Author: Brenda Hiatt
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi, Romance
My rating: 2 thumbs up.
“Nerdy astronomy geek Marsha, M to her few friends, has never been anybody special. Orphaned as an infant and reluctantly raised by an overly-strict “aunt,” she’s not even sure who she is. M’s dream of someday escaping tiny Jewel, Indiana and making her mark in the world seems impossibly distant until hot new quarterback Rigel inexplicably befriends her. As Rigel turns his back on fawning cheerleaders to spend time with M, strange things start to happen: her acne clears up, her eyesight improves to the point she can ditch her thick glasses, and when they touch, sparks fly—literally! When M digs for a reason, she discovers deep secrets that will change her formerly humdrum life forever . . . and expose her to perils she never dreamed of. Yes, the middle of nowhere just got a lot more interesting!”
I’ll first mention that I received a free copy of Startstruck in return for an honest review.
Starstruck is the typical childhood fantasy – being saved from your boring, very ordinary, typical life by some extraordinary events or people that tell you that you’re something different, something special. I guess you could call this boring and overdone, or depending on your outlook, see it as appealing. I personally think that even though Starstruck is very typical, it has a background idea that can potentially turn a second or third book into a very original series. This story however, is well, ordinary.
First, the plot. Girls, remember fantasizing that you’d wake up one and find out that you’re actually a princess? Ever dreamed that you were Mia Thermopolis and a long lost relative told you that you were royal? Throw in a few aliens, adoption and a foreseeable romance and you’ve got Starstruck. Sadly, this makes it a little predictable. I do like the sci-fi element though – I personally never imagined I’d be from outer space.
The pace of the story was a little off for me. I personally hate it when authors feel the need to fill me in on every aspect of the main characters day. We literally see MC’s Marsha’s entire day for a week. Each class, lunches, going to the locker, the bus rides home, dinner – the lot. To be completely honest, a lot of that could have been cut out as it didn’t add to the story. Though this pacing did improve as the story went on.
I also didn’t get a big hit from the climax. I love it when I’m surprised, when the climax makes you jump and cringe. Sadly, as soon as I saw the problem arise, I knew exactly how they were going to get out of it. No surprise there.
Next, the characters. I’ll be honest when I say I’m not a huge fan of the MC, Marsha. She is portrayed to be somewhat weak, and even though I’ll admit that I’m a sucker for strong female characters, an MC who turns out to be royalty should definitely not be weak. I also hate her vulnerability and change that comes about in her when love comes into play. It appears that she totally loses herself to her infatuation with a boy; including ditching her friends. I just don’t like it.
Now to the love interest and boy in charge of Marsha finding out her identity. I find him incredibly boring. There no rebelliousness or sneakiness to him. No normal guy, cool casualness. He is way too nice and loyal. To perfect, really. But I do like how is loyal and true nature adds suspense to the story. I like his determination to stay away from Marsha for her own good, hurting both him and her. It does give him a little appeal.
To me, both these characters are a little unrealistic. Actually the most realistic character in my eyes is the horrid aunt, who acts as an evil step mother who has a weird, hidden affection for Marsha.
Overall Starstruck is a little predictable, has weak, unrealistic characters and is tiresome to read – especially in the beginning. Despite this, it deserves credit in that it does have some originality and is suited to those who still love to fantasize.