Saturday, September 8, 2012

Book Review: Defy the Stars

Julia Cape: A dedicated classical piano student just trying to get through her last semester of high school while waiting to hear from music conservatories.

Reed MacAllister: A slacker more likely to be found by the stoners’ tree than in class.

Julia and Reed might have graduated high school without ever speaking to each other…until, during a class discussion of Romeo and Juliet, Julia scoffs at the play’s theme of love at first sight, and Reed responds by arguing that feelings don’t always have to make sense. Julia tries to shake off Reed’s comment and forget about this boy who hangs with the stoner crowd—and who happens to have breathtaking blue eyes—but fate seems to bring the two together again and again. After they share an impulsive, passionate kiss, neither one can deny the chemistry between them. Yet as Julia gets closer to Reed, she also finds herself drawn into his dark world of drugs and violence. Then a horrific tragedy forces Julia’s and Reed’s families even farther apart…and Julia must decide whether she’s willing to give up everything for love.


For never was a tale of more woe . . .

If you’re a fan of Romeo and Juliet retellings, then here’s your chance to pick up an awesome book. Defy the Stars is a one-way ticket to the Emotional Rollercoaster, where you can’t get off until the ride is finished. Dark and gripping, Defy the Stars is a modern-day retelling of the famous Shakespearean love story, and the characters and plotline are just as tragic. 

Reed (Romeo) and Julia (Juliet) are from opposite sides of town. Both, however, love music; Julia plays piano, and Reed plays guitar. Gradually, these two begin talking to one another, until one night, after one of her parents’ social dinners turns into a nightmare (thanks to Perry (a.k.a. Paris)), Julia runs into Reed and they share their first kiss. From then on, these two slowly gain each other’s trust. Julia attempts to understand Reed’s addiction, why he sells meth for his brother, etc.—and she even tries some! 

But along the way, there’s trouble in paradise. Julia’s uncle is a cop, and he’s about to bust a meth lab. Could it be Reed’s house? Perry has started following Reed and Julia, showing up at the oddest places. What does he want? To top it all off, Julia’s parents have forbidden her from seeing Reed when they learn he’s a drug addict. Will they run away together?

Overall, do not expect butterflies and gumdrops and rainbows as you head into this book; it’s very, very gloomy, touching upon the main theme of drug addiction. Also, this novel is told in verse. I know that’s not everybody’s thing, but I love poetry, so I was all for it. The ending? What can I say? I was a bit teary-eyed, to be honest. There was one particular page—which only had a few words on it—that made my heart feel like someone vacuumed it out of the rear of my ribcage and left a cavernous hole inside. The only downside I saw to this book is Perry didn’t get what he deserved (and by this I mean, a good shanking or two). If you love realistic, dark fiction, especially Romeo and Juliet retellings, then I’d recommend picking this book up.
**A review copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

Since this is an indie book, you can also see this review over at Dark Horse Indie. ;)



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