The stars we steal

Alexa Donne

Book - 2020

Princess Leonie Kolburg, aged nineteen and heir to a faded European spaceship, enters the engagement season hoping only to save her family from financial ruin, but is soon falling for her first, rejected love.

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Published
Boston ; New York : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt [2020]
Language
English
Physical Description
393 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN
9781328948946
1328948943
Main Author
Alexa Donne (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Eighteen-year-old Leo claims the esteemed title of Princess, but she is only a princess in name. Her family is neck-deep in financial ruin, and the spaceship they own is rapidly falling apart. To save her family, her father is pressuring her to snag a rich young bachelor during a decadent courting season of opulent parties called the Valg. Leo, however, doesn't wish to marry for money and only grudgingly participates in the festivities. Her life is upended when the lower-class boy whom she once loved and whose proposal she rejected returns wealthy and more handsome than ever. Amidst the rampant lies and deceit of her high-society world, Leo falls for Elliot again, despite the risk of being left with a broken heart this time around. While the plot is simplistic in nature, Donne's complex characters, who are deeply flawed and human, more than make up for it. Similar in spirit to Brightly Burning (2018), which staged Jane Eyre in space, this novel takes its cues loosely from Jane Austen's Persuasion with shimmering success. Grades 8-12. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 7 Up—This futuristic retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion follows Princess Leonie "Leo" Kolburg as she participates in the Valg Season, a ritual for young nobles from around the galaxy to find spouses. Leo's family has a title and a spaceship, but financial problems have put them at risk of losing both. Leo hopes to save her family with profits from her water filtration system design, but her father insists she find a wealthy husband. Leo's younger sister Carina and cousin Klara are more willing participants in the Valg. To earn money, the Kolburgs have rented out their spaceship to tourists, including Leo's ex-fiancé, Elliot, who left after she broke off the engagement due to her family's disapproval of his low status. Elliot has since become wealthy, and he becomes an object of affection for both Carina and Klara. Cue the flirting, scheming, bickering, secrets, misunderstandings, breakups, and makeups. Though romantic intrigue will keep readers turning pages, important plotlines involving a starving lower class are left unresolved. The ending is rushed and lacking. Feminists intrigued by Leo's scientific aspirations will be disappointed to find that her happy ending is, ultimately, marriage. Romance is primarily limited to flirting, dancing, and kissing. Teen characters frequently drink alcohol, which is accepted in their faux pre-Victorian high society. There is queer representation among secondary characters, including one asexual teen. VERDICT This soapy, slightly problematic romance is Jane Austen meets The Bachelor, told in space. A general purchase recommended for fans of Kiera Cass.—Liz Overberg, Zionsville Community High School, IN Copyright 2019 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Seeking a wealthy husband who will save her family from ruin, Princess Leonie, the heir to a faded European spaceship, clashes with her first love, a successful whiskey ship captain her family once deemed unsuitable. 50,000 first printing. Simultaneous eBook.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Princess Leonie Kolburg, aged nineteen and heir to a faded European spaceship, enters the engagement season hoping only to save her family from financial ruin, but is soon falling for her first, rejected love.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Engagement season is in the air. Eighteen-year-old Princess Leonie “Leo” Kolburg, heir to a faded European spaceship, has only one thing on her mind: which lucky bachelor can save her family from financial ruin?  But when Leo’s childhood friend and first love, Elliot, returns as the captain of a successful whiskey ship, everything changes. Elliot was the one who got away, the boy Leo’s family deemed to be unsuitable for marriage. Now he’s the biggest catch of the season and he seems determined to make Leo’s life miserable. But old habits die hard, and as Leo navigates the glittering balls of the Valg Season, she finds herself falling for her first love in a game of love, lies, and past regrets. Fans of Katharine McGee and Kiera Cass will be dazzled by this world of lost love and royal intrigue. 

Review by Publisher Summary 4

Engagement season is in the air. Eighteen-year-old Princess Leonie 'Leo' Kolburg, heir to a faded European spaceship, has only one thing on her mind: which lucky bachelor can save her family from financial ruin?  But when Leo's childhood friend and first love, Elliot, returns as the captain of a successful whiskey ship, everything changes. Elliot was the one who got away, the boy Leo's family deemed to be unsuitable for marriage. Now he's the biggest catch of the season and he seems determined to make Leo's life miserable. But old habits die hard, and as Leo navigates the glittering balls of the Valg Season, she finds herself falling for her first love in a game of love, lies, and past regrets. Fans of Katharine McGee and Kiera Cass will be dazzled by this world of lost love and royal intrigue.   

Review by Publisher Summary 5

Engagement season is in the air. Eighteen-year-old Princess Leonie “Leo” Kolburg, heir to a faded European spaceship, has only one thing on her mind: which lucky bachelor can save her family from financial ruin?  But when Leo’s childhood friend and first love, Elliot, returns as the captain of a successful whiskey ship, everything changes. Elliot was the one who got away, the boy Leo’s family deemed to be unsuitable for marriage. Now he’s the biggest catch of the season and he seems determined to make Leo’s life miserable. But old habits die hard, and as Leo navigates the glittering balls of the Valg Season, she finds herself falling for her first love in a game of love, lies, and past regrets. Fans of Katharine McGee and Kiera Cass will be dazzled by this world of lost love and royal intrigue.   

Review by Publisher Summary 6

The Bachelorette meets sci-fi in this gripping story about a young girl caught in a world of royal intrigue and lost love in her quest to save her family from ruin. Perfect for fans of Katharine McGee, Melissa de la Cruz, and Kiera Cass.

Review by Publisher Summary 7

The Bachelorette meets sci-fi in this gripping story about a young girl caught in a world of royal intrigue and lost love in her quest to save her family from ruin. Perfect for fans of Katharine McGee, Melissa de la Cruz, and Kiera Cass.