Friday, August 3, 2012

Review: Defy the Stars by Stephanie Parent

Defy the StarsDefy the Stars

Kindle Edition325 pages
Published: August 1st 2012
Purchase: Amazon 
*Ecopy provided by Author for an honest review.

Synopsis via Goodreads:
Julia Cape: A dedicated classical piano student just trying to get through her last semester of high school while waiting to hear from music conservatories. 

Reed MacAllister: A slacker more likely to be found by the stoners’ tree than in class.

Julia and Reed might have graduated high school without ever speaking to each other…until, during a class discussion of Romeo and Juliet, Julia scoffs at the play’s theme of love at first sight, and Reed responds by arguing that feelings don’t always have to make sense. Julia tries to shake off Reed’s comment and forget about this boy who hangs with the stoner crowd—and who happens to have breathtaking blue eyes—but fate seems to bring the two together again and again. After they share an impulsive, passionate kiss, neither one can deny the chemistry between them. Yet as Julia gets closer to Reed, she also finds herself drawn into his dark world of drugs and violence. Then a horrific tragedy forces Julia’s and Reed’s families even farther apart…and Julia must decide whether she’s willing to give up everything for love.

Defy the Stars is written in an edgy free-verse style that will appeal to fans of Ellen Hopkins and Lisa Schroeder; however, the writing is accessible enough to speak to non-verse fans as well. The novel’s combination of steamy romance and raw emotion will appeal to fans of Gayle Forman, Simone Elkeles, Jennifer Echols, and Tammara Webber. With a story, language and form that both pay homage to and subvert Shakespeare’s play, Defy the Stars is much more than just another Romeo and Juliet story.

~My Review~

My musical interest is unlimited, and any story that has music in the mix is bound to get my attention. Defy the Stars stands on its own as one of the most exhilarating, thought-provoking, and fascinating story portraying the life of a young girl coming into her own and deciphering what it truly is she wants in life.  

What's so wonderful about Stephanie's writing, other than the fact that the story's written in verse, is how instead of chapters things are taking place throughout the course of months. I think that's a cool way of showing growth in the main character's life over the particular period of time leading up to her graduation, as well as how her relationships fair. Whether its with her friends, family, and Reed. 

Reed and Julia together is beautiful but somewhat dangerous. His situation is not to be taken lightly. Reed isn't a bad guy, in my opinion, its just the stuff around him that's bad. I think music is what connected the two on another level, aside from their strong chemistry. 

Julia is an interesting character. I loved how playing the piano was something she decided to do on her own as oppose to being pressured into it by her parents. Though, she does seem pressured in other ways, whether its living up to their expectations of excelling, or establishing a relationship with someone they deem as respectable, focused, and up to their liking. Julia is a teen so of course her way of discerning certain things will leave you with questionable expressions, but nonetheless, her ability to rise above all else is quite remarkable.

So, what else can I say about this novel? The setting is brilliant, the plot is far from generic, the characters are relatable. Stephanie Parent offers an interesting view on what happens with teens in society, no matter their background, If you're up for a rather realistic read then this is a story for you.


  1. I just finished this book! And I loved it!
    I've never cried so hard over a book before!
    And you are right, her writing style is beautiful!
    It was a heart gripping story and your review was amazing!

    Magen Corrie

    1. Thank you. I'm glad you got so into the story as well.

  2. Seems like you really enjoyed this book, Shane. I think I need to give it a try especially since it's written in verse.
    Great review! :)

  3. Great review. I have added this to my TBR. I have only read 3 verse books and enjoyed them bunches.

  4. I didn't know this was written in verse. I have actually never read a book written in verse. I think I am afraid to lol. This sounds really great though. Maybe I should try it out. Great review!!

  5. Oh, I have this book for review. Your review has me even more excited to read Defy the Stars! I absolutely love books written in verse. And I love the time passing as you've described it. Great review!

    1. I'm glad I could motivate you to read it. Hope you enjoy the story!

  6. I love your review, I, too love books with music in them... Have you read 'If I Die' and 'Where She Went' by Gayle Foreman? That is amazing, too, and the music is very important in those two books. I have now added this to my TBR pile :)

    1. Never heard of those but thanks for the enlightenment.

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