Five Things I Loved
- – keeping a secret, illegal library and loaning out books
- – A relationship with continuing consent and communication
- – interviews with the Starry Eyed band about their songs (with lyrics in the book)
- – AvR0la, a nonbinary friend who is wonderfully supportive
- – sorely needed help coming from unexpected places
Sparked Star – The cover drew me in immediately, the rolling pink and blue starry clouds rolling in, the beautiful font which made me think of neon lights and constellations all at once, and the fact that the stars seem to be on a collision course. A girl risking her life for books? Check. Forbidden pop music? Double check. Saving humanity? Triple check! The cover was sublime, the plot intriguing, and the characters enthralling. (Art Direction: Erin Craig & Cover Design: Mary Luna)
Characterization Star – The main characters, Ellie and M0Rv1S are extremely relatable (An alien is relatable? Yes, because even with otherworldly species Alechia Dow understands that no culture is a monolith) and even better, believable. They have their faults, they have backgrounds that influence what and how they are doing things, and that makes them so easy to love. I was happy reading the diverse cast of characters on these pages (trying very hard not to spoil things, but I cheered at seeing variance in romantic relationships, sexual attraction, and character health). Something that I find missing in other books is character growth, but I think Alechia Dow nailed it here; mistakes are made, lessons are learned, and slightly different mistakes are made again. It was good to see characters take in information and try to pair it with what they’ve already experienced to learn that was as well.
Plot Star – The conclusion was a “sink into my bed and sigh” level of satisfying (very, if you need an adverb). There were several twists along the way that I didn’t see coming (and one I smiled at when I saw it was true). The twists and reveals have details leading up to them, if you’re the type of reader to look closely, and this was a interesting take on how music will save the world and humanity.
Pacing Star – The pacing of the adventure was a good mix of slow and fast; I don’t remember stopping at any place and thinking that it should have been written slower/faster. Information about Ellie’s life, M0Rv1S’s life and what the two of them have grown up with were in supporting places that furthered the plot and/or the understanding the two of them develop for each other, and all those lovely little details brought the characters closer to my heart. Cliffhangers were used well and to the plot’s advantage. Once I finally had the time to start reading, I didn’t want to stop.
So, I cried at chapter 26 (It’s been a long time since I’ve shed tears while reading a book) and my first thought upon reading it was that I wanted to re-read it. I’m most certainly going to be recommending this book to my friends, family, and anyone I think would like it (and I’ll be yeeting it into the Twitterverse as well).