The Stars We Steal – Alexa Donne

I seem to be somewhat on a SciFi trip at the moment. I’ve been reading a lot of books set in space and can’t seem to stop! So it’s a good thing Sarah Mather from Titan is supporting my problem by sending me great books – thank you so much for the review copy of The Stars We Steal! Described as a sort of Bachelor in space for YA readers, continue reading for my review:

RELEASE DATE: 04/02/2019

STAR RATING: 4/5 ✶

SYNOPSIS: Engagement season is in the air. Eighteen-year-old Princess Leonie “Leo” Kolburg, heir to a faded European spaceship, has only one thing on her mind: which lucky bachelor can save her family from financial ruin?

But when Leo’s childhood friend and first love, Elliot, returns as the captain of a successful whiskey ship, everything changes. Elliot was the one who got away, the boy Leo’s family deemed to be unsuitable for marriage. Now he’s the biggest catch of the season and he seems determined to make Leo’s life miserable. But old habits die hard, and as Leo navigates the glittering balls of the Valg Season, she finds herself falling for her first love in a game of love, lies and past regrets. (from Titan Books)

OPINIONS: A loose retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, The Stars We Steal is a regency romance in a science fiction setting. Don’t expect high literary value, but do expect entertainment, surprisingly complex characters and ensuing shenanigans. Despite being a flimsy romantic novel on the surface, one of the central themes The Stars We Steal deals with is class.

Any hint of rebellion and change is seen as terrorism and the state of the masses is kept from the higher classes. Set in space ships, and therefore segregated more rigidly in terms of location, Alexa Donne paints a haunting picture of an issue permeating our society as well. Together with Leo, we readers get our bubble popped, and are confronted with our privilege and the ways in which it influences our views and  opinions. Just as Leo grows to see the world in shades of colour rather than the black and white world view she starts out with, it is to be hoped that readers consider their own biases and think about how they might be able to use their privilege to provide space for all voices to be heard.

Leo undergoes a lot of character development throughout the course of the story. She learns that there are right and wrong reasons to marry someone, both if doing so for love and for money, trust is hard-earned, and sometimes listening is better than stubbornness. While I am generally not a fan of romance novels (and didn’t quite realise what I was getting myself into when I started reading The Stars We Steal) I thought it was incredibly well done for what it was attempting to do and I enjoyed it a lot!

It’s out tomorrow, so you still have a chance to (pre-)order it, for example on Book Depository here, or add it on Goodreads here!

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