Author: Wende Dikec
Publisher: Inkspell Publishing
Published: March 26th, 2016
Genre: Science Fiction
Source: I received a copy of this book from Bewitching Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
What happens when the beautiful swan becomes the ugly duckling?
Starr Valentine has a perfect life in Middleton, Ohio. She was named captain of the cheer squad, her mother finally allowed her to get highlights, and the cutest boy in school asked her to homecoming. But everything comes crashing down when she finds out her parents are actually monarchs in exile from a mysterious planet called Vega. Starr doesn’t want to leave, but loves the idea of being a princess, and decides moving to an alien world might not be so bad. When she gets there, however, she discovers that something is terribly wrong.
Starr has always been the winner of the family, but now everyone is fawning over her chubby older sister, Astra. And everyone, even a handsome and annoying young duke named Julian, seems to hate her. That is when she realizes the awful truth. Astra is now the pretty one. Astra has all the friends. Astra gets all of the attention. And Starr Valentine, voted Miss Perfect, is now the ugly duckling. Her biggest fear is…will she be able to turn back into a swan, or is she doomed to be a loser forever?
Starr Valentine is your typical popular high school girl. She's beautiful, spoiled, the hottest guy asked her to homecoming - where she expects to be announced Queen. Her sister - Astra - isn't as lucky in the looks department, but she has maturity and kindness in spades. When their mother announces that they are aliens and will be returning to their home planet, Starr is ecstatic. She always knew she was princess and now it will be official, but everything on their home world is not what Starr expected.
Let me give it to you straight... Starr is exactly how the bratty, spoiled girls when I was in school acted. Let me say, it wasn't pleasant to be inside one of their heads. I REALLY didn't like listening to Starr commenting of the fatness of her mother or just how "special" she is. Although, once the story progressed and Starr realizes that she's not the most beautiful person on her home world, Vega, she does have an attitude change that is much needed - it felt like I had to be inside of her head more than I would have liked.
My absolute favorite aspect of Starr Valentine is the world Wende Dikec created. Vega is imagined to be a wondrous place that I wish I could visit. Her prose and world-building are spot on. (I had to read this on a different device than I usually do, so I don't have examples and quotes for you, but trust me - the writing is amazing!)
I think the moral of the story kind of overlaps the romance - which I actually enjoyed. Julian is a charming love interest. It especially pleased me that he wasn't falling over himself to be with Starr. She had to make a positive change in her life in order to be truly attractive to him. Again... love it!
If you a fan of selfish brats learning valuable lessons, handsome Dukes with a good head on their shoulders, a mother and sister who are beautiful - even when the narrator doesn't think so, alien worlds with vivid imagery, and a smooth writing style that flowed - then Starr Valentine is the book for you.
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About Wende Dikec:
Wende Dikec has spent her life traveling the world, and collecting stories wherever she visited. She writes in several romance genres, and her books are quirky, light, and fun. Fluent in several languages and married to a man from Istanbul, Wende is a trekkie, a book hoarder, master of the Nespresso machine, and mother of three boys. A puppy named Capone is the most recent addition to her family, and she blogs about him as a way of maintaining what little sanity she has left.