Author: Stephanie Parent
Publication Date: July 30th 2012
Publisher: Stephanie Parent
My rating: 3.5 stars
I was never a fan of Romeo and Juliet but when it was said that this book is some sort of a retelling of the said famous romance novel I was curious as how the author will pull it off. Well, actually it was more like I wanted to see a different ending, something that isn't really tragic or well, stupid because I really resent the ending of the original novel. Thankfully, I think the author did a very good job in portraying the story of Reed and Julia as the modern Romeo and Juliet and although the ending wasn't exactly what I had hoped for it was I guess, the best that could have come for a retelling of a tragic love story.
Julia and Reed comes from complete opposite world. The rich and the poor, the good and the bad, the responsible and the reckless. That isn't exactly a new setting to us but despite that it wasn't really hard to be swept and curious with the story of these two. Julia is a character that is easy to relate with and understand. Her emotions and feelings are very well voiced out making it even easier for us to understand her better. She did a lot of mistakes and wrong decisions but she's unmistakably a compassionate and strong person.
Reed is a character I'm very torn with. Not that he isn't likable but he was a character that I can't seem to have a firm grasp at. I saw the good in him, the vulnerable side, the reasons behind the addiction, his genuine intentions and I understand him, I really did and I did grew to care for him. Yet, despite all that it seems that he keeps on slipping away as the story goes on. It was sad and disheartening but I feel like the author purposely wrote his character that way.
The romance between the two was sweet and lovely. I love how the two met and how their feeling for each other developed, how they admitted it and how they fell into each other and didn't seem to care what people say about them. However, some part of me felt like it was lacking a bit of intensity, to completely convince the readers that they were indeed utterly, madly in love without words saying it. It might have made the ending even more compelling and powerful.
Nonetheless, Defy the Stars is lovely and heartwarming read although it ended still pretty tragic (not as much as the original Romeo and Juliet though) but the ending, for some reason I find encouraging. I was actually satisfied with it and it showed what should have been the right choice for the ending of a tragic love story.
Thank you YA Bound and Stephanie Parent for the review copy of this book.