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STORY (YA sci-fi romance) - Some YA books are among my very, very favorites (Hunger Games, The Selection, Contours of the Heart). Others, not so much. This book won multiple awards, but I don't really get it. Kricket lives on Earth, but she's not exactly human. Trey comes to rescue her and take her home, but so do some bad guys. There's conflict and romance, as you might expect. The concept, the characters, the setting were all good enough. I can't really put my finger on what was lacking, but the book was just okay IMHO. I know I'm way too old for the target audience, but so many books listed as YA are awesome. This isn't one of them.
PERFORMANCE - Good job, nothing remarkable.
OVERALL - No sex, cussing or graphic violence. I'd recommend this for females up to the age of about 20 who enjoy futuristic romances. Parents must be okay with making out and some mild sexual references. NOT recommended for adults, even if you like YA. This is Book 1 of the series and it can stand alone, though the ending was left open for much more to come. I don't plan to continue the series, however.
20 of 21 people found this review helpful
I really enjoyed the worldbuilding that Bartol did in regards to the setting (I desperately want to know more about Ethar). And despite some of my frustrations, I plan on continuing with the series. The writing is decent, and the story can be intriguing.
With that said, there are two things that really bugged me about this book: 1) the romance, and 2) the tropes (specifically the ones that involve rapey dudes and overpowered female protagonists).
The romance was eyerollingly bad at times. It was very much like reading non-sexual purple prose. The romance felt forced (and perhaps it was, seeing as Kricket seems to have influence as a priestess). All the men seem to fall head over heals for Kricket, and it is very annoying. I would appreciate if Bartol could find a better way to advance the romantic plot. Also, Kricket hates most of the romantic suitors, and most of them are physically abusive and claim ownership over her.
I really disliked how stepping into this entirely new world Kricket was simultaneously exposed to leaps in technology and giant steps backwards for feminism. I just can't help but wonder what would have happened if Bartol would have been a bit more creative with the story's obstacles. The plot was overly-narcissistic with its main protaganist, Kricket. Barton has this big, beautiful world ready to explore, and instead the plot becomes so singularly focused on a ho-hum romance that it loses me as a reader. Kricket is said over and over again to be a perfect beauty, incredibly intelligent, able to (snarkily) hold conversation, etc, etc. Kricket is too perfect and it kills me a bit. An unflawed protagonist is a HUGE flaw for me in any story.
This book honestly comes across as some fourteen year old girl's romantic daydream, and that may be fine for some people, but for me I really insist on more from my books.
71 of 79 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Yes, I would recommend this book to everyone I know. Even thought at first I think a lot of them wouldn't think this would be their thing. I didn't at first, the first few chapters make this book seem like your typical YA novel but that is misleading. <br/>Each book gets better and they are already amazing. Well book one is good, although it does have a slow and cliched start, book two is amazing and book three is heart-breaking. There needs to be a book four. It's such a beautiful read, money well spent.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Under Different Stars?
Can't think of a moment. But I loved the characters you really grow to love them.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
I did listen to it in one sitting, then I bought the next one and NEEDED to buy the third but hopefully not last in the series.
Really loved it. So different and original! I love that Kricket has such a strong personality and is so funny to listen to. Truly enjoyed it!
Kate Rudd has a beautiful voice, and does a wonderful job with the Narration of this book. She does a wonderful job of easily distinguishing each of the characters (both male and female) making this an easy story to listen to, and adding an extra level to the story as its told.
The first in the Kricket series is a somewhat interesting story. It starts off a little slow, before picking up pace.
Bartol describes her worlds beautifully, giving you real perspective and depth even when on Earth. It's when you get to Ethar though that you truly get to understand how well she writes.
She has done a good job of covering her characters as well, plausible explanations for their size, what has happened on their world and various other things that I won't cover so as to not give too much away.
Whilst it may appeal to some older Sci-Fi/Fantasy readers, this will mainly appeal to YA readers due to the relationships between the main characters, Kricket, Trey, Kyon and even Jax and Wayra. The unfolding love story between Kricket and Trey is more suited to a YA audience for the way it is written.
The only other annoying aspect of this story, is that people (well main characters) seem unable to die. Every time you believe that one of the mains is about to die, someone or something miraculously saves them.
If you are a fan of Twilight, or Hunger Games, (and generally I HATE making comparisons), then you will most likely love this.
I did at times get a little lost in the overly gushy young love between Trey and Kricket, but the background Sci-Fi story of civil war between Alameeda and Rafe clans (and others) as well as Krickets continuing growth as something powerful and unique in this new world, more than keeps you interested.
This story is well worth listening to, and with the exquisite narration of Kate Rudd, it is even more so.