Mini-reviews: A Walk in the Sun + The Star-Touched Queen

pub 5/3/16 by HarperTeen
YA - Contemporary
Received e-ARC from Edelweiss
A Walk in the Sun reminded me of old-fashioned romance. The kind that really leaves an impression on you, whether you able to realize it at the time or not. And as someone who's read, Bridges of Madison County (granted, this was back in high school!) I can see why there’s a comparison. Rose Darrow comes from a small town in upstate New York. Her plan was to graduate, go to college and see the world. But tragedy forces her plans to change as she tries to keep her family’s farm afloat and take care of everyone else. Then she gets some help, namely Bodhi Lowell, who starts working on the farm for the summer and has plans of his own. After years of farm hopping, he’s ready to embrace the freedom to travel come September. But when Rose and Bodhi meet, there’s an undeniable (ok, Rose totally tries to deny it!) spark that inevitably changes their views on what the future may hold. It’s funny because their romance felt fast but at the same time had this lazy, slow burn to it that I loved. Rose is so focused on being strong for her family that her attraction for Bodhi completely unnerves her. She fights it. But Bodhi is this charming gentleman who truly sees her and I couldn’t wait for her to embrace that. I even liked hearing about life on the farm! Plus there’s friendship, family and a handful of lines I stopped to highlight. This was a great summer romance book.

Do I recommend? Yes! In case you couldn't tell already, I enjoyed this book a lot.

pub 4/26/16 by St. Martin's Griffin
YA - Fantasy
Received e-ARC from Netgalley
I’m just going to be honest — this wasn’t what I hoped it would be. I fully expected to fall in love with The Star-Touched Queen and while some aspects were well-done, there was a lot left to be desired. So what was great? The Indian folklore and mythology. Many different stories are sprinkled throughout the book and hugely influences the main plot. But a part of me does wonder if she drew too much inspiration because while the world was filled with detail, the characters, Maya and Amar, were vastly lacking. They didn’t have a distinct voice or any depth beyond the chaos around them. I felt like I was just watching an action movie unfold without any insight into the inner workings of their minds or feelings. We meet Maya, one of the many children of the Raja, a king with a harem of wives. She’s shunned by most because of her horoscope which foresees a marriage of Death and Destruction. To pacify the growing rebellion in their kingdom, her father marries her off and soon Maya is wedded to Amar and becomes queen of Akaran. (This all happens very quickly and jarringly.) Next thing she knows, she’s in Akaran with a husband she barely knows and a land filled with endless secrets. This then unravels a larger mystery that's revealed in an overly-complicated way. I just never felt like I got to know Maya or Amar at any sort of level that would allow me to connect to them, the relationships portrayed or the overarching story.

Do I recommend? I know a lot of people loved this book which puts me in the minority here but this really was how I felt. That said, I think it’s still worth giving a shot if you’re intrigued.

1 comment

  1. A Walk in the Suns sounds cute! Might be a good summer contemporary read for a lazy weekend ;) As for The Star-Touched Queen, while I liked the writing and descriptions and the inspiration, I felt similarly about the characters. I still kind of want to read the sequel though!


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