Book Review: The Stars Never Rise by Rachel Vincent

23390493. sx318 sy475 The Stars Never Rise by Rachel Vincent
My Ratings: 4/5

Sixteen-year-old Nina Kane should be worrying about her immortal soul, but she’s too busy trying to actually survive. Her town’s population has been decimated by soul-consuming demons, and souls are in short supply. Watching over her younger sister, Mellie, and scraping together food and money are all that matters. The two of them are a family. They gave up on their deadbeat mom a long time ago.

When Nina discovers that Mellie is keeping a secret that threatens their very existence, she’ll do anything to protect her. Because in New Temperance, sins are prosecuted as crimes by the brutal Church and its army of black-robed exorcists. And Mellie’s sin has put her in serious trouble.

To keep them both alive, Nina will need to trust Finn, a fugitive with deep green eyes who has already saved her life once and who might just be an exorcist. But what kind of exorcist wears a hoodie?

Wanted by the Church and hunted by dark forces, Nina knows she can’t survive on her own. She needs Finn and his group of rogue friends just as much as they need her.

Warnings: Child Abuse, Religion propaganda and abuse, parental negligent,  child grooming, Sexual Assault and Harassment, Rape, Pregnancy.

So what if deception was a sin? You can’t get convicted if you don’t get caught.

There’s always this book you get from your friend on your birthday. You know what I am talking about. Yeah, that book, you suddenly forgotten that it existed in your library and somehow you stumble upon it and now you feel completely guilty about it, and for a good reason! This is how I feel with this little hidden gem. I had the opportunity during my trip to Australia to read this book with my friend, Sarah and oh boy, we were in for a wild ride. I kind of forgot to be horrified, exhausted and downright astonished about how this book isn’t popular, especially for a young adult dystopian novel in the early 2010s.

What kind of exorcist has smooth cheeks and wears a hoodie?

Rachel Vincent crafted such a unique setting in the never tiresome genre of young adult lit. Here, the world almost died by the hands of the invading demons but the Exorcists showed up and stopped them. Years later, society is coming back, in a very slow pace, and under one religious martial law to keep its citizens pure and docile while dealing with the demon problem. Our protagonist, Melanie, “Nina” Kane tries her best to raise her baby sister, Mellie as best as she could, despite not being capable of providing for her. Then tragedy strikes when Nina’s little secret looting takes a wrong turn with a demon. Right away I was captivated with the setting, this cruel system, how Nina tries to work within it and not try to change it like many dystopian novels do, because they think one person can do it. I love that, it was refreshing and even more so with Nina’s snarky humor, how endearing she was to me and my friend, and how terrible her lives were spiraling down when her sister does something completely stupid.

I feel like my life is a book, and someone turned the page before I was ready, and now I can’t follow the story.

You think you know a book but the moment you get invested, it throws everything out the window. You are awestruck just like the protagonist, and you are scared. You are unprepared for what’s coming in this book. I won’t lie to you – this book wasn’t easy to read, it was very graphic and the revelation of the demons, the exorcists and Nina’s peril of saving her sister was just a roller coaster of emotions I couldn’t get off from. It was such an experience, the pacing jumping straight to the action, takes time for you to relax only to- BAM! You are dead wrong, you won’t have any peace here. Forget about protecting your heart, it is going to crumble into tiny little grains of sawdust and you won’t be able to fix it. I don’t even know what I am going to do once I read the sequel.

“How is that possible? Are you human?”
“Of course I’m human!” He wasn’t laughing now, and I realized I’d hurt his feelings.

I should probably address the romance in this book. I think by far it’s what got extremely note worthy in sites like Goodreads, Twitter and Amazon aside from the setting and the story and I wholeheartedly agree. I never had a such detailed discussion with a friend how would Nina and Finn romance could work. Don’t get me wrong, Finn is a sweet cinnamon roll, but the entire concept of their relationship (and don’t get me started on how consent would work) is an entire thing that needs a university dissection in literature. However, the romance is amazing and I love it and I am trash for it, so yeah.

If you need a good dystopian novel with a unique setting, snarky humor, and interesting characters, then this one is for you.

Is it diverse? various POC supporting characters.

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