The Sound of Stars
Can a girl who risks her life for books and an alien who loves forbidden pop music work together to save humanity?Two years ago, a misunderstanding between the leaders of Earth and the invading Ilori resulted in the deaths of one-third of the world’s population.Seventeen-year-old Janelle “Ellie” Baker survives in an Ilori-controlled center in New York City. Deemed dangerously volatile because of their initial reaction to the invasion, humanity’s emotional transgressions are now grounds for execution. All art, books and creative expression are illegal, but Ellie breaks the rules by keeping a secret library. When a book goes missing, Ellie is terrified that the Ilori will track it back to her and kill her.Born in a lab, M0Rr1S (Morris) was raised to be emotionless. When he finds Ellie’s illegal library, he’s duty-bound to deliver her for execution. The trouble is, he finds himself drawn to human music and in desperate need of more. They’re both breaking the rules for love of art—and Ellie inspires the same feelings in him that music does.Ellie’s—and humanity’s—fate rests in the hands of an alien she should fear. M0Rr1S has a lot of secrets, but also a potential solution—thousands of miles away. The two embark on a wild and dangerous road trip with a bag of books and their favorite albums, all the while making a story and a song of their own that just might save them both.

The Sound of Stars Details

TitleThe Sound of Stars
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 25th, 2020
PublisherInkyard Press
Rating
GenreScience Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy

The Sound of Stars Review

  • Miranda Reads
    January 1, 1970
    3.75 stars "If we get separated and you have to choose between life and joining us, choose life, okay? Live. Live for us. Breathe for us. Survive for us." Janelle aka Ellie is one of the few survivors who made it through the first few waves of the Ilori alien invasion. The new world is...depressingly different. The Ilori are keeping the few remaining humans alive and imprisoned in their apartment complex. And while she's grateful to be alive - and have her mother and father with her - she 3.75 stars "If we get separated and you have to choose between life and joining us, choose life, okay? Live. Live for us. Breathe for us. Survive for us." Janelle aka Ellie is one of the few survivors who made it through the first few waves of the Ilori alien invasion. The new world is...depressingly different. The Ilori are keeping the few remaining humans alive and imprisoned in their apartment complex. And while she's grateful to be alive - and have her mother and father with her - she knows that there is something sinister lurking just below the surface. Ellie knows all the rules - no free thinking, no talking after hours, no moving from her bed past curfew...and yet, so draws the line at books. And I'll do it, every time, if it means a story can change someone's outlook.... She runs an illegal library to help her and her fellow prison-mates get by.But that all changes when one of *them* discovers her secret.M0Rr1S - aka Morris - is a labmade Ilori, which means he's an Ilori but innately inferior because he contains human aspects, which leaves him prone to emotions. M0Rr1S hadn't realized until then just how expendable his race was to the true Ilori. But Morris has a secret - he loves music. And he is lonely.When he discovers Ellie's secret library, he finds it within himself to resist the rules of true Ilori and keep her safe. However, a secret this big is bound to be let loose - but neither of them could even begin to comprehend the consequences. "May I?" he asks, holding an arm out for me to take."May you what?""Carry you across the world while I can?" This one ended up being surprisingly fun! Every so often I really want a throwback to the young adult books that I read back in the day - and this one was perfect. I was so happy to have been sent this one.So, keep in mind you might need to be in the mood for an over-the-top YA to get the full effect.Yes the romance bordered on quicker-than-instant, the plot had a few glaring holes and I really questioned how the "bad guys" ever stayed in control - and yet I was having so much fun that I barely cared.I loved the idea of Ellie's secret library and Morris's desire to collect music. It was such a sweet connection between the two.I do wish they were given a few more weeks to develop their relationship rather the insta-connection, but the two of them ultimately clicked really well.I also really liked the concept of the Ilori aliens - the labmade vs the true provided an interesting dynamic to the book. The way the invasion was implemented and the increasingly suspicious behavior by Morris really held my attention. I was really curious how it would all come together in the end - and was pleasantly surprised in the end!Overall, I had a lot of fun between these pages!!A huge thank you to the author and Inkyard Press for sending me a free copy in exchange for an honest reviewAll quotes come from an uncorrected proof and are subject to change upon publication.
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  • Nilufer Ozmekik
    January 1, 1970
    Three it started sooo good but that ending!!! It ruined all my expectations stars!!! There are so many good intriguing, entertaining things about this book keep my attention like popular culture references used with song and book quotes, bounding friendship and connection between a human and alien (my childhood’s favorite movie is E.T., I was raised with my adoration of Spielberg and alien nations till I met Ripley in Scott’s Alien movie!), and of course road trip idea.But there is also annoying Three it started sooo good but that ending!!! It ruined all my expectations stars!!! There are so many good intriguing, entertaining things about this book keep my attention like popular culture references used with song and book quotes, bounding friendship and connection between a human and alien (my childhood’s favorite movie is E.T., I was raised with my adoration of Spielberg and alien nations till I met Ripley in Scott’s Alien movie!), and of course road trip idea.But there is also annoying things which also make me pissed off when I’m starting to read a book. Do you want examples? I don’t like slowness, barely moving pacing and I also don’t like the books with unexplained situations and unanswered questions. The ending is as important as the beginning for me! (Sometimes, it is more important, especially shocking, twisty ones are always my preference.)So I tossed between 3 and 4 stars and finally I decided to give 3 because there are so much potential this book and I also like to read if there will be sequel which helps me to calm my nerves sharpened with too many question marks. Both Janelle and Morris are relatable, lovable characters. But the slowness at the beginning prevents us to learn more about their stories and connections. And I wish the road trip wouldn’t be a quick journey to reach the church. It could take longer time with additional, enriched storylines. I also liked the book’s approach to the LGBTQ community, and other basic and crucial heavy issues like unfairness, injustice, inequality.I was so close to give four stars till I read the ending and I wanted to throw the book against the wall ( or throw out window like Bradley Cooper’s character did at “Silver Linings Playbook”, he was tougher grader than me because he threw Hemingway’s “A Farewell to arms”!!!) because I hate the ending wholeheartedly and it absorbed all the positive feelings about this book. So I need a sequel ASAP for answers and unexplained parts and I wish the author plans to write it because I love those characters and I love to read more of them. I think the debut novel has so much potential and the author’s intellectuality, writing style are efficient and promising. So I love to read her upcoming works ( I hope it starts with a squeal )Special thanks to NetGalley, Inkyard Press, (I need to thank specially the designer of this cover, it’s amazing work) for sharing me this ARC COPY with me in exchange my honest review.
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  • Alechia
    January 1, 1970
    I mean... I feel like I have to give myself the best rating possible, since I was a *tough* judge of my own work while writing it, you know?
  • ♠ TABI ♠
    January 1, 1970
    hi this sounds like all the tropes I love smashed into one story and I need it now and also I NEED THIS COVER AS A POSTER ASAP cause I just wanna pin it up on my ceiling and lay on my bed ogling it for hours
  • Nenia ⚡ Aspiring Evil Overlord ⚡ Campbell
    January 1, 1970
    no idea if this will be good or not but I want to rub my tongue on that cover
  • Laura Weymouth
    January 1, 1970
    So, I was lucky enough to read this book at an early stage and can safely say I expect many people to just adore it. Dow's debut is a fun, heartfelt scifi romp reminiscent of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, featuring eminently shippable protagonists, a high-stakes road trip, and a gorgeous exploration of the humanizing influence of music and literature. One of my most anticipated releases of 2020 <3
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  • Fadwa (Word Wonders)
    January 1, 1970
    This book was so freaking good and it made me feel so many things!! I can't wait to review it!!
  • Amber (The Book Bratz)
    January 1, 1970
    The full review + more can be found at The Book Bratz Aliens. Books. Dystopian NYC. This book screams my name, so it is no shock this this is one of my most anticipated reads and debuts of 2020 (Though I got to read it last week!) The Sound of Stars did not disappoint for one second and kept me wanting and needing to know what was going to happen next. Can we take a moment to admire how beautiful the cover for this novel is?! The art and the colors blend beautifully and I absolutely adore it, The full review + more can be found at The Book Bratz Aliens. Books. Dystopian NYC. This book screams my name, so it is no shock this this is one of my most anticipated reads and debuts of 2020 (Though I got to read it last week!) The Sound of Stars did not disappoint for one second and kept me wanting and needing to know what was going to happen next. Can we take a moment to admire how beautiful the cover for this novel is?! The art and the colors blend beautifully and I absolutely adore it, the ARC is stunning but I can't wait to see finished copies of this beauty. Alechia is a debut author and for her first novel, The Sound of Stars is magnificent. The world building, characters and plot bring this story a live in front of the reader. I can't wait for every one else to meet Ellie and M0Rr1S! I loved every moment of this post apocalyptic road trip to save humanity and literature and music and I can't wait to see what the sequel will hold. (There will be a sequel, right? *insert puppy dog eyes here*)
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  • Athena (OneReadingNurse)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Harlequin Teen via NetGalley for the eARC , all opinions are my own.I read some other reviews though and feel very alone in my way of thinking about the book, so I am concluding that my old curmudgeonly self is not the target audience, even though I have read within the YA scifi /romance genre before and loved it.So what threw me off? The labels, right from the start, the labels threw me off and I never recovered. Why does everything have to be labelled so that I need Google to Thank you to Harlequin Teen via NetGalley for the eARC , all opinions are my own.I read some other reviews though and feel very alone in my way of thinking about the book, so I am concluding that my old curmudgeonly self is not the target audience, even though I have read within the YA scifi /romance genre before and loved it.So what threw me off? The labels, right from the start, the labels threw me off and I never recovered. Why does everything have to be labelled so that I need Google to understand how people are being described? When I was a kid these things were just considered....like...normal. I don't understand how this is productive to teens or society in generalAt first I was just getting annoyed by the labels as I had to Google the check-check-check list of every label the author was using to describe people's genders and It just felt like a huge dump at the start of the book. I really do not believe that people talk like these characters and I hope it's not the future. Also for all the fact that Janelle didn't want to kiss Morris until she liked/trusted him, that's fine and reasonable, but is she really going to love him in the span of a week or so and THEN decide to kiss him? Actually that sounds like a pretty normal teenage girl thing but the author made a huge deal out of it. Trust might have been a more appropriate sentiment to the setting than love and more in character. People are so fixated on these labels though that I feel like the normalcy is lost on the rest of us, when really everyone is just being who they are. Avr0la also confused me as this is the first time I have seen "they" used to describe a singular person. I am lost trying to understand how someone is supposed to differentiate between one or two or more people being present when we read this? I don't ask this sarcastically, I am just bewildered and confused. I looked it up and I guess English just lacks a more proper pronoun so 'they' has gotten shunted into this role, but it's so confusing to me on paper and my head is spinning. Is it funny that Avi was my favorite silent hero character despite this? Even without the labels throwing me for a loop, this book is intended for a very niche group of book worms. I got about 75% of the literary references used but are a lot of readers going to know who, for example, Jesper and Wylan are? I can read YA but the whole thing felt very young to me with all the song lyrics and corny bits. I wouldn't hand this to a middle grader but I think a specific target group of YA would enjoy it. I also wasn't expecting this to be setting up a sequel so the ending lost points.My last gripe is that the book was SO repetitive, even writing a character with anxiety doesn't mean we have to repeat the same things over and over and over ad nauseum; I found myself skimming a lot. The end just opened up a whole huge can of worms for the second book.I can't really recommend this outside of the niche group I specified. I did finish it though so that was something, hence the 2* rating.
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  • AJ
    January 1, 1970
    I'm going to be honest here - I had very high expectations for this book. It was one of my most anticipated books of 2020 and it absolutely surpassed all of my expectations in a big way. Which rarely happens!There were so many things I loved about this book. For starters, the two main characters were very easy to root for. Especially Ellie, who is a black teen trying to survive in Ilori-occupied earth, with her main source of comfort being the illegal books she's keeping. Ellie's insecurities, I'm going to be honest here - I had very high expectations for this book. It was one of my most anticipated books of 2020 and it absolutely surpassed all of my expectations in a big way. Which rarely happens!There were so many things I loved about this book. For starters, the two main characters were very easy to root for. Especially Ellie, who is a black teen trying to survive in Ilori-occupied earth, with her main source of comfort being the illegal books she's keeping. Ellie's insecurities, her love of stories and ability to find solace in them when the world is literally doomed, her understanding of the world and how she fits into it as a black teen are not only easy to relate to, but also make her a really palpable character that jumps off of the page. Morris' optimism, hopeless romanticism, and love of music and stories also make him very easy to warm to - despite him being an Ilori. The two of them also just work really well together as characters. They're the perfect pair, in a lot of ways. I'm not the biggest fan of sci-fi, but I know that a lot of science-fiction books recreate stories of colonisation in space settings, kind of like has been done here. What I know from reading some of them is they often have very black and white understanding of colonisation, and this is what was such a breath of fresh air for me in The Sound Of Stars.The author clearly really understands power dynamics, race, colonisation...and she deftly navigates the relationship between Ellie and Morris - despite the clear disparity in their power dynamics as human and Ilori with one of them the colonised and one of them the coloniser. She never shies away from engaging with the realities of a relationship like this. Nor does the book ever pretend that this is a clear divide between human vs. Ilori. It's a deeply nuanced book that just feels very real. It's clear from reading that Dow really understands the space within which she is writing, and effortlessly weaves in the realities of our real world into her Ilori-occupied one. She also engages with many tropes and genre expectations before subverting or unpacking them. From reading a few other reviews, it seems some people were disappointed with how the book ended. For me, the ending of this was nothing less than perfection. If this hadn't already been a 5-star book before the ending, that end would have definitely pushed it into 5-stars. Because...about halfway through I had some idea about how this book might end, but what ended up happening was not at all what I expected. But it was really brilliantly foreshadowed, and easy to see the hints the author dropped along the way after you get to the end. It's the kind of ending that is both open-ended but also ties up so many loose ends. There could easily be a sequel to this book, and also...not. And either way, I would feel satisfied.
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  • Fanna
    January 1, 1970
    February 19, 2020:Consider reading this review over on my blog! Sum it up in points! humanity meets hope through resistance alien invasion and class-ism rebellious lover of books + fearless lover of music human-alien romance great references plus-size, biracial, demisexual MC with anxiety gender-queer & bisexual side charactersThe Sound of Stars travels through a dystopian, post alien-invasion New York where rules are drilled and humans are expected to stay at the lower strata. In the midst February 19, 2020:Consider reading this review over on my blog!➝ Sum it up in points!✔ humanity meets hope through resistance✔ alien invasion and class-ism✔ rebellious lover of books + fearless lover of music✔ human-alien romance✔ great references✔ plus-size, biracial, demisexual MC with anxiety✔ gender-queer & bisexual side charactersThe Sound of Stars travels through a dystopian, post alien-invasion New York where rules are drilled and humans are expected to stay at the lower strata. In the midst of fear and silent chaos, a human girl who loves books and an alien boy who loves music find each other to better see some hope. While the macro picture of science-fiction and romance are explored wonderfully, the micro themes of racism and discrimination are also touched. An excellent sexual diversity and the perfect inclusion of mental health declination in the middle of survival are also great aspects of the story. A definitive recommendation for those who love sound and words sprawled across a sky of romantic, hopeful, and rebellious colours!➝Trigger Warnings✔ public execution, eyeing death in the face✔ chronic fear for life✔ alcoholic mother & acutely stressed father✔ discrimination, feeling inferior to those in power✔ lack of self-identity, constant struggleDisclaimer: I received a digital copy of this via my participation in a blog tour but that, in no way, affects my rating and/or review. Thank you, FFBC Tours and Inkyard Press! August 20, 2019: Before anything else that the blurb says, THAT COVER is giving me life and I already want to read this more than anything else. Then comes my fave trope of alien falls in love with human, like YEAAAA
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  •  Amelia
    January 1, 1970
    A pop music obsessed alien + a girl who has a secret library = epic sci-fi adventure just made for meI think I'm in love.
  • J. Elle
    January 1, 1970
    Oh, where do I start?This is one of the best books I've read all year. I am not a big Sci-Fi reader but I loved the premise so much and the COVER (OMG!) so I had to give it a try. And ohhhh myyyy wooord. The prologue alone had me enthralled. From the clever use of structure to the DEEP characterization of the two main characters to the heartwarming way their belief systems shift as the novel progresses--I was HOOKED. If you love character-driven stories with plot twists, TSOS is for you. I Oh, where do I start?This is one of the best books I've read all year. I am not a big Sci-Fi reader but I loved the premise so much and the COVER (OMG!) so I had to give it a try. And ohhhh myyyy wooord. The prologue alone had me enthralled. From the clever use of structure to the DEEP characterization of the two main characters to the heartwarming way their belief systems shift as the novel progresses--I was HOOKED. If you love character-driven stories with plot twists, TSOS is for you. I rarely find such richly deep characters that suck me in so quickly. I could not put this book down and when I was forced to, it's all I thought about while away from it. The alien character, in particular, captivated me from the very early pages. The dilemmas he faced, the ways he grapples with being ostracized, and the lessons that come out of it really impacted me. Personally I identified more with Ellie and the lens with which she'd grown to see the world. Her bravery to be who she is on the inside, on the outside while tearing down emotional barriers she'd built really resonated with me. Both of the main characters are so believable and the dilemmas they face, so palpable. And one of the antagonists was so well written, I literally GROWLED at the page anytime they appeared. Ha ha! A nod to the author's talent for writing such REAL characters. This is a book you MUST read. The author has also woven in such timely and important social commentary, a variety of LGBTQIA rep, much needed mental and physical health rep. As a fellow writer, I marvel at the author's talent. This book has nestled its way inside me and I don't ever want it to leave. <3
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  • NAT.orious reads ☽
    January 1, 1970
    My goodness, the cover! I can't even.
  • Jazmen
    January 1, 1970
    The Sound of Stars took me through a plethora of emotions, most of which always seemed outside my grasp.Janelle Baker is a human with an inordinate passion for books. But the world has been taken over by the Illori, a non-human life force. Under their dominion, books are forbidden, as well as anything remotely artistic. Possession of these items resulted in infractions that ultimately led to death. Morris is a lab-made Illori, a disgrace to his family because of his ability to feel, and his love The Sound of Stars took me through a plethora of emotions, most of which always seemed outside my grasp.Janelle Baker is a human with an inordinate passion for books. But the world has been taken over by the Illori, a non-human life force. Under their dominion, books are forbidden, as well as anything remotely artistic. Possession of these items resulted in infractions that ultimately led to death. Morris is a lab-made Illori, a disgrace to his family because of his ability to feel, and his love of music. Janelle and Morris have similar missions, but it takes a missing book to bring their worlds crashing together.Together, Janelle and Morris are the perfect story and the sweetest song.Without being unnecessarily verbose, I rather enjoyed this book. The world-building is chef's kiss. It's fleshed out and well-written. The reader will understand the world they're being presented, and just as easily able to decipher how it all works.Besides the world-building, the musical and literary elements parsed throughout the story were heart-warming and engaging. As a reader, the purpose behind the lyrics and songs might seem unclear initially. Once it's explained, it adds another layer of enjoyment to the story. It showed the dedication of the author to tell an authentic story.The one thing that I could note as a negative, and it feels weird to say, are some moments where the MC, Janelle, pointed out the discrimination against Black people from the "previous" world. In a lot of the instances, it helped to build on the backstory of the heroine. In others, it seemed a rant that didn't ground itself into the story the way they intended it. As a Black woman, this is not something I want to note as a negative, or a dislike, but it's worth noting for this review. Racism is a tough thing to experience, let alone dictate, but Dow does a fairly good job of balancing it mostly.There is romance in the book, and though I wouldn't note this book as wholly romance, the love that eventually blooms propel the story in new directions. It also later defines the character's growth and the overall plot.As a whole, it is a great YA that kept me completely enthralled from beginning to end. It's an outstanding debut and one I would recommend. I didn't see anywhere that this would be a series, but the ending left a lot of questions begging to be answered. So, I hope there's more.
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  • Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
    January 1, 1970
    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight 4.5*You ever high key wonder how you'd react in an apocalyptic situation? I do, constantly. Which probably explains why I adore this type of book so much. But sometimes I can'tquite relate to the hero of the tale because excuse me, am I heroic? Well, Ellie makes surviving the apocalypse seem relatable. First of all, our girl is hoarding books. Who among us can't relate to that?! Plus, You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight 4.5*You ever high key wonder how you'd react in an apocalyptic situation? I do, constantly. Which probably explains why I adore this type of book so much. But sometimes I can't quite relate to the hero of the tale because excuse me, am I heroic? Well, Ellie makes surviving the apocalypse seem relatable. First of all, our girl is hoarding books. Who among us can't relate to that?! Plus, she's been without her anxiety and hypothyroid medication, which again is something a great many of us can relate to. What happens if the aliens invade and you're suddenly without health (mental and physical) care? I love that the author addresses this (and not just in passing- she does a wonderful job of making Ellie's health a legitimate concern throughout).Ellie basically has had enough of kowtowing to the aliens. She figures, she's going to die, might as well die being true to herself. And, she's going to help others in the only way she knows how- providing them stories, escapes. Her father is all but lost to her, and her mother is more absent every day, and Ellie knows she has to make choices for herself now- even though she and her parents love each other immensely, it seems like the aliens have taken even her beloved family away.And while I don't want to give much away about the aliens and what happens (obviously), I do want to mention that it's incredibly interesting to see both the human (Ellie) and the alien (M0Rr1S) learning more about the other. Clearly, each has preconceived ideas about the other, but that will change as they get to know each other better. The aliens aren't all evil just as the humans are not disposable. And that's all I will say, because you really ought to undertake this incredible journey for yourselves. Bottom Line: Can you actually believe that the insides of this book are as awesome as the cover implies? Impressive, right? I adored this book, full of characters I fell in love with and a super exciting and thought-provoking story that gripped me from the start.
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  • Yolanda
    January 1, 1970
    *Review will be posted on my blog closer to publication on 2/18/19**3.5 Stars*Thank you to Inkyard Press and NetGalley for giving me a chance to read this eARC.The Sound of Stars is a very interesting mesh of the sci-fi, dystopian and romance it’s infused with love of music, books and the love of love really. It explores so many subjects like race, and colonization plus it has aliens! There is a lot going on in this surprising book.Janelle or Ellie, as everyone calls her, lives in New York City *Review will be posted on my blog closer to publication on 2/18/19**3.5 Stars*Thank you to Inkyard Press and NetGalley for giving me a chance to read this eARC.The Sound of Stars is a very interesting mesh of the sci-fi, dystopian and romance it’s infused with love of music, books and the love of love really. It explores so many subjects like race, and colonization plus it has aliens! There is a lot going on in this surprising book.Janelle or Ellie, as everyone calls her, lives in New York City but the world has been taken over by aliens called the Ilori and their labmades. Say what? Yes, Earth’s problems have become insignificant with this way bigger threat taking over. Humans have been killed and are now undergoing a process where they will be given vaccines and their bodies will be husks. The Illori will be able to inhabit these husks to vacation on Earth. Yes…Earth is basically being colonized by these powerful aliens who have been colonizing planets all around the universe.Ellie is just a teenager, who keeps a secret library. If she is found out by the Ilori it would mean a death sentence. But she meets an Illori, a labmade commander named M0Rr1S, or Morris, who wants to trade. He will keep her secret if she can get him some other kind of contraband – music.This story is a journey of books, music, love and watching two different species find common ground.What I Liked:*Love for books and music is at the heart of this book. It reminds us that no matter what’s going on, how as people we can be divided or conquered, the written word in story form or music form transcends hate and can bring people or in this case species together.*I was intrigued about this alien race, the Ilori, and their labmades. This story lays out some of the problems on Earth from climate change, to race relations and the corrupt government (hmmm sounds very familiar!). But with the Ilori invasion (which didn’t start out as one really), the humans have pretty much united to fight the aliens. Learning that the Ilori have been colonizing planets for awhile made me want to learn more about their alien race and these planets that they have found in the universe.*Labmades are an interesting part of the Ilori. They aren’t true Ilori, they were basically, made in a lab. So in their society, they are looked down upon. So Ellie being black and Morris being a labmade shared the feelings of being inadequate and “less than” everyone else.*It’s a unique story all around with the romance between a human and labmade. The way the story unfolded reminded me almost of a space opera (though they are not in space) – but Ellie and Morris travel throughout America to get to their destination and it feels like this epic space journey…but on land. If that makes sense?Things That Made Me Go Hmm:*The romance at first for me…was totally cute. A labmade and human relationship? I was totally for it! And I think a lot of people will find it an amazing part of the story, but at the end it was getting a bit cheesy for me. 🤣 But that’s just totally a “it’s me” thing…Ellie and Morris totally fell for each other and I swear it started to become some space opera musical (yes with singing involved).*The first few pages was hard for me to connect to because it’s sci-fi (not my favorite genre) with a lot of technical jargon that just left me scratching my head. I just needed to be patient, because soon I was 40% done with the book without knowing I was reading that fast. I loved learning about this Earth as aliens take over and their plans for humans. The story kinda lost me again 75% in and maybe because of the romance and cheesy/cuteness.*I don’t know that I connected to a character most…maybe Morris because I was fascinated with his life as a labmade.Final Thoughts:Even though it was sci-fi and dystopian, it had lots of romance and optimism because of the love between Morris and Ellie. They are seriously the sweetest couple. The world-building of the Ilori and Earth after an invasion felt realistic and I wanted to know more about the aliens! There is so much going on in this story. There is adventure, deception, humans on the brink of being hosts to aliens, Earth being made into a vacation destination, music, books and love. For me, The Sound of Stars was a very unexpected yet fun story to read.
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  • Cindee
    January 1, 1970
    I really loved this book it has been awhile since I read an alien romance this one was completely unique I have never read a book quite like this one. I loved the characters so very much especially Ellie and Morris I liked their gradual understanding and romance. I liked the pacing of the romance between them it did not start up right away first Ellie had to be able to trust Morris this took time though after the things they went through together I can't think of a stronger love than the one I really loved this book it has been awhile since I read an alien romance this one was completely unique I have never read a book quite like this one. I loved the characters so very much especially Ellie and Morris I liked their gradual understanding and romance. I liked the pacing of the romance between them it did not start up right away first Ellie had to be able to trust Morris this took time though after the things they went through together I can't think of a stronger love than the one between the two main characters. I loved Ellie for her want to keep art alive by having a secret library to do just that this is how our two main characters are able to connect I really loved her character so much. What I really loved about Morris was he love of music his curiosity of many things and his want to save the people of Earth and to free his own people and his all consuming love for Ellie. I really loved the plot of this book I loved how it incorporated books and music into the story as the driving force of the plot. So overall I really loved this book and I really want more hopefully there will at least be some companion novels for this sometime in the future.
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  • USOM
    January 1, 1970
    (Disclaimer: I received this book from the author. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) The Sound of Stars is a story about the power of hope, love, and art. Full of fantastic representation, Dow's debut novel is a testament to resistance. The Sound of the Stars is a story about re-discovering our hope. Like Ellie, I have been feeling rather bleak and hopeless. Ellie, a biracial black teen, has seen firsthand the effects of racism on her family. The micro aggressions, (Disclaimer: I received this book from the author. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) The Sound of Stars is a story about the power of hope, love, and art. Full of fantastic representation, Dow's debut novel is a testament to resistance. The Sound of the Stars is a story about re-discovering our hope. Like Ellie, I have been feeling rather bleak and hopeless. Ellie, a biracial black teen, has seen firsthand the effects of racism on her family. The micro aggressions, the way humanity seems to be destroying itself long before the aliens arrived. Because of this, Ellie's perspective resonated with me, not only because she is a huge book worm, but also because she's isolated, left wondering about the good in humanity as neighbors turn against each other. She's scarred not only by the past, but also now the daily quest for survival.The Sound of Stars is a story centered around art that inspires hope and love. Characters desperately wanting, stretching their hands over the great expanse looking for connection. And the way art and passion can bridge that gap, create relationships where only ashes and ruins existed before. While in many ways it seems like a story about the end of humanity, The Sound of the Stars is the exact opposite. It's a story about how art can save humanity. Our quest to save the essential pieces of ourselves, freedom and expression, in the face of defeat. It's a celebration of love, friendship, family, and hope. There's no denying that my favorite character has to be Ellie. I adored the fact that Ellie is a plus size biracial demisexual and anxious main character. In science fiction especially there are not enough diverse characters which take center stage and Ellie's representation is a source of hope itself. There are plenty of other diverse characters especially non-binary and bisexual characters! Morris, on the other hand, read very innocent to me. For the beginning of the book I wasn't sure how I felt about Morris. He's an intriguing character, created in a lab to serve the Ilori, Morris' hope for his friendship with Ellie felt a bit naive at times. Even though Morris is not responsible first hand for the imprisonment of humanity, he is part of the alien force and his expectation of Ellie's trust sometimes felt a little unrealistic. That brings me to my only caveat about The Sound of Stars - the romance. Both of these characters aren't free and I think that is what draws them to each other. What begins as bonding over the importance of art transforms into a deeper understanding of the forces that constrain each other. I enjoyed both characters individually, it just took a while for me to get used to the idea of them being together. The Sound of Stars is a story about hope and resistance. Most importantly, I adored the fact that in the middle of this science fiction book, there's such an emphasis on art. The message that music, art, and stories can create connections to other people. A reminder we aren't alone.full review: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/revi...
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  • Lindy
    January 1, 1970
    My Thoughts:When I saw the beautiful book cover for The Sound of Stars, I knew this was a book that I wanted to read! When aliens invade earth, one-third of the population is killed, while the other two-thirds are rounded up and contained under the strict surveillance of the Ilori labmades. Music, Art, and books are illegal. People are not allowed to come and go or socialize with one another, except for during designated times and under careful surveillance. The Ilori labmades are preparing the My Thoughts:When I saw the beautiful book cover for The Sound of Stars, I knew this was a book that I wanted to read! When aliens invade earth, one-third of the population is killed, while the other two-thirds are rounded up and contained under the strict surveillance of the Ilori labmades. Music, Art, and books are illegal. People are not allowed to come and go or socialize with one another, except for during designated times and under careful surveillance. The Ilori labmades are preparing the earth for the true Ilori to be able to land and survive in the atmosphere's conditions. A vaccine is being prepared for humans, that will allow for the true Ilori to use their bodies as a way to "vacation" on earth.MORr1S "Morris" is a labmade commander that has been tasked with the creation of the vaccine. He doesn't have any true power, as the Ilori labmades are second class citizens and the true Ilori are their masters. Ilori are not suppose to have emotions. Morris is different, because he was raised by a mother who encouraged him to embrace his feelings. Janelle "Ellie" Baker has a passion for books, and hid all of her family's favorites. She has an illegal library, where she smuggles books to other humans with the help of her best friend, Alice.Morris discovered music when he came to earth, and when he discovers Ellie's illegal library, he enlists her help in rounding up more hidden music for him to discover and enjoy. He promises Ellie that he will keep her, Alice, and her family safe, if she helps him in his endeavor. As these two connect over their passion for music and books, they find themselves in a dangerous predicament, and while they're racing against the clock to save humanity, they might just discover what it means to fall in love...I loved the strong characterization of both Ellie and Morris. I got a good sense of who they were, as well as what their hopes and fears were. Ellie was courageous, resilient, a little awkward, and very intelligent. I loved and connected with her passion for books, as well as her love and loyalty towards her best friend Alice, and her parents. Morris was a wonderful character in his own right. I enjoyed the way that he evolved as the story went on. He realized that emotions weren't something to be ashamed of, but rather, were a sign of strength. He was compassionate and caring, and I loved his excitement, exuberance, and passion for all types of music, as well as for Ellie.It was a lot of fun reading about various musicians, and their songs. David Bowie, The Beatles, Cold Play, Queen, and Beyonce were a few mentioned, and I got excited over each new artist/song mentioned. I also loved hearing about different authors and stories, such as Pride and Prejudice, Corduroy, The Hate U Give, and Harry Potter. Important societal issues were addressed such as climate change, and civil/human rights as well as racial inequality and discrimination. Where I struggled a bit was with the pacing of the plot. The prologue was amazing, and had me so excited to delve in to the story. Each new chapter has an interview or article about Ellie's favorite band, The Starry Eyed. I was confused at first, because these excerpts didn't fit with the story and were distracting. However, at the end of the story, the author connected and explained everything. I think the plot needed more suspense and action to move the story along at a faster and more exciting pace. The ending was great and flew by! We are left with a to be continued ending, but we get a few answers and aren't left with a crazy cliffhanger.If you enjoy science-fiction, stories about aliens, romance, pop culture, and relevant societal issues, you might want to check out, The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow!
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  • Iris
    January 1, 1970
    The only words I have right now are: HOLY FUCK AJHGFDHGHFGFDrtc
  • April B.
    January 1, 1970
    * I RECEIVED THIS E ARC FROM THE AUTHOR IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW *Music, books, aliens, road trip and adventure... what more could you ask for! This book is truly something special! I wasn't sure how aliens and YA would work together but it was a match made in heaven! It has strong characters and a story that keeps you turning pages! It had moments of humor and intense moments and adventure! Pick this book up when you can!
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  • The Artisan Geek
    January 1, 1970
    30/11/19A sincere thank you to Inkyard for gifting me a copy of The Sound of Stars :)You can find me onYoutube | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Website
  • Ms. Woc Reader
    January 1, 1970
    I had such a mixture of emotions while reading this one. Like most of the sci fi and fantasy books I've read it took a little while to get into this story. There was some info dump in the beginning but the story got better once Ellie and Morr1s went on the run even though at times the pace would ebb and flow.I enjoyed the world building in this story. I felt like Alechia Dow put a lot of thought into developing the Illori and the labmades. And she wrote some beautiful things about the problems I had such a mixture of emotions while reading this one. Like most of the sci fi and fantasy books I've read it took a little while to get into this story. There was some info dump in the beginning but the story got better once Ellie and Morr1s went on the run even though at times the pace would ebb and flow.I enjoyed the world building in this story. I felt like Alechia Dow put a lot of thought into developing the Illori and the labmades. And she wrote some beautiful things about the problems in our world including climate change, corrupt governments, and race relations. There were quotes in this story that really touched me. And I love how she contrasted all the bad in the world with the good things like community, family, and art. While I loved that this book pretty much had it's own soundtrack sometimes the book and music references could be a little overkill. I did like the song lyrics by the fictional band The Starry Eyed before every chapter. But there were references to YA books I did not recognize at all and it was a little strange when Ellie would go on to tell Morr1s a story and provide us a synopsis of a book and we were supposed to guess which one it was. Other times Morr1s and Ellie would break out into song or be focused on music and dancing when I was focused on the danger they were in. Everything having a label was a little too much for me at times as well. Sometimes I would think "Are we really still this obsessed with labeling everything in the future instead of letting people be who they want to be?"Morr1s and Ellie were a cute couple. He was a little cheesy at times but he had a big heart and it was nice to see a male love interest in YA so open with his emotions and not trying to play the cool guy. She was a very different kind of heroine for me. She wasn't like other girls but not in the obnoxious way often seen throughout these stories. 3.5 rating for me.
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  • Sarah Perchikoff
    January 1, 1970
    DNF. I really tried with this one but I think it just wasn't for me. I couldn't connect with Morris's character.
  • Charvi
    January 1, 1970
    I WOULD GIVE THIS BOOK ALL THE STARS IN THIS UNIVERSE "But they don't know that rebels are made in the worst of circumstances, and even death can't stop the. Us." This is my first 5 star read of the year and I'm going to go ahead and say that it will have a spot in my top 10 reads of the year as well. I can't even begin to describe how enamoured I am with The Sound of Stars! I have a complete review up on my blog but here's a short summary of my thoughts.I absolutely love every scene in this I WOULD GIVE THIS BOOK ALL THE STARS IN THIS UNIVERSE ✨ "But they don't know that rebels are made in the worst of circumstances, and even death can't stop the. Us." This is my first 5 star read of the year and I'm going to go ahead and say that it will have a spot in my top 10 reads of the year as well. I can't even begin to describe how enamoured I am with The Sound of Stars! I have a complete review up on my blog but here's a short summary of my thoughts.I absolutely love every scene in this freaking book. The Sound of Stars had a plot that kept me guessing every single event that would occur. The plot twist towards the end is one that I didn’t expect although I did predict a very tiny portion of it, I was pleasantly surprised. I had a major crisis when I was left only with 100 pages. I was dreading the end of the book because I simply didn’t want to let go of such a beautiful story. "If music is a story, it comes alive with love. The more love it has, the more likely the story will never end." Oh and I must talk about some of the amazing themes incorporated into the book, especially consent. This book shows us that consent matters in every way. There are so many incredible book and song references scattered around the book! At several points, I just squealed at the pop culture references. I think the biggest compliment I can give The Sound of Stars in terms of writing is that I felt I was inside the book. The rest of the world just didn't exist. Many times sci-fi and fantasy novels tend to confuse me with the world-building and information dumps, but Alechia Dow is a master.You can go ahead and read my full review here. I WAS GIVEN AN E-COPY OF THIS BOOK BY THE AUTHOR AND THE FFBC TOURS BUT THIS DOESN’T INFLUENCE MY VIEWS AND OPINIONS IN ANY WAY WHATSOEVER. I’M VERY GRATEFUL TO HAVE BEEN INCLUDED IN THIS TOUR. THANK YOU FFBC TOURS AND ALECHIA DOW!
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  • Lacy
    January 1, 1970
    I learned everything from socializing to surviving from books. Characters, with their twisty plots and drama, were better than reality. Humanity’s better in stories. That’s why I saved as many books as I could, basically saving the humanity worth saving. Five: The number of weeks until The Sound of Stars hits shelves. Four: I don't care if it's beFOUR or after the World ends, nobody is borrowing Lady Midnight. Three: The 'older than 3 months' section Netgalley moved my arc to because it took me I learned everything from socializing to surviving from books. Characters, with their twisty plots and drama, were better than reality. Humanity’s better in stories. That’s why I saved as many books as I could, basically saving the humanity worth saving. Five: The number of weeks until The Sound of Stars hits shelves. Four: I don't care if it's beFOUR or after the World ends, nobody is borrowing Lady Midnight. Three: The 'older than 3 months' section Netgalley moved my arc to because it took me entirely too long to actually read this book. 😩 Two: “I’m Ilori and, sometimes, it feels like I’m human, too. I’m of two worlds.”   One: The amount of times Alechia got a Red, White & Royal Blue reference in. Ellie tells him a story about two teenage boys falling in love through emails—he thinks that’s what they’re called—before she drifts off to sleep. JSKSKSJSKSThe Sound of Stars is author Alechia Dow's debut novel. The Sound of Stars is about love and… annihilation. I mean... basically. It is a mixture of Science Fiction, Dystopian, and Contemporary. In my opinion, it leans a little more to the Contemporary side. I've actually sat down to read it a few times, and considering I somehow ended up to three arcs (one digital + two physical) I should have easily already finished it. I'm a mood reader, though. And because I recently read my arc of The First 7 and enjoyed it, I thought it was about time to tackle another Alien Invasion. I hate that it took me so long because it really is a good book. It was fun and full of Pop Culture references that read like a love letter to fandom. They got a little cheesy and over the top at times and there were times the story became a bit preachy, but it was an important message, still, full of hope and love. Ellie is very relatable. If she weren't fiction, I'm positive we would be friends. H-E-L-L-O amazing anxiety rep. 😍 I have no weapon on me but my wits and fists. Strong girls, characters from my favorite books, pop into my mind. None of them would wait around for someone to save her. Most of them would bounce out of here, in worse shape than me, and they’d fight. They’d fight through broken hearts and ruined dreams. I’m alive, and I’m strong. My heart isn’t broken, and I hold my dreams close to me. And I’ve already lived in a cage for years; I won’t stay in one anymore. Not when I can save and change the world. The Sound of Stars is a mash up of The Love Interest, The Ten Thousand Doors of January, Amid Stars and Darkness, Defy the Stars, Partials, and The Hate U Give. Trust me. Check it out. 😉 I realize that not every book is for everyone but Alechia is a lovely person so either way, maybe go give her a follow on Twitter. ***Thank you to Inkyard Press, Harlequin Teen, and Netgalley for providing me with a review copy. Quotes used in my review are subject to change. All opinions are my own.***
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  • C.M. Estopare
    January 1, 1970
    It's incredibly tough for me to find books where the protagonists are like myself. Nowadays, with everyone falling in love with diversity, it's not so tough. But as a kid, all I had was Alanna the Lionness and a host of other female protagonists that were all white.I wish this book had existed when I was a teen. Needless to say, I loved it. The Sound of Stars is innovative and kind of like The Arrival meets Jane Austen. As a lover of hard science fiction, this book was...different to say the It's incredibly tough for me to find books where the protagonists are like myself. Nowadays, with everyone falling in love with diversity, it's not so tough. But as a kid, all I had was Alanna the Lionness and a host of other female protagonists that were all white.I wish this book had existed when I was a teen. Needless to say, I loved it. The Sound of Stars is innovative and kind of like The Arrival meets Jane Austen. As a lover of hard science fiction, this book was...different to say the least. It covers all of the tenants of soft science fiction and I'm not knocking it for that. In fact, I enjoyed the emotional consequences of alien invasions and tech. The Sound of Stars is a sweet love story that follows Janelle, a black market librarian, and Morris, an invader who wishes he were not. The two are connected by a love of art, specifically of music and books (something I could totally get behind). Of the two characters, Morris really steals the show with his sweet acts of kindness, strength, and sacrifice all in the name of an emotion he doesn't completely understand; love.What I didn't like so much about the book is how it began to drag on toward the middle and especially the end. But if you hang in there toward the end something extremely rewarding awaits and I'm glad I kept chugging along even when I wanted to put the book down (though I did begin to skim).All in all, this dystopian road trip to the stars was unputdownable. With its amazing feats of love in a landscape seemingly devoid of it and the people and aliens that dot this new Earth that are all kinds of mean and all kinds of hopeful. If you give The Sound of Stars a chance you'll come away with a renewed belief in hope and all of its shiny trappings. I know I did.Thank you Netgalley and Harlequin Teen for providing me with an ARC of this book. My opinions are my own.
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  • JenLovesBooks
    January 1, 1970
    This book took me through a mix of feels, even more so as all the truths that M0Rr1S had concealed started coming to the surface. But, this is more than that, giving us The Sound of Stars, which at first is a bright light at the end of a very broken, and troublesome, tunnel. It is a world that is more dystopian than anything, making the books being shared in here, as well as the music, a hope that was much needed.Especially, once I started getting more into the novel and it began unraveling. This book took me through a mix of feels, even more so as all the truths that M0Rr1S had concealed started coming to the surface. But, this is more than that, giving us The Sound of Stars, which at first is a bright light at the end of a very broken, and troublesome, tunnel. It is a world that is more dystopian than anything, making the books being shared in here, as well as the music, a hope that was much needed.Especially, once I started getting more into the novel and it began unraveling. That’s where this became more heartbreaking, even when there was love that was trying to flourish. The story of Ellie and Morris does move along pretty quickly, but it’s what I loved the most about this novel, keeping me invested even when the reality of the situation started taking over.Because, once I started getting to the midpoint of this novel, I could see there was a much darker and sinister story afoot. Sometimes, it left me wishing that much of that didn’t exist. But, then it wouldn’t make it the story that it was meant to be, right? Just know that if you’re thinking of starting this book, it is definitely more on the shattered end of things.It does make for a more engaging story, as those that surround Ellie and Morris try to make sense of the world they are all a part of now. And as the story progressed, I knew there was going to be an ending I wasn’t going to be completely ecstatic over. But, it’s one that was more plausible for everything that was coming down on them. A lot of the times though, I wish it could’ve been a happier one. Oh, dystopian stories, how you leave me so wrecked!***I received this e-galley from Harlequin Trade Publishing, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.***
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  • Bradley (AudioShelf)
    January 1, 1970
    I’m going to be honest here: This was not my favorite book. From the beginning, the world building was jumbled, the characters were really hard for me to relate to at first, and the writing often times gave me a headache. If I could give this book a 2.5, I would. The reasons I gave it a 3: I like the inclusivity aspect of having a character that was Ace (even though the only think Ace about her was a sentence she says saying she’s Ace. She was basically turned on by Morris the entire book. I’m going to be honest here: This was not my favorite book. From the beginning, the world building was jumbled, the characters were really hard for me to relate to at first, and the writing often times gave me a headache. If I could give this book a 2.5, I would. The reasons I gave it a 3: I like the inclusivity aspect of having a character that was Ace (even though the only think Ace about her was a sentence she says saying she’s Ace. She was basically turned on by Morris the entire book. Another reason I gave it a 3 is the really great pop culture references and the mix between books and music. The third reason I gave it a 3 star is because I did enjoy the commentary of how society treats people who are different from them. This book had lots of political talk, without being super Political! And finally, I gave it a 3 because it really was an original take on an Alien invasion that I haven’t read before. I really wanted to like this novel, but I just really didn’t. Maybe I’ll just blame he fact that I’m not a huge fan of sci-fi? But that’s pushing it because it was mostly a cross between dystopian and YA romance. I hope you give this book a try if you like pop music, books, NYC, and aliens. I will be interested in seeing what the author comes out with next, but until next time, this book wasn’t for me. Thanks to Inkyard Press and the author for sending us an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
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