Friday, August 10, 2012

Review: Defy the Stars by Stephanie Parent

Defy the Stars Title: Defy the Stars
Author: Stephanie Parent
Category: Contemporary Romance
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
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 Review: 

"I don't know if it's about love, so much, as fate. Something bigger than Romeo and Juliet, something greater than any two people, pulled them to each other, entwined their lives a knot that no one could untangle. They could no more change what happened than..than stop a star from falling.-Reed"

This book was beyond what I thought it would be.
It ensnared me, held me captive from first sentence to the last page.
I had no chance to escape once I read the first word.
Defy the Stars is stunningly written and beautifully told.
It's a swirl of emotions.
Depth of beauty and danger.
Dark and alluring.

I would first like to thank Stephanie Parent for allowing me to read this book.
Thank you!

This is a book, written in verse style. Something I am not used to reading.
I have, however, read books by Ellen Hopkins, so the writing style wasn’t all that new to me.
But, writing a review was a bit tough.

Julia Cape, a straight lace girl, who’s just trying to finish high school and leave her town behind so she can play.
Play her piano that is, the only thing in her life she truly and wholeheartedly loves.
Every day, in and out, she plays, thinking of nothing much, otherwise.
School, piano, friends and family.
That’s Julia’s world.

That all chances when she has a discussion on Romeo & Juliet with the stoner, Reed MacAllister, where she ‘scoffs’ love at first sight, and Reed tries to defend the classic love story.
With just that one discussion, Julia just can’t seem to keep that dark and mysteries stoner, Reed, out of her head.

Then, with one encounter after another, this two find a different meaning in love at first.
Julia finds hope and love, where she that there was none.
Reed enters her life so un-expectantly, changing so many things for her,
 And there begins their story of star crossed lovers. 
With a bang and swift movement, her hands poised over the keys, she tells her story. With the sounds of piano chords.

You are rushed on a symphony of verses and words.
You enter a world that is raw and heartbreaking.
The emotions run deep and consume you.

Even when we’re not together, I still taste him on my lips, a collision of sweetness and dark like a night sky scattered with stars.

From first words Julia and Reed collide.
First kiss they are enraptured with each other.
From there, they can't escape the grip they have.
They can’t fight fate.

Throughout the story, I could feel the dark and encouraging emotions seeping off this page.
And I thoroughly enjoyed it.
 It made me, in a way, be consumed in this world that Parent created.
The flow of the story was smooth, and the plot was beautifully told.
Parent kept  the pace of the book nice, I was never lost nor did it feel rushed.
Music plays a heavy theme is the book and the writing style reminded me of how music flows.
It was captivating.

Julia and Reed start off with a complicated relationship, not knowing each other, to not liking each other, complete with misunderstandings and miscommunication.
Then fate seems to take the wheel and with a stirring of actions,
Reed and Julia set forth on a path of love, self-discovery, tragedy and hope.

The characters felt somewhat real and strong.
They each had flaws, weaknesses that were exposed in the book.
I got to know Julia on a personal level; however, I felt I didn’t get to really know Reed that well. We only get to see certain sides of him, and I felt there was just so much more to learn about him.  
They truly are the complete opposite of each other.
The only thing I felt like was missing, was that we didn't get to know to characters but on certain levels.

Parent tells a story of faith, love darkness, hope, tragedy and discover.
It was a heartbreaking and a consuming read.
Raw, dark and twisted, yet hopeful, fresh and inspiring.

I don’t think I have ever cried so hard over a book…

Defy the Stars is about a tragic love story, so if you need a stunning heartwarming and tear-jerking read. I highly recommend this book!


  1. tragic love story? Oh no...sounds like the type of book I would love to hate.

    Great review as always.

    Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives

    1. Yeah, I hate/love reading tragic love story books...
      But I usually stay away from them, but I am so glad I did pick this one up!
      But it was amazing!
      Thank you so much for checking out my review!


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