Title: Look to the Stars
Author: Catherine Wilson
Publisher: Catherine Wilson, 2016 (March 29)
Genre: YA Fantasy
**I received a copy of this book free from Ebooksforreview and the author in exchange for an honest review**
First of all, I was of course IN LOVE with this cover:
And the book was intense, and it was long…
And it was TOTALLY WORTH IT!
Ok, ok…before I go off about this book and its sequel that I must read right away, let me tell you a little story about this book:
Penelope Brave, or Brave as she is known to the people of Ashen, has lived a relatively quiet life as a princess. Within the high borders of her home, she has her papa, Emory, who cares for her deeply, and is always making sure she stays safe within the walls. She’s been raised believing that if she looks to the stars, she will see her deceased mother in the heavens, looking down on her.
But when her papa goes missing, Brave feels lost. She leaves the safety of the walls to find out who has taken him…she suspects The Lost, people who live in the woods and call her the “Cursed one.” She decides to set a meeting with a member and find out where her papa is…but what she doesn’t expect is a handsome stranger that seems to know all about her. His appearance when she’s in a dangerous spot doesn’t just pique her interest: it infuriates her.
When two guards from Orien (one being the same boy from the dangerous night) come to take Brave to their city, Brave finds out all she has known about her life is a lie.
Her mother is alive. Her father (her real one) is a tyrant looking for his long-lost daughter. And her papa? No one knows where he is.
As Brave prepares to make the trek to Orien in hopes of finding answers, the mysterious Aras seems to know the answers to questions she never thought to ask…
Like why was she in Ashen to begin with? Who is the man she’s been calling papa all these years?
And does she really have magic in her blood??
Yes, but it’s long. At 351 pages, and a sequel, it would be a long unit. However, it’s a saga that rivals one of my own favorites, The Kiss of Deception series. So though it would be too long to use in the classroom, it would be perfect for readers outside the classroom. I can find this to be of major interest to high school and advanced middle school readers. (I say advanced because the story is long, and there is a lot of information as the plot is heavy). I would love to read the next book and see how this series continues, but for right now I would say it would be a good recommended read for fantasy loving students or students who love princesses and magic.
So you know by now that Lexile doesn’t evaluate independent books, so I try my best. I would say that the age would depend on the level of the reader: there are no inappropriate scenes or swearing, no brutal or violent imagery to worry about. This book is definitely something appropriate for 12 and up, but I would steer clear of handing this to a reluctant reader because its plot-heavy. I would encourage this for advanced younger readers or readers 15 and up so the story can be followed in all its glory.
I LOVED THIS BOOK. Loved it.
Yes, it was long, but I kept reaching for it after I put it down. I’m dying to read thr next book, The Darkest Night, so I can know what happens next. The book doesn’t end on a cliffhanger per se, but it does end on an interesting note that begs to be continued. If I didn’t have so many in the pipeline to read, I’d be nabbing the next one up right away.
So I give Look to the Stars ★★★★★. Just like Heir of Illaria, this one blew me away. The writing is practically prose. It does take awhile to get used to the descriptive writing, so I’ll warn you now. That’s one of the reasons I suggest a seasoned reader. But the prose IS beautiful:
“Get on with it, Darcy. If you’re afraid that your very words will break me, then rest assured, for I am nothing but a collection of disheveled pieces, glued back and held together with only the little string of hope that I keep for my papa’s return. So if you’re looking to shield my feelings, looking to spare my heart, don’t bother. You see, you can’t hurt me, because I already am.”
“Your mother told us both right before she left. Do you remember what she said?”
“Yes.” I sigh, content to never move from this spot and watch the sky for signs of my mother until dawn. “She said, ‘Look to the stars, for you’ll find me there.’”
I give Look to the Stars…
So you gonna read it now? Because I really think you should!
***On a personal note, I have been packing and getting ready for a move to Florida. Not something I want or planned. My mother used to work from home as a remote employee, but the remote positions are being phased out, and in order to keep her job, she is forced to move where the home office is in Palm Bay. I live with her so I’m going with her from my home in Michigan. This has put me very behind on my reading as I am packing and it’s very rushed. This is why I’ve been absent from blog-hopping and why it took me so long to read this. I hope you’ll bear with me as I make this transition and remember that this is where I want to be, here with my fellow bloggerinos. Please be patient with me and I will come back with some giveaways to reward my loyal peeps! We will get through this!***