the stars never rise { a review }

Sixteen-year-old Nina Kane should be worrying about her immortal soul, but she's too busy trying to actually survive. Her town's population has been decimated by soul-consuming demons, and souls are in short supply. Watching over her younger sister, Mellie, and scraping together food and money are all that matters. The two of them are a family. They gave up on their deadbeat mom a long time ago.

When Nina discovers that Mellie is keeping a secret that threatens their very existence, she'll do anything to protect her. Because in New Temperance, sins are prosecuted as crimes by the brutal Church and its army of black-robed exorcists. And Mellie's sin has put her in serious trouble.

To keep them both alive, Nina will need to trust Finn, a fugitive with deep green eyes who has already saved her life once and who might just be an exorcist. But what kind of exorcist wears a hoodie?

Wanted by the Church and hunted by dark forces, Nina knows she can't survive on her own. She needs Finn and his group of rogue friends just as much as they need her.

this book...was a predictable way. I didn't love it. I didn't hate it. I sort of just tolerated it. Parts of the plot surprised me, but just as many other parts I've seen in so many other dystopias. I don't even know if the Stars Never Rise is a dystopia. It's just plain weird.

Nina is not a happy person. Her family is rotting from the inside, her sister just committed a sin punishable by the Church, and  she's just trying to survive. all of the sudden, her life is turned on its head, and everything she knows is out to get her. she has to trust complete strangers with her life in order to save her sister...and every one else. not to mention those strange new powers she's suddenly developed.


I wanted to like Nina. I really did. Still, no matter how I tried, I just couldn't. She's a strange mixture of timidity and fury, and it almost worked. She grew up under the grip of the Church, forced to obey all their rules or people get hurt, but she also has to break those rules to support her family. This creates a sort of inner conflict in her. However, once she's on the run, the inner conflict just turns awake. She's either one thing or the other, and the transition from angry and vengeful to scared and confused is choppy and awkward. I did like her love for Melanie, though, which is why I think I liked Nina better at the beginning of the book. Once the two are separated, it's like the realest part of Nina vanished with her sister.

much disappointment

Anathema was great. I'm all for bands of loser friends rebelling against the world, even though it may be a lil cliche. I especially loved their names--they all had strong, unique names that aren't crazy or typical dystopia names (except for Finn, maybe). Grayson officially became my new favourite girl name. The chemistry of the group actually reminded me of the group dynamics you usually find in animes. You have the loud brash girl, the good looking, thoughful guy, a gentle giant, the wisp of a girl, and the enigma. Overall, I loved Anathema a lot more than I loved Nina. Whoops.

literally anathema

The concept of the Church taking over after the world is ravaged by demons isn't the most original idea, but it held my interest. It reminded me a lot of Angel Burn, which I absolutely adore, but instead of angels being the evil overlords, the demons are the villains (which isn't as interesting, but the whole Church vs. degenerates conflict was okay). If I had to choose between the two books, I'd definitely go with Angel Burn because it flows better and the characters are more interesting (and sassier)--even though I am ready to fight book #2 because unnecessary love triangle ugh.

 The predictability of this book hurts. Girl meets boy with beautiful green eyes (seriously, people, what is with the green eyes?), girl suddenly develops powers and is being hunted by someone or something, girl's last remaining parent dies, and girl realizes the world is not what she thought it was. The redeeming parts of this book are few and far between, but it was enough to keep me from putting it aside and never finishing it. As I already stated, Anathema was part of the reason I stuck around. I also liked how that last plot twist took place--I probably should've seen it coming, but I didn't. It was just enough to hold my attention through the last portion of the book. I didn't LOVE how it got figured out, but the new development made the pieces fit together well, and I liked that. The final detail that held my attention was Finn. Oh Finn.

not that Finn

I'm noticing just how common a name Finn is becoming. Not sure what to think about that.

not that one either

But this Finn is no kid who talks to corn (oh Bone Gap, how strange you were...), that guy on Glee that rubs me wrong, or a conflicted storm-trooper. He's special. At first, I got really excited, because I thought the reason why Maddox and Finn were connected was dissociative identity disorder. DID isn't something you a lot in YA or dystopias, but when Finn's identity turned out to be something other than DID, I was still okay with it. I do think Nina adjusted to the fact that this guy she kinda lowkey likes changes "identities" more than she changed clothes waaaaaaay too quickly. If I were the one kissing a new face every day, I would take more than 24 hours and a good nap to get used to it. Just saying.


Also, I'm very tired of "Hey, I just met you and I'm in love with you" relationships, especially in dystopias. Give me something more than two days of awkward eye contact and flirtation. Please.

I do think Finn's ability (nature? identity? curse?) is kind of a get out of jail free card (ehehehe, literally) for Anathema, but it was unique and interesting, and I love how the synopsis described him: "What kind of exorcist wears a hoodie?"

almost anyone looks cute in a hoodie. especially this guy

Overall, I'm not a huge fan of this book, but if you're looking for a mindless supernatural-dystopia read, go for it. I'd love to know if you figure out the connection between the title and the story (and that cover??) because I sure can't figure it out, no matter how hard I stare at the psychedelic butterfly.

Hope you guys have a great weekend!



Post a Comment

the best way to make me smile is to comment. or to send me a basket full of kittens and dark chocolate. whatever works for you.

Popular Posts