Reviews

Starstruck

34532586Author: S.E. Anderson

Publisher: Bolide

Publication Date: 4. May 2017

Rating: 3./5. Stars

Diversity: LGBT rep

TW: Discrimination against sex workers, anti-immigrant wording

Summary: After an incident with a hot-air balloon causes college-dropout Sally Webber to lose her job, she sets off to find direction in her life. Crashing into a teleporting alien, however, is not on her to-do list.

Now she’s on the run from TV-drama-loving aliens, and things are just getting started. Zander won’t stop reeling her into life-or-death situations to save her planet, as he waits for his laser-wielding sister to search the universe for him. Though Sally isn’t quite sure if he wants to save Earth from annihilation, or just quell his curiosity of all things human.

On top of this, she’s got to find lost alien emissaries, as well as a job, and stop the planet from getting incinerated in the process. But with Zander as her roommate, what could possibly go wrong?

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Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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(Do you like vibrant characters? Stories about a likable alien boy and his very scary alien twin sister? A super amazing MC? Space-traveling? A depressed Main Character, that is also bisexual, and ownvoices, and amazing? you answered Yes to at least one of this questions you should read this book.)

If you answered Yes to at least one of this questions you should read this book.)This book is about Sally, a girl with chronic depression, who just recently lost her job, has dropped out of college, hates parties and accidentally runs over a guy, who can travel through time and space causing him to lose the connection to his sister and leaving him stranded on earth. All of that might sound fun on the TV, but Sally’s not a fan. After getting abducted by aliens and barely escaping, Zander, the alien, still won’t leave her alone, saying he needs her to save earth. But Sally doesn’t really mind all that much.

While this book is one of the best Sci-Fi Books I’ve read in a while it feels quite short. Now, this is most likely because this book is just the first in a series of quite a few other books, which I Need Now, I just would have loved a bit more world building. It still feels a bit flat and there are so many unanswered questions!!! But hopefully, the other books of the series will come out sooner rather than later so I can enjoy and love them as well. For now, we at least have this amazing first book and I can’t wait for the next one!

The world building, while not enough, is actually quite good. There’s a lot of alien races, but we only know a few so far, however they are all very diverse. I also really loved the idea that there is a big alien government that prohibits aliens from contacting earth as humanity is not developed enough yet. And considering how the other book ended, I’m sure we will get to know a lot more about aliens in the next books.

I also adored that Sally is bisexual, so far only by word of god (but it will be explored more in the next books, so far, however, there’s already an important lesbian side character in this first book). While she is only dating one person in this book, her attraction to more than one gender is imho already hinted at quite well and I honestly can’t wait to read more about her. She is also depressed and has anxiety and it’s very well portrayed in my opinion, partly probably because it’s ownvoices, which I honestly loved. I felt a bit disappointed that it isn’t diagnosed and so she doesn’t have any words for the way she’s feelings, but it was still very well portrayed.

The story is very witty and fast paced and so goes by real quickly, but it is also a delight to read.

However, there are still some plot holes that are never explained (what happened with the hot air balloon? It is constantly mentioned but what was its purpose? It was simply mentioned so often that I couldn’t believe there was no bigger purpose for it than to make Sally oversleep, but there where no other explanation for its existence which annoyed me a bit, as well as a fascinating character that was not at all explored even though she should have been? I mean why introduce interesting characters when they don’t get explored? But again, there will be more books and the author said they will be explained so I’m just very excited for the next books!)

((There was one scene that really pissed me off and that was the terrible treatment of sex workers. Zander, clueless to human interaction apparently, picked up a sex worker on the street to bring on a date. When he didn’t want to have sex with her, she got really angry and slapped him and afterward Zander was teased for trying to date a sex worker. This scene really made me angry and I had to put the book down for a while before I could continue. This treatment of sex workers is just really gross and while it may exist in real life as well, it was never called out and just felt very gross.)) UPDATE: I recently received the finished copy and this was fixed! I re-read this scene and it was handled so much more carefully and it was way better to read without being gross or dehumanizing. I’m so glad that this was fixed and I now have to say I enjoyed this story way more, thank you for listening to this and for fixing it.

I really, really loved the story, the characters, the great description of depression and most of what happens and since the scene that really upset me is fixed, I can finally rate this book higher and tell you to read it because it is amazing and funny sci-fi and really great.

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