- Copertina flessibile: 296 pagine
- Editore: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edizione (8 gennaio 2014)
- Collana: The Kricket Series
- Lingua: Inglese
- ISBN-10: 1493780557
- ISBN-13: 978-1493780556
- Peso di spedizione: 422 g
Under Different Stars: Volume 1 (Inglese)
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Amy A. Bartol is the award-winning and bestselling author of the Premonition Series, which includes: Inescapable, Intuition, Indebted, Incendiary and Iniquity. She lives in Michigan with her husband and two sons. Visit her at her website: http://www.amyabartol.com.
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I wish this one had been different. Let me start by saying that the actual prose was solid, it was simple but it wasn't awkward or clunky. I never felt that the narration was talking down to the reader or treating them like they were stupid. I also found myself not hating Kricket, even if I felt like the author betrayed her more often than she helped. I love the idea of tackling the difficulties of being a kid who grew up in the pathetic excuse of a 'foster' system, and having a biracial lead could have been so powerful. Kricket is smart and ferocious, she doesn't like being used and often lets her independence get in the way. She is treated with a bit of special snowflake syndrome - I'm willing to look over it since she had actual faults and most of the 'special' was forced onto her by others (but really platinum blondes aren't really that rare, 5'10" is not short by any average, the college she was looking at offers scholarships and housing for foster kids and I'll get to the most beautiful thing in a bit) - but I felt like she had an honestly solid base character. I don't mind female characters who are tough and self dependent especially when it gets them into trouble when it needs to.
That said, for whatever horrible reason the author decided that it was completely okay to oversexualise Kricket to an absurdly creepy point. The only men who weren't interested in her were gay. Everyone else wanted a piece of her because she was just so beautiful they just couldn't help themselves. No one had any difficulty touching her - even after the author stated in lore that touching was something that was not acceptable between casual friends or with strangers. What's worse is when the boys weren't fighting over her bra and panties, they were using magical x-ray glasses to scan for her virginity. I can't even begin to talk about how creepy and wrong it is and how Kricket feels violated but it's instantly dropped and forgotten. I don't even know where to start my rant on this, because this is aimed at TEENAGE GIRLS. Why are we still writing and pretending like there is any way to tell if someone is a virgin or not?? Why are we still acting like it's okay to attach any value to something so pointless, and why do we insist on writing fantasy that is so incredibly sexist? I was beyond disgusted that it was brought up more than once and held over her head, it's beyond gross. On top of this, there is this suffocating romance that should not have even been included.
The lead male Trey pulls her around, forces her gaze, continuously reminds her that she's small and weak and female and she needs a man to protect her (a sentiment that is echoed by every other male around her). He is constantly yelling at her and derailing her, invalidating the way she thinks and speaks because it's not 'ladylike'. He kidnaps her and then spends the first half of the book saying he isn't and telling her that the other side were the ones who were going to hold her prisoner. His side was just going to punish her. He gets ridiculously over protective of her almost instantly, and at SEVERAL points he strips her down while she's unconscious. His role in the plot to be a man who protects invalidates Kricket's own characterization at several points and honestly, there is no sense in writing them into a romance.
What little plot there was could have been actually interesting, a little typical but it could have been so much more than it was. This book felt like a set up but it did very little world building aside from a few info dumps every few chapters. So much of the plot was interrupted by Kricket being treated like a piece of meat for literally every male character in the book. The universe could have been cool, some cross between Victorian and the ultra modern but it was so heavy in archaic sexism that there was never any time to explore it.
I'm too frustrated to even go on at this point. The author did a terrible job at writing what could have been a really amazing book. I am so sick of YA authors falling back on age old tropes that need to die out already, they are overdone and frankly disgusting. I am so sick of seeing fantasy and scifi universes being riddled with sexism, especially with female leads. It's been done to death and frankly I don't see why it's included. Kricket literally has magical hair and powers but women in the universe are just objects to be married.
If this book had spent more time on the plot and honest character developments and had fought against typical YA tropes it would have been so much better.
I didn't love this book, but I didn't hate it. I enjoyed that Kricket was a foster child from a harder place than many people ever experience, but I thought that could have translated better into who she was as a person. This could have developed into a very interesting and character driven coming of age story, but it just didn't quite manifest.
Kricket's inner monologue indicated that she had hardened her heart, but she didn't seem all that hard-hearted to me, as she started to trust her captors far too easily. As a foster parent myself, perhaps I'm just more familiar with the trust issues these kids have and the attachment issues that follow, so it was very disconnected for me. Also, her naivete was unsettling. She would not have been that ignorant of how to play games she faced in her "home world." Foster children are survivors, and while she might have not known the details and specifics of the games being played, there is most often a well honed knowledge of how to play them.
I did not like the male-domination that drove the majority of this book. While Kricket herself seemed to be a feminist, as the reader, I could never quite tell when her feminism would manifest and when she would play the victim in need of saving.
Another aspect that I didn't quite understand was the complete fascination with her body. Kricket's body is lusted after constantly. And she is naked more than once in the presence of her love interest, but, perhaps because it is a YA novel and not an adult novel nothing happens. Most concerning for me (especially for an audience of young female readers) is that one of these times she actually falls asleep fully dressed in the arms of her love interest and awakens completely naked and lying next to him in bed. He is fully dressed, but explains that he cut her clothes off because it "...looked uncomfortable." This reeks of taking advantage of a sleeping woman and all my hackles rose, but Kricket is not appalled or offended or scared...Instead,
"Was it hot?" I ask between kisses. "Cutting it off me?"
Are you kidding me?!?! Was this supposed to develop sexual tension? Yuck...that whole scene. Yuck.
Overall, I didn't hate the story. I might read more in the series, but I won't search it out. If I come down to needing something to read and there aren't any better options available in the library, I may pick up the second book...we'll just have to see.
For conservative readers: See above...
But we're not going to talk about Bartol, we're going to talk about her amazing book. And this review is completely unbiased! I don't have a lot of reading time so I'm very stingy and picky with the books I read. So when I was given (begged for) this ARC of UDS, Amy said no pressure. Now, the book's been out for weeks and I'm finally able to get to it and I'm KICKING myself for not making myself lose a night of sleep sooner! (4am)
Holy Hot Alien Trey, Batman!
He was fighting it so hard in the beginning, poor guy. Trying to do the right thing. And then kept on trying to do the right thing, but Kricket kept right on inching her way into his world and his heart until she was there to stay. He was an aggressive, strong, alpha, tattooed, military leader, good guy, rake you with his eyes kind of guy that was blind-sided by this girl who turned out to be nothing like they imagined she would when they went to find her. He gets so frustrated with her, but it's because he wants what he cant have, he wants to protect her, he knows that things are about to go bad real fast when they get 'home', and he'd being pulled in several directions. I felt for him. Even when he was mad at her and being an idiot, I could still understand the struggle. But he would always come back around and make you forget it in not time. He was so alpha and I love that. Her protection was the most important thing above all else and when she was in danger all his walls fell down, and you'd see his true feelings, even though sometimes Kricket couldn't even see them. And his little cute jealous ticks with their friends and the other 'suitors'. Adorable. When he decides something, look out, cause that boy is determined. He is my favorite book boy of the year.
The app on my phone almost short circuited because of the heat between these two. I'll name a few instances. The pool, when Trey "saves her". I love when Jax tries to take her and Trey is not having any of it. Two, shower scene that was so, so hot but nothing actually happened at all. It broke my and Kricket's heart at the same time. Like...whoa. Instance number three, the first time he calls her Kitten...and anytime following that. Four, the fountain. Five, when he tells her what he did the night after the fountain in regards to a certain female and the whole 'missed birthday' conversation. Six, "Undergarments? Is that what you call those polar little monsters?" You get the gist of that one. So hot and swoony and adorable.
"You can trust me with your heart."
And Kricket, oh Kricket. Poor girl. Been to hell and back again and no one even bothered to buy her a t-shirt for her troubles. I loved her, too. She was spunky without being stupid. She never did these outrageously idiotic things to get into trouble where she had to be rescued or anything. She didn't let them walk all over her, but she cried and had moments where it was all too much. She was 'human' and though this was a fantasy book, it was real. I wanted to take her for coffee and get some names of people to kick butts of. She was awesome. She tried so hard to be brave and strong, to do what was the right thing, not just whatever her little heart desired. She wasn't selfish. She understood that there was a big picture to this whole thing. She understood sacrifice.
And I LOVED the supporting cast. I mean LOVED them. That hardly ever happens for me. Like ever. Jax and Wayra were my absolute favorite. We didn't see Trey's brother Victus very much, but I know he'll be back. And I'm sure they'll be drama there, because it was hinted at. Maybe the family will want him to commit to Kricket and he may even have a crush on her himself, who knows. Trey's first intended, Charisma, we never saw (hallelujah!) but I'm pretty sure that won't last. She'll probably come back in book 2 as well, maybe even with a vengeance, but I'm happy with how things went. I was so, so, so happy that Trey didn't pull some parading-Charisma-around-in-front-of-Kricket stunt to hurt her and try to get her to move on. I waited for it and just knew it was coming but was so happy that Amy didn't follow the predictable route. I can't stand when couples try to use that stuff on each other when they love each other, even if they 'think' it's for a good reason. I hate it. So, bravo, Amy for not falling prey to typical YA cliches.
This book was about a dystopian society. It was fascinating to read all about the things, words, food, animals, tons of things that Amy created for it. If you love to sink into a completely new world, then this is for you. Lots of romance and laughs. I literally could not put it down. You need to read this.
I'm in love with paranormal\dystopian again!
6 out of 5 stars from me!
This book is in no way slow. This book jumps right into the story that causes Krickets life to change forever. Not to mention the fact that Kricket is one badass main character. She is incredibly intelligent and calculated, brave, and strong. I mean this girl escaped from men kidnapping her at least three times. Even when her life was put in other people's hands she was able to evaluate her situation and be smart about every decision she makes. She is also so much more than meets the eye. She is a priestess who is supposed to possess some type of power that she doesn't know about. A war is on the brink of erupting to possess her for what she ca do.
I also loved every character in this book, even the bad guys were fitting. Trey is bae for sure. He is just friggin amazing. I loved him throughout this story and the slow growing relationship that he built with Kricket was so beautiful to read throughout the story. His two companions Jax and Wayra I loved so much, they were so much fun and brought something extra to the story. Their loyalty to not only Trey but Kricket was soooo great. Hell I even liked Kyon even though he is crazy for sure, but gotta admire his determination. He never gives up.
I loved this story and it was refreshing to get all the things I love out of a book. The writing style was amazing the way Amy built this relationship with her characters. You get hints of it throughout the story because their all so intrigued by Kricket and it draws people to her. I loved it so much. Kricket is awesome and a lovable character, Trey is my new book boyfriend. The world building was great, I loved this world Amy created. This is a must read if you like sci-fi romance books.
Just because she's a strong female doesn't mean she's unaffected by love. And equally just because she's a woman who happens to fall in love doesn't mean she's incredibly feeble minded and can't do a thing, making others have to protect her all the time. I love that this story has this impeccable balance. Definitely worth the read, you'll easily fall in love with all of the characters and you'll laugh and enjoy every moment as if you're with good friends. I am SO looking forward to the second book!