Oh god, last time I said I was slowly working my way out of a book slump—which was partly true, but instead of reading other books, I ended up consuming way too much fanfiction for the last few months and completely disregarded this blog in the process….oops. Hello? How’s everyone doing these days?
But for real, I’m trying to split my time since there’s clearly a lot of books I want to read and pick up and pre-order and promote, but when I say fanfiction really sucks someone in, I mean it. I could easily name so many great works I’ve encountered over the last eight months and to no one’s surprise, I’ve also ended up creating two different Twitter accounts—one for BTS (the source of my book slump), and a separate one for books. Well then!
A few weeks ago, I got the wonderful opportunity to review the Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar. I’ve had this on my ‘look forward to’ pile for the longest time because of the gorgeous cover and synopsis, and being able to get an early copy from the publisher was an absolute honor! I’ve definitely had a few books here and there throughout my slump that I’ve wanted to finish, but this was actually the first one I have been able to. It was a great read!
Star Daughter is a refreshing burst of originality in the otherwise repetitive world of YA fantasy novels. Supported by the magic of a Charlie Bowater cover (these days illustrated book covers are the only ones that catch my eye, not going to lie), Thakrar takes you into an expertly crafted world built on folklore that hasn’t been tackled in mainstream YA novels, with tales as old as time and rich history of myths to choose from.
Star Daughter takes you on a journey about family, heartache, and finding your true place in the world through the eyes of Sheetal, the daughter of a star, and a mortal. After an accident involving her dad, Sheetal realizes she must embrace the truths she has hidden in order to find her mother and save her dad’s life. Only what should be a happy family reunion turns into a political battle, and everything is no longer cut and dry. Sheetal ends up caught in the crossfire and has to make sure she comes out alive–and save her dad’s life, in the process.
If I’m being honest, the cover doesn’t do justice to the sheer magic and sparkle lovingly built into the book. Thakrar’s prose is some of the best I’ve seen in ages; it’s used so well that you get sucked right into the story, running alongside the main character through a dazzling world of newfound family and myths. It’s clear everything in this story is a love letter to Hindu mythology, the intention really shining through in scenes like ones at the Night Market and in the library.
I will say that in shoehorning the book into a more “YA” structure of the plot, the ending suffers for it. With such a beautifully built story that’s rich with so many interesting scenes, the end comes off as disjointed and flat in a way that doesn’t honor the rest of the book. Regardless, Star Daughter has some excellent worldbuilding and is a fresh take on tried and true tropes, enhanced with boundless magic. But nevertheless, it’s well-written and the characters are amazing! I would definitely recommend it to those looking for a book that is diverse, illustrative in writing, and also those who love stories about discovering who you are.
I’d love to hear about what you guys usually do to get out of slumps (whether you’ve had one recently or not) as well as book recommendations as I haven’t been up to date with the newer releases and upcoming ones as well! Let me know in the comments what recommendations you have for me, and maybe I can put down the fics for a bit and get to reading YA again 😀
Title: Star Daughter
Author: Shveta Thakrar
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Source: ARC via Edelweiss
Publication Date: August 11, 2020
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