This gorgeously imagined YA debut blends shades of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust and a breathtaking landscape of Hindu mythology into a radiant contemporary fantasy.
The daughter of a star and a mortal, Sheetal is used to keeping secrets. Pretending to be “normal.” But when an accidental flare of her starfire puts her human father in the hospital, Sheetal needs a full star’s help to heal him. A star like her mother, who returned to the sky long ago.
Sheetal’s quest to save her father will take her to a celestial court of shining wonders and dark shadows, where she must take the stage as her family’s champion in a competition to decide the next ruling house of the heavens–and win, or risk never returning to Earth at all.
Brimming with celestial intrigue, this sparkling YA debut is perfect for fans of Roshani Chokshi and Laini Taylor.
Publication Date: August 11th, 2020
My Favourite Quote: *subject to change*
It was funny, the way things changed. How people could be shocked by something, a bit of information that didn’t fit what they knew of the world, and then expand and grow around it, into it, until it becomes part of them, just another piece in an overarching narrative.
Received an Advanced Reader’s Copy from the publisher, HarperTeen, via Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
Star Daughter was one of the books that I had chosen to read for the IndLitReadathon organized by Shruti @This Is Lit, Charvi at @Not Just Fiction and Nandini at @Novels and Nebulas. (Drop by their blogs, they’re all darlings <3)
I was very excited to dive into Star Daughter and I liked the tone and the protagonist almost immediately and after the author’s description of samosas, I was a goner. The prose was almost poetic and had a hypnotic quality to it and the descriptions were really detailed and it’s as if you’re right there with the protagonist and you could touch her world if you reached out a hand.
Sheetal was definitely well written and I loved how the author portrayed her with a duality to her personality. One half of her is human and the other is star and the wants and desires of these two very different beings is a pull inside this young sixteen year old. I think my favourite part of this book was how Sheetal was portrayed with her conflicting feelings of longing to belong and wanting to be wary of her new circumstance and even old acquaintances. She grew out of them well and came to terms with her own identity as the story progressed. Perhaps the only thing that did bother me about her was her internal conflict over her love interest. I did away with the thought by reminding myself of her age, but I won’t say that it felt particularly realistic either.
The writing, as I had mentioned earlier was very mesmerising and had a lyrical quality to it. It evenly matched the tone of the story that spoke so much of songs, art and music. However, there was a point at which for me these descriptions started to come in the way of the plot; which meant that sometimes in between dialogues or scenes, large portions of the chapter was occupied by the scene-narrative rather than the story’s progression. This started to exhaust me and came in the way of the flow of the story for me that I began to skim and I really don’t like skim reading. *makes a sad face*
Now, the plot was a real strong point for me after Sheetal’s personality and that was what kept me pushing through till the end. However, for me, the climax felt … forced. The story felt like it was going in a certain direction and then suddenly spun to take another road entirely and I did feel some of what happened was for effect and the angst it created. This was however only towards the end and you may certainly feel very differently!
The food references, the desi touch was all so wonderful and definitely a lush landscape. I love how unique the plot was and I definflitey love where the author took inspiration for SD from! I also have to mention that this book has some serious friendship goals! Minal is my favourite character even if Sheetal was well written. The kind of dedication that girl has for Sheetal is just … *makes unintelligible noises*. It’s what I want to see more of.
I’m hovering between a three and a three point five rating, but I’m going to throw care to the wind because samosas and say 3.5! I read this book with two close friends and one of them loved it a lot! SO don’t be down, this book could totally be your jam! ❤ ❤
Happy reading and warm (safe hugs)! Stay safe.