I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not in any way affect my opinions.
The Sound of Stars is out today, and y’all had better not sleep on this wonderful book! I truly do not have the words to explain how much I love it, but I’m going to try, so bear with me through this rambly review (or else forgo the review altogether and just go read the book. that works too)
This book is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful books I have ever read.
I’m struggling to figure out how to review The Sound of Stars, because it is such a masterpiece and no review of mine could ever do it justice. But alas I got an arc so I guess I’ll have to try and put my feelings for this book into words.
I want to touch briefly on the lot before I move onto all of my favourite parts. Personally I thought the plot was perfect, but I think you need to know what you’re getting into to. This book isn’t action packed and full of explosions. The plot was engaging, but it was also very much a back burner part of the story. It was there, and it was well done, but it wasn’t front and centre. This book was first and foremost about the characters. (but also that TWIST. The ending left me shook y’all)
I also want to really highlight the writing. It was so subtly gorgeous. I read this book very slowly, I large part because I couldn’t help but linger over every word. I love pretty writing, and fall in love with writing styles easily, but it’s rare for me to feel quite the need to take in every single perfect word the way I did with this one. The writing transported me into another world, and I spent the entire time in awe of it.
The world building was masterful as well. The book took place in the aftermath of an alien invasion, but due to the way it was done I felt like I was learning to understand the way the world worked after the invasion along with the characters. I didn’t always understand, but I was never confused – instead it was a very purposeful thing.
The Sound of the Stars also had a lot of social and political commentary, and I applaud Alechia Dow for her brilliant handling of that. It dealt heavily with the more subtle themes of colonialism, and also had outright discussions about consent, and discrimination, and the violence that marginalized people face.
I also want to appreciate the representation. Our main character is a bi demi black girl, and the other main character is implied to be demi as well. There was also a large side character who was nonbinary.
And then, of course, that leads into the characters. The characters y’all.I do not have the words for how much I love these characters.
Firstly we have Morris. He is the literal sweetest bean ever. I love him so much. He’s a little bit confused about the whole feelings thing, but he also loves so fiercely. He adores music, and passionately believes in freedom. He always tries his best to do the right thing, even if he screws up sometimes. Also he just wants a friend and he’s so soft and sweet and I LOVE HIM
Secondly we have Janelle, or Ellie. Y’all I do not have the words for how much I love Ellie. I do not have words. She is just… an icon. She is so fucking messy, but that’s what makes her so wonderful. Ellie isn’t your typical heroine trying to save the world – she isn’t really sure if humanity even deserves saving. She’s angry and she’s hurt and she’s passionate and she will do anything for her family and her books, and to hell with the rest of the world. She is one of the most real protagonists I’ve read in a long time, and I adore her.