I know I keep going on about this book, but let me gush just a bit more.
I don't know how many of you have actually read the book, but I'm going to tell you a little bit about my favorite part (I'll try to keep it spoiler free!):
At one point, Meg and co. end up on the grey planet of Ixchel (Don't ask about the names, I honestly couldn't tell you). Meg is very ill and possibly close to death from a recent traumatizing experience. No one knows what to do. Soon they are approached by three of the planets inhabitants, creatures with four arms and tentacles for fingers and indentations on their faces where features would be. Of course the initial reaction is fear, but the beasts (for lack of a better term) promise to take care of Meg, to make her better. As there is nothing her friends could do for her, they have no choice but to agree.
Meg builds a special bond with the beast who cares for her, and affectionately calls her Aunt Beast. These creatures are like nothing she's ever seen before, and they'd certainly never known a human before. Still, they helped her, and she is overcome by gratefulness. These creatures are my favorite part of the book, and here's why:
They are the most caring, thoughtful, loving creatures. Meg notices that they have a wonderful scent, and thinks to herself, "I hope I don't smell awful to it...But then she knew with a deep sense of comfort that even if she did smell awful the beasts would forgive her."
Despite their unfamiliarity with her species, the beasts selflessly care for Meg and her companions in the most hospitable ways possible.
The beasts planet may appear grey and dreary, but there is so much more to it. There is music more beautiful than anything Meg has heard. They are one with their sun and the stars and nature in a very real way. They experience without seeing. Meg realizes that "It was she who was limited by her senses, not the blind beasts, for they must have senses of which she could not even dream."
Later on when it comes time to leave and for Meg to face her fears again, Aunt Beast selflessly offers to go along with Meg, "to hold her" even though she would be experiencing things she'd never known before and putting herself in danger.
These creatures have really imprinted themselves on me, and every time I read this book again I am reminded of it. They are the kindest, most selfless and giving creatures. They love and give unconditionally, even to an alien girl they barely know. This is the way more people should be. It doesn't matter how different one person is from another, unconditional love is all you need.