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Star Daughter

[A quick note: I got this book in the August Owlcrate. It has gorgeous purple sprayed edges. I had a minor freak out half way through because my fingers had little blackish-blue dots that I thought were popped blood vessels. I’m a bit of a hypochondriac 🤷‍♀️ So I tried rubbing alcohol and nailpolish remover. Nothing worked. So I decided I was showing signs of some unknown health issue. What else could it be. The next day the dots got worse. My mom freaked out. “That’s NOT normal.” And then they got even worse. Little dots all over my fingertips. And then I realized they were the same color as the sprayed edges. Doh! Facepalm! Silly me. Check out my other owlcrate goodies in the photo at the bottom]


“It was like wearing the night sky, if the sky were gems and sparkle and all the incandescent promise of the myriad constellations.”

(3/5⭐️) Secrets cannot remain hidden forever. Especially with a head of silver hair and the pull of the stars. Sheetal is the daughter of a star, who has spent the years after her mother’s departure watching her shine from the constellation of Pushya. As Sheetal approaches her seventeenth birthday, the star song in her heart grows stronger and her abilities flare out of control. When she burns her father, sending him into cardiac arrest, his life hangs in the balance. The only way to heal him is with a drop of star’s blood. But getting that blood means confronting who and what she is. And some dark secrets about her family’s history have been buried for far too long.

Stardust meets Hindu mythology sprinkled with sparkles. This tale is rich with culture and diversity. Set in both New Jersey and a star kingdom in the heavens, Star Daughter is a fantasy that explores the common “coming-into-one’s-own” trope.

Sheetal has spent her life hiding. She works relentlessly to keep her secrets. She dyes her hair to hide its silver. She ignores the starsong that pulses in her chest. Most importantly, she NEVER opens her mouth to sing. Instead, she excels at musical instruments, diverting her desire into another form of music. But she was never meant for a dull life. No, she was meant to SHINE! It takes a trip into the star kingdom to discover that everyone deserves their moment.

“Sheetal glanced at her reflection one more time. The silver-tressed, brown-skinned girl before her stared back, powerful. Soft and sturdy as spider silk. Mistress of herself. A hint of starry fire smoldered in her eyes like a signal.”

There were things I liked and didn’t like about this book. I ADORED the rich cultural aspects. But the plot fell flat and wasn’t very compelling. The writing was gorgeous, full of Indian references to Aunties, Uncles, and food. Sooo much food. Yum! I have a number of Indian friends from parts of India. Reading this book made me feel like I was hanging out with them. There were words that were unknown, things I had to look up, and I found myself learning about a culture different from my own.

I’ve seen some reviewers complain about this. Complain about the confusion of wording. Let’s get something straight: when you’re reading a book from an author of a different culture, don’t expect them to change the words they are familiar with to suit your understanding. Use this as an opportunity to EXPAND your horizons.

Okay, the food descriptions were AWESOME! Reading them left me hungry, and I frequently grumbled about not having an Indian restaurant in my town. I LOVE Indian food. So that was a struggle for me!

The Hindu mythology inspiration was beautiful. I loved reading a fantasy story full of star analogies. The magical aspects were interesting. There was a magical night market, a ball, a competition that Sheetal was forced to compete in. The writing was poetic in places. Very flowery. I found lots of good quotes that I highlighted.

Unfortunately, story itself was a little humdrum. I was disappointed. The plot wasn’t much of a rollercoaster. More like a few small ups and downs. Sheetal’s drive to heal her dad should have felt more desperate (and for her it was) but I just didn’t feel connected. The villains were one-dimensional. I didn’t find myself intrigued by them. The book, while beautiful, was easy to put down. I wasn’t desperate or eager to jump back into reading. What a bummer! I mean, the cover is GORGEOUS. The writing style is lovely! I was looking forward to this release for so long. But it lacked that compelling aspect that I look for and value.

To that point, the book moved a little too slow for my tastes until the last third of the story. There were places where the plot felt clunky and bloated. Perhaps this was something an additional edit might have improved. Not sure.

For a YA book, I think this will appeal much more towards the audience it is intended for. It’s not as universally YA as some YA books are. I do recommend reading this, as it’s enjoyable, and the language is beautiful. It’s refreshing because it’s different in some ways, but the same in others. So, give it a try.


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