The Sound of Stars

Alechia Dow

Book - 2020

Coming soon! The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow will be available Feb 25, 2020.

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YOUNG ADULT FICTION/Dow Alechia
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Published
Inkyard Press 2020.
Language
English
Item Description
Hardback.
Physical Description
400 p. ; 216 x 143mm
ISBN
9781335911551
1335911553
Main Author
Alechia Dow (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Seventeen-year-old Janelle (Ellie) Baker survived the invasion of the Ilori aliens two years ago and now lives under their dystopian scrutiny. When M0Rr1S (Morris), a prominent Ilori commander made to appear human, learns she runs an illicit library, he is captivated by the face that she loves books enough to risk her life. That's how he feels about music, and so he offers her protection if she can smuggle him old records and iPods. But when Ellie ends up scheduled for execution anyway, and Morris garners suspicion by intervening, the two end up on a cross-country road trip with rebellion in their sights. Though the pacing is often slowed down by exposition, much of it is spent delving into the issues that have shaped Ellie, and which are bound to resonate with readers—including sexuality, racism, and anxiety. Readers will swoon over the sweet romance that blooms between her and Morris, who is clueless and enlightened in equal measure. Filled to the brim with pop culture references, Dow's fun, heart-healing debut will find fans among readers of Marie Lu. Grades 9-12. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Booklist Reviews

Seventeen-year-old Janelle (Ellie) Baker survived the invasion of the Ilori aliens two years ago and now lives under their dystopian scrutiny. When M0Rr1S (Morris), a prominent Ilori commander made to appear human, learns she runs an illicit library, he is captivated by the face that she loves books enough to risk her life. That's how he feels about music, and so he offers her protection if she can smuggle him old records and iPods. But when Ellie ends up scheduled for execution anyway, and Morris garners suspicion by intervening, the two end up on a cross-country road trip with rebellion in their sights. Though the pacing is often slowed down by exposition, much of it is spent delving into the issues that have shaped Ellie, and which are bound to resonate with readers—including sexuality, racism, and anxiety. Readers will swoon over the sweet romance that blooms between her and Morris, who is clueless and enlightened in equal measure. Filled to the brim with pop culture references, Dow's fun, heart-healing debut will find fans among readers of Marie Lu. Grades 9-12. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Debut author Dow combines alien invasion, dystopian romance, and road trip tropes in this story of an alien occupation of Earth. Seventeen-year-old Janelle "Ellie" Baker, who is African-American and suffers from anxiety and hypothyroidism, operates a contraband library in her New York City apartment building, where 1,000 people, including her family, are being held by the alien Ilori. Humanlike M0Rr1S, or "Morris," is a labmade Ilori created for the specific purpose of developing a "vaccine" that will suppress humans' consciousness and allow the energy-based true Ilori to occupy human bodies on Earth for recreation. Unlike other Ilori, though, Morris experiences emotions deeply, something that infuriates his high-ranking father. Upon finding Ellie's library, he doesn't turn her in but instead solicits her aid in finding the human music that he loves. When Ellie's secret is discovered, Morris rescues her from execution, and the two flee with their trove of music and books, their relationship turning romantic along the way. Amid references to popular media, Dow paints a moving picture of two young people's defiance and the power of song and story to combat despair. Ages 13–up. Agent: Uwe Stender, Triada US. (Feb.) Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 8 Up—Janelle is an avid reader, a loyal friend, and is very frustrated with racial injustice. Then the Ilori, a race of mathematical energy beings, arrive to colonize Earth. Human squabbles pale compared to potential annihilation. MORr1S is Ilori and although he's here for mere days, is tasked with completing a vaccine to wipe out humanity. Yet all is not as it seems. There is a growing rebellion, with MORr1S and Janelle at the front of it. They bond over forbidden music and books, acknowledging their friendship and budding romance while on the run to California. A boy band comes to their rescue, though the band is actually a more benevolent race of aliens masquerading as human. Ultimately, they save what is left of humanity through science, music, and love. Pop culture references, lyrics, and original songs pepper the novel, told in four parts, alternating between the protagonists' perspectives. There are also mentions of major political movements such as #MeToo and Black Lives Matter. Readers may find the constant band quotes distracting, as protagonists rely heavily on lyrics to express their predictable feelings. The stilted speech patterns of the Ilori read like computer passwords unless colored with emotion inconsistent with their characters. The story is disappointingly predictable while simultaneously offering readers random, abrupt plot turns with little explanation. Overall, this novel has an intriguing premise featuring a diverse cast—Janelle is black and bisexual while MORr1S has many non-binary comrades—yet the writing relies too heavily on clichés and trite, juvenile feelings. VERDICT Only purchase where readers request romantic sci-fi books.—Kristen Rademacher, Marist High School, Chicago Copyright 2019 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Planet Earth is occupied by aliens called the Ilori, because human emotional expression is grounds for execution, books, music, and art have all been outlawed, but when an alien finds seventeen-year-old Ellie's secret library it changes things for both of them.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

“This debut has it all: music, books, aliens, adventure, resistance, queerness, and a bold heroine tying it all together. ”—Ms. MagazineCan a girl who risks her life for books and an Ilori who loves pop music work together to save humanity?When a rebel librarian meets an Ilori commander…Two years ago, a misunderstanding between the leaders of Earth and the invading Ilori resulted in the death of one-third of the world’s population. Today, seventeen-year-old Ellie Baker survives in an Ilori-controlled center in New York City. All art, books and creative expression are illegal, but Ellie breaks the rules by keeping a secret library.When young Ilori commander Morris finds Ellie’s illegal library, he’s duty-bound to deliver her for execution. But Morris isn’t a typical Ilori…and Ellie and her books might be the key to a desperate rebellion of his own.“The Sound of Stars is a marvelous genre-bending debut." —The Nerd Daily“The Sound of Stars is a stunning exploration of the comforts that make us human and the horrors that challenge our humanity.”—K. Ancrum, author of The Wicker King "This book has everything! Aliens set on conquering earth! A determined heroine with a hidden stash of books! And the power of music and stories to give those with every reason to hate the power to love. Who could want anything more?"—Joelle Charbonneau, New York Times bestselling author of The Testing and Verify “An absolute must-read for everyone.” —Book Riot “Dow's debut is a testament to hope and the power of art.” —Buzzfeed Also by Alechia Dow:The Kindred