Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Review: Defy the Stars by Stephanie Parent

Defy the StarsDefy the Stars by Stephanie Parent
Release Date: August 1, 2012
Purchase: Amazon
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 thoughts:
What starts out as a simple love story between two people from two different worlds, turns out to be so much more complicated and tragic that my heart still hurts.

Julia simply put is your average student just trying to survive high school and eventually go off to college where she can practice her music.  She feels like no one understands her even her parents and she knows that life will be so much better when she can just be around other music people like herself.  With pressure from her friends, she decides to go out on a date with Perry, the guy her parents desperately want her to be with.  Well when things don't go as planned and Mr.Perry gets a little to grabby she runs away and in the process runs smack dab into Reed, the guy she never knew she wanted until he looked at her with his bright blue eyes.  Reed is everything her parents don't want for her, guy from the wrong side of the tracks, brother possibly into illegal stuff, and just no hope for a future.  Julia knows Reed isn't perfect, but she loves him anyway and knows in her heart that she can save this boy from himself.

What an emotional story. I think Stephanie Parent did an amazing job at showing that not all teenage love is perfect.  What Julia and Reed go through is totally heartbreaking.  It was real and tragic and just so moving.  I really appreciate the author taking her time with this book,  I felt like having it in verse definitely helped pace things so we only get the most important parts of the story.  I loved getting to know these two characters flaws and all.  I only wish that a particular character would have listened and waited.  I know that is cryptic but I can't say anymore as it will give too much away.

A great debut from what I hope is a long career for Ms.Parent. I will definitely be on the look out for her next novel.

Find the author:
Blog / Goodreads
3 Snowflakes


  1. This sounds like an emotional read. I'm finding I love verse novels. The ones I've read so far are powerful and focused. I loved Love and Leftovers and Chasing Brooklyn. Wonderful review Crystal. :)

    1. I love verse too. You nailed it when you said they are powerful! I haven't read either of those 2 but I will definitely add them to my tbr! Thanks!!

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