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A Song for the Stars
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A Song for the Stars

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  251 ratings  ·  126 reviews
Inspired by a true story
Hawaiian Islands, 1779
As the second daughter of a royal chief, Maile will be permitted to marry for love. Her fiancé is the best navigator in Hawaiʻi, and he taught her everything he knows—how to feel the ocean, observe the winds, read the stars, and how to love.
But when sailors from a strange place called England arrive on her island, a mis
Paperback, 297 pages
Published April 2nd 2019 by Shadow Mountain
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4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  251 ratings  ·  126 reviews

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Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, netgalley
Thanks to Netgalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for a digital galley in exchange for an honest review.

When I review 2019 and my adventures in reading, I am going to have to make a special award for all these stories based on the author's lives. Also I just really need to get myself to Hawaii.

The scene-Hawaii 1799. James Cook's crew has returned to the "Sandwich Islands" and instantly the tension between Europeans and people that inhabit the islands heats up. It is within all this turmoil
Joanna Loves Reading
If you are looking for a historical romance with a strong cultural setting, this is a great option. This is a story featuring a romance between an English explorer and the daughter of a chief of an Hawaiian tribe. It was inspired by real historical figures, and the author is a descendant of the inspirational couple. There was at least one other character based on a real Captain.

Overall, this was simply lovely. It took me a while to read, but that was due to real life obstacles, not due to the s
Julie Carpenter
I don't think I can write a review that would do justice for this book. It was so beautiful. I felt as if I was there with these characters experiencing their heartaches as well as feeling as if I was very first experiencing some of their discoveries. I really loved the way the author wrote the story from the two different characters' perspectives. John's point of view was written in journal form while Maile's was written as it was happening.

I loved the history that was woven throughout the sto
Heidi Robbins (Heidi Reads...)
I loved the way the two perspectives of Maile and John were shared in this book- both in first person perspective, with Maile telling the story and John's through journal entries. Sometimes letters or journals in storytelling makes me hesitant, but the author used it very successfully here, with John's emotions coming out clearly, his sense of wonder over the fascinating culture, his struggles vulnerabilities. Maile has tones of Disney's Moana with her independence, love of the ocean, and loyalt ...more
Katie W
Just over a year ago, my husband and I were lucky enough to visit the Captain Cook monument on the Big Island of Hawaii. We hiked down in and spent several hours enjoying the beauty of the area and the clear, tropical waters and that's all I could picture as I read this beautifully written book.

Maile and John come from such different worlds. I loved how the story was told from Maile's first-person point-of-view, but also alternated with John's journal entries. The writing probably isn't true to
Aimee (Getting Your Read On)
This story was so lovely. I felt transported to another place and time and my heart expanded with every turn of the page. Knowing that this story was based on the true story of the author's ancestors made it even more intriguing. The whole story felt fresh and new- so unlike all the other books I've been reading lately.

The Hawaiian people have such a rich history. Their culture and customs have always fascinated me. Imagine being from another continent and country and coming across these people
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
"A Song for the Stars" is the story of Maile, daughter of a Hawaiian chief, and John, the translator for the famous Captain James Cook. Both of them are from very different worlds with very different cultures. At first, neither one really understands each other. Through a series of events and misunderstandings, they are thrown together in ways that they can't begin to understand.

The relationship between Maile and John was so interesting to watch unfold. Both of them start out knowing nothing ab
Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa)
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful book. The cover is stunning and a nice compliment to the book. The descriptions are beautifully done and give and artistry to the story.

John and Maile are two characters that you love from the start. Their cultures are different and that divide caused misunderstandings and heartache. Maile showed her character when she decided to help instead of killing the man who shot her betrothed. I loved how her struggle was described in the book. The book is mainly told from her point o
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a beautiful story!

First I have to say, how amazing it is for the author to have a record of her ancestors and how they met. My ancestors were so poor they never learned how to read and write. I only have their names because of the excellent way the Catholic church keeps records.

Back to the story. It took me a couple of chapters to warm up to the format (journal entries alternating with 1st person present tense), but I was soon intrigued and couldn't put it down.

The setting is amazing,
Jun 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, favorites
This is a very touching book that is based on facts. I found myself crying several times and I read the book in one sitting. I just couldn't put it down! I wanted to know how this would end! If you don't want to know some of the things that happen skip the next paragraph and see how it makes you feel!

John and Maile( daughter of chief of the island) meet under not so good circumstances! John killed Maile's fiance. When John gets hurt, Maile takes him to a secluded area of the island. She has such
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was such an unexpected treasure. I admit I didn’t put it at the top of my reading list at first, but now I wish I’d read it sooner. It’s Disney’s Moana meets Pocahontas in this gripping tale of two worlds colliding on the shores of Hawaii.

Maile is a strong and determined protagonist. She is an exceptional navigator, smart leader, fierce protector, and has a good heart. I loved watching her change and grow in her interactions with John Harbottle. His journal entries gave a special insi
Loved this novel! Beautiful writing and images that linger characterize this unique historical love story. The characters reveal themselves as big-hearted, upright, confused, and yet kind as they seek to bridge two worlds. Though they stumble and cause pain, they ultimately find understanding and love. Hawaiian culture and thinking suffused the story and did not feel like a tacked on history lesson. The author simply pulled me into this lovely world, and I did not want to leave!

Thanks to Ilima
Apr 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-fiction
This was a beautifully told story, one that nicely blends historical fact and fiction, giving a fascinating peek into early Hawaiian life and culture. Excellent character development. Occasionally some of the dialogue felt a little too modern but really nothing that took away from this being a very enjoyable read. Love the cover!
I loved this book. I read Todd's Remake books and enjoyed them, but this one was so much better than them. I loved the imagery that flows through her writing. I was there. I loved learning about Hawai'ian traditions and culture. It was beautiful.
May 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. The way it is told, is very enjoyable. I loved the two perspectives of Maile and John. John's was told in journal form, the pages in the book even reflected that. A very nice touch. Maile is wonderful. Such a strong, ambitious leader in so many ways. The story is lovely and the setting itself is a character. I loved the author's descriptions of the ways of the Hawaiians, their cultures and beliefs. I didn't want the book to end.
Maile is relieved when James Cook and his sailors leave her beloved Hawaiian island; while most of her people believed Cook to be their god, Lono, Maile wasn't convinced and is glad the men are gone. However, the men soon return--and the islanders aren't so welcoming this time. A battle ensues, and Maile's fiancé Ikaika is killed by one of Cook's men; Maile takes that same man hostage when her life is threatened.
John Harbottle has quickly come to appreciate Hawai'i and its people, so he is sick
Jessica (BookObsessedJess)
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs, 4-stars
What an absolute delight from start to finish. A Song for the Stars is based on factual events that occurred in Hawai'i in the late 1700s. Why don't they teach these things in schools? I would have loved to have learned about the true history of Hawai'i in school, the exploration of it, etc. If only the settlers had brought peace with a desire to learn more about culture instead of war. But, that's another story.

A Song for the Stars follows the complicated story between Maile and John Harbottle
Donna Weaver
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As the second daughter of a royal chief, Maile will be permitted to marry for love. Her fiancé is the best navigator in Hawaiʻi, and he taught her everything he knows—how to feel the ocean, observe the winds, read the stars, and how to love.

But when sailors from a strange place called England arrive on her island, a misunderstanding ends in battle, and Maile is suddenly widowed before she is wed.

Finding herself in the middle of the battle and fearing for her life, Maile takes John
Susan K
Romance, clean; period;
4.5 for me as a reader. This was a gorgeous, lush read, and so interesting as it was based on a family story. It is rich with the culture and history of the Hawaiian Islands, and so interesting! I loved learning more about that time period and traditional Hawaiian culture and traditions. The story is told from alternating points of view with Maile being the main point of view, and John's told though his journal entries.
Loved seeing Maile and John's friendship, and their
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a fabulous story. I love books that create a desire to read anything the author has written. This story was engaging from beginning to end. It covers an area in the 18th century that is not commonly written of. Hawaiian history is amazing. I felt like I was right in the middle of everything. My heart broke when Maile's fiance was killed. Maile's turmoil about John. The difficults the island faced as well as the English sailors. Everything was woven together seamlessly. What an amazing story ...more
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This beautifully written story about an English sailor and a Hawaiian princess is a breath of fresh air. I love reading historical fiction and this book is a different type of story to any I have read before. The emotional struggles Maile goes through with the loss of a loved one and threats to her people while trying to figure out what she is feeling towards a foreigner really tugged at me. This is one of those books I didn't want to put down, but I didn't want it to end, either.
Pooja (Penningtales)
Please note: I received an advance digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my opinions in any way.

4.5 stars!
I’ve read my fair share of historical romances before, but each and every single one of them revolved around the English gentry. This book however did not. And it blew me away! There were some Disney’s Pocahontas vibes which only made me love the characters and the plot even more.
Set in 1779 during Captain James Cook’s third jour
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’ve read books by this author before. But this one’s a different genre than she’s written before. And she’s done a really great job with it. There are so many things to love about it.

Let’s start with Maile. I couldn’t help but picture Maile a bit like Moana from the Disney film. She’s the daughter of a Hawaiian chief, way back in the 1700’s. I loved the way Maile had her fiance that she’d known all of her life, Ikaika. They were to be married soon and life seemed perfect. And then disaster stru
First sentence: I sink lower into the hull of the canoe, pressing my back against the koa wood along the base. My eyes close, eclipsing the stars above me in the night sky. I relax and try to feel the rhythm of the sea.

Premise/plot: The setting for A Song for the Stars is Hawaii in the eighteenth century. Maile, our heroine, is the second daughter of one of the royal chiefs. She's engaged to marry a navigator, Ikaika; they've known each other for ages--but it's love, true love. But life changes
Jo Ann
Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a 3.5-4 for me...inching towards the 4 because I have never read any historical fiction about Hawaii, other than Molokai, which I loved. This one kept my attention, and I loved learning about the customs of the Hawaiians, as well as some of the history of Captain James Cook and his ventures to the Sandwich Islands.
Lindsay Gassin
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I adored this book! I loved reading about the Hawaiian culture in the late 1700s, and I was fascinated with the methods they used to navigate. Great plot with endearing characters and a great message. Highly recommend!
3.5 stars. Through this story inspired by real people and events, I enjoyed learning some Hawaiian history, culture, beliefs, and language. And what a beautiful setting!
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved how new and fresh this story was for the Proper Romance series!
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to get an early copy of this book. Such a beautiful story. The characters drew me in and felt so real. The story left me breathless, wondering how things could possibly work out for Maile and John. And I especially loved learning about the Hawaiian culture. While there are many differences between two such cultures as England and Hawaii, there are also many similarities. The themes of love and forgiveness and working together really spoke to me. I highly recommend this one.
Kelly-Jo Sweeney
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I suppose that's obvious from the five-star review, I don't tend to give out many of those, but this story and the way that it was told earned it. I was captivated from the moment that I first started reading to the last sentence.
This is a love story. A romantic love story, where two people grow to love one another as they learn more about each other, but also a love story about the place that it is set. I have never been to Hawaii, but it was portrayed so clearly, that I cou
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