Under Different Stars by Amy A. Bartol | Book Review

Rating: 4/10

Format: E-book – Owned

This book is another case of me getting sucked in by A) An Amazon Kindle Sale and B) a gorgeous cover. Really, I should know better by now, I really should.

Let’s meet our protagonist, shall we? Meet Kricket.

Kricket is ~*Speciallll*~

Also, her life is hard because she is pretty. Yep. That’s a real thing. We’re so out of the zone of understanding any kind of privilege or oppression here it is mind-boggling. She’s got platinum hair, and don’t you dare forget that. Just kidding, you can’t, because it is repeated so many times it made me want to pull my own GOLDEN TRESSES OF MAGIC SILK out of my head. Did I sound ridiculous just then? YEAH, take a note, no one talks about their hair like that.

It’s not long before we find out Kricket is not only Fancy-Beautiful, but a magical truth-senser, and just like, so smart guys. Her brain glows with smartness! Or so say the alien dudes who abduct her without too much trouble despite her being a Strong Female Character(tm).

This book also includes some fundamental scientific misunderstandings that I’m letting go because I am a kind, kind Hufflepuff who doesn’t like gravity that much anyway.

Then we get to my biggest critique of the book. I’m not considering this a spoiler since it happens in the first 1/4th of the story: Soon after she’s abducted by aliens, she starts literally snuggling with their leader. Sitting on his lap, spooning with him, hanging out in her underwear (which the aliens are super into, for some disturbing reason). Of course there is LURVE because Kricket is SPECIAL and BEAUTIOUS. It’s gross.

I have said it before and I will say it again: I am the easiest person in the world to sell a love story to. I’m a damn sucker. However, if your love story doesn’t include developing any kind of trust, rapport, camaraderie, or even familiarity, I will not buy it even if it is on sale. Even if it is BOGO. This is one of the worst cases I’ve ever read.

Also, their leader is a Man From A Can: he’s enormous and muscley, he’s prickly but has a heart of gold. He is every Male Romance Novel man ever. If this book ever becomes a movie, he can be played by any male model taller than 6’3″. He thinks Kricket is perfect, so there’s that.

Here’s another fun fact: this book is littered with nonsense jargon. I can handle some new words for a new culture. It makes sense! Do not throw every single word at me on one page. It makes your book sound like a gibberish mad-lib.

Here is a real sentence from the real book:

“No Etharian can eat an entire venish,” Jax replies, “I’ll lay thirty-two fardrooms on it.”

Now, can I figure out that Etharians are a people, a venish is some kind of large food, and a fardroom is a measure of currency? Surely. My brain might not literally glow with smartness, but I can do context clues. It’s just clunky AF and about as subtle as a tornado siren.

As the plot progresses, we find that the world we got transported to thinks it’s totally cool just to give her away to a rando. Everyone seems to think this is just fine. Kricket does protest, but not as effectively as I think she should have. Her response to this guy telling her he owns him is basically “I don’t need no man!” and brushing him off. Instead of insisting he be kept away from her, or talking to the powers that be about it. So many question marks. She’s almost married off to at least two different dudes.

Upon her arrival to the alien world, she just inserts herself into politics, and the upcoming war. It’s slightly confusing, or maybe I just couldn’t stand every word Kricket ever said.

All of that said, I did finish the book. I just won’t be starting the next one.

Objective Stars: 2/5

Subjective Stars: 2/5


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