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Book Review: Under Different Stars by Amy A. Bartol

If you like not sleeping and staying up half the night reading, then Under Different Stars is for you.

Book Review: Under Different Stars by Amy A. Bartol

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under different stars amy a bartol book review

Title & Author: Under Different Stars (The Kricket Series) by Amy A. Bartol

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy – Paranormal, Science Fiction

Release Date: December 17, 2013

Series: Kricket #1

Publisher: Self-Published

How I Got the Book: Bought


“All she wants is a home, but can she find one…UNDER DIFFERENT STARS

Kricket Hollowell is normally not one to wish upon stars; she believes they’re rarely in her favor. Well versed at dodging caseworkers from Chicago’s foster care system, the past few years on her own have made Kricket an expert at the art of survival and blending in. With her 18th birthday fast approaching, she dreams of the day when she can stop running and find what her heart needs most: a home.

Trey Allairis hates Earth and doubts that anyone from his world can thrive here. What he’s learning of Kricket and her existence away from her true home only confirms his theory. But, when he and Kricket lie together under the stars of Ethar, counting them all may be easier than letting her go.

Kyon Ensin’s secrets number the stars; he knows more about Kricket’s gifts than anyone and plans to possess her because of them. He also knows she’s more valuable than any fire in the night sky. He’ll move the heavens and align them all in order to make her his own.

When everything in their world can be broken, will Kricket rely upon love to save her under different stars?”

Literally Did Not Put It Down

Although I committed to reading more indie books this year, I didn’t know I was actually fulfilling my self-made promise in Under Different Stars.

In fact, it is only now I realized it, as I write this post and fill in the details above. And, honestly, that’s the nicest thing I could say, considering my previous wariness of reading indie books. It’s not that I wasn’t open, I had just heard from so many people that they can be riddled with errors and poorly written overall.

But, let me tell you, Under Different Stars is very well done. I has hooked immediately, and read late into the night and early morning so I could find out what happened to Kricket, the orphan with secrets.

Bartol has mastered the art of ending a chapter in such a way that it makes it impossible for a reader to simply close the book at the end. I felt compelled to keep reading. That’s worth a top rating by itself.

But fortunately, this book has so much more to offer. Kricket always knew the foster system was after her – she isn’t 18 yet and is trying to stay under the radar until she becomes of age. But, what she didn’t know is she should be afraid of a whole other system – one far, far away – that is coming to claim her.

But, she can’t escape them. A skilled team from the planet of Ethar find her and turn Kricket’s world upside down when they drag her back to her home.

A Series to Watch

Under Different Stars is a story that easily could have gone so many different ways. What I found most interesting is the inclusion of politics. With a heavy romantic tension on the scene, the story could have become solely about the swooning and googly eyes.

But, Kricket is a smart little thing, and she uses every weapon in her arsenal to maneuver her way out of danger and into favor. And, if she makes heads turn in the process so be it.

Speaking of which, my only side of beef with the book was that Kricket has some seriously massive sex appeal because men on both Earth and Ethar think she’s hot stuff. That part seemed a little too convenient and easy, but I won’t hold it against the story (but maybe a little against Kricket).

Also, the sidekicks Wayra and Jax provided some fun banter and comedic relief. I LOVE a great funny friend situation. In fact, they kind of reminded me of Ari and Janco from Poison Study.

Another thing I love about YA is that the romance can get interesting without getting sleazy or TMI-ish. Bartol knows exactly where that line is and keeps things exciting for readers.


I loved this book. It’s funny and interesting and very well-written (not just “for an indie book”). I love the world Bartol created and even though Kricket seemed a little too perfect at times – I’m totally hooked on the dual worlds of Earth and Ethar and Kricket’s navigations on both. Under Different Stars is definitely a book to check out!

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • Brittany Welsh

    I agree, I loved this book! I found Kricket’s “perfection” kind of refreshing because I think YA author’s are always trying to do that awkward/clumsy/girl-next-door thing. Not that I don’t get into that, but I kind of liked she was unapologetically hot stuff. 🙂

  • Pretty Little Reader

    This sounds awesome! I love when I stumble on to an indie gem, because it reminds me of the quality books that are out there, that aren’t traditionally published. Definitely adding this to my wishlist on Goodreads!

  • I loved this too–it was a total surprise! And I didn’t mind her looks too much, since they worked against her on Earth and on Ethar, too–not too uncommon for pretty girls with brains anyway. 🙂

  • Andrea @ Pencils and Pancakes

    I am so freaking glad I just found your blog from Peanut Butter Fingers…now I can recommend books to my students using your recommendations!! they all LOVE this type of literature.

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