completely satisfactory explanation. While the style of the conclusion seems to fit the historical context of the novel in some ways, readers who like tidy endings may not feel like the final chapters of the story measure up. For readers looking for a story with a distinctive tone, compelling characters and a touch of the supernatural, Kathryn Ormsbee delivers a unique and interesting novel in THE GREAT UNKNOWABLE END --- one that 70s readers would be sure to have called “groovy.”

  14. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea Pennington

    I completely fell in love with this book. I think it shows such strong growth from the author, Kathryn Ormsbee, and is easily my favorite novel by her to date. The novel is dual POV with alternating chapters. Stella and Galliard's voices were easily identifiable and had clearly been crafted with care. It didn't take long for me to root for both of them individually, and for me to root for the two of them to fall in love!! Both character arcs were well thought out and made sense. I wished I could j I completely fell in love with this book. I think it shows such strong growth from the author, Kathryn Ormsbee, and is easily my favorite novel by her to date. The novel is dual POV with alternating chapters. Stella and Galliard's voices were easily identifiable and had clearly been crafted with care. It didn't take long for me to root for both of them individually, and for me to root for the two of them to fall in love!! Both character arcs were well thought out and made sense. I wished I could just dive into the novel to encourage both of them as they struggled with ghosts from their pasts and the looming uncertainty of the future. They each have such painful parts of their pasts that, while they're completely different from each other, make them uniquely able to understand what the other person has gone through. Also, I am always here for representation, and my brother has Tourette's Syndrome like Galliard does, so I loved that Ormsbee incorporated a character who has TS as a part of his story, but by no means the only interesting thing about him. This novel is beautifully atmospheric. So many questions swirl about what is happening in their hometown of Slater, Kansas, and it dances on the lines of being spooky without ever being terrifying (something I personally appreciated!) But it is so beautifully written that I was completely captivated. Ormsbee's writing style grows with each book she writes, and this was clearly the culmination of years of writing. The world of Slater and Red Sun, the nearby hippie commune, were painted so clearly and vividly, whether it was a normal afternoon or there was pink lightning. This is a gorgeous book that left me wanting more of Stella and Galliard's stories, and I would be lying if I said I wouldn't gobble up a sequel!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Leah Hatch

    I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher. The Great Unknowable End by Kathryn Ormsbee is a historical fiction/fantasy novel set in 1970’s Kansas. The story follows our duel protagonists, Stella and Galliard, as they navigate the strange happenings around their city. Stella is a young woman working several jobs, just trying to get by and care for her family. Galliard is a member of a cult called Red Sun, and is trying to achieve his dream of being the resident artist so he spread I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher. The Great Unknowable End by Kathryn Ormsbee is a historical fiction/fantasy novel set in 1970’s Kansas. The story follows our duel protagonists, Stella and Galliard, as they navigate the strange happenings around their city. Stella is a young woman working several jobs, just trying to get by and care for her family. Galliard is a member of a cult called Red Sun, and is trying to achieve his dream of being the resident artist so he spread the word of Red Sun to the outside world. Stella and Galliard meet under abnormal circumstances. This was a fairly average book for me. The writing was good, but I didn’t feel very connected with either of our main characters. I did like reading from Stella’s perspective more than I did Galliard. While Galliard’s portions of the book could be interesting at some points, I felt so disconnected from his narrative, and sometimes didn’t like him altogether. Even though I wasn’t the biggest fan of the characters, I do have to say that the writing was very atmospheric, and I could picture everything happening clearly. I wonder if I would have liked this better as a movie rather than a book. If you are a fan of slight magical realism, you might want to give this book a shot.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jenny {So She Tries}

    The Great Unknowable End takes place in the 70s and features a cult. Well, they don't call themselves that, obviously, they're a commune if you ask them.  The story switches point of view between Galliard, who was the first child born in the commune and has lived there his entire life, and Stella, whose brother ran off to join the commune two years prior. Galliard has parents in the commune, but they aren't called that. Kids are basically raised by the entire commune and belong to everyone.  Their The Great Unknowable End takes place in the 70s and features a cult. Well, they don't call themselves that, obviously, they're a commune if you ask them.  The story switches point of view between Galliard, who was the first child born in the commune and has lived there his entire life, and Stella, whose brother ran off to join the commune two years prior. Galliard has parents in the commune, but they aren't called that. Kids are basically raised by the entire commune and belong to everyone.  Their purpose was basically to live in peace, as they weren't a religious community. In fact, Galliard prays to rock legends who are no longer living. He also cusses like a sailor, which I thought was an interesting aspect as I guess I always see communes like that not swearing? Maybe that's just my weird thoughts on it haha. Stella lives with her dad and little sister Jill. Her mother died years ago and her older brother has run off to the commune.  This story totally takes on a creepy vibe as it goes on. It starts with bizarre weather that no other surrounding towns or cities have. There's things like pink lightning and then the rain is blood red, etc. It creeped me out and I loved it. Not only that, but the town (and Stella's closet) have eerily lit numbers doing a countdown. To what? No one knows.  Stella and Galliard strike up a friendship that turns part romance, and between their budding friendship and the building anticipation with the countdown and weather, I was super excited to see what happened. Unfortunately, the ending was anti-climactic for me. It just....fizzled. And that's the best way I can describe it. It was such a let down because I was totally hooked into this book until the end. Even though the ending wasn't for me, I thought the book itself was written well. I really liked the characters and loved the overall vibe of the book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Alison Morquecho

    I received this e-book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review The title of this book drew me in. When I read the synopsis I knew I would enjoy this book. And I did. I pretty much fell in love with this book within a few pages. I was intrigued immediately. Galliard, who is one of our POV's, is such a cool character. He struggles with Tourrettes syndrome, and it was so neat to be in his head and see how he thinks. I have a 7-year-old daughter who may have Tourrettes, it's still too early t I received this e-book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review The title of this book drew me in. When I read the synopsis I knew I would enjoy this book. And I did. I pretty much fell in love with this book within a few pages. I was intrigued immediately. Galliard, who is one of our POV's, is such a cool character. He struggles with Tourrettes syndrome, and it was so neat to be in his head and see how he thinks. I have a 7-year-old daughter who may have Tourrettes, it's still too early to tell, but this book has even helped me understand her tics a bit more. Gilliard has grown up on Red sun, a commune, all his life. He doesn't know much of the outside world, only that it is horrible and he never wants to go. Once you hit a certain age in the commune, you can choose to either go or stay. Most people stay, and that is Gilliard's plan until events happen in his life where he's not so sure anymore. Our other POV is Stella. She has a younger sister named Jill, who she takes care of most the time. Her father works nights, so he isn't around a ton. Her mother committed suicide when she was younger and her brother has run away to Red Sun a few years ago. I loved Stella. She is a down to earth gal, but super smart. She is super into space and wants to be a space engineer. The only problem is, because all that has happened in her life, she feels like she has to take care of her sister instead of going to school. The craziness starts happening in the town and nobody can explain it. Some of the things that happened really creeped me out. I kept trying to imagine what the world would I do if this stuff happened to me. I really liked the detail and creativeness in these weird occurrences. I read one review where they thought it should have been crazier, but I thought it was just the right amount. One thing I loved about this book was all the music references. Galliard is super into music. He plays piano and guitar amazingly and can sing as well. The book is set in 1977 so it was fun to see all the musicians he was into. The other thing I really enjoyed about this book was Red Sun. I couldn't believe some of the stuff they thought to be the truth. It seemed so crazy, but then I had to remember that there are places like these that have the same insane beliefs. Some even worse. I recommend this book to everyone. I couldn't put it down because I had to know what was going to happen next! Read the rest of my review on my blog!!! http://readrhapsodizerepeat.com/revie...

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jack Reynolds

    I am a little sad I didn't enjoy The Great Unknowable End as much as Ormsbee's past two YA novels, but I still really liked it. Ormsbee is still a master at creating stories that are incredibly engrossing and well-developed characters you want to root for. I felt like I was transported to 1977 with the rich detail found in the pages, and I connected with both Galliard and Stella. The dual POVs worked incredibly well, and the former's Tourette's was well represented. There were a couple of gripes I am a little sad I didn't enjoy The Great Unknowable End as much as Ormsbee's past two YA novels, but I still really liked it. Ormsbee is still a master at creating stories that are incredibly engrossing and well-developed characters you want to root for. I felt like I was transported to 1977 with the rich detail found in the pages, and I connected with both Galliard and Stella. The dual POVs worked incredibly well, and the former's Tourette's was well represented. There were a couple of gripes I had with Stella's arc, especially after Chapter 19, but the ending made up for that, especially with her realization of what she can do with her life. Other than that, I look forward to whatever Ormsbee crafts next!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Eden

    I wasn’t expecting this book to be set in the 70’s, so first of all that threw me off. Second of all, I expected the weird phenomenons going on in town to be explained. I didn’t really care all that much about the characters or the resolutions of their personal storylines. I wanted to know WHY the weather was acting so crazy! I was disappointed with the end result. I didn’t mind Stella and Galliard. Kathryn Ormsbee created some well rounded characters, but I just didn’t care about their storyline I wasn’t expecting this book to be set in the 70’s, so first of all that threw me off. Second of all, I expected the weird phenomenons going on in town to be explained. I didn’t really care all that much about the characters or the resolutions of their personal storylines. I wanted to know WHY the weather was acting so crazy! I was disappointed with the end result. I didn’t mind Stella and Galliard. Kathryn Ormsbee created some well rounded characters, but I just didn’t care about their storylines. In the beginning I did, but after page 200 the issues in their lives became too repetitive. Yes, we get it. You have problems. You’re dealing with them. We got it. If the book would’ve been shorter and gotten to the point quicker, I probably would’ve liked it more. The writing I really enjoyed reading, I just couldn’t connect to this book and thought the romance was unnecessary. I’m definitely interested in reading more books by Kathryn Ormsbee in the future. This particular premise just didn’t mesh with me.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Maraia

    Sadly, this didn't live up the high expectations set by the other three books I've read by Kathryn Ormsbee.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Destiny Soria

    An eerily beautiful book. Like a Twilight Zone episode in YA form.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jill Muller

    3.5 out of 5

  23. 5 out of 5

    Silanur

    Gotta love the Cold War era! Excited to read about a time period I've never read from before.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    This is the first title that I have read from Kathryn Ormsbee. The synopsis drew me in, the cover lured me, but the book just didn't engage me enough for me to be drawn in. I enjoyed the setting and the basic premise, because who wouldn't enjoy a mystery? But for me, I just did not connect to the follow through of the plot. I enjoyed the characters, Stella and Galliard. But I really loved the family, their relationships, and the whole dynamic. But I was more invested in getting to know the family This is the first title that I have read from Kathryn Ormsbee. The synopsis drew me in, the cover lured me, but the book just didn't engage me enough for me to be drawn in. I enjoyed the setting and the basic premise, because who wouldn't enjoy a mystery? But for me, I just did not connect to the follow through of the plot. I enjoyed the characters, Stella and Galliard. But I really loved the family, their relationships, and the whole dynamic. But I was more invested in getting to know the family than the main characters. Was it weird? No. I was interested, and I wanted to know. Do I enjoy the communicating with ghosts aspect? Sometimes. It's a difficult thing to pull off. I appreciated this book for the messages that it set out to relay, but it was just okay for me. *Thank you to the publisher for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.*

  25. 5 out of 5

    Stevie

    I love the premise of this book. A dark and twisty girl. A boy in a cult. The 70's and the end of the world. But, I found myself bored within 50 pages. The fact that this one was almost 400 pages didn't help. I thought the plot moved very slowly, and nothing really happened until three-quarters of the way through. I had high hopes for this one that were not fulfilled. I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

    There was nothing about this book that I did not like. I have not read anything so engaging, so intense, so heartfelt, so true all year long. Thank you, Edelweiss, for letting me have that experience.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Aoife

    Not nearly as good as I was hoping, I'm afraid. A book that builds up a huge mystery should really deliver on it, not wimp out with 'sometimes weird stuff just happens, I guess'. If this had been just about Stella and Galliard, without any of the strange stuff, I probably would have liked it; as is, it's just disappointing. A real shame.

  28. 5 out of 5

    The Bookish Austin

    You can read my review here: https://thebookishaustin.tumblr.com/p...

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mai

    This book is insides altering, mind bending, heart wrenching, heart filling, inspiring and beautiful. Meet two lifelong misfits, Stella and Galliard. Both struggling to find their own paths in life when it seems that the world around them has already laid their paths. Throw in some creepy occurrences, a mysterious countdown, gorgeous writing, insightfully flawed and inspiring characters and you get the amazing experience of “The Great Unknowable End.” This book so thoroughly sucks you into the 7 This book is insides altering, mind bending, heart wrenching, heart filling, inspiring and beautiful. Meet two lifelong misfits, Stella and Galliard. Both struggling to find their own paths in life when it seems that the world around them has already laid their paths. Throw in some creepy occurrences, a mysterious countdown, gorgeous writing, insightfully flawed and inspiring characters and you get the amazing experience of “The Great Unknowable End.” This book so thoroughly sucks you into the 70s and the unique lives of the characters that I felt like I’d grown up in the 70s by the end of it. I didn’t want the book to ever end and I already am imagining what Stella and Galliard are doing now and wondering what their futures hold.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Georgia

    I was lucky enough to win an arc of this book on a twitter giveaway by the author! So thank you so much to Kathryn for sending this to me! The Great Unknowable End is still not out for a week or two, so I'll keep this review spoiler free. Our first POV is Stella: she lives in Slater with her father and sister, having lost her mother to suicide and her brother to the local commune. She's grown apart from her friends, and the family tend to keep to themselves. She works at the local hairdresser's b I was lucky enough to win an arc of this book on a twitter giveaway by the author! So thank you so much to Kathryn for sending this to me! The Great Unknowable End is still not out for a week or two, so I'll keep this review spoiler free. Our first POV is Stella: she lives in Slater with her father and sister, having lost her mother to suicide and her brother to the local commune. She's grown apart from her friends, and the family tend to keep to themselves. She works at the local hairdresser's by day, and the drive-in movie theatre by night. Stella's been secretly writing to Craig, her brother, for two years -- and nobody else in the family knows about it. Then we have Galliard: he lives on The Red Sun Commune, where he has spent his entire life. His close friend Phoenix is actually the new name Stella's brother has taken on, although tensions rise between them once Phoenix gets the resident artist position that Galliard had always wanted. He's also been writing to Stella for two years pretending to be her brother -- and neither Stella nor Phoenix know about it. The setting and time period of this novel played a super important role. It is completely immersed in pop culture, and in small-town America, which become particularly relevant when comparing Stella's life on the 'Outside' with Galliard's life within Red Sun. Stella is interested in modern science and space travel, in 70s movies and current affairs -- whereas the little media Galliard has access to consists of outdated records, and commune approved books. There was also something interesting at play with location and physical space. In the beginning of the novel, Stella and Galliard are both imprisoned to some extent, both physically and figuratively. Stella feels bound to her family out of duty, at the expense of her dreams of going to university. Galliard is convinced that the outside world is cruel, and would never accept him with Tourette's. Yes, there are outside influences and some physical barriers, but they both spend a lot of the novel trying to convince themselves that they're content with where they are. (Hint: they're not.) The supernatural happenings weren't my favourite, but they did add an extra dynamic to the story; a sense of urgency, and a lot of the climactic scenes. What I found more interesting was the reactions to the events: from our characters, from the townspeople, the religious backlash, the media attention... and mainly the way the commune and the town use these events to attack each other. To scapegoat and blame. While I really liked watching our two protagonists develop, I think my favourite thing about A Great Unknowable End was the exploration of themes and ideas.

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