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Book Review – When Stars Die

I am very pleased to present my review * of When Stars Die by the exceptionally talented Amber Skye Forbes of  amberskyeforbes .  I am very inspired by this modern renaissance woman who divides her time as ballerina, college student, prolific author, and savvy social media navigator! Her writing reflects her ideals: increasing awareness of  teen and young adult challenges with depression and other mood disorders, authenticity, passion, tenacity and willingness to color outside the lines of predictability.

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When Stars Die by Amber Skye Forbes –

Amelia leaves home with her younger brother Nathaniel to a convent to become a nun. She makes this choice to make up for her parent’s sins and to protect her brother and his identity –  he is a witch! When it appears that Amelia kills her best friend Colette in a fire, she learns the truth that she is also a witch. Amelia is unable to tolerate the trials on the path to becoming a nun, and sees figures that are invisible to others. These figures are after her. Oliver appears on the scene and agrees to help her. They eventually become lovers after Amelia is asked to leave the convent. Eventually Oliver’s true identity is revealed and Amelia does what she must to protect her brother and save the witches from a dire fate.

I am new to this genre, but I was very invested in the story and believe it will be quite popular. My lack of familiarity with this genre may have impacted my ability to follow certain plot points.

The characters are intriguing. Amelia is a loyal sister, a strong, determined young woman, and a reluctant witch. Oliver is hopelessly smitten with Amelia, but cannot give into his love because of past sins and obligations. But what I found problematic about some of the characters is that I didn’t think Nathaniel was well-developed, and that I was also confused about Oliver’s motives. However, I liked the bond between Amelia and Colette. I also liked the loyalty Amelia displayed towards Nathaniel.

I loved the author’s incredible attention to detail. Her ability to create this fictional world drew me in and kept me interested. I became invested in the romance between Amelia and Oliver. I was also curious about why she left home and her background. I was also fascinated by the background of these invisible figures only Amelia can see.

As for the pacing, the first few chapters were a bit slow-moving. I also wanted to know more about Amelia’s parents and the relationship between Amelia and them. I was also unclear about the time frame. Was it an actual period in history or some type of composite? References to trains, cigarettes, apartments, and cabs made me wonder more about the setting for the story.

Overall, anyone who enjoys YA paranormal romance, or any stories of the paranormal genre, will enjoy this book. I give this book 5 stars since most readers are likely to enjoy it.

To learn about Amber’s creative process and interest in the paranormal , plus pre-order information :

http://kygrabowski.wordpress.com/2013/10/07/guest-when-stars-die-and-its-concept-of-witches-%E2%86%92-amber-skye-forbes/

* I was given an advance copy of When Stars Die in exchange for my review.

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