Book Review: ‘Of Stars and Sleep’ unfolds hidden mystery


Senior Kalani Ruidas models her three-part online book, Of Stars and Sleep on her computer screen.

By Kelsie Chong, features co-editor

Written by Kamehameha Schools Maui senior and literary arts endorsee Kalani Ruidas, the online novel Of Stars and Sleep debuted on Sept. 16, 2011. As her senior project, Ruidas wrote the fictional story in three parts.

The reader is immediately introduced to main character Parker Browne, a college student at Bromell University. Fortunate enough to receive a science scholarship to pay for his full tuition, Browne must, in exchange, maintain a solid grade point average of 3.5 and shadow one science professor every semester. He chooses to shadow Professor Herb Moreau, a “deluded” teacher.

One day after class, curiosity overcomes Parker’s consciousness as he trespasses into the back room of Professor Moreau’s classroom where mysterious experiments take place. He begins to plunge into a chain of lucid dreams, which he decides to use to his benefit to learn more about a mysterious girl. With only half his mind in the present, Parker becomes trapped in a whole other world of dreaming.

A combination of an unpredictable beginning, suspenseful plot and a romantic journey to the end, Of Stars and Sleep is definitely one of those books to you to its text from start to finish.

Ruidas did a superb job of incorporating vivid words to allow the reader to envision the characters’ distinct personalities, feelings and even their slightest of gestures.

Often, I would forget that I was reading a piece made by my own classmate. The entire novel was put together well. Ruidas’ unique writer’s voice comes through in her characters and plot, giving her novel originality.

I noticed that Ruidas incorporated many topics that we learned in some of our classes here at Kamehameha Schools. I liked that! She touched on some psychology terminology like REM (Rapid Eye Movement), referenced American author and poet, Henry David Thoreau and also mentioned some scientific terms that we used in Physics.

I think this novel will suit anybody because the issues the characters deal with are universal. Ruidas brings forth romance and curiosity. She challenges Parker’s willingness to fight and protect a girl he loves, despite her mysterious personality and secret past that he is shocked to learn about.

Lucid dreaming does not occur often or in all people, but Ruidas makes her characters take the risk. Parker’s journey to seek the truth is an exhausting journey for the reader as well, but it will surely keep you from drifting away from your computer screen.

It was interesting to read how one simple decision made through curiosity, can instantly alter your waking life.

Towards the end, an unexpected twist to the story line tied everything together. The concept of the book was very good, and I would recommend it to anyone.

Click here to read Ruidas’ online novel, Of Stars and Sleep. The uploads are in reverse order, so click on the image that is furthest to the right– that will be Part I.

While you’re there, she has requested that visitors please leave comments for her on the site as an important part of her own reflection and as a component of her senior project.

Due to the expense and time involved in publishing a book, the novel is only available online at this time, but it is free, so read it now because one day, I’m sure you’ll be paying for her future novels in a bookstore near you!