Minda’s drunk review of The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow. The book came out 2/25. Thanks Bloomsbury YA and NetGalley for the advanced copy!
What I drank prior: Were all social distancing, so we did a virtual happy hour. All-in-all I had a bottle of red wine and an ipa.
Can a girl who risks her life for books and an alien who loves forbidden pop music work together to save humanity?
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.
My Summary: After Earth is taken over by aliens, math, science, creativity, books, and art are all illegal. To protect humanity, we have Elle, a human who risks her life to lend out books, and M0Rr1S, an alien shaped like the humans his kind wants to control who loves music. Together, they go on a mission to save some of the best art works and themselves.
Spoiler-free Thoughts: OK this book was super cute if I was only in it for the YA love story. But unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you see it, that’s not what I was here for. The premise was amazing—human and alien team up to save humanity’s art—but turned into more of a instalove story. On the plus side, it was a definite love letter to music and books in a way that any book lover can appreciate!
Characters: M0RiS was in some ways the most relatable character to me, even though he was *fake* human—and I guess the only one that matter? Idk. As for Janelle (Elle) I did like her, but also seemed really unrelatavle at time and was just there to fill in the plot… very there for aces characters (and love that they didn’t feel the need to explain) though. Many times they only seemed to have one personality trait—being in love with the other one. And that’s about it, those were the only two characters that are well-developed.
Plot: Like I said, I wanted to the there for this story, but the plot wasn’t all there for me. I thought there was a good beginning—human just trying to make this new life work and alien subverting expectations—then, ya know, not too much following that. The middle was a bunch of wandering and empty declarations. At one point they are just telling each other I love you over and over. Geez, focus up. Then the ending wrapped up too nicely, though I wasn’t expecting the surprise twist.
World Building: I like the world, I do. But I feel lije there wasn’t enough there. I’m sure we’re going to get mor evenetually, but at the moment it’s not enough. Could have been better it there was a true Illori perspective, but so far they’re just the straight up villains. The magic Andarrans stuff is a little confusing at the moment.
Writing Style: The two perspectives—Elle And Morris—were way too similar in my opinion. In the middle, I couldn’t tell who I was hearing from tbh. Pacing issues also made it seem like a longer read than it was.
Drunk Pairing: I supposed a vodka soda—overall pretty bland, but going to get you there.
Rating: 3/5 shots