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In Libris Veritas

Defy the Stars - Stephanie Parent I received this from the author in exchange for an honest review.Oh wow…just…wow. This put me in a predicament once I finished it. I wanted to rave about it and share it with people, but it left me utterly speechless and I had no clue how to even start. Luckily after a some deep breathing and some reflection I think I can handle it.Defy the Stars is not something I typically read on multiple accounts, one it’s contemporary which is usually a no go because reality fiction tends to be too ‘real’ and two it’s written in verse. Well neither of those held me back from enjoying this at all, in fact I read it in about 7 hours (only because I had to take food breaks). This was addicting, pun slightly intended in this case. The verse is great, and though I’m sure I’m still not quite getting the whole idea behind verse novels I really enjoy how it’s set up and how it flows. I love when the words are spaced a part different and when they zig zag across the pages. It really gives the emotion a visual kind of presence in the book. The book is set up in months as opposed to traditional chapters and I think that’s fantastic, it gives you a better sense of time when it comes to the events and how Julia changes over the course of the book. The story itself is…raw and emotional, and it had my heart aching. There is just so much and it was tugging me back and forth on how I felt about it, much like Julia herself. The writing is exceptional and I can really tell that the author enjoys music because parts of this are practically lyrical in nature.When it comes to Romeo and Juliet I usually have the rare opinion, I love it but I have never seen it has romantic. It was just tragic to me, on my bad days I see it as just too teenagers who didn’t think things out. I mention this because Julia herself mentions it in the novel, we shared the same opinion. I suppose when I read this I kind of expected the same emotions but I was so surprised to find myself hoping against all reason they would find a way to work things out and be together. Logic and reason were utterly tossed aside for Julia and Reed. Julia is a great character, she’s structured and organized and she has the world ahead of her. Music is her life and because of her passion I could practically hear the music she would play. And then there is Reed, who is so different. His life is far from ideal, he doesn’t have money and drugs are no stranger…but for some reason I really liked him. He isn’t a bad guy, though his choices are far from good…he’s redeemable. I can’t even describe how odd that feels to me, I normally would never see a person this way especially not after the crap he takes, but he truly broke my heart. Their relationship is complicated to say the least and it both lifts them up and drags them down. There were times when all I saw was how much she was enjoying her life and how happy she truly was, but then there would be a major snag and my mind would be screaming for her to get away from the situation. Julia’s heart is so open when it comes to Reed and it really puts her at risk, and I think Reed needed that in a way. He really has something to look forward to but it made him more vulnerable, and I think it just brought things down on him harder. The ending wasn’t what I was expecting and I’m glad, even though this book left me kind of shattered in a way.I could go on and on about this book at this point, and even though I’ve taken the time to write out my thoughts I’m still saying wow. I completely recommend this one to pretty much anyone who will give verse novels and contemporary a try. It’s worth the time and the money I think.