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Defy the Stars

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  142 ratings  ·  59 reviews
Julia Cape: A dedicated classical piano student just trying to get through her last semester of high school while waiting to hear from music conservatories.

Reed MacAllister: A slacker more likely to be found by the stoners’ tree than in class.

Julia and Reed might have graduated high school without ever speaking to each other…until, during a class discussion of Romeo and J
Kindle Edition, 596 pages
Published July 30th 2012 by Stephanie Parent
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Romeo and Juliet: Love Story or Cautionary Tale?

this is the question this book conveniently asks in the middle of the narrative, giving me the perfect jumping-off point for my review.

because this is a retelling of romeo and juliet, with meth. in verse.

thought i should get that part out of the way right off the bat. because, yes, i have bemoaned to book-in-verse format time and time and time again, because i think that usually, it doesn't really do the book any favors; it just looks like a buncha
Magen Corrie
"I don't know if it's about love, so much, as fate. Something bigger than Romeo and Juliet, something greater than any two people, pulled them to each other, entwined their lives a knot that no one could untangle. They could no more change what happened than...than stop a star from falling.-Reed"

This book was beyond what I thought it would be.
It ensnared me, held me captive from first sentence to the last page.
I had no chance to escape once I read the first word.
Defy the Stars is stu
Maria Stanica
Hey, you guys! So, for the first time ever and author contacted me and asked me to review her book. I, of course, was super excited and said yes! I was even more excited to learn that it was an "edgy contemporary Romeo and Juliet retelling in verse." I love books like that (Hi, Prom and Prejudice). Stephanie Parent is an amazingly kind lady and I'm sure that her book is going to get super popular in the near future. (By the way, I will be posting the Amazon link for her book at the end of this p ...more
What starts out as a simple love story between two people from two different worlds, turns out to be so much more complicated and tragic that my heart still hurts.

Julia simply put is your average student just trying to survive high school and eventually go off to college where she can practice her music. She feels like no one understands her even her parents and she knows that life will be so much better when she can just be around other music people like herself. With pressure from her friends,
3.5 stars

I was never a fan of Romeo and Juliet but when it was said that this book is some sort of a retelling of the said famous romance novel I was curious as how the author will pull it off. Well, actually it was more like I wanted to see a different ending, something that isn't really tragic or well, stupid because I really resent the ending of the original novel. Thankfully, I think the author did a very good job in portraying the story of Reed and Julia as the modern Romeo and Juliet and a
I had little to no expectations going into this book. I had received a review request, and saw that the book was in verse. I'm a huge fan of verse novels, so I thought I would give this a try.

I loved it. It consumed me for two days. I couldn't stand putting it down, because I was so into the characters and plot of this novel. I play the piano, so I especially loved all the musicalness that Stephanie injected the verse with. If you don't know anything about music, I'm sure you could still enjoy
My musical interest is unlimited, and any story that has music in the mix is bound to get my attention. Defy the Stars stands on its own as one of the most exhilarating, thought-provoking, and fascinating story portraying the life of a young girl coming into her own and deciphering what it truly is she wants in life.

What's so wonderful about Stephanie's writing, other than the fact that the story's written in verse, is how instead of chapters things are taking place throughout the course of mon
I'm going to say this straight up: I totally missed that this is a cautionary tale about drug abuse until I was about a quarter into the book. If I had known this, I probably would not have read it, because I don't care for novels about drug abuse.

While this is a verse novel, and I love verse novels, Defy the Stars is largely more of a fractured prose-style than a more structured verse novel like, say, Love and Leftovers. I tend to prefer the later, so again, my personal preferences are a knock
Interview with Stephanie Parent:

Giveaway and full review:

My thoughts:

If you skipped over the summary (which I hope you didn't) and jumped right into my thoughts here, let me say this: Defy the Stars is not only a novel-in-verse but also a retelling of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Not only that, but I've been secretly on the lookout for a self-published novel-in-verse for kindle that don't cost an arm and
Tee loves Kyle Jacobson
Defy The Stars is one of the books that is both heart wrenching and heart felt. It grabs you from the beginning and keeps you reading right till the end. This is a story about about three people who all want something but are not so sure they can get it let alone deserve it. The verse writing was only a plus with this story because it made me love the characters more. I could feel what they felt and it kept me reading and reading late into the night.

Julia is a senior and waiting for school to en
J. Andersen
Over the few days it took me to read Defy the Stars, the book became like a drug to me. Each moment away had me itching for more of the high. Granted I had to take breaks to do things like, *Gasp* feed my children or *sigh* shower. But if I could have avoided those things, I would have in order to get the next fix of this book.

Defy the Stars is a beautifully written, poetic interpretation of the classic Romeo and Juliet story. The flow of the writing is flawless and draws the reader into the sto
Because this story contains mature language and themes, including drug use, I was a little apprehensive at first. I didn’t want to prematurely judge the characters but I was afraid I would feel drown in the darker, brooding mood that overshadowed the fragile, sweet love of two teenagers.

From the blurb, it’s already hinted that Reed’s upbringing is very different from Julia’s. Even though they go to the same high school, they associate themselves with different crowds. Reed is often seen with tho
Michelle (In Libris Veritas)
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’ a
Linda Kage
There are three things I can't stand in my romance stories:
1. Verse.
2. Drug use.
3. Learning that at least one of the main characters is going to die on page one, totally ruining any chance of a happily ever after.

Now guess how many of those three things Defy the Stars contains. Yeah, ALL THREE! But I still couldn't stop reading this book. It was just soooo good.

It's not some big long confusing poem that was totally over my head, but beautiful and lyrical. Yet it still contained a plot with emoti
Ashley Williams
“For never was a story of more woe..” Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

This was a gripping modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet. It was written in verse style and was an easy read. I liked the fact that the Stephanie inserted snips of Romeo and Juliet in the beginning of some chapters. Thus, you knew how it related to the original story.. or didn't.

The story follows Julia, a senior in high school and an accomplished pianist; and Reed, a stoner kid from the wrong side of the tracks. As with the origi
Caro [The Book Rogue]
This was.. wow, a journey as romantic as it was poetic! The writing style had me in knots and pieces, from the beginning almost to the end. It had such rhythm that it developed... a force, almost like it was its own being. Maybe it's the peotic structure, or all the muscial terms and expressions, or the both of them combined. What a great way to do a Shakespeare adaption! And just like a musical piece, it had its highs and lows, so it was possible to stop and put it down when it became too much. ...more
Janna Mashburn
These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which as they kiss consume.

Heres much to do with that, but more with love.-Shakespeare

Julia and Reed might have graduated high school without ever speaking to each other…until, during a class discussion of Romeo and Juliet, Julia scoffs at the play’s theme of love at first sight, and Reed responds by arguing that feelings don’t always have to make sense.

"I don't know if it's about love, so much, as fate. Some
"...what could I have done?
Could I have changed this song, altered
this key? Or was this tragedy
already written, black notes
of music on the page,
a story in the stars? "
With it's stunning verse narrative and star-crossed lovers, Defy the Stars is a modern day Romeo and Juliet that will steal your heart.
I love books written in verse. I suppose I always have, but I didn't consciously realize that until I read Love and Leftovers late last year. So when the author asked me to review Defy the Stars,
Pooja (On books!)
Review (originally posted on my blog) + Giveaway of the book:

Julia and Reed.

Modern-day versions of Romeo and Juliet.

This should be easy, you might think. Their fates are locked the minute their eyes meet and are made to read the parts of Romeo and Juliet in English class.

I felt uneasy as I started reading Defy The Stars, the opening verses setting the tempo to a relationship that was doomed from the start. Julia, after all, is well-off while Reed is from
See more of my reviews on my blog Thoughts At One In The Morning.

My Thoughts:

When I received this review request, I was excited. An indie novel told in verse? I love novels written in verse! I’m a huge fan of them. I knew I had to read this one.

It starts with Julia playing Moonlight Sonata on the piano. That piece is one of my favorites, and it adds to the overall feel of the story. She loves playing piano. She will go off to college and beyond there play piano at concert halls. Everything that
Rebecca A. Rogers
For never was a tale of more woe . . .

If you’re a fan of Romeo and Juliet retellings, then here’s your chance to pick up an awesome book. Defy the Stars is a one-way ticket to the Emotional Rollercoaster, where you can’t get off until the ride is finished. Dark and gripping, Defy the Stars is a modern-day retelling of the famous Shakespearean love story, and the characters and plotline are just as tragic.

Reed (Romeo) and Julia (Juliet) are from opposite sides of town. Both, however, love musi
This review can be seen here on Books and Swoons .

**I received a copy of this book from the author for a blog tour stop but it not did not influence this review in any way.**

As I first started reading, I found myself clicking with the protagonist, Julia. Julia is the good girl who always seems to do what she's told and doesn't question her parent's choices for her. The only thing she's passionate about is the piano and she spends the majority of her time either playing it or inside her own he
“Love story or cautionary tale?” asks a character in Stephanie Parent’s Defy the Stars regarding Shakespeare’s doomed lovers.

Perhaps the answer isn’t as black and white as the question suggests. Life so rarely is. Why should the love story of Juliet Capulet and Romeo Montague be any different?

So perhaps then, it is both. A love that burns so intensely, so brightly, so recklessly, yet so truly and with such wild abandon that it can’t help but come to abrupt and tragic ends. A love that becomes so
I am a complete emotional wreck. This book wove itself around my heart. It made me breath differently, feel more. It was tragic, and beautiful in so many ways. This is one that will stay with me for a very long time.

At first the writing style threw me. Having tried to read other books in similar style I was instantly turned off. The description of the story made me hold on and pull through. I’m so glad I did. Reading this with all the stops and starts, the breaks, it makes you feel something mo
Book Sniffers Anonymous
Julia is a straight edge kid. She's never drank, done drugs and hasn't really even kissed a guy. It all changes when she takes notice of one of the stoners, Reed. Reed is the total opposite of what her parents would call an appropriate suitor. Not only is he not from the same class but her mother is in charge of the Anti-Drug Defense for the area. But they put their differences aside and try to make a relationship work. No matter how many cards are stacked against them.

I honestly didn't know wha
*Originally reviewed on Pages Of Forbidden Love
I can’t even begin to tell you how much this book broke my heart. When Stephanie emailed me about reading Defy The Stars I knew two things 1) I had to read this book and 2) This wasn’t going to be a happy book. I went in knowing I was in for some hard times but I really didn’t expect all the water works this book had me going through.

Julia is an innocent girl. She plays piano and just wants to get through the rest of her school year so she can gradu
When the author offered me a copy for review, I knew I had to read this one! I've been wanting to read more novels in verse, and Romeo & Juliet is one of my favorite stories, so this book was definitely something I thought I'd love. The story follows Julia: a senior who is more comfortable sitting at her piano than joining the social scene. And Reed: a stoner with surprising insight caught in a bad situation. Of course these two are our starcrossed lovers from different sides of the tracks.

The first thing that popped into my mind was wow these words are so poetic. Dur...It's written in free verse. But, the poetic lines and rich language made the book that much better for me. The lines written were incredible and besides the line shifts and line breaks I never felt like I was reading poetry. I felt as though I was reading emotion and passion the way it's meant to be. Understood with a meaningful purpose.

The whole Romeo and Juliet aspect was taken very seriously and I loved how the
Kristina Snyder
“For never was a story of more woe..”

Defy the Stars was beautifully written. I didn't give it 3 stars due to not liking it. I just get so emotionally involved with the characters that I want them to have happy endings. I know this story was a modern-day retelling of Romeo and Juliet, but I was hoping that the story would change. At the beginning, of the story, it lets you know the ending and that someone dies. I almost didn't read it because of that. I mean what is the point if one is going to
Book Angel Emma
Let me start by saying that unfortunately I don’t think free verse works in e-book format. The reason for this is that the words in free verse form a pattern on the page, sweeping you along with the story, the shapes of the words and the use of white space within free verse always add a dynamic element in the prose that I found lacking in the ebook version.

As this is a re-imagining of Romeo and Juliet while reading you are inevitably awaiting the tragedy to strike. Told in first person narrative
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Stephanie Parent is a graduate of the Master of Professional Writing program at USC and attended the Baltimore School for the Arts as a piano major. She moved to Los Angeles because of Francesca Lia Block's WEETZIE BAT books, which might give you some idea of how much books mean to her. She also loves dogs, books about dogs, and sugary coffee drinks both hot and cold.
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