June 27, 2012

RTW: Best June Read

Road Trip Wednesday is a 'Blog Carnival' where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic. 

This week's topic:

I'm cheating a little here and going with a book that I'm still reading. Though, it's not exactly cheating because I already know the basic story. My pick is For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund, a retelling of Austen's Persuasion.

It's been several generations since a genetic experiment gone wrong caused the Reduction, decimating humanity and giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family's estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot's estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth--an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go.

But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret--one that could change their society . . . or bring it to its knees. And again, she's faced with a choice: cling to what she's been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she's ever loved, even if she's lost him forever.

Inspired by Jane Austen's "Persuasion", "For Darkness Shows the Stars" is a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it. (from Goodreads)


Persuasion is my favourite Jane Austen story, so when I found out that For Darkness Shows the Stars—a book that I was already anticipating—was a post-apocalyptic retelling, I was more than a little excited to get my hands on it. Like I said, I haven't completely finished it yet, but what I've read so far, and given that I already know the basic premise, it definitely deserves Best June Read status. Pride and Prejudice gets a lot of attention, but to me, Persuasion has so much more feeling. This take on Austen's novel has all of the heart-wrenching regret and longing of the original with a unique twist. 

Well worth the read!

33 comments:

  1. I've yet to read PERSUASION, so that's definitely on my TBR. If I enjoy it, I might have to check out this re-telling. Thanks for the recommendation, Jaime! :)

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    1. It's not a long book (especially not compared to EMMA or PRIDE AND PREJUDICE), so it should be a quick read. I just feel like Jane Austen poured her heart and soul into it. It was the last book she wrote before she died, and I can't help wondering if it reflected her own regrets about past romance.

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  2. I coincidently first heard about this book a week or so ago! I love the very intense twist on the story - some novels are branded as 're-tellings' but are just the same story set in our modern world. This definitely was more out of the box thinking!

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    1. Definitely out of the box thinking! I like when authors get really creative with re-tellings. CINDER is an excellent example of this as well. I'd love to read more like these two books, and I feel a little envious that I didn't think of it first! :)

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  3. WHOA. You definitely made me want to read this book and I probably never would have picked it up otherwise! Thanks!

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    1. I was totally interested in reading it BEFORE I found out it was a re-telling of PERSUASION. When I found that out, it definitely sold me on it. I like re-tellings, but especially when they're this creative. :)

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  4. Dude I want to read this book SO badly!!! Thanks for spotlighting it. (I also did RTW this week,too!) I think I just have to take myself to the bookstore (or library) and get all the RTW books ;-)

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    1. It's really good and a really unique twist on a classic. Both this and CINDER make me wish I'd come up with such great spins on familiar stories. :)

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  5. I haven't read Persuasion yet. But I've heard great things about it. And this book sounds really interesting. I'm not usually the romance type but I'd be intrigued to read it. :)

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    1. PERSUASION has so much heart in it. It was the last book Austen wrote before she died, and I can't help thinking some of her own romance regrets are reflected on the page. Such a heart-wrenching story with a great ending. :)

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  6. I too need to read Persuasion (*hangs head in shame*) but I read FOR DARKNESS and I really liked it! I thought the writing was lovely and I really loved Elliot as a protagonist: strong yet vulnerable, kind yet stubborn when necessary. Plus, the cover. Love that cover!

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    1. PERSUASION is just such a great story—full of regret, longing, and sadness, but also forgiveness and a great ending. I'm not quite finished FOR DARKNESS (close, but not quite), but I love it! :)

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  7. Yeah, PERSUASION is my jam. I love that book, and consequently, I will read [and usually love] any adaptation that ever comes around. Can't wait to get my hands on this one :)

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    1. Likewise. :) I was working on a contemporary re-telling of PERSUASION until I saw FOR DARKNESS SHOWS THE STARS on Goodreads and realized her version sounded so much more interesting. I'll get back to mine at some point but for now→ wind sucked out of sails. That's all right, because this is a great read! :)

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  8. I've only seen a movie version of Persuasion (the book is still sitting on my shelf unread - I know I KNOW!) I've seen this book on the blogs lately, I'm intrigued. I'll add it to the list.

    (currently I'm going through the 2011 books I wanted to read)

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    1. It's a unique spin on the original and very enjoyable. :) I'm trying to get through some of the books on my shelves, but FOR DARKNESS SHOWS THE STARS was one of my recent acquisitions that didn't fall into this category. I would feel guilty about that, except I'm enjoying the book too much! :)

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  9. This is my fave Austen. One of the best stories around. I am totally going to check it out. And the BBC film from a few years ago is so AMAZING, too.
    I saw the name Wentforth and thought, oh, like Wentworth-- lovely way to play around with that name. YAY-- thanks for sharing.

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    1. I love PERSUASION so much. The latest movie version is fantastic! This is probably Austen's best, in my opinion. It was her last book before she died, and I can't help thinking it has some of her own regrets about love reflected in the pages. To me, that makes it a much more heart-wrenching read, but with the happy ending that Austen never got. :)

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  10. I can't wait to get my hands on that book! I haven't read Persuasion (yet) but this sounds so great.

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    1. It's a true but totally unique take on the original, which is fantastic! PERSUASION is by far my favourite Austen story, and I think Peterfreund did a great job re-telling it in a very creative way. :)

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  11. Ok, I'm just repeating everyone else, but Persuasion is my favorite Austen, too! I will have to read this one now.

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  12. I've heard such good things about this book! Excited to give it a read!

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  13. Oh my gosh I want to read this book SO BAD!!! I'm waiting for my library to get it in. Persuasion is also a favorite of mine and I have another reason to want to read this since I wrote my own Persuasion retelling, though not post-apocalyptic.

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  14. I need to add this book to my TBR! Lovely review, Jaime (and NOT wordy at all in contrary to what you wrote in your comment to my post :D)

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  15. I haven't read PERSUASION. No matter, this sounds excellent. Thanks for the review, Jaime!

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  16. This sounds like a book definitely worth checking out, even though I haven't read Persuasion. June was a slow reading month for me once again, I'm afraid. But the one book I did manage to read also managed to blow me away. That book is Wool by Hugh Howey, a sci-fi short story. You should totally check it out if you haven't already.

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  17. This was one of my Book Expo misses...I stood in line for an hour and they ran out:( I'm so looking forward to it (LOVE Persuasion too!)

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  18. I'm such a big fan of Persuasion, and this version sounds incredible! It definitely has to go on my TBR list. Thanks for the recommendation!

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  19. Wow! I will most definitely have to add this to my TBR list. I can't believe how jaw-droppingly incredible this sounds. Thanks, Jaime! :)

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  20. I posted my review of this last weekend, but now I'm re-reading Persuasion because of it :) (Do you ever get the feeling Jane Austen had a really annoying friend or relative named Mary?) This re-read is making me appreciate FDSTS even more! I think what both that book and Cinder have in common is how free the authors were with the parts of the stories that weren't essential to the stories they wanted to tell. The results, in both cases, felt like stories that could totally stand alone, but which rewarded fans of the originals.

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  21. Sounds so interesting. I love my Austen.

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  22. Have not even heard of that, but it sounds like something I'd like. And I agree about Persuasion, though it may just be a stage-of-life thing for me. P&P is for the young woman in me, and Persuasion for the me that's looking back.

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  23. I keep seeing reviews for this one, and I'm so excited about it! Although I'm probably going to read Persuasion first so I can really appreciate that it's a retelling.

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