The Sound of Stars was initially chosen as a candidate for the “Debut” bingo square (it was released February 2020) but another book was chosen. Fortunately, it also fits the “Music” square to complete my 3rd bingo!
This is a book I wish I had read in my teen years for a variety of reasons. Accurate representation of anxiety disorder would have been helpful when trying to figure out my own mental health. For it’s depiction of sexual identity, gender identity, and first time sexual experiences. It also would have been good for me due to its depiction of a black middle class family moving into white upper class spaces, and the racism faced as a result. I appreciated that Janelle’s being Black was slowly revealed through descriptions, it’s not until much later in the book that it is actually stated.
I would have fallen in love with the book, as it’s the story of star crossed lovers, a human girl who is a secret rebel librarian and an alien boy who hides his love of music due to it being banned by his culture. I want my 7th grader to read it but I hesitate as I’m not sure they are ready for this frank of discussion about having sex/waiting for sex, yet (kissing scenes in movies still make them squirm). However, it’s only about two scenes, there is no actual sex, and the discussion is very positive and healthy. Going to try and get the partner to read and give an opinion.
In a very accurate depiction of present day, aliens come to Earth. Humans are rounded up and sent to camps, where they are fed, clothed, and cared for but not free. Janelle Baker (Ellie) is a passionate reader and music lover. She hides as many of her and her parents’ books as she can and starts a secret library. If discovered it will mean her death as the Ilori have banned all art, music, and books. Ellie risks it all, because
The idea of bringing stories to those in need outweighs my fear. Makes me a rebel. If I die for it….there are worse things to die for.
Wow, did that resonate! I could see myself as an end of the world librarian. Preserving books and lending them to people to keep hope alive. Books are deeply important and there is nothing like knowing that a book you recommend has made an impact on someone.
M0Rr1S (Morris) is a labmade Ilori, inferior to true Ilori and created specifically for the invasion of Earth. True Ilori are without feeling and look down on any lifeform that doesn’t hold to the same standard. Morris is different from other Ilori, both true and labmade. He acknowledges (though hides) his feelings, when he discovers human music it stirs within in him new depths of emotions and he can’t resist the forbidden allure. Upon finding Ellie’s hidden books, he is further awakened by how a book can stimulate strong emotional responses.
Ellie and Morris start an unexpected journey and we learn that Morris is far more than ‘just an invading alien’. Ellie frequently makes comparisons to their situation and the situation of others in fictional stories. After all, people who meet in desperate circumstances and fall in love after a few days, only happens in stories, right?
I loved this book!
Bingo #3 !!!
Red – Black Leopard, Red Wolf
How to – Stamped From the Beginning
UnCannon – Belles
The Roaring 20’s – Finding Winnie
Music – The Sound of Stars