Random Musings of a Bibliophile: I have a weakness for retellings of Austen novels. Why I am not sure, since most of them make me break out in hives and want to stab things. For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund is not one of those. I not only enjoyed it, but found it very hard to put aside when I needed to. I have never been able to say that about an Austen retelling before… Elliot is a marvelous reworking of Anne’s character and, dare I say it, she is even an improvement. (Gasp! I know. I shock even myself.)
Alexa Loves Books: Though it took me a while to really get into this novel, the pages of For Darkness Shows the Stars simply flew by past a certain pivotal point (which happened near the end of the first part of the book for me). I could not read it fast enough, and when I’d finished, I almost didn’t want to leave the world that I’d discovered. It’s such a beautifully written novel, and I will probably reread it at some point in the future. I highly recommend this book, and definitely consider it one of my favorite reads of 2012.
Consumed By Books: Everything about For Darkness Shows the Stars is magical, from the cover to the very last page. The world that Elliott lives in is imperfect, yet incredibly well built. Although it takes time to grasp what’s happening, it’s carefully thought out. The images in some scenes where so lovely that I wanted to jump between the pages of the book. Of course, the romance is one of the key elements of this book. You guys, it was so well done. There was the same combination of pain, yearning, and hope that I find whenever I read Persuasion.
Open Books Society: Elliot is honestly the most admirable teen heroine ever. She’s one of the girls that’s just naturally good. A lot of heroines have a certain fakeness to them when they do good deeds, but Elliot isn’t one of them. She is naturally a really caring person, even if it hurts her in the end. I sometimes wanted to shake her because she was so good. I wanted Elliot to be a little more selfish, but that never did happen. Elliot is just too good to do that. As for the romance, one word to describe it is tense. Elliot’s too good of a girl to explain to Kai her reasons for staying behind, and Kai is still too hurt to ask. I was literally holding my breath through the whole story; that’s how tense it was. Some moments I was seething at Kai for being a total jerk to Elliot. Other moments I was egging on Elliot to explode at him. In other words, this romance is not boring! Elliot and Kai have such great chemistry. I can’t believe they didn’t chemically react! (That was just bad…)
Bonus FORETOLD Review from The Sassy Librarian: It’s no secret that I adore Diana Peterfreund; she always blows me away with the power of her writing and this short story was no exception. Alternating points of view between the charismatic daughter of a cult leader predicting the end of the world and the boy who loves her, this contains an utterly chilling ending. I love stories where I am uncertain about what is really happening – where it’s uncertain what is the “truth” – and Peterfreund weaves a complex web in this tale that has me still thinking about the characters a few days later. The quality I love the most about Peterfreund’s writing is her unbelievably strong female characters. These girls are powerful, realize it, and aren’t afraid to use their gifts. I always forget how rare this is in young adult literature until I read her work.