Middle school students have reading interests that run the gamut from Diary of a Wimpy Kid to Twilight. Sometimes as a parent it is hard to know what is age appropriate for your child. Through this blog, I will try to help parents make informed decisions about what is available in our library. I am hoping that this blog will be a resource for our parents, and that we can all work together to make our students life-long readers!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Star-Touched Queen

The Star-Touched Queen
by Roshani Chokshi
From the publisher:
"Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself."

While reading this book there were moments where I was so engrossed in the beautiful writing and the music and poetry of it, that I would get to the end of a paragraph and say, "Wait. What just happened?". The writing was stirring and magical and gripping, yet I feel like I am a little clueless about many things that happened. It was weird and other-worldly, but it was supposed to be weird and other-worldly because there is actually a place called The Otherworld in the book. I'm very conflicted about this one! On the one hand there were many things I loved, on the other hand I found a lot of things very confusing. I found the romance believable, very insta-love, but there is a reason for that. The villain was deliciously evil. One of the characters was creepily humorous (a talking horse-thing that wants to eat people.) I loved the sisterly bond, but disliked the rest of the familial relationships. The Indian mythology helped with the magical feeling of the book. All in all, I was very invested in the story and characters, but I'm not convinced that middle schoolers will be that invested. Will they be as enthralled as I was by the pictures the words of this book paint? I can think of a few that will stick with it, but probably high schoolers will do better with it. Not because of content issues, just because of maturity.

Areas of concern:
*No bad language that I can remember.
*Several passionate kisses between husband and wife. They share a bed, but it is clear that they are only sleeping there. 
*Quite a bit of violence is alluded to, but I never felt anything was very graphic. 
*Bullying of the main character at the very beginning of the book.

Suggested Ages:
Kirkus Reviews - Ages 12+
School Library Journal - Grades 9+

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