Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Review + Giveaway: Under the Stars by Rebecca A. Rogers!

Hi everyone! Today, I’m taking a break from the character interviews. Instead, I’m going to post a review on a YA post-apocalyptic fantasy that I read last year. It’s a book that includes survival, constant meteor ‘crashes,’ running and a little bit of politics.

Book Description via Goodreads:

ARC, 332 pages
August 1, 2011

After seventeen-year-old Andrina’s home is demolished by meteors, she encourages her family to relocate to Legora, one of the few remaining cities that promise a new life to weary travelers. But Legora’s food and supplies are in shortage—too many refugees have sought protection behind its gates—and the only option is to appeal to the King of the New World for provisions. When the town assembles a lottery to choose who will plea to the king, Andrina holds the ill-fated ticket.

Her arrival in Valyad, the royal territory, sparks intrigue from King Zarek. Andrina can’t imagine herself acting like the other girls, who flounce after Zarek’s affection and money, but she considers giving in to her flirty side if it’ll guarantee that her family is fed. So when Zarek leaves Andrina with a bitter decision—marry him or he’ll strip Legora of its supplies—she has no choice but to accept being Queen of the New World.

Soon, though, Andrina uncovers that Valyad is smothered in deceit. Days after their wedding, Zarek is found stabbed to death and all fingers point to Andrina. Betrayed by Valyad’s governor, who wants the crown for himself, Andrina learns that it’s the people who will cast a vote on her fate; people who don’t want a commoner operating their kingdom. Andrina must not only convince Valyad that their king didn’t die by her hand, but also outsmart the sly politicians of the realm with a surprise they can’t outrun.

My Thoughts:

For Andrina, family comes first. That’s what I liked most about her. She would do absolutely anything for Mama and her little brother, Mattie. Nothing compares to her dedication to them. She’s loyal, protective and brave. Above all, she’s a survivor.

The setting of Under the Stars was fascinating and terrifying at the same time. Majority of the world was desert. The sun scorched the people’s skin and the moon brought biting cold with it. Insects and animals have mutated. At night in the desert, certain things were said to eat humans. The only refuges left were the few standing cities. Legora was the closest one to Andrina’s ruined city. Her family braved the scorching heat, the hunger and the thirst in the hopes of starting a new life in Legora. But too many travelers have sought refuge in Legora and with every wave of people its stocks become more and more scarce. 

Valyad was so different from Legora. I loved it. It was magnificent and I soaked up its beauty. Everyone moved lazily. There were feasts and luxuries that Andrina has never seen before. King Zarek, the king of the New World, encourages her to enjoy her stay in Valyad but at the same time draws away from conversations that leads to Legora’s need for supplies and food. But she was strong and persistent, willing to do anything to make sure her family was fed. In her stay in Valyad, she found comfort in Malik, one of the son of the gypsies her family traveled with. Although they have never talked about their relationship, the two were close. The things they went through have established a connection between them. I like Malik. He was charming, mysterious and thoughtful, always popping up at the right moment.

Although King Zarek and Andrina’s relationship was loveless, I loved reading about the events that took place after their wedding. It was full of surprises. There was more to King Zarek. Dangerous people lurk in the halls of Valyad and doubt and insecurity marched into the palace. Then things went out of control. Although the latter part of the book showed suffering, I loved the determination that Andrina possessed. The ending was the most surprising and strongest ending I’ve encountered this year. It was done perfectly.

Under the Stars is strong, realistic and thrilling. This tale of struggles and survival will appeal to readers of adventure and dystopian. The violence, cruelty and hierarchy of the New World will make readers sit on the edges of their seat. It is one of the most unique stories I’ve ever read. I just wished that some of the transitions from one scene to another were smoother. I recommend this to anyone up for reading something adventurous and bittersweet.


Giveaway: 2 Signed Finished Copies of Under the Stars by Rebecca A. Rogers

Guys, you have to read this! It’s one of a kind. The main character, Andrina? She’s strong and brave – knife-wielding brave! Plus, she’s a survivor. And don’t we just love reading stories about survivors?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rebecca expressed her creative side at an early age, and has been writing for as long as she could form sentences. Worlds filled with kingdoms, unicorns, princesses and knights always held her interest longer than anything else. But after branching out and reading more books, she realized these worlds could be whatever she wanted them to be.

Rebecca wrote short fiction and poetry for several years--until she challenged herself to write a novel. Three months later she had completed the first draft. It was then that she realized how addictive novel writing can be, and found her niche composing Young Adult.

She would insert something here along the lines of living in Massachusetts (dream place to live) with her wonderful husband (who she hasn't met) and their three dogs, but these things haven't happened yet. Instead, she'll tell you that she lives inside her imagination, and it's better than reality.

Connect with Rebecca: Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Site


  1. Oh hey! I have this book. Thanks for the review. I might have to add this to my 2012 Self-Pub Challenge :)

  2. What are you doing to fix the recession? I'm going to assume there is one lol. There usually is!

  3. Thanks for the reviews. I hadn't really paid attention to this book until now, but I loved your review. I think I was caught with the loveless wedding, interesting. :P

  4. What to say? Ooooh. My first thought would be to request his help in righting the wrongs of the world, but he'd either already be doing it or not be interested. My second thought would be to ask for a job in his palace, preferably in his library of rare and forgotten texts! (hey, if you can't bring 'em round to your way of thinking, join 'em, right?)

  5. Nice review, and thanks for the giveaway!

    I'm not sure what I would say to someone like that. Unless I shared some common interest with him (history, literature, anthropology, music), I would probably freak out and not have anything to say.

  6. I think I would go with, "read any good books lately?" :)
    Seriously though, I wouldn't have any idea what to say!

  7. This sounds like an excellent book, I've never heard of it before! That rocks my socks. Thank you for the giveaway and I look forward to reading even if I do not win ;)

  8. If I get to talk to the richest man on the planet I would probably say....... can I be your apprentice? I would love to learn all the stuff he did to be that rich..

  9. I think I would get on his case if he was selfish and materialistic, haha :P

  10. Thanks for the reviews.

    i would say ' whaz up dawg!!''

  11. I would ask him what the most craziest, out of character he has ever done.

  12. Thanks for the giveaway!
    I'd ask 'What would you do if you wouldn't be a King?'

  13. Honestly, I'd like to ask him what he was doing sitting on all that money and how much he had given away. I would keep at trying to get him to give to charity more but I would take a while to analyze his personality first ;)

    Some of the charaters' names sound very foreign. I like!

    Ana @ BookSpark

  14. I'd ask him why is he keeping all of these money for himself when he cannot possibly spend them all. I'd ask him why won't he help people who really need them.

  15. Well, I'd love to be his friend and ask the secret of his wealth. I also want to persuade him to give money for people who need.

  16. I guess I'd question why he had to be appealed to for help rather than already doing so, as both King and the richest man. It's always the way, though, isn't it?

    Thanks for this giveaway!

  17. I'll ask him if he is happy with all the money he has! And to tell all of us the secret of his sucess!

  18. I would probably spit in his face.

    the imagine tree at aol dot com

  19. If I get to talk to the richest man on the planet, i would ask him if he could help me to learn all the stuff he did to be that rich.:)

  20. I might just go "I pity you." or "hey, how's it goin? good, kay, bye"

    who knows? =)


  21. Umm I'd say "Need help managing your moneys and resources?"

  22. I think I'd ask him if he's really happy.. :)

  23. I have no idea what I'd say if I met someone of this class. I'd probably ask him to do some good with his money instead of just piling it up.