Book Review: The Sound of Stars

Two years ago, a misunderstanding between the leaders of Earth and the invading Ilori resulted in the deaths of one-third of the world’s population.

Seventeen-year-old Janelle “Ellie” Baker survives in an Ilori-controlled center in New York City. Deemed dangerously volatile because of their initial reaction to the invasion, humanity’s emotional transgressions are now grounds for execution. All art, books and creative expression are illegal, but Ellie breaks the rules by keeping a secret library. When a book goes missing, Ellie is terrified that the Ilori will track it back to her and kill her.

Born in a lab, M0Rr1S (Morris) was raised to be emotionless. When he finds Ellie’s illegal library, he’s duty-bound to deliver her for execution. The trouble is, he finds himself drawn to human music and in desperate need of more. They’re both breaking the rules for love of art—and Ellie inspires the same feelings in him that music does.

Ellie’s—and humanity’s—fate rests in the hands of an alien she should fear. M0Rr1S has a lot of secrets, but also a potential solution—thousands of miles away. The two embark on a wild and dangerous road trip with a bag of books and their favorite albums, all the while making a story and a song of their own that just might save them both.

I received a digital advanced reader copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

What a wonderful debut novel by Alechia Dow! I love alien stories, I really just adore anything to do with space. I grew up watching things like Star Trek and Doctor Who, so when I read the synopsis of this book I knew I had to read it as quickly as I could. 

From the first page, I was immediately transported into Dow’s fantasy world. Dow is phenomenal at world building and I really felt like I was right there.  I did feel like the book dragged a bit during the middle, but overall it was fantastic. 

I loved that the book contains real life issues we are facing in today’s society and how they were weaved in and out through every chapter. There are tons of current pop culture references throughout this book, so it is not really something that can be  “timeless” read. However, the story would have been really lacking if those references weren’t a part of it. I love the general theme of music can help you get through tough situations. 

The relationship between Ellie and Morris was my favorite. It felt so genuine and unique. It wasn’t rushed or forced it was just pure, innocence, beautifully organic. Dow’s writing style keeps you wanting more. I really do hope we see a sequel to this. Maybe I am a sucker for a series.. But I really want to know more about Morris and Ellie and their future together. 

Thank you so much to Alechia Dow, NetGalley, and Harlequin TEEN Publishing for allowing me to review this book.
Image and synopsis taken from NetGalley

Book Review: Reverie

All Kane Montgomery knows for certain is that the police found him half-dead in the river. He can’t remember how he got there, what happened after, and why his life seems so different now. And it’s not just Kane who’s different, the world feels off, reality itself seems different.
As Kane pieces together clues, three almost-strangers claim to be his friends and the only people who can truly tell him what’s going on. But as he and the others are dragged into unimaginable worlds that materialize out of nowhere—the gym warps into a subterranean temple, a historical home nearby blooms into a Victorian romance rife with scandal and sorcery—Kane realizes that nothing in his life is an accident. And when a sinister force threatens to alter reality for good, they will have to do everything they can to stop it before it unravels everything they know.

I received a digital advanced reader copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This was such an interesting book. It wasn’t written in the usual young adult format. It almost was written more as an adult sci-fi novel. It was a truly unique story that pulls you in. This is one of those plot heavy books, it is not driven by its characters but it is made up for it by story substance. It was very fun to read. 

My one real complaint is the magic system was very confusing, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what was happening and how it was happening rather than enjoying my time. I reread a lot of the book just to figure out what was going on. I feel like we could have had the magic system explained a lot earlier and it would have saved a lot of headaches. 

I absolutely adored that there was a solid LGBTQIA presence in this book. We need more books with a strong queer representation, and we get that with Reverie. Kane was by far my favorite character. Even though this wasn’t a character driven story.. Kane’s story was very compelling and had me very interested. I love that he was forced to battle his past even though he could not remember it. 

Reverie kept me very excited through every page turn, and I found myself contemplating what was going to happen even when I wasn’t glued to my kindle. I really enjoyed Ryan La Sala’s writing style. He is incredibly honest and assertive in his writing and it is almost refreshing to the YA universe. 

I really enjoyed Reverie and really hope we see this turned into a series. This is one of those stories that could easily have multiple books to follow and in my honest opinion.. It would make a stellar movie! 

Thank you kindly to Ryan La Sala, NetGalley, and Sourcebooks Fire for the opportunity to review this book.
Images and synopsis taken from NetGalley

Book Review: Coral

There’s more than one way to drown.
Coral has always been different, standing out from her mermaid sisters in a society where blending in is key. Worse yet, she fears she has been afflicted with the dreaded Disease, said to be carried by humans—emotions. Can she face the darkness long enough to surface in the light?
Above the sea, Brooke has nothing left to give. Depression and anxiety have left her feeling isolated. Forgotten. The only thing she can rely on is the numbness she finds within the cool and comforting ocean waves. If only she weren’t stuck at Fathoms—a new group therapy home that promises a second chance at life. But what’s the point of living if her soul is destined to bleed?
Merrick may be San Francisco’s golden boy, but he wants nothing more than to escape his controlling father. When his younger sister’s suicide attempt sends Merrick to his breaking point, escape becomes the only option. If he can find their mom, everything will be made right again—right?
When their worlds collide, all three will do whatever it takes to survive, and Coral might even catch a prince in the process. But what—and who—must they leave behind for life to finally begin?

I received a digital advanced reader copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I am usually a sucker for retellings, but this one was just okay. I am also a sucker for books written in multiple perspectives, and again this was just okay. I felt really confused most of the time. It jumped too much and too quickly from person to person and made me feel a bit whiplashed. 

I felt something was missing from this story and I just can’t put my finger on it.. It just didn’t grab my attention. As I said before, I love retellings and this one did not really feel like a true retelling. Despite reading the phrase “the Little Mermaid” 100 times in the book. I wouldn’t have really compared like I usually do a retelling. I feel this is more of it’s own book than a retelling of the Little Mermaid. 

Kudos, to the author for tackling such tough and sensitive issues such as suicide and mental illness. But there really should be more of a trigger warning for this title. 

The writing style while wonderfully descriptive, was still a bit confusing. I wish it had been just a little easier to get through because I really wanted to love this book. 

Thank you kindly to Sara Ella, NetGalley, and Thomas Nelson Fiction for allowing me to review this title.
Image and synopsis taken from NetGalley.