Publisher: Stephanie Parent
Source: Gifted by author
Links: Amazon / Goodreads
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Synopsis: 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 of 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 further apart...and Julia must decide whether she's willing to give up everything for love.
Defy the Star 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 forma that both pay homage to and subvert Shakespeare's play, Defy the Stars is much more than just another Romeo and Juliet story.
As I first started reading, I found myself clicking with the protagonist, Julia. Julia is the good girl who always seems to do what she's told and doesn't question her parent's choices for her. The only thing she's passionate about is the piano and she spends the majority of her time either playing it or inside her own head. I felt some sort of a camaraderie with her and I was things to go right for her and I became her biggest cheerleader. When she meets Reed, I was so excited. Good girl meets bad boy and they fall in love is such a cliche story line, but I love it. Reed is a dark, broody and mysterious guy but he and Julia seems to have this spark that just pull them together.
Now I don't want to spoil what happens but after one night between Julian and Reed, my views of them started to change. I became really disappointed in them and while I tried to keep and open mind, I just expected more from Julia. She transform to this completely different person, she became a whiny, rebellious, crazy mood swings person after always being a smart, rational girl. I also expected a lot from Reed as well, he should have told Julia the first time and for what happens in the end? I was as angry as Julia was. He should have fought for himself and like Julia said "...but you should have tried anyways."
As these changes happened and I tried to put my grown-up wisdom aside, I realize what it was that the author was trying to do. Julia was this adult-like teenager that when she fell in love and started doing things out her norm, she changed. Julia had to trip, fall, and make mistakes so that she would learn for herself and come out stronger. The author created characters where you can see the changes they went through and that it was necessary for them to grow. So I have to give Ms. Parent her credit for creating such a wonderful tragic love story.
Link to tour schedule: http://yabound.blogspot.com/2012/09/blog-tour-schedule-defy-stars-by.html
1st prize: $30 gift card from Amazon and an e-book copy of Defy the Stars.
2nd place: 4 e-book copies of Defy the Stars.
Additional Prize: A query letter critique by Stephanie Parent.About the Author:
Stephanie Parent is a YA author repped by Brenda Bowen of Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. She is a graduate of the Master of Professional Writing Program at USC and attended the Baltimore School for the Arts as a piano major.