The Stars May Rise And Fall by Estella Mirai
Reviewed by Ginny!
**We received an early copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. We’d like to thank Estella for this opportunity. This book comes out on March 18 and you can get it here.***
What I drank prior: As a quick note. Estelle reached out to us asking for a review so this is a free and honest review. I drank plenty o wine. We had a good portion of our group together and I can’t tell you how happy I am to have Parker within arms reach of me. (Editor’s Note: It was so nice having him home for a bit…. *sobs quietly that he’s gone again*)
Spoiler-free Overview: Teru is in a visual kei band (which I think means emo… I may have done some research) which is not doing so great. Until Teru is approached by a shadowy figure with music for his band. Teru accepts and suddenly La Rose Verboten (their band) is doing much better and Teru is dealing with his possible attraction to Rei, his mysterious patron.
Spoiler-free Thoughts: this book was inspired by the Phantom Of The Opera (which I watched for the first time in the middle of this book). The beginning confused me a little bit (see never having seen Phantom of the Opeta – I played the music so often in high school that I couldn’t stand to watch tha actual show). But this book grew on me really quickly.
Characters: There’s Teru and his bandmates who feel like background characters who exist to move the plot along. Rei is the other defined character; the tortured musician who helps Teru towards stardom. Theres also Kiyomi who is Terus assumed gf who doesnt have much of a ploy impact. She seems sweet but not super understandavle. Im gonna be honest, I didnt super understand the initial relationship between Rei and Teru. I’m not sure if I missed some emotional cues but I felt removed for the initial relationsgip. That being said, the way they grow together was really beautiful. This is a book thag deals with disability in a fairly frank manner: its not fun, theres pain and hopelessness but overall there’s adjustment and growth. This doesn’t fall into disability porn which I feel like it easily could have.
Plot: I ended up watching Phantom of the Opera to try to make a little more sense of the beginning of this book. Mostly because I didnt understand the instant attraction between Teru and Rei. ThT being said I very much enjoyed the trajectory of this story. Once their relationship was anlittle more solid I totallt understood the correction. Rei has a difficult personality to love at first but seeing past thet theres so much more. The book leads to the band getting a record deal and ita interesting to see the ways eveyone in the story approcahes it.
Writing Style: Fine? Im gonna be honest. I’ve never been to Japan so the culture in this biik was different tgan I expected and I now realize this is meant dor a different sextion.
I felt like I was missing a lot of the emotional cues early on which was not ideal because so much happened in the silences. That being said the cues were far easier to understand later on. I would argue that the second half of this book is much stronger than the first half. Although a lot of that was due to more substantial relationships.
World Building: I was super unaware of a lot of Japanese culture. I ended up looking up a number of things. First off, ai am very into emo culture which is what visual kei seems to be. But the world did seem fully realized. Ive never been to Japan and dont understand some of the pieces of history but felt like I had a good underysnading of the scene and everything that came with it.
What to pair it with: Is there a modern version of a mint julep. Maybe a mind mojito? Something that has some traditional routes with a fun new look.
Rating: 3.5/5 I really enjoyed this book but it needed a bit of time to really dig it.
COMMENT DOWN BELOW: Once you read it Id love to hear what you think