Review: The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow

The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow

The Sound of Stars
Alechia Dow
Inkyard Press
Published February 25, 2020

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Goodreads

About The Sound of Stars

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.

The Sound of Stars on Goodreads

My Review

Somewhere between requesting an advance copy of this book and actually reading it, I forgot what this story was about. (This is the only thing I don’t like much about e-books– it’s harder to flip to the back cover copy and read the summary again if you want to refresh on the premise of the book.)

Right away, though, I loved the idea of the secret library. And the references to some of the social situations and how they morphed after the alien invasion felt pretty realistic. I also think it’s really fun when a book creates its own fandom, whether that’s a famous book or movie or in this case, a famous band. I loved all the snippets about the Starry Eyed– interviews, lyrics, news spots, everything that made them seem real.

It took me a little while to get into Ellie. She’s a little prickly, which I grew to understand and love once I understood why. At first I think I worried she would be too judgy– but it becomes obvious fairly quickly that she’s just guarded and for good reasons.

I really liked the way Ellie and Morris’s relationship developed. I also loved that the story followed Ellie’s feelings about physical affection. I feel like that can be a really alienating thing to feel, especially as a teenager when there’s so much emphasis on dating and attraction. So I loved that this story models someone who’s different, and a relationship in which that’s okay.

Plot-wise, I feel like some people are going to argue that the end is kind of too easy. I don’t want to give anything away. For me, I enjoyed the end– there were some elements of it that I could see coming, but that didn’t hinder my enjoyment of it. This is one of those books that sets up the second book in the last few pages of the first, so I’m sure there will be a sequel. Right now I plan to read it. I’m interested enough in Ellie and Morris’s story to invest in another book for sure!

Fans of THE 5TH WAVE by Rick Yancey or DEFY THE STARS by Claudia Gray will definitely want THE SOUND OF STARS on their reading lists!

The Sound of Stars on Amazon

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 14 up.

Representation
Ellie describes herself as on the spectrum of asexuality (gender isn’t important to her with regard to romantic love) and isn’t generally interested in romantic physical intimacy. She’s also black. There are a couple minor characters that identify with they/them pronouns.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used fairly frequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
Some references to sex and kissing. Brief kissing between boy and girl.

Spiritual Content
None.

Violent Content
Ellie and her friends witness human executions (someone hanged to death) and trauma caused by experimentation. Some situations of peril and battle situations. Nothing grossly graphic, but the kinds of things you’d expect in a post-apocalyptic world.

Drug Content
Ellie’s mother is an alcoholic.

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support the costs of running this blog. I received a free copy of THE SOUND OF STARS in exchange for my honest review.

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About Kasey Giard

I'm a mama, reader, and writer. Passionate about peppermint (it's not just for Christmas, okay?!), fly fishing, and movie night.

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