Review of “Under Different Stars” by Amy A. Bartol

This YA scifi first book of a trilogy has both good and bad elements. When I began, I was getting vertigo from excessive eye-rolling, but I was glad I persevered, because if one approaches this book in the right way it can be quite entertaining.

Under Different Stars_book cover

Kricket Hollowell is 17, abnormally tall, blonde, angular, and beautiful, with violet eyes and long platinum blonde hair that mysteriously can’t be cut. The book begins in Chicago, but it is immediately clear that Kricket is no ordinary Midwestern girl. However, the reasons she stands out in a crowd on Earth are different from those that make her unusual on the planet where she is from, Ethar. There, she is regarded as different for being small, petite, and voluptuous. Not only that, but it turns out, as the daughter of a priestess who took her to Earth to protect her, Kricket has some special powers as well.

Needless to say, every guy on Ethar wants to repatriate Kricket and make her his consort.

If this sounds like a 60’s over-the-top cult movie, that’s probably because it reads like that as well. Obviously too you have to be in the mood for this kind of reading, because it will either seem incredibly stupid or quite funny.

Fortunately, I was in a receptive mood when I read this, and I enjoyed it. It reminded me in a way of a blonde female version of the 1984 John Sayles movie “The Brother From Another Planet,” which is silly and entertaining in a similar manner. (In that movie, a black male alien finds himself on Earth, and is being pursued by alien thugs and bounty hunters. Like the book, the movie has stylized scifi elements in a blend of comedy, pathos, and social commentary.)


Evaluation: I thought this book was fun. But your reaction will no doubt depend on whether you regard this book as satire, a serious YA romance or work of science fiction, or a fun blend of all of the above. It does have a lot of five star reviews, so I’m guessing most readers appreciate it even more than I. Thus I will not be alone, presumably, in looking forward to the next installment in the trilogy.

Rating: 3.5/5

Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014


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4 Responses to Review of “Under Different Stars” by Amy A. Bartol

  1. BermudaOnion says:

    I’m not sure I would ever be in a receptive enough mood for this one.

  2. Jenny says:

    Hahahaha, yeah, I started rolling my eyes when you described the protagonist. Violet eyes indeed. I immediately thought of this:

  3. ryandejonghe says:

    LMAO at “vertigo from excessive eye-rolling”. I may have to use that one (I’ll try to remember to give you credit, if I do). I also love the throwback to an old school movie.

  4. trish422 says:

    Okay this (and Brother from Another Planet) sound like so much fun.

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