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: Jane Anonymous

Seven months.
That’s how long I was kept captive.
Locked in a room with a bed, refrigerator, and adjoining bathroom, I was instructed to eat, bathe, and behave. I received meals, laundered clothes, and toiletries through a cat door, never knowing if it was day or night. The last time I saw the face of my abductor was when he dragged me fighting from the trunk of his car. And when I finally escaped, I prayed I’d never see him again.
Now that I’m home, my parents and friends want everything to be like it was before I left. But they don’t understand that dining out and shopping trips can’t heal what’s broken inside me. I barely leave my bedroom. Therapists are clueless and condescending. So I start my own form of therapy—but writing about my experience awakens uncomfortable memories, ones that should’ve stayed buried. How far will I have to go to uncover the truth of what happened—and will it break me forever?

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

God what a book. I haven’t cried this hard in a LONG time. This book was so intense and I just found myself hurting for Jane. Her story is so provocative and scary. This is one of those stories so raw and painful that it’s almost hard to read. I could feel my chest tighten and a lump in my throat through most of it. I had to step away a few times to compose myself. Laurie takes you on a rollercoaster of emotions and even though this book is not one of those action-packed thrillers, it still takes you for a ride. 

Laurie does such an amazing job of telling Jane’s story both before during her captivity and while she is trying to get her life back after. I really enjoyed the journal type format. I felt like it really kept me in suspense and I felt like a friend of Jane’s peering into her life from her diary. It almost felt uncomfortable in a very invasive way like we were invading Jane’s privacy again after all that she had been through. I loved how Jane spoke directly to us, it just made the story feel almost too real. 

I found myself a big fan of Laurie’s writing style as well as her character development and plot structure. I would highly recommend this novel! Thank you so much to NetGalley, Laurie Faria Stolarz, and St. Martin’s Press for allowing me to review this title.

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