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August 26, 2013

A Shot of YA: The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White

I've been remiss in touching my YA TBR. Frankly I got tired of the usual YA tropes: love triangle, insta-love, forbidden love, etc. At the same time I also feel like I've been missing out on some really good reads from really great authors. So to remedy that, I'm amending my YA ban, instead of NO YA, I'll try to read at least one young adult novel a week and call it A Shot of YA.

Everything in moderation right?


Series: The Chaos of Stars (?)
Format: Digital ARC
Exerpt
Release Date: Sept. 10, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Genre: YA-Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound 

Isadora’s family is seriously screwed up.

Of course, as the human daughter of Egyptian gods, that pretty much comes with the territory. She’s also stuck with parents who barely notice her, and a house full of relatives who can’t be bothered to remember her name. After all, they are going to be around forever—and she’s a mere mortal.

Isadora’s sick of living a life where she’s only worthy of a passing glance, and when she has the chance to move to San Diego with her brother, she jumps on it. But Isadora’s quickly finding that a “normal” life comes with plenty of its own epic complications—and that there’s no such thing as a clean break when it comes to family. Much as she wants to leave her past behind, she can’t shake the ominous dreams that foretell destruction for her entire family. When it turns out there may be truth in her nightmares, Isadora has to decide whether she can abandon her divine heritage after all.

Have you learned that little from our family history?
You mean lessons on incest? Betrayal? Jealousy? Murder? It doesn't count as dying if you come back to life, which everyone always managed to do.
I'm a fan of Kiersten White's Paranormalcy series, I loved Evie, the unique world she lived in and more importantly, the dialogue and KWhite's writing voice, she's frickin' clever with her lines and I love her brand of snark! Her upcoming YA novel, THE CHAOS OF STARS, didn't disappoint me, its theme about familial loyalty pulled me in and I'm sure Isadora is someone a lot us can relate to regardless of our age. 

Like most YA Fantasy novels, THE CHAOS OF STARS based itself on a popular myth. This time around, KWhite added a spin to the Egyptian pantheon. Isadora is the nth daughter of Isis and Osiris, she's seventeen and feels neglected by her parents and at the same time suffocated by Isis' controlling ways. So like most teens, she tried to escape only to find out that family is family. On top of this minor family crisis, their pantheon is threatened by an unknown entity and the fate of their dysfunctional family is in the hands of Isadora but will she make it on time or will her efforts be for naught?

Aside from the gorgeous cover, right off the bat, THE CHAOS OF STARS had me laughing with Isis "mourning" Osiris' death, all the while Osiris is in the dining room, reading the paper in his robe and mummy wrapping. Aside from the novel being an easy read because of it's straightforward story telling style, it's also interspersed with amusing mythical anecdotes about the Egyptian pantheon and Isadora's prophetic dreams about an impeding threat to their family. Isadora in particular is such a delightful heroine to read, she's rebellious, headstrong and very witty. Isadora is in that stage where she wants to be an adult, craves independence, finding her identity by foolishly going against her parents and not really paying much attention to the love and care they're trying to give her.

Despite its mythical influence, THE CHAOS OF STARS felt normal and non magical for the most part. Even if Isadora is the daughter of powerful immortals, she's human like us albeit more learned. KWhite didn't put a lot of stock in Isadora's lineage, we won't see super charged demigods nor will we see Osiris and Isis exercise their God powers. They seemed very normal and I actually liked how grounded KWhite made her characters even during the main conflict. There's no hocus-pocus, no ritualistic sacrifice, no potions or anything of the sort, it was a matter of the villain coming out in the open and Isadora rushing off to save her parents and the fate of their pantheon.

THE CHAOS OF STARS has an easy and comparatively simple plot mostly because it feels more contemporary and less fantasy. Another thing that I really liked about this was KWhite glazed over the romance part. Isadora has a love interest in the gorgeous Greek poet, Ry, but it was more of a crush than a shot at first love or anything like that. Ironically, Isadora has commitment issues and I loved how Ry didn't push her and was content to just hang out with the Egyptian princess and sincerely tried to get to know her. And I really liked that because that's the norm with teen relationships not the crazy love triangles and the dramatic histrionics we usually read in YA-Fantasy. There's a twist to this budding romance but for the sake of not spoiling your reading experience, let's just say that Isadora isn't alone in her plight.

I really enjoyed THE CHAOS OF STARS and its inherent message about family, love and loyalty. I loved its simplistic way of telling the story by keeping the story focused on Isadora, her angst, the pains of transitioning from a young adult to a new adult. The sparks of first love, friendship and finding oneself. And most important, I love the theme of mother and daughter relationship and the ebbs and tides it goes through. KWhite is a great YA go-to and for sure, you'll see me taking more shots of her.
Isis loves nothing but her own greatness. This whole world is merely her mirror, and if it doesn't reflect back her own distorted view of her magnificence, sh breaks it until it does.






10 comments:

  1. Great review, Braine! I haven't read many Egyptian pantheon books, but this one sounds promising.

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    1. You'll be surprised by how "regular" they are.

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  2. Welcome back to YA! ;) I've been curious about this one. It's not something I would normally read, but I'm thinking about giving it a shot. Great review, girlie! :)

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    1. Thank you and semi-glad to be back!

      It's a little outside of what I normally read nowadays but I do love her writing voice, I think that made the difference for me than the characters.

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  3. Glad you enjoyed this, Braine! It caught my eye a while ago because of the Egyptian mythology, and I'm really looking forward to reading it. Love the idea of A Shot of YA!

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    1. Thanks, Lee! Right now I can only do it in "shots", gives me motive to read more YA and clear out my TBR a bit.

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  4. Easy and simple with the love and loyalty sounds like a win for me

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    1. I know you read books like this, I suggest you try and read it. A lot of readers weren't impressed, I would like to know what you think.

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  5. I saw another review that had me thinking I wouldn't like this, but the fact you say it read like more of a contemporary makes me think I might.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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    1. Yup, I know you only read contemporary romance so maybe skip this one?

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