quotes Elisquared likes

"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."— John Green


BLOG TOUR --- Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne [Review + Giveaway]

Title: Brightly Burning
Author(s): Alexa Donne
Edition: Hardcover, paperback, eBook; 400 pages
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 1, 2018
Source: Rockstar Book Tours
Buy: Amazon - Barnes & Noble - Book Depository - iBooks

Tour Schedule

Week One:
4/30/2018- BookCrushinGuest Post
5/1/2018- A Dream Within A DreamReview
5/2/2018- BookHounds YAInterview
5/3/2018- Book-KeepingReview
5/4/2018- Novel NoviceGuest Post

Week Two:
5/7/2018- Eli to the nthReview
5/8/2018- Owl Always Be ReadingReview
5/9/2018- JustAddaWordReview
5/10/2018- Two Chicks on BooksExcerpt
5/11/2018- What A Nerd Girl SaysReview

The Summary

Seventeen-year-old Stella Ainsley wants just one thing: to go somewhere—anywhere—else. Her home is a floundering spaceship that offers few prospects, having been orbiting an ice-encased Earth for two hundred years. When a private ship hires her as a governess, Stella jumps at the chance. The captain of the Rochester, nineteen-year-old Hugo Fairfax, is notorious throughout the fleet for being a moody recluse and a drunk. But with Stella he’s kind.

But the Rochester harbors secrets: Stella is certain someone is trying to kill Hugo, and the more she discovers, the more questions she has about his role in a conspiracy threatening the fleet.

My Review

While Brightly Burning is packaged as "Jane Eyre in Space", you do not have to have any working knowledge of the classic to enjoy the hell out of this book!  Alexa Donne has done a phenomenal job updating and selecting the choicest plot points and characterizations from the original, spinning them with a clear feminist and modern edge.  This is a non-stop read that will have you racing ahead to find out what goes down!

I've had the pleasure to know Alexa through an amazing sci-fi convention, DragonCon, where she was a staff member on the YA Lit Track (can you guess where we met?).  So I know that she has been hard at work on this book, and it really shows!  The whole thing is a standalone, which is rare in YA these days.  But luckily she's working on another re-imagining set in the same universe, so you'll be able to visit again.

The story follows Stella, a crew member on the clunky, falling apart spaceship, the Stalwart.  She works as an engineer aboard after being dumped by her remaining family following her parents deaths.  But her real dream is to be a governess, as (a) she loves to teach, and (b) that would get her off the failing spaceship, extending her survival.  Being on a good ship is key in this world, because the Earth is experiencing an Ice Age, and any ship who fails must do an emergency re-entry, never to be heard from after.  Needless to say, the Stalwart is looking at a re-entry situation in the very near future.

But get her governess job she does, and Stella is off to the private ship, the Rochester.  But while the ship is amazing, filled with more luxuries than Stella has experienced in many years, it is also filled with mysteries and danger for both Stella and the crew.  With a budding romance starting with the ship's captain, Hugo, Stella must not only navigate her feelings, but the mysterious situations aboard ship.  What is all of this leading to?

I can't say anymore because it will spoil things!  But the Rochester is definitely not where the story ends.  So while some Jane Eyre aficionados may be able to guess plot points, I think that the twists are different enough, while still paying tribute to the original that everyone will love it.  Stella is a strong female lead, and there is an interesting diversity focus in the book; while there are white characters, there are many Asian characters as well.  This reminds me of the show Firefly, where the main language spoken was a mix of Mandarin and English, with a lot of Asian cultural influence (this is something that some linguistics predict will happen, as China is one of the major power players in the world.  Also that Spanish may become a universal language due to the population boom.  Linguistic trends are fascinating stuff).  Stella's pursuit of her dreams, of the mysteries aboard ship, and her relationship with Hugo make you cheer for her to always succeed and get what she deserves.

I really loved Brightly Burning, and I have, honestly, never been a big Jane Eyre fan.  But like I said, you don't have to be to enjoy this story.  It is action-packed, chock full of mystery, survival, and best of all, romance.  Out now in bookstores everywhere, you don't want to miss this one; a YA sci-fi must-have for sure!

Final Rating

About the Author
Alexa Donne is a Ravenclaw who wears many hats, including fan convention organizing, teen mentoring, college admissions essay consulting, YouTube-ing and podcasting. When she’s not writing science fiction and fantasy for teens, Alexa works in international television marketing. A proud Boston University Terrier, she lives in Los Angeles with two fluffy ginger cats named after YA literature characters. Brightly Burning is her debut novel.


3 winners will receive a finished copy of BRIGHTLY BURNING, US Only.

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