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The Coseema Saga #1

The Twin Stars

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A magical journal. A world savaged by its own suns. An evil prince. A princess in hiding. And a teenage girl who learns to be the hero of her own story.

Sixteen-year-old Olive Joshi has OCD, and can't stop worrying about hurting the people she loves. She finds refuge in writing about Coseema, a magical princess on a distant planet. Coseema is fearless, confident, and perfect - everything Olive thinks she’ll never be. When she falls through a portal into her own unfinished story, Olive finds herself in a world in peril: double suns scorch the land, the brutal Prince Burnash seeks supreme power, and Coseema is nowhere to be found. Together with her friends - a bold poet, a cursed musician, a renegade soldier, and an adventurous girl from the desert - Olive will have to face her deepest fears to find the hero in herself.

The Twin Stars is an engrossing new portal fantasy in the spirit of the Wizard of Oz, the Neverending Story, and the Chronicles of Narnia, with a dash of Star Wars and a sprinkling of Dune. Fans of space fantasy, coming-of-age adventures, unexpected twists and turns, and novels about mental health and self-confidence will love this unique tale about facing what frightens us most.

328 pages, Kindle Edition

First published July 6, 2021

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About the author

Bridgette Dutta Portman

4 books218 followers
Bridgette Dutta Portman is an author, playwright, and teaching artist. Dozens of her plays have been produced across the United States and overseas. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Spalding University, as well as a PhD in political science from the University of California, Irvine. She is past president of the Playwrights’ Center of San Francisco and is currently a board member of the Pear Theatre and a member of the Dramatists' Guild. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband Deepanshu and their two young children. The Twin Stars is her debut novel.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 37 reviews
Profile Image for Catherine.
406 reviews137 followers
May 24, 2021
I received an ARC of this book for free from BookSirens.
A big thank you to them and the author.

"There was once a girl who was destined to save the suns."

The Twin Stars is Portman's debut novel and the first book in a new YA fantasy/scifi series. What made me request an ARC was that our main character, Olive, suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder (I'm always looking for more representation) and the coming to life story of the world and characters she created. Both of those points were very, very well done. From the first chapter, I already loved Olive. While I don't have OCD, I thought the representation was great and couldn't help relating to her on some level. Her family doesn't understand her disorder, which is also - unfortunately - relatable to every person suffering from any disorder. Writing is her refuge and she created a character, Coseema, who unlike herself is flawless. Once again, who doesn't wish to look in the mirror without seeing any of those so-called flaws we hate or are ashamed of? But when the story starts, Olive hadn't been able to continue her story for a while. The words won't come out anymore, which is also unfortunately something I was able to relate to.

Loving the main character from the very start is pretty rare, and the author did an amazing job in my opinion. We get thrown into the universe created by Olive very shortly after, which could have been a disaster. I was surprised, at first, that the author didn't introduce us more to Olive and her life. But I kept reading and saw how much it made sense. By bringing Olive and us, readers, into this alternate universe so quickly, we get to know Olive more than we would have by spending a few more chapters talking about her past, and it brings much more to the story itself. The characters created by Olive are all interesting and well-written, and reading Olive's reaction to what she's done was sometimes very difficult. For her, it was just a story. But suddenly, it's real - and so are the pain and hardships they had to go through.

Following Olive, Nestra, Jambol and the others was a real adventure, and what makes this book more than interesting is the ending. I can't say anything since it would spoil the story for everyone, but this was not only a perfect twist, but also one that makes sense and sends a powerful message if you've been paying attention since the beginning.

I really recommend giving this book a try when it will be released on July 6, 2021!
Profile Image for Rachel.
26 reviews8 followers
August 13, 2021
Read my full review on my blog !
The Twin Stars is an intriguing portal fantasy that'll transport you to a whole new world!
Here are 5 reasons why you should read The Twin Stars!
#1 The unique and immersive world-building
#2 The excellent rep (main character has OCD)
#3 The descriptive and vivid writing style
#4 The well-written side characters
#5 The character development
Profile Image for Bridgette Portman.
Author 4 books218 followers
March 25, 2022
Author here! It's Launch Day!!! The Twin Stars is now available on Amazon. A heartfelt thank you to everyone who has read and reviewed my book. This is a very personal book to me. I've enjoyed writing about these characters--they feel like old friends--and I'm having fun writing the second book in the series. I'll be posting a series of short videos about The Twin Stars and reading a few excerpts; keep an eye on my author page here as well as my website, http://www.bridgetteduttaportman.com.
Profile Image for Devika.
442 reviews15 followers
July 6, 2021
The twin stars sheds light on OCD. Olive ends up in her own story, and when things aren't going as she planned she struggles. However the story itself doesn't let her OCD come to the foreground really well. For me this book brought me some confusion, but it still was a fun read and a promising start to the series
Profile Image for Siobhan.
4,569 reviews475 followers
July 28, 2021
The Twin Stars is the first book in the Coseema Saga, and it’s a story that hooked me with ease. As someone who is always tentative about entering books about OCD – I fear stereotypes will be used over the truth – I was glad to see it used well in a story that kept me hooked.

From the first chapter, The Twin Stars had me eager to see how the story would develop. With each new chapter, with each new detail introduced, I fell deeper into the story. I adored the characters and the way they developed, I adored the world we were introduced to, and I adored the way the story progressed. It’s a vivid world that keeps you turning the pages, and the story left me eager for more. I need to know what happens to the characters, what happens to the world, and how everything will play out in the end.

Without a doubt, this is a fabulous start to what promises to be a highly addictive series.
Profile Image for Ingrid.
444 reviews54 followers
May 19, 2021
Disclaimer: I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

The Twin Stars is the first installment in the Coseema series. And what a pleasant ride this book was.

It definitely was a rollercoaster ride. Imagine being on a nice, easy ride at the start and then plummeting to the depth, multiple times in a row. IT WAS EMOTIONAL, okay.

This story was very well written by the author. She takes her time to swiftly introduce the reader to the characters and to the world she has created. The world is quite complex in my opinion, very nicely executed though. It has a finesse to it that a lot of authors miss when creating a new universe.

The main character deals with OCD and anxiety and I really, really love that the author executed this so well. As a person who suffers from anxiety it was nice to read about it in a main character. I could really relate with the main character which made me love the even book more. (we need more OCD/anxiety reps in books and not just in side characters, but in main ones).

So many plot twists in this book. It really keeps the reader on the edge of his/her/their seat. The last twist definitely hints towards a second book! Excited!!!

This story was exciting, it was gripping and I personally can't get enough of the characters and the story. I cannot wait for the next installment.

Profile Image for friend of aslan.
278 reviews
October 17, 2021
CONTENT WARNINGS: minor violence, some disturbing scenes involving anxiety and OCD, minor swearing, subtle hinting of past affairs of characters. I'd personally recommend for ages 12 and above.

For those wondering, this book does have characters that are POC, queer, and have OCD represented within it.

This was one of my most anticipated releases of the second half of this year. The premise sounded so good: A cross between The Neverending Story, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Wizard of Oz?? While representing a main character who has OCD? It sounded like a dream.

And, to be honest, reading this really was quite dreamy. It was a slow, but steady adventure story focusing on a girl who fell into her own writing and had to save it. It really was lots of fun. However, I didn't find myself truly caring about most of the characters. The concept was cool and the worldbuilding was fascinating, but usually what makes or breaks a novel for me is the characters and their stories.

Nobody really stood out to me. I wouldn't say they were basic-- I really don't think they were. I just couldn't personally connect with any of them. That being said, I love the fact that we had such a diverse group of characters: not only when it came to POC or gender (though those were both widely represented), but also when it came to age. Half of these characters were in their 40s or older, and they were part of the main crew of characters. I found it really refreshing, as I usually don't see older characters within YA novels.

I also really loved how much the main character, Olive's, culture came into play into the story. It really was infused on even the smallest level upon this world and these characters.

Overall, while I wasn't completely impressed with this as a first novel in a fantasy series, I can definitely say that this author is very talented, and that this is a great debut. I see lots of potential in this story and these characters, and I'm really interested to see what will happen next. I'll definitely be picking up the next novel in the series, once it releases.

This truly was wonderful to read. (AND THAT COVER!! GORGEOUS!!)
Profile Image for Asia | Adventures with Asia Minor.
192 reviews110 followers
August 17, 2022
9 July 2022

3 stars!

Ouch. It's been over 2 months since I've read The Twin Stars. (Don't look at me like that; I know!) With that being said, my memory might be a bit spotty, but hopefully my review will still be good! It will at least be honest.

Also, let me preface that while my rating is only low–end 3 stars, I definitely think this really is a "it's me, not you" problem. TTS has all the makings of a GREAT YA fantasy, but it just fell flat for me, and I'm not really sure why. I think really it had to with being unable to connect with the characters, despising the MC, and not liking the prose. But again, I know these are likely personal issues, so just know that you may end up liking TTS way more than I did.

So now, without further ado, on to the review!

World Building ~ 9/10

Honestly, the world building was so strong! It was REALLY good, and the world itself was so descriptive and vivid. For me, this was THE STRONGEST part of TTS. I love the idea of the portal into another universe, and the universe itself is so well described. More than just the setting, I think the idea of the "Muse" was very interesting and well–built.

Characters ~ 6.5/10

I liked most of the characters. I liked both Jambol and Nestra, who both were realistic, but I liked Nestra better. Jambol sometimes did stuff that annoyed me (but isn't that really every character?). Zeph was probably my favorite, as he just seemed like a breath of fresh air. Bel, Reen, and Dewna weren't bad, but they weren't in my top 5. I didn't like Coseema (for obvious reasons, after reading), nor did I like Burnash (again, for a rather obvious reason).

However, my dislike for these characters is warranted and understandable; these are real characters, and you don't always like everything about a person, but that's what makes them real. The reason, though, that I docked so many points was exclusively because of Olive, the MC.

Boy did I despise Olive. Worse, I don't even know why! She was a perfectly realistic character, especially with her OCD. I could visualize her; I could understand why she made many of her decisions (most of which were due to her OCD). However, I could not, for the life of me, relate to her. And it's probably why I disliked her so much. She was extremely annoying and just rubbed me the wrong way. Because I didn't her, this made getting into the book so hard.

But again, I really think this is a me thing, so I can't justify docking any more points.

Plot ~ 6/10

Okay, so the plot itself wasn't bad; it really wasn't. I think the idea to save the universe through doing a certain task (which is kinda spoilery, thus the vagueness) is pretty brilliant, especially the build up. However, the build up to said task just takes far too long (which is a pacing issue), and it really makes TTS drag.

Personally, I would have liked the plot to a bit faster and to really drive through it and not go at a snail's pace, but again, this is partially a me issue. I say "partially" because, although a slow burn plot isn't necessarily bad, I think the pacing was just far too slow. Even just a bit faster would have been so much better.

Relationships ~ 7/10

There weren't really any "romantic" relationships in TTS. Sure relationships existed, but the romantic aspects were next to nothing. This is neither bad nor good.

There were, however, plenty of friendships and familial relationships. I thoroughly enjoyed Jambol's relationship with Nestra, his grandmother. I also didn't mind the frienships within the gang, but since I didn't like Olive, I couldn't really get into any of her friendships. And .

Ignoring Olive, I'd say my rating on the relationships would be much higher — somewhere around 8 or 9 out of 10. However, because Olive just grated on my nerves, that negatively influenced my overall rating for this section.

Prose & Pacing ~ 6/10

Okay, prose is like a 8.5/10. Pacing, on the other hand, is more like a 4.5/10. I didn't do an even average, so don't ask how I got 6/10 from those two.

The prose itself is great. BDP has a great writing style, and it shows. However, her pacing is just so slow, and not like an acceptable slow burn pace. It's just far too slow. If it sped up toward the end, I could justify a higher rating, but the whole book was just so slow, which made it really hard to get through, as well as extremely boring.

I think part of this is a me thing, but I still feel that this would move too slowly for many people.


Overall, TTS had a solid foundation, but it just really fell flat for me, in that it was slow and I didn't like Olive. It has all the makings for a good YA portal fantasy, so if that's your thing, then go for it! You'll probably really like it.

This, however, just wasn't for me, which is pretty disappointing because I really wanted to like it. But again, it just didn't end up being right for me. :(

I want to end on a happier and more positive note, so I'll note that the second book, The Silver Sail, was much better and more interesting. So if you've read TTS but aren't sure, I'd recommend trying TSS; you just may like it! :)

3 stars!

Major thanks to the author for the free e–copy, in exchange for an honest review


26 April 2022

3 stars!

And by 3 stars, I mean on the low end.

Don’t get me wrong; TTS was not bad at all. It had a good plot, good characters, and interesting premise. However, this book just wasn’t for me. I unfortunately was left bored and rather annoyed by it. Truth be told, I didn’t really want to read it. However because the author gave me an ARC of the sequel, I felt compelled to read TWS in its entirety.

I’ll go into further depth with my full review, but let’s just say that this book had all of the makings for an excellent fantasy novel. And I don’t think there was anything necessarily wrong with it, per se. It just wasn’t it for me, and I still plan on reading the sequel as well.

Full RTC!

3 stars!

Major thanks to the author for the free e–copy, in exchange for an honest review


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Happy Reading!
Profile Image for Jennifer.
22 reviews
May 29, 2021
Disclaimer: I received a free ARC of this book from Book Sirens in exchange for an honest review. Big thanks to them and the author!

What and adventure this was! I had so much reading this story. I don't believe I have ever related to a main character before like I do with Olive. Olive suffers from OCD and anxiety and seeing how she copes with it and how she feels when others around her, especially those she loves, don't seem to believe her or really want to help her, made me reflect a little on myself. I relate. I understand what she's going through and it definitely feels like you're alone sometimes. Representation matters and I applaud the author for what she has done with her MC and also for two other characters within this story.

Remember, you are not alone and it does get better. Seek help if you need. Reach out. There is no shame in taking care of your Mental Health. <3

The Twin Stars is a great start to hopefully a long running series. I enjoyed meeting this cast of characters and seeing new relationships form and the changing of others. Olive has a lot of growing to do within herself and it seems as if the seeds have already been planted and they are starting to sprout.

I cannot wait to be back in this world. There are some characters whose stories I don't think have ended yet and I must know what happens next!

If you want a story full of adventure, distant worlds, love, family, friendship and self discovery, I would recommend picking up The Twin Stars!
Profile Image for RD.
8 reviews
June 5, 2021

The author wrote a book about a girl who went into her own story that she wrote. Something that many readers and writers wish to do. Unfortunately, in Olive’s case it wasn’t as enjoyable. Through her insecurities and OCD, Olive wrote about Coseema, the perfect heroine. But after 2 years of not writing in her book, Olive suddenly falls into her own story. Already armed with the knowledge of what happened in the past, somehow it paints a bigger target on her back, along with the fact she looks like Coseema. Can she take the lead in the story as the heroine?

I greatly enjoyed the book and my only disagreement is the series name, as the story is about Olive’s adventure even if it is in Coseema’s world (despite being written by Olive).
Profile Image for Megan Rivera.
414 reviews59 followers
June 14, 2021
I absolutely loved the characters and the the storyline. It was an excellent book and I enjoyed reading reading this book. It was a great book.
92 reviews2 followers
June 23, 2021
I received an advance review copy from BookSirens for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily. This book is okay, and worth reading. I know that most readers really like it. I on the other hand, found it rather a downer, and left me with a rather hopeless, rather than hopeful feeling. I hope that you will not feel the same way.

The story involves a 16-year old girl, Olive Joshi, who is on the way to India for her grandmother's funeral (she is of at least part Indian heritage). Her grandmother's voice appears often in Olive's head as the voice of conscience, or wisdom; but sometimes, I didn't agree with what Olive did with the advice. Olive has obsessive-compulsive/anxiety disorder. Her main solace is writing in a journal wherein she writes her compulsive thoughts, as well as writing a story about another star system with twin suns (hence the book title), which are threatening the inhabited planets with destruction due to their imminent supernova. She has also written in a political conflict between a good princess with magical powers and her evil foster brother, who also has acquired magical powers. The princess, Coseema, looks like a flawless version of Olive; Olive as she would have imagined herself to be without imperfections. She stopped writing Coseema's story for some time however, leaving their world in limbo.

In the airplane lavatory on the way to Delhi, Olive steps through a portal into the world she created in her journal, arriving underwater in a pool on the inhabited Musing Moon of the planet Lyria, with nothing but her journal and its pen. There she meets some of the characters she created, the exiled Bard Nestra and her grandson Jambol. There, she finds that the world she created has moved on since she stopped writing about it; in fact, new words have appeared in the journal in her own handwriting to fill in the gaps. Unwisely, she lies about her origins, and her resemblance to Coseema.

I thought that Olive's actions throughout the book were generally unwise, and maybe sometimes explainable by her anxiety disorder, but I nevertheless found that it made her an unlikeable protagonist. Although she finds that she can affect her present reality on the Musing Moon, or on Lyria by continuing to write in her journal, she fails to exercise that power as much as she should have. And for some inexplicable reason, sometimes the writing doesn't seem to work for her. (A lot of things in the book happen for inexplicable reasons.) Instead, she finds herself the victim of her own dystopian vision of Coseema's world.

I don't think it is a spoiler to say that the heroic incarnation of Coseema is killed off relatively early in the book, destroyed by Deimons released from Olive's journal, representing her obsessions with checklists and routines in her past life. She being the only one who could stop the twin suns from going supernova, the whole book took on a kind of hopeless tenor for me from then on, as Olive and Coseema's allies try to flee the evil brother Burnash's wrath, and find some sanctuary on the planet Lyria. The story does end with a rather surprising twist when our heroes return to the Musing Moon; but I didn't care for it, as I found Olive's actions again to be wrong-headed.
Profile Image for Jeff.
1 review
August 23, 2021
I received a free ARC of this book and am reviewing it voluntarily.

I like this book for so many reasons, the first of which is the very unique and memorable protagonist, Olive. She suffers from OCD and anxiety (actual OCD, not the Hollywood kind), and it is portrayed extremely well, both literally and allegorically. I'll get back to that in a minute, but it's so refreshing to have a main character whose struggles are so real and beyond just standard angst or being an orphan. Having struggled mental health myself, it made her relatable in a way that so many other characters - even ones that I love - aren't.

The plot seems basic on a surface level, but even then is never boring. The stakes are high and the characters strong and likable so it's easy to become invested in their struggles. Only upon reading further into the story does the true overarching theme become clear, and everything that at first seemed like standard plot elements in a YA adventure takes on extra layers of symbolism and meaning.

Speaking of layers, the writing itself is fantastic. There's the narrative that we read, which flows smoothly and with very nice prose and solid detail, and underneath that there is the writing of Olive herself, who created this world back when she was a pre-teen and her own writing skills unpolished and unrefined. The reconciliation of this finely crafted world with its rather basic origins is handled expertly, and the few times we do get a glimpse of Olive's writing, we can see how the world had to "fill in some holes" in order to create a complete reality.

I don't want to say much more, because I think a lot of what happens is better if experienced without any foreknowledge, but I will say there was more than one occasion in which I was quite sure I knew what was going to happen only to be proven fantastically wrong, always for the better.

And there's going to be a sequel, which I'm definitely looking forward to.
Profile Image for Jeremy.
181 reviews30 followers
May 18, 2021
I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

I had a favorite roller coaster back in my teens. It had a first steep climb of anticipation, and then - BAM! - it suddenly plummeted swiftly down, then twisted to the left, and then up-side down and around, then a short rise (where my stomach always felt like it was lifting into my chest) before diving again into a tunnel and turning sharply to the right... I loved that thing. And reading The Twin Stars was like taking that ride all over again. The author (full disclosure, I know Bridgette slightly, as we have both participated in the same new play festival) sets up the story quickly and has plotted it with a series of twists and turns, set-ups and reversals, in which surprises abound but nothing feels contrived. She has not only created a new universe (standard fare with sci-fi/fantasy novels), but - without giving anything away - she has written a Russian doll of a tale, in which stories seem to nest within one another. She has peopled her universe with characters one can relate to immediately, and situations that compel the story along at steady pace. There wasn't a dull moment (and I'm quick to jump out of a world that doesn't keep a tight grip on my imagination - just ask me how many books I've bailed on, lately). While this story is complete by book's end, seeds have been sown for future installments, and I can hardly wait.
Profile Image for Maquaela.
63 reviews
May 22, 2021
Holy crap.


When I received a copy of this book for free to review from booksiren.com, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I had no idea what it was about and I didn’t even bother reading the summary because of how drawn in I was by the title.

I can now confirm that it was the perfect choice.

At this very moment I am lying in bed with my heart pounding at the final plot twist in the book. To be fair, the whole thing was an emotional roller coaster. I am super invested in the characters (Jambol is 100% my favourite and I love him) and the storyline.

Like I said before, I NEED book two. ASAP.
2 reviews1 follower
July 8, 2021
Disclaimer: I received a free ARC of this book from Bookfunnel in exchange for an honest review. Big thanks to them and the author!

Sixteen-year-old Olive Joshi struggles to hide her obsessive-compulsive disorder, a “tyrant…in her mind” which forces her to repeat irrational thoughts and acts. Mainly she worries about hurting the people she loves. She avoids knives and driving, afraid she’ll injure someone. She checks on her sleeping family to ensure they’re breathing, checks for unlocked doors and left-on ovens, and then checks off the tasks in her journal. The journal, a gift from Dadiji (her grandmother), a celebrated author, contains an unfinished novel Olive abandoned two years earlier after Dadiji fell ill.

The turbulent flight to Dadiji’s funeral intensifies Olive’s inner turmoil. Besides fears of crashing, she worries about lines in her journal she doesn’t recall writing. All of her secret anxieties are exposed when older brother Brian pries into her journal and declares she’s “crazy.” As the plane pitches, Olive races to the lav where she falls through a portal into her unfinished story. And then the bigger trouble begins…

While some characters have taken on a life of their own, Olive’s perfect hero, Coseema, has been left in space, unable to fulfill her destiny to save the suns. Despite Dadiji’s advice to create flawed heroes and villains not purely evil, Olive’s unredeemable Prince Burnash is an unstoppable force. Olive has the power to pick up her pen and save her world, but the nagging fear of messing up prevents it.

This well-crafted novel weaves multiple layers. It’s a sci-fi fantasy featuring a teen battling deep fears to take control of her life, a high-stakes adventure with surprising twists. It’s a psychological journey illuminating the difficulties of coping with a mental disorder which makes one feel their world is out of control. It’s a metaphor for the creative process. What creator hasn’t imbued their creations with facets of themselves and those closest to them, with symbols (like the twin suns) representing a significant feeling or event bubbling in the subconscious?

The second book in this series can’t come soon enough! I’m hooked!
Profile Image for Tonja Drecker.
Author 3 books191 followers
July 1, 2022
With the flow of a dream, this fantasy takes a girl with OCD on a journey to face her fears, discover her strengths, and find friendship.

Olive is on the way to the funeral of her recently deceased grandmother. She finds solace, as always, by scribbling in her notebook, where she tries to fight her fears thanks to OCD, but carries a story she's been working on for a long time. When a frantic visit to the bathroom on the airplane ends with her passing out, little does she know she's gone through a portal and, now, finds herself in the world her tale centers around. The characters she created become flesh and blood, and mistake her for the heroine, Coseema. But Olive knows she could never replace Coseema, even if she looks like her. Not only was Coseema perfect and powerful, but she's the only one who can save the world...unfortunately, the real Coseema is no where to be found.

The world building in this tale is very well done. The author spends just enough time in Olive's 'real' world to ground her before zipping her off into the fantasy realm. There, details let the surroundings come to life until the reader can almost see, feel and hear the world around them.

The characters are well done, and even the side ones have personality and enough background to give them depth. Each one is different and brings richness to plot. It's entertaining and interesting to see how Olive interacts and tries to wrap her brain around the characters she created...only to learn that she might not know them as well as she thought. But at the same time, she learns more about herself.

Everything flows well, making this an easy read to get lost in. Thanks to the rich descriptions, the pacing is a little gentler than I prefer, and I did find myself skipping over paragraphs now and then. But for those who prefer characters and worlds, this is a lovely read. And it does set the stage for the beginning of what promises to be an interesting series. I received a complimentary copy and enjoyed falling into this world.
Profile Image for Emily | bookswithraven .
260 reviews19 followers
August 2, 2021
I really enjoyed this book. I thought the plot and the characters were very unique. I found the main character, Olive, to be very interesting. She was a strong female lead and her influence on the other characters was memorable. Olive suffers with OCD and anxiety which I thought was portrayed in a way which shows how damaging these disorders are. Knowing the author also struggles with the same disorders means they gave Olive realistic thoughts and feelings about it. I can see Olive being a relatable character for many people and for many different reasons.

I liked the other characters in this book, they were funny, loveable and entertaining. All the characters go on this adventure together which is great to read about. I would have liked to have read more about Olives family back on the plane but it is left up to the imagination of the reader. I’m hoping we will get to hear more about them in the following books in the series.

I thought the plot was kept simple and it was easy to follow. I loved the idea of Olive falling into the world she created and her experiences there. This new world was highly detailed and was very interesting to learn about. We also got to learn more about Olive in this new world. It was easy for the reader to be sucked into this new world, it is action packed and mysterious.

I thought the writing style of the author was easy to read, the new world was described wonderfully and I could vividly imagine the new world and the characters in Olives story. It was lovely to be able to read snippets of Olives journal throughout the book of where she wrote the book herself. I thought it was interesting to read when Olive was learning things about the world she created as well, learning about the characters backgrounds and situation they are all in.

This is a solid start to an amazing series. I am excited to learn more about all the characters and I’m excited to read about where the author takes the next books!
Profile Image for Justin.
Author 3 books17 followers
April 30, 2022
The Twin Stars drew me in early with an interesting main character going through a tough time (Olive and her recently dead grandmother) and a sudden portal into the world she created. The writing is quite good, especially at the beginning (though passive voice seemed to creep in more and more as the book went on). Some of the descriptions were exceptionally vivid, making me wish I'd thought of them!

I think this will appeal to a wide range of audiences, as a YA sci-fi/portal fantasy (not a combo you see too much). Also, while jumping into a story, or even a story of the author's making, isn't an entirely original idea, it's executed well here. I will definitely continue onto the next one in the series!

Spoilers ahead now!

Profile Image for Tyesha.
332 reviews9 followers
July 1, 2021
I started this out with pretty low expectations. After reading the first few chapters, I was concerned it was going to be a "Mary-Sue" unoriginal fanfiction. I was pleasantly surprised. The world is unique and where there all holes there is a reasonable reason for them. The world is written by the protagonist, a teenager. The writing itself is well done, for the most part. Before the author got the rhythm, there were a lot of weird wording choices and it made the writing choppy. It did end up resolving itself after the first third. The major plot is that Olive's writings come true and that was such a cool factor. I don't believe I've ever read a story with something like that in it. We can't tell sometimes if Olive wrote it into reality or if it's just an actual consequence(i.e. was it magic or the wounds that saved Olive in the beginning). Also the characters can basically read situations as they occur and that makes battles and running very cool. Representation is a big part of the book too. From what I recall, there is OCD, anxiety, and trans representation. The last thing I'll mention is that this could be a bit predictable. I read 100+ books a year and I see cliché situations easily. That could be considered a personal issue though. My overall opinion is that this is a fun and unique read and would be very good for late middle-grade or early YA readers. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
Profile Image for Sheila.
1,165 reviews36 followers
July 15, 2022
The Twin Stars is a YA Space Portal Fantasy. The whole idea of the plot intrigued me. Especially because the main character lives with OCD and anxiety. Her safe place has always been in writing a story in her journal to express her many feelings and things she's anxious about. As you can guess, Olive mysteriously ends up going through a portal that leads her into the story she has been writing.

This fantasy has compelling characters that draw you to them and the plot. Olive is likable and you want to help her. She finds herself in a situation that is more out of her hands than she had previously thought. Other characters are clearly on the side of good or the side of evil such as Coseema and Prince Burnash. I will say though, that there are some in the gray area. The action is good, and the powers of the various characters are interesting and unique. The world-building is good and I was very intrigued by the "animals" in the world/universe that Olive created. I would love to see pictures of the Fluttercamel and the Pteroks.

The ending of the first novel sets everything up perfectly for the start of the second novel. Luckily, I have the second book sitting here waiting for me to read.
Profile Image for Amari Clegane.
99 reviews
July 28, 2021
I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

Olive is a writer but she has a few problems. One she has writers block and can’t complete her book. The other is that she has a pretty bad case of OCD that makes her life spiral a nightmare of ticks and anxiety. After the death of her grandmother she flies to India for her funeral and during that flight is transported into the world of her book. She meets all of the characters that she had created but abandoned for the two years she had not written. The story takes you through Olive’s growth as a person and her traumas. It does a good job of putting you in the shoes of a person with OCD and I found myself really rooting for her. The book can feel frustrating at times as Olives OCD takes hold and makes her take some weird choices but after all was said and done as the first entry in a series I really liked it. The care that was taken in sculpting the world and the characters made for a good read and I really do recommend it if you want a good hero’s journey story with a different kind of main character.
Profile Image for Ardis.
169 reviews
July 30, 2021
The Twin stars is a compelling read. I couldn't let it go due to it's fast paced nature and constant twists. Portman does a brilliant job helping the reader experience what it is like to have OCD. It truly is a wonderful representation. Olive, wants to do write a book with a version of herself that is everything she's not. She comes to realize like many of us do that the things we view as failures and weaknesses are not as world shattering as they may believe. This is exactly what occurs in Twin Stars as Olive battles her inner demons worrying over getting everything right. I think that's what makes her so relatable. She created a world she has to save and fear keeps trying to paralyze her worrying over making the wrong choice. Which makes the adventure this book takes you on even better. How many stories allow you to see it through the author's eyes? So often we hear talk about characters having a mind of their own but here we actually get to read it!
I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
Profile Image for Carol Riggs.
Author 13 books278 followers
August 3, 2023
4.5 rounded up to 5. The premise on this one was fun—the whole portal-into-an-unfinished-manuscript plot. It was interesting how the main character, Olive, had OCD; it seemed unusual for a heroine and quite realistic, meshing with people I know who have the condition (I believe I read that the author has OCD herself, so no wonder it’s realistic). It’s spot-on that the condition can be limiting and even crippling, but when forced into severe circumstances, it often bumps the affected person into acting out of dire necessity. The person I know became homeless and there literally was no place to wash hands constantly or stare at herself in a mirror; she had to act, often quickly. Anyway, this story was enjoyable and regularly twisted into directions I didn’t predict, such Coseema’s character arc. I like how Jambol’s arc played out. I thought the part about Bel deciding to be a girl (so was she trans, and used to be a boy?) was random and didn’t really add to the plot or character arc; it was only mentioned in a few sentences.
Profile Image for Drema.
Author 4 books47 followers
July 21, 2021
Whoa! What an intricately woven world with plenty of twists and turns that YA readers of fantasy will want to immerse themselves in!

In The Twin Stars, Bridgette Dutta Portman paints a world in which Olive Joshi, someone with OCD, finds that the journal writing she uses to cope is creating a real world – one Olive unwittingly enters while on a plane. And that’s just for starters.

From there, Portman introduces us to a cast of characters from Coseema, a princess who could double for Olive, to the cruel Prince Burnash. And did I mention there’s a magical journal?

Portman handles mental health issues in her novel with sensitivity and believability. We can feel Olive’s anxiety throughout; it heightens our sympathy for her.

Treating both worlds with reverence and believability, Portman executes a marvelous debut novel, one which will have readers clamoring for installment number two immediately! This reader can’t wait for the second one!

Profile Image for Robin Ginther-Venneri.
437 reviews15 followers
August 25, 2021
The Twin Stars (The Coseema Saga)
By Bridgette Dutta Portman

What would you do if you fell into a world you created yourself?

What if that world turned against you?

Olive Joshi is an imaginative sixteen-year-old with OCD and all that entails but she finds solace in writing stories in a journal about Coseema, a magical princess on the distant planet Lyria but unwittingly creates a real world that drops her into it. What? I know right?

Can Olive be the hero of her own story?

I find the character, Olive so relatable. I like how her specialness is written with kindness and sensitivity making the story more realistic if that could be said for a fantasy book. There is very unique world building that brings the world into sharp focus.

Space Opera
Science Fiction
Coming of Age
Mental health
Teen/young adult
Profile Image for Anya Josephs.
Author 4 books129 followers
February 3, 2022
This book got off to such a powerful start. I was tearing up reading about Olive’s love for her dadiji on the third page or so. Okay, maybe my meds are making me a little extra-weepy, but it’s beautifully written. An exceptional depiction of her relationship with her ancestral homeland and also her struggles with OCD.

Something I especially appreciated about the book was the way that Olive deals with the ethics of her own imagination. She often feels guilty and responsible for putting this suffering onto these fictional characters, now that she’s confronted with them as real people. It’s an interesting and insightful way of exploring the moral aspect of OCD that is much less frequently depicted.

See full review at: https://anyajosephs.wordpress.com/202...
Profile Image for Delphia  Von Heeder .
937 reviews16 followers
April 6, 2022
The Twin Stars is Book 1 in the Coseema Saga by Bridgette Deetla Portman. I enjoyed this fantasy. I liked that Olive was not a perfect teenager. She is on a plane with her parents and Brian, her brother. Olive writes in a journal and when the plane has turbulence, she wakes up in the world and characters that she created. I enjoyed this unique way of entering a portal into a new world. I thought that the characters were well written and believable. I am not sure exactly where Olive is, a different world or a dream world. What I am definitely sure of is I am looking forward to reading book 2 and continue this wonderful story. I received an arc for free and am leaving my review voluntarily.
596 reviews20 followers
April 21, 2022
The chaos we create

Olivia is living with OCD. An ailment her family doesn’t understand. While on an airplane, her brother takes her journal that her grandmother gave to her. Throughout her life she has used this journal to calm herself. Frime writing down reminders to a fantasy story. Then the unexpected happens. She ends up living out the story she wrote. Only problem is that the story is not finished. She tries to write new parts of the story as she goes but it doesn’t always work out the way she intended. Follow along as Olivia meets new friends and goes on different quests to finish the story.

Profile Image for Linda.
357 reviews16 followers
May 16, 2023
I loved this YA fantasy book. It’s the first book in the series and I’m hooked. It’s about a young girl who has anxiety but her family denies it. To occupy her mind she write a story in her journal and then she accidentally falls into it. She’s experiencing her story and the characters she wrote by living in it. It was so exciting to read and it’s very entertaining. I’m excited to read the rest of the series. If you like stories of space travel and unforgettable characters, then you need read this book.
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