Review: When Stars Are Bright by Amber R. Duell


Genre:  Retelling, historical fiction, young adult

Pages: 332 pages
Expected publication: January 7th 2020 by Crescent Sea Publishing

Shelf it on Goodreads | Amazon |


For Lina Holt, a Dutch seventeen-year-old with a flair for singing, 1930 is going to be her year. Her long-time boyfriend is about to propose and her mother will finally realize their relationship isn’t a passing phase. But when a stranger snatches her from her backyard, everything changes.

Lina is thrust into the spotlight of a New York vaudeville show where she’s paired with Nik, a mysterious pianist. The two bond during rehearsals and it doesn’t take long before Nik puts himself at risk to confess a hidden truth. Without Lina, the show is in its last season and there’s no way she’ll be allowed to slip through the owner’s fingers. Not when she carries fairy magic in her blood—an gift that turns her song into a dangerously addictive drug.

If Lina ever wants to return home, she must learn who to trust before she’s forced to remain a prisoner on stage forever.



My Thoughts

I will shout it from the rooftops that I’m a fan of Duell! And it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that I’ll read whatever she puts out. That being said–this was such a unique story, in that it’s a historical story and it’s a retelling of Thumbelina! Stop right there, Sissy, right?! But it was such a cool take on the story I grew up with, as well as the movie. So here’s what else I thought about it.

When Stars Are Bright hooked me from the beginning, and when I wasn’t reading it, I was dreaming about it. It haunted me, begged me to finish it! Largely because the characters and their stories are so interesting, and while the elements are all there for the time period [the 30’s/depression era] I constantly wanted to learn more about Lina, Christian, about Nik, and the supporting characters.

The overall plot was great, if not tragic. All I’ve got to say is…grab some tissues! 😉

Definitely mark this down if you’re looking for something interesting and new.

Do you have a favorite book that is from the World War 1 or 2 era?


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