By Megan Lord
Young adult fiction continues to become one of the most popular genres – mostly for adults. Join us each issue to find your next YA read.
In The Sound of Stars, books, art and music are not allowed in this world – but main characters Ellie LOVES books and Morris LOVES music – and together they refuse to let either end forever.
Ellie has a secret library, and when Morris discovers it, he is in awe and hopeful Ellie will help him to find more music. This will take them on a wild ride to restore humanity.
Alechia Dow, uses a lot of modern languages making this a very inclusive book and brings light to issues we are facing today – and issues we could very well face in the future. Books, art, and music are forbidden – cancel culture much? Use of interspecies to develop interracial awareness. Very much so LGBTQ friendly.
The relationship between Ellie (as a Black human female) and Morris (as a lab created Ilori) has very defined power dynamics and the author doesn’t shy away or sugar coat the divide and ultimately the more powerful connection. All of Morris’s chapters being with a song quote, and all of Ellie’s with a book quote – I loved this. Morris is very hyper aware of Ellie’s feelings, and Ellie is very careful with Morris’s vulnerability. They both know their flaws and each other’s and they just draw you in and make you love them both. It’s so easy to root for them the whole way!
The ending – it’s a TWIST. And at first, I didn’t think I liked it. The more I thought about it the more it grew on me. I won’t give anything away, I don’t like to do that – but it definitely will throw you off a little.
Two years ago, a misunderstanding between the leaders of Earth and the invading Ilori resulted in the deaths of one-third of the world’s population.
Seventeen-year-old Janelle “Ellie” Baker survives in an Ilori-controlled center in New York City. With humans deemed dangerously volatile because of their initial reaction to the invasion, emotional expression can be grounds for execution. Music, art and books are illegal, but Ellie breaks the rules by keeping a secret library. When a book goes missing, Ellie is terrified that the Ilori will track it back to her and kill her.
Born in a lab, M0Rr1S was raised to be emotionless. When he finds Ellie’s illegal library, he’s duty-bound to deliver her for execution. The trouble is, he finds himself drawn to human music and in desperate need of more. They’re both breaking the rules for the love of art—and Ellie inspires the same feelings in him that music does.
Ellie’s—and humanity’s—fate rests in the hands of an alien she should fear. M0Rr1S has a lot of secrets, but also a potential solution—thousands of miles away. The two embark on a wild and dangerous road trip with a bag of books and their favorite albums, all the while creating a story and a song of their own that just might save them both.
Article originally Published in the June / July 2021 Issue: Futuristic