by Pintip Dunn
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: October 2nd 2018
In a world where nutrition can be transferred via a pill, and society is split into Eaters and Non-Eaters, seventeen-year-old Princess Vela has a grave dilemma. Her father, the king, is dying, and only a transplant of organs from a healthy Non-Eater boy will save him.
Vela is tasked with choosing a boy fit to die for the king, which is impossible enough. But then Carr, the boy she’s loved all her life, emerges as the best candidate in the Bittersweet Trials. And he’s determined to win, because by doing so, he can save the life of his Non-Eater sister.
Refusing to accept losing the boy she loves, Vela bends the rules and cheats. But when someone begins to sabotage the Trials, Vela must reevaluate her own integrity—and learn the true sacrifice of becoming a ruler.
Review: 4 stars
I originally requested this title because I read The Darkeat Lie and loved it, so I knew the author was good. But as time came to read it I kept putting it off because I didn’t expect it to be that good. I was so wrong though, as soon as I read the first chapter I knew that I was really going to enjoy Star-Crossed.
The plot and world building were very original. I found the whole idea of this book to be fascinating. The world building for this sci-fi was very cool, but not overly intricate as the novel was very focused on the plot instead. The plot was where this book really excelled. There were a few predictable aspects, but there were also some very interesting plot twists and I never saw coming. There was also a mystery woven into the story that I had a lot of fun trying to figure out. I had some guesses, but wound up being wrong in the end. This plot had it all, mystery, love, sibling rivalry and some political sabotage were all aspects that kept me turning the pages.
The romance, on the other hand, was totally not for me. From the beginning I didn’t like Carr as a love interest and it never really grew on me. I found it to be sappy and overdramatic. I never really felt the connection between the two of them and the whole relationship felt a little forced to me. Vela and Carr’s relationship didn’t burn red hot. I never really believed their emotional displays or declarations of feelings.
Which brings me to my next point, which is that I never really felt emotionally connected to the characters. I love the plot and some of the relationships, but I never really felt emotionally connected, which was shocking because The Darkest Lie was such an emotional novel, so I expected this novel to be emotionally gripping as well. Since Star-Crossed wasn’t based on such an emotional subject I still thoroughly enjoyed it, despite the emotional disconnection.
I love the relationship that Vela had with her best friend Astana. In the very beginning of the novel Vela steals food for her, showing just how deep her loyalty is for her best friend. I found Vela to have so much integrity and I really admired her as a character. I also found it entertaining to read about the sibling rivalry between Vela and Blanca. Vela’s character arc is an incredible one, as she changes so much throughout the novel with her relationships, but also in her ability to make difficult decisions.
Overall I would definitely recommend this book to science fiction and mystery fans who like a fast-paced read. If you are looking to emotionally connect to a story or read a good love story, I would probably pass on this one though. This book pulled me right out of my reading slump and was full of interesting characters that were full of moral integrity.
About the Author
Pintip Dunn is a New York Times bestselling author of young adult fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B., and received her J.D. at Yale Law School.
Pintip’s novel FORGET TOMORROW won the 2016 RWA RITA® for Best First Book, and SEIZE TODAY won the 2018 RITA for Best Young Adult Romance. Her books have been translated into four languages, and they have been nominated for the following awards: the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire; the Japanese Sakura Medal; the MASL Truman Award; the Tome Society It list; and the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her other titles include REMEMBER YESTERDAY, THE DARKEST LIE, GIRL ON THE VERGE, and the upcoming STAR-CROSSED and MALICE.
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