Hey y’all! I’m so excited that I got to be a part of the book tour for Star Daughter by Hear Our Voices Book Tours! This is my first tour with them and they’re such a great company to work with, so I really hope to do more tours with them in the future! So, for my post, not only am I going to write a review for y’all, I’m also going to give y’all 15 thoughts I had while reading the book, so I’ll try to keep it as spoiler free as possible in that section. I’m thinking that format wise, I’m going to give you my rating first, then the summary from Goodreads, my review, and then end with my 15 thoughts. Also, thank you so much to Hear Our Voices and the publisher, Harper Teen, for giving me a free ARC to read and review for this!
Star Daughter 5/5 Stars
Summary from Goodreads: This gorgeously imagined YA debut blends shades of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust and a breathtaking landscape of Hindu mythology into a radiant contemporary fantasy.
The daughter of a star and a mortal, Sheetal is used to keeping secrets. Pretending to be “normal.” But when an accidental flare of her starfire puts her human father in the hospital, Sheetal needs a full star’s help to heal him. A star like her mother, who returned to the sky long ago.
Sheetal’s quest to save her father will take her to a celestial court of shining wonders and dark shadows, where she must take the stage as her family’s champion in a competition to decide the next ruling house of the heavens–and win, or risk never returning to Earth at all.
Brimming with celestial intrigue, this sparkling YA debut is perfect for fans of Roshani Chokshi and Laini Taylor.
Oh man y’all, I freaking loved this book so much! Shveta Thakrar is such a master at weaving these mythological stories (that let’s be real, I definitely thought I knew, but I for sure didn’t know them as well as I expected because I kept having to ask the fam questions) into the life of an Indian-American teenager of today. It’s been 10 years since I was Sheetal’s age (oof and I now I feel old), but I still remember dealing with some of the same pressures that she does, except hers are definitely ten fold because, you know, she’s half mythical being. I loved the way the characters were built out and the relationship between Sheetal and Minal was one of my favorites in the entire book. I loved how quickly the plot sucked you in and I didn’t feel as though there was a single point within the book where I wasn’t interested. Radhikafoi’s obsession with couches was so funny (especially the Night Market scene where that comes in)! The politics and court dynamics in the Svargalok were so intriguing and I could read a whole book just on that. I completely devoured Star Daughter and I cannot wait to read more from Shveta Thakrar! This is definitely one of my favorite reads of the year so far!
15 Thoughts I had while reading:
- I absolutely love this cover so freaking much! Sheetal looks amazing and her jewelry is gorgeous and I feel like I have a very similar lehenga or at least a sari that looks kinda like it
- Oooo food! They’re talking about all the good stuff- samosas and rasmalai and aloo mattar- man I’m hungry
- I love how many times Kishore Kumar is mentioned in the beginning with Dev’s singing- my parents LOVE Kishore Kumar’s voice (here’s my mom’s favorite song by him and here’s my dad’s favorite)
- Does every Indian family have a fabric painting of Krishna dancing with the Gopis?
- The Night Market being in the middle of Little India is perfect- getting chaat and magical items in the same vicinity? What else do you need? I’m hungry again… this feels like a pattern…
- The arch in the shape of the peacock’s fan is so Desi and I love it- the imagery of the feathers was super vibrant and really easy to picture (although, even though I love that imagery, I hate birds, so having to go through the peacock’s beak to actually get into the Night Market would have freaked me out)
- The fam isn’t super religious, but we always start new endeavors by invoking Geneshji too!
- This is the first time I’ve really noticed some of the similarities between our mythology and Greek mythology- like Indra pulling the chariot of the sun across the sky is like Helios pulling the sun across the sky in a chariot and Svargalok reminds me of Olympus some
- I didn’t realize how much I didn’t know about Hindu mythology- like I thought I was super knowledgeable, but some of the creatures from the Night Market (like the Kinnaras) were ones I had never heard of before, so I definitely had to ask my mom/grandfather about them
- I know that it’s hard to see someone you care about supporting someone else, but like, why would someone support you over family in a competition? (super vague, I know, but I’m trying so hard not to have any real spoilers in here)
- Oof the whole line about traditions and always listening to her elders and following said traditions and directives from elders really hit home. It’s really hard sometimes when you grow up between multiple cultures and you try and explain the aspects of the one you relate to the most to older generations (like me trying to tell my grandfather that just because I’m a woman, I’m not going to get married young and cook for my husband every night and clean the house all the time- I’m not a maid)
- All of the vivid imagery with the food is making me so happy, but again, very hungry… and now I want papdi chaat and falooda kulfi
- The more I read, the more I like Dev as a character and love interest
- The format of this competition is really interesting and I loved seeing all of the talents showcased
- God, I wish we had had more books like this when I was in high school. I loved this book as a 27 year old, but at 16/17, I would have loved it even more, and being able to see myself in characters like Sheetal and Minal and see Indian love interests like Dev and have our stories so normalized and heck even having Sheetal saying Nana and Nani instead of grandmother and grandfather would have been amazing back in 2009/2010! I’m so excited that we have books like this now though!!!
Check out what some of the other amazing folks on this tour had to say about Star Daughter- here’s the full schedule and what kind of posts are available at each stop! Star Daughter comes out on August 11th, so make sure you grab a copy then- IndieBound | Barnes & Noble | Amazon
Shveta Thakrar is a part-time nagini and full-time believer in magic. Her work has appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies including Enchanted Living, Uncanny Magazine, A Thousand Beginnings and Endings, and Toil & Trouble. Her debut young adult fantasy novel, Star Daughter, is forthcoming from HarperTeen on August 11, 2020. When not spinning stories about spider silk and shadows, magic and marauders, and courageous girls illuminated by dancing rainbow flames, Shveta crafts, devours books, daydreams, travels, bakes, and occasionally even plays her harp.