Title: For Darkness Shows the Stars
Author: Diana Peterfreund
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: June 12, 2012
AR Levels: Book Level - 5.4, Interest Level - 6th and up, Points: 14.0
Goodreads Link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8306761-for-darkness-shows-the-stars
In a nutshell: Four years ago, Elliot North gave up her chance at love and freedom when she refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, Kai, a servant on her family's crumbling estate. Now, Kai's come back into her life, and he's made quite a life for himself as an explorer, renaming himself Captain Malakai Wentforth. Unfortunately for Elliot, all hopes of rekindling their romance is dashed when Captain Wentforth makes it clear that he still harbors anger and resentment toward her, but maybe all is not as Elliot sees. Can Elliot save her family's estate from ruin, protect all the servants she's known and loved her whole life, and find a way to heal her broken heart when the source of her pain is living in her grandfather's home just down the road? Based loosely on Jane Austen's Persuasion, this novel asks thought-provoking questions about love, honor, duty, envy, pride, second chances, forgiveness, technology, and class in a post-apocalyptic setting.
I'd recommend it for grades: 7th and up (quite clean for a teen romance)
I'd recommend it to: Jane Austen fans, tween girls wanting to ease into teen romances, Hunger Games fans (something about Eliot and Kai reminds me of Katniss and Gale), and fans of the Lunar Chronicles
What I liked most about this book: As a huge Jane Austen fan, I'm a little embarrassed to say that I only read Persuasion just a few days before this book, but I loved it. After finishing it, I did wish I could have seen more of what Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth's relationship had been like before she refused him. This book does a great job of filling in those gaps in Kai and Elliot's relationship prior to the action of the book by interspersing letters they wrote back and forth throughout their childhood. It's sweet and heartbreaking all at the same time, but it helps you see just how much they lost when they separated.
Single favorite moment (without getting spoiler-y): This book may appear on the surface to be just another teen romance, but there are some deep thoughts lurking just below the surface, such as this gem: "Envy hurt exponentially more than heartbreak because your soul was torn in two, half soaring with happiness for another person, half mired in a well of self-pity and pain." I think Jane Austen would be proud of this ambitious retelling with nuggets of truth like that.
Star rating (where 5 stars is awesome and 0 stars is atrocious): 4 stars