- Hardcover: 400 pages
- Publisher: Entangled (2 October 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1633752410
- ISBN-13: 978-1633752412
- Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 3 x 21.6 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 422 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
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Star-Crossed Hardcover – 2 Oct 2018
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"With a prose as incandescent as a nebula, and a romance that blazes like the sun, Star-Crossed utterly consumed me from the very first page. Readers will savor this riveting, emotional tale of hope and supreme sacrifice." --Darcy Woods, award-winning author of Summer of Supernovas
"Pintip Dunn's creative worldbuilding brings to life a delicious tale full of depth and complexity with a bold heroine filled with love, loyalty, and courage. Star-Crossed will transport readers to another universe and leave them hungry for more!" --Brenda Drake, NYT bestselling author of the Library Jumpers series
"Pintip Dunn has crafted one multi-course meal of a story: a fascinating premise to whet the appetite, an entree of utterly compelling world-building seasoned with literary prose, and a forbidden romance that has all the decadence of the richest dessert. It's well worth savoring!" --Jen Malone, author of Wanderlost and Changes in Latitudes
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Vela and her sister Blanca are Aegis- they are also Princesses. The King, their father, is an Aegis who is nearing 90. He was part of the original group of colonists who traveled to Dion and has had several families since then (however, because they were Aegis, they are all dead now). He has only been able to survive by receiving a full body organ transplant every 5 years. The person who gives his life to keep the King alive is known as the Fittest because they are selected from young people primarily because of their physical health. In exchange for their life, a family member receives food for life without becoming an Aegis. Only the Aegis and family of the Fittest eat actual food.
The King has decided it is time for his last organ transplant, and during the remaining years, he will train a successor- either Vela or her sister- to take his place. CORA, the machine which computes outcomes (all human decisions are confirmed by CORA), has agreed that a blood relative would be the best successor to the King. To determine who this person should be, Vela and Blanca are given personal challenges. For Vela, who is very emotional and empathetic, she is given the task to decide who will be the Fittest and die for her father, the King.
This task is made harder by the fact that her best friend's brother and childhood crush, Carr, is the apparent front-runner. He is determined to win, because it will save his sister, Astara. Vela used to sneak her childhood friend Astara snacks from the food she was training with, and in doing so, Astara's body no longer will accept the nutrient pills. Only some people will become immune to the pills with food exposure, and Astara is unfortunately one of them. She needs food, but only the Aegis and the Fittest families receive it. Exceptions cannot be made unless one of those people goes without.
Fighting between her duty to the colony and her growing love for Carr, Vela is struggling to make the right decisions. All the while, she is judged by the leadership council, who are trying to decide between her and Blanca. However, things become even more difficult when someone begins to sabotage the trials. Vela has even harder decisions to make- and a saboteur to find.
Overall, this was an interesting and different YA sci-fi book. While most of Carr and Vela's feelings were pre-existing, we get to revisit their childhood memories/connections which builds the relationship for the reader. Dunn is a talented writer and this book was easily as fast-paced and engaging as her Forget Tomorrow series. I was fully pulled in to this alternate world and fully engaged with her characters. That being said, I did not quite understand why, in a world of such technological advancements, synthetic nutrition pills or other methods of nutrient extraction would not be more effective than the Aegis. Also, why there is not population control or other methods of simply making people and food available match. However, it was relatively easy to accept and suspend disbelief (relatively small questions). I do like how well and thoroughly this world was built, and it was easy to imagine.
As to the romance, this was great, and I really enjoyed watching Carr and Vela get closer. As to the mystery, it was pretty readily apparent who was doing the sabotaging to me, but as the mystery was not the main focus, I didn't mind figuring it out early. I did wonder about the ending, because while we get some conclusions, questions still remain as to where the colony will proceed from there, so I wonder whether there is a sequel in the works? Regardless, the main storylines are concluded, so there isn't a cliffhanger, although not everything was wrapped up in a bow. Overall, it was a great story and the writing flows so well that I really enjoyed the book (and I would love to see a sequel!).
I absolutely devoured this unique book, and I highly recommend it for YA sci-fi lovers! Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are my own.
4 stars — Well, this one ended with a lot of tears…it’s been a few months since a book has done that to me. And it wasn’t the only time I teared up in this book! Which is not to say that this is a sad book, by any means. But Vela goes through some very tough challenges that bring forth the feels.
This is my first read by this author, but I doubt it will be my last. Ms. Dunn has created a very intriguing world of Earth colonists struggling with challenging circumstances. For the most part I loved the world she created, and the way she presented the choices these colonists made in order to survive. For me, it was very unique and thought-provoking. I don’t read a lot of non-contemporary books, so I don’t have a huge depth to compare it to, but occasionally I would be pulled out of the book and wonder why they would use certain colloquialisms or whatnot. But not enough to really damage my enjoyment. It’s not necessarily a negative, just something that I noticed.
Princess Vela was an interesting heroine to follow…she was kind, sensitive, thoughtful, and she felt so much. I could empathize with so much of what she was feeling. I will admit that she took longer than I anticipated coming to the right conclusion on the major task, when from an outsider’s perspective it was quite obvious the right solution. That was a bit frustrating, especially because it didn’t even cross her mind. But I suppose she was so wrapped up in her feelings for Carr, and her worry for him, Astana, the other sick colonists, and the colonists in general…not to mention the mystery surrounding the trials, and the problems therein. I mostly forgave her for it, but I wouldn’t have minded a little less naivety. But I guess this was her coming of age story, eh? She had to reach it on her own, at her own time.
Carr was pretty swoony actually. I hated that it took him so long to understand Vela’s emotional struggles with his choice, but he got there. My heart broke for him, feeling unloved by the people who were supposed to love him. I was rooting for their romance from the beginning. I LOVED them together, and I truly felt their connection to one another, and their chemistry.
This book had some strong secondary characters, but also a few that disappointed me…though perhaps that was intentional? One major character I disliked, that I probably was supposed to like, was Astana. I just didn’t feel like I got to see many of her redeeming qualities. And because of the nature of the plot, we didn’t really get to see what connected Vela to Astana, especially with such dedication.
I was also disappointed with the lack of resolution for Blanca. I don’t know if that’s because she’ll have her own book, or just an oversight. But she was missing from some very key scenes, and I wanted to know what would happen there…what her feelings would be about the climax of the book, and the resolution. I felt bad for her, and wanted more from her story…though I did love what I got.
On the other hand, I LOVED Vela’s father, and the relationship he had with his daughter. It was truly a highlight of the story. I was also surprised with how much I enjoyed Master Simjing (sp?) in the end. Not to mention the other little stories with some of the fittest candidates, and the sick colonists.
All in all a very entertaining read that gave me LOTS of feels and made me truly think in a philosophical manner about the choices leaders must make, and how hard that can be.
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