Caitlings's Reviews > For Darkness Shows the Stars

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
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Aug 23, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: dystopian, favourites, romance, read-in-2012, ya, sci-fi, post-apocalyptic, own
Read in February, 2012

First posted at

I totally had something else on the schedule for today but then I read this and I HAVE to talk about it! I don't even care that it's not out for four months. It's the best book I've read this year and everyone needs to read it. And love it and want it and stroke it and hug it....sorry. Got a little creepy there.

Okay, so, confession. I've never read Persuasion. I know. I KNOW. I will, I promise. I just...haven't...yet. I'm not really sure why. I've seen two movies and I love all of Austen's other works, that I've read. But I haven't. So, that's where I coming from when talking about For Darkness Shows the Stars.

Which was just beautiful and wonderful and so damn good. I'm not entirely sure I can be coherent about this. Okay, so before reading the book, I knew two things about it. One, it was written by awesome-killer-unicorn-lady, AKA, Diana Peterfreund. And two, it was a sci-fi retelling of Persuasion. One of these things is misleading and it isn't the idea that the story is going to be full of strong females and angsty goodness.

It wasn't all that sci-fi. I feel like if this had been published last year they would've shouted "DYSTOPIAN" from the rooftops. I was totally expecting this version of Wentworth to be a starship captain and for their to some interplanetary war going on in the background of all the angst and romance. If anything the book is more of a post-apocalyptic story with some sci-fi elements. Most especially genetic engineering. This isn't really important to the story, I just want everyone to have the proper expectations.

I don't even know where to start with what I liked about this book. Everything? The letters that had previously been written between Elliot and Kai as they were growing up? How they were shown to us out of order and the entirety of their relationship revealed all slow and restrained but with such passion and caring and knowing that I could not help but fall in love with the idea them.

Elliot is smart and practical and wants more than anything to protect her friends and loved ones from her father's controlling cruelty. Kai is smart and reckless and passionate and wants so much more than to be stuck on a farm for the rest of his life fixing broken equipment and making things run smoothly, and he recognizes that despite her responsibilities, Elliot wants more than that as well.

I loved the character of Ro, who could say so much by saying so little. Which, now I think about it, is what was really amazing about this book. You got so much from so little. I'm pretty sure Elliot and Kai never kiss in this book. They barely touch one another. But their emotions and their relationship and all these feelings I'm left with is so much more than anything else I've read recently. There are scenes when all they do is stare at one another. No words or actions necessary and I was still jittery with a NEED for them to work out their problems and just be happy and together.

There's so much more going on though. There's class prejudice and slavery and a group of people stuck on an island with very little technology and no way of knowing if the rest of the world is still out there. Recovering from some sort of genetic engineering mistake that made the majority of people become simple minded and unable to speak more than a couple syllables at a time. And all that was great and I'll probably appreciate the world-building a lot more the second time I read it...this first time was all about Elliot and Kai though. All the mystery of how society as we knew it came crumbling down isn't important. All the family drama, for me, existed simply as a way to pull these two apart and then bring them back together. All this stuff that I usually love in books just didn't matter. I needed to know how Elliot and Kai ended.

And, I'm don't want to spoil anything here, but of course, there's a love letter. And...well...let's just say in the course of reading this book I have decided that kissing someone's knuckles is the most romantic action on the face of the planet.

I loved this book dearly and look forward to months of forcing people to read it!
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Wendy Darling Cannot wait! :D

Caitlings Wendy Darling wrote: "Cannot wait! :D"

If we lived at all near one another, I would shove it into your hands and not allow you out of the house until you were done.

Possibly it is a good thing we are separated by a (mostly) patrolled border.

Wendy Darling I didn't ask HC for this yet, but I think I will.

Caitlings Wendy Darling wrote: "I didn't ask HC for this yet, but I think I will."

Do iiiiiiiiiitttttttt

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