Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens LOST STARS

I’m still reeling from the death of Carrie Fisher and now her mother, Debbie Reynolds. My heart aches for Carrie’s daughter, Billie Lourd and the rest of the family.

I’ve been thinking about Star Wars a lot the last couple days. I read Lost Stars about a year ago when it was released. Since it is a YA novel, I bought it for my classroom. Being the greedy reader that I am, I decided to read it first. I’m glad I did because I was in for a surprise.

lost-stars-journey-to-star-wars-a-force-awakens-book-review

Ciena and Thane live on the Outer Rim Planet, Jelucan. The Galactic Empire took control of the planet when they were young and impressionable. Thane and Ciena were awestruck by the power of the Empire and its ships.

Ciena is from one culture on the planet. Her people live poor, simple lives. Thane is from a different culture on that planet, one who has used their mining business to create a wealthy lifestyle. Ciena has a close, loving family. Thane has difficulties with his family. But they both discover a love for flying.

By chance, they met Governor Tarkin who promised they could fly those amazing ships, if they worked hard to get into the Academy.

They develop a strong bond regardless of their differences in status and culture. (think Montagues and Capulets kind of relationship) They work through the difficulties and spend years studying and preparing for the Academy.

Together they attend the academy. However Thane begins to see the Empire for what it is, brutal and callous. Ciena sees only the the order that the Empire brings to the worlds it conquers.

Read the book to learn if their friendship survives this world view chasm. (Galaxy view?)

The Writing

Claudia Gray is a great writer. Of all the Star Wars book authors, she is my favorite writer. I prefer character based stories and this is one of the few Star Wars books that is character driven. (For more about what I mean by this see MICE Quotient) To a lesser degree it seems like an idea story too. The idea being, How much stain can a friendship handle? Technically speaking I don’t know if that counts as an idea but that is certainly one of the major themes running though the book.

Gray does an excellent job of showing the two different viewpoints and the plausible logic behind each one. You can empathize with both viewpoints, which makes it heart wrenching either way you look at it. I love this aspect of her writing.

theyll-remember

“They may forget what you said — but they will never forget how you made them feel.” ~Carl W. Buehner  I forget many details of the book, but I remember how it made me feel. Even after a year, I still have fond feelings for this story. I remember how engaging the story was throughout the whole thing.

The Rating

This is one of those books that made me want to start this blog. I love Star Wars. I’ve read many Star Wars books. All have been very clean. This is one of my favorite SW stories, but I decided to not put it on my bookshelf in my classroom. I was shocked to find three blatant sex scenes in this book. I’ve never had that problem in any SW novels, so I didn’t expect to find it in this YA novel. I find it ironic that the adult novels are perfectly clean, yet the one for children contains sex scenes. I fought with myself. I wanted my kids to enjoy this story, but I did not want to expose my eleven year old children to these three scenes. I was devastated.

Foul Language: None.
Violence: Nothing graphic
Sexual Content: YES, three scenes
Substance Abuse: None
Over all rating: PG 13

Who will like this story?

People who like character driven stories will like this book. This has a focus on relationship that some who like stories like Red Queen might like. On the flip side, I spoke to a eighth grade boy two weeks ago who loved this story. It has the action and excitement that both boys and girls will love. It is not exclusively about the relationship. You get to see several scenes from Episode IV, V, and VI from different points of view. It is a must read for Star Wars fans!

 

 

 

 

 

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