Friday, June 23, 2017

Mini-Reviews: "When I Look at the Stars" (Books with "Star" in the Title)

For some reason, I've read a lot of books recently that have the word "star" in the titles. It doesn't really come as a surprise, since I love outer space and anything related to stars. I'm not sure if I was drawn to these books because of the titles, the gorgeous covers (depicting stars, of course), or simply for the story. Here's what I thought of each one.

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

The Star-Touched Queen is a re-telling of Beauty and the Beast or the Cupid and Psyche myth and the Hades and Persephone myth mixed with Indian mythology. The concept sounds so amazing, and I was told to read this book by a friend who thought it was absolutely stunning. And it is. Or it mostly is. The descriptions in The Star-Touched Queen are beautiful, but I felt that the characters and the plot was a bit flat. I wasn't a huge fan of the main character, Maya, and I'm kind of tired of the whole "bad boys are mysterious and alluring" trope that continues to crop up in YA books lately. No, thanks. Give me the nice, sweet dork and I'll be happy. Still, somethings about The Star-Touched Queen didn't work for me. The pacing was off, there were so many "dumb" moments or plot holes, and it was predictable. I wish the book had more time to flourish, even if it meant splitting the story into multiple books. It isn't a bad book, but it definitely isn't a favorite.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Starflight by Melissa Landers

Starflight is a crazy space adventure involving space pirates, bounty hunters, and the ragtag crew of a beat-up spaceship. Basically, it reminds me of Treasure Planet mixed with Firefly. I was surprised with Starflight because I expected it to turn into a cliche, stereotypical mess of a YA novel. But it didn't. It was fun and exciting. There were a lot of good twists and turns (though I did predict a few ahead of time), the characters were excellent (I loved their banter), and the romance wasn't immediate or annoying (aka it made sense and flourished over the course of the book). The world-building was cool too. I think the author did a great job with the story. It was a fun adventure in space. And that cover is stellar.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Starfall by Melissa Landers

Based on other reviews, I full expected to be disappointed in Starfall. This book follows two of the minor characters from Starflight and what happens to them after the events in Starflight. I was mainly surprised that I did enjoy it, though, because it focuses heavily on political aspects (ruling a kingdom, leading a war, etc.) instead of space action-y stuff, but I was actually intrigued by these concepts. There is still a lot of rip-roaring adventures in space, of course, complete with more space pirates, bounty hunters, and the entire ragtag crew of the beat-up spaceship. It was definitely different than Starflight. It follows different characters, different stories, different paths. But it was still a fun story set in outer space. And once more, that cover art is A+.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Have you read any of these titles? Are there certain covers or book titles that you find yourself drawn to? 

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