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Starglass (The Starglass Sequence) Kindle Edition

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Length: 464 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled Age Level: 12 and up
Grade Level: 7 and up

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 10 Up–Humanity was given five years to prepare when they learned that an asteroid would destroy Earth. The healthiest were sent away in every direction in the hopes that the human race could survive and find a new home, while the rest were left to wait. Nearly 500 years have passed since the asteroid arrived, and the only home that Terra has ever known is on the Asherah, a massive spaceship ferrying roughly 1000 Jewish settlers to their new planet. Nearing her 16th birthday and the end of her journey, Terra is pulled into an underground resistance movement when she witnesses the brutal murder of a passenger at the hands of the captain's guard. She learns that her life has been a facade of false choice and classism, and that her mother's death may not have been natural. On the ship there are strict requirements about marriage, to the extent that all boys are sterilized at puberty and all new children grown in labs. When Terra is introduced to the resistance through the boy whom she has agreed to marry, she learns that he is involved with another male member of the resistance. Through diary entries, readers learn that the resistance started with Terra's great-grandmother over her dissatisfaction with being contractually obligated to marry a man on the ship. The intrigue builds as it becomes clear that Terra's ancestors may have been the first to rebel. While there are certainly strong science-fiction overtones and dystopian influences, the claustrophobic nature of the ship grounds the characterization. This book offers an excellent resource to support diversity as marriage equality and LGBT issues are a dominant factor in the narrative, making it more interesting than many similar titles.–Ryan F. Paulsen, New Rochelle High School, NYα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

In North’s dystopian debut, space-traveling ship Asherah is the only home 15-year-old Terra Fineberg has ever known. Five hundred years ago, the ship left behind an Earth destroyed by an asteroid strike. Now a tightly regulated place run by a traditionalist council, Asherah carries fewer than 1,000 people as it heads for the planet Zehava, which the council aims to settle while they carry on centuries of earthly Jewish traditions. Each citizen has a life map: they’re shunted into the talent they display when they come of age, matched with a genetically ideal partner, and required to raise two children born outside the womb in a sort of hatchery. Burdened with a distant father, a dead mother, and a preordained future, Terra is angrily resigned to a life she doesn’t want. Then she witnesses a murder and discovers a rebellion, and her perspective abruptly shifts direction. With its onion-skin layers of plots and subterfuge around issues of trust and loyalty—not to mention a very strong writing style—this stellar debut should have strong interest from dystopian fans. Hand to fans of Maria V. Snyder or Beth Revis. Grades 7-12. --Julie Trevelyan

Product Details

  • File Size: 5829 KB
  • Print Length: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (July 23, 2013)
  • Publication Date: July 23, 2013
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #460,728 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Phoebe North lives in New York State with her husband and many licensed novels. A graduate of the University of Florida's MFA program in poetry, she likes to cook, watch Degrassi, sew, take her cat for walks, and, of course, write. Despite many soaked pages, she loves to read in the bath.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jill on July 23, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Starglass is surprising. It's seemingly a pretty formulaic YA novel. There's an awkward heroine with the typical YA tropes: she's unsure of herself, worried about her future, and pluckily desperate to overturn the current social system. There's a love triangle--well, sort of--and the plot itself is simple to follow. But beneath the stereotypical exterior, Starglass ends up being quite different from the usual, and that's what I most appreciated about it.

For example, take the two love interests. Normally, YA boys are gooey constructions manufactured to make young female hearts sputter wildly, but the boys in this novel are frustrating...and not in a sexual way. I wanted to punch both of them at times, which I found oddly refreshing. Perfect teenage boys do not exist, so they shouldn't exist in the fictional realm. One love interest in particular reminded me of every spoiled, elitist prep school boy that I've had the misfortune of attending school with, and I loved it. It was cathartic to hate him, and not in a I-hate-you-but-also-find-your-arrogant-wiles-attractive way but in a pure I-hate-you-so-much-it-makes-me-want-to-stick-my-hand-in-a-blender way.

The other characters defy likeability standards as well. The story begins with the death of Terra's mother, but instead of lionizing the mother, North paints her character ambiguously. My feelings about every character are ambivalent, which I think relates to North's overall theme: things aren't cut and dry. Everyone is a mix of good and bad, so we must act in line with moral standards we've personally determined to be acceptable.

My second favorite thing is the discussion of sundry social issues.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Christina (A Reader of Fictions) on July 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Phoebe North's Starglass has been on my radar ever since I learned that the author was once a prominent blogger. I've never read that blog and don't know too much about her, but I like supporting bloggers, so I wanted to read this book. I always expect big things from bloggers who publish, because they know better than anyone what tropes to avoid, or so I assume. For the most part, that was very true in Starglass and I did very much enjoy North's debut.

The plot on a basic level is highly reminiscent of Beth Revis' Across the Universe trilogy. However, in the course of one book, North takes the plot through what took two books in that series: the dissent on the ship and the approach to the planet towards which they've been heading. This is not to say that the two are identical by any means, because they're not. In fact, I think I rather like Starglass better, both for the abbreviated time on ship and for the more interesting characters.

As I mentioned already, North does a lot of those things bloggers regularly request. There's diversity in that everyone on board the Asherah is Jewish, this being one of many ships that departed Earth as its destruction neared the Asherah only accepted those of Jewish descent. One of Terra's ancestors, a non-practicing Jew and a lesbian (squee!) found a place on the ship. There are other gay characters as well, which is awesome, even if society does not approve, which is less awesome.

Another fantastic thing is how many of the authority figures on the Asherah are female. Women and men are in equal standing here. The current leader of the guard is an imposing female by the name of Captain Wolff.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C. Schoon on July 23, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Starglass is simply a fabulous read. Bottom line: Phoebe North's new novel offers matchless speculative fiction for any reader with an eye for richly textured characters, wildly imaginative world-building and a story that will compel you to follow Terra into a human future as astonishing as it is credible. Life aboard the vast starship Asherah is, on the surface, well-ordered and predictable. The colonists who live, work and farm within its cavernous interior are keenly focused: after escaping a dying Earth some 500-years ago, their epic voyage to the planet that will become their new home is nearing its end. But there's much more to life aboard the ship than meets the eye, and the stunning plot twists that soon envelope Terra make for the sort of reading that will keep you up late, turning just one more page, then just one more... hmmm... 1 AM?... OK, just one more paragraph.... Very highest recommendation and frankly a five star rating isn't starry enough.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I'm conflicted about this book, or rather how I think about it. On the one hand it does some things really, really well; others it does satisfactorily, but some things frustrated the hell out of me. I'm going to try and talk about all of these things.

The stuff it does really, really well: Diversity. First of all, this is a Jewish spaceship. Peopled solely by Jewish people. It's so nice to read about some religion other than Christianity, honestly. I loved that. Then there's the fact that the book opens with a letter from a lesbian woman to her daughter. I nearly did a fist-pump at that. The fact that gay is not shuffled to the back like it's something that never happens. I really appreciated the fact that the author used this science fiction setting to explore the issues of homophobia and gay rights. The right of choice is a strong theme throughout the book.

Other things worked for me, but didn't raise that 'hell-yes' feeling in me. Like how Terra reacted in certain situations. How she felt about her situation, and her role in the greater scheme of things. The way the community developed and changed over the 500 years they were traveling to their destination was eminently believable. The writing was straight-forward and easy to read through. This was a quick read - I'd fly through 20-30 pages before I even realized I had. I was glad that romance wasn't a focus, really glad actually, though I think it probably will be in the next book.

But, yeah, there's always a 'but'...But, there were things that left me shaking my head in frustration. I'm a character reader. I love characters, they are what makes me invest in the story first and foremost. Second is the world. Preferably I'd have both of these in my books.
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