There are no spoilers in this review.
The Stars We Steal, Alexa Donne
Publishing on February 4th, 2020 by Titan Books (UK).
Engagement season is in the air. Eighteen-year-old Princess Leonie “Leo” Kolburg, heir to a faded European spaceship, only has 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 that 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 failing for her first love in a game of love, lies, and past regrets.
- The Stars We Steal is blurbed as a retelling of Persuasion in space. Having not read Persuasion, I’m not going to tell you whether or not this comparison is deserved, so I’ll blurb this book my very own way: this feels like a little bit of The Bachelor set in space, meaning that you get all the romance and all the drama surrounding it in an unfamiliar, different environment. SO YAY, am I right?
- I think one of my favorite things about The Stars We Steal was the main character, Leo. She was such a great main character: determined, looking for her independance, strong and yes, sometimes a little clueless, but deeply human, too. I loved following her and rooted for her, for sure.
- Another thing I loved about this book was that it holds one of my favorite tropes and it doesn’t shy away from making it messy and complicated. It’s the childhood friends trope, meeting again after so many years and unresolved feelings between them and, now that they’re older, even more complex things to go through. I loved seeing the two reconnect and Leonie trying to figure out who really her childhood best friend has become after so many years apart.
- The relationships between the other characters were equally interesting to follow. I really enjoyed seeing Leo grow close to Evgenia and the friendship they built and I also appreciated the sibling’s relationship between Leo and her younger sister as she wants to protect her.
I HAD A HARD TIME WITH…
- Where The Stars We Steal disappointed me a little bit was in its world-building. If I appreciated what we knew about life on spaceships, I feel like this could have been explored a little more. There was so much potential with the different political sides and the class privileges that weren’t fully explored and could have brought another dimension to this story. Then again, The Stars We Steal was mostly romance focused, something to consider if you wish to pick this up!
The Stars We Steal was a very entertaining read overall. If I wished a little more from the world-building and political intrigue as a whole, I still think it was a really good read that will definitely appeal to romance readers, fans of the childhood friends-complex-miscommunications trope. If that sounds like your thing, I hope you’ll give it a try. I certainly had a lotof fun reading it!
Final rating: 3,5 drops!
A million thanks to Titan Books for sending me a review copy of this book. This did not, in any way, influence my thoughts and rating.
Trigger warnings: drinking, mention of a parent’s death, mention of throwing up, drowning, talk of murder and murder attempt.
Diversity: queer main character, asexual/aromantic main character, POC side character.
Did you read The Stars We Steal? Do you want to?
What was the last original romance book you’ve read? Let me know in comments!