The Light From Uncommon Stars

Ryka Aoki

Synopsis from Goodreads: An adventure set in California’s San Gabriel Valley, with cursed violins, Faustian bargains, and queer alien courtship over fresh-made donuts.

I liked this book. I read it over winter break and it was a fun, chill read. The conversations between Shizuka (a violin teacher who made a deal with the devil) and Katrina (a transgender woman with a gift for music) were my favorite parts and I felt as though those didn’t happen nearly enough. I honestly could have done without the space story. It was cute and quirky but I can’t remember the characters very well and I think it fell sort of flat to me when I compared it to the interactions between the other two main characters. That was the meat of the story and I felt like it could’ve been a stronger novel if it just stood on its own. I did love that it was set in LA, as it’s always fun when you recognize certain streets or neighborhoods in a book. But while this book wasn’t necessarily a slam dunk for me, there were many elements I found satisfying, for example Katrina’s journey to self love and discovery were so heartfelt and touching. And I can’t believe I’m about to say this but I actually wish there was less space and aliens stuff and just more about the music and Katrina and Shizukas path to self love and forgiveness. With that said I’m very interested to see what this author creates next.

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The Light From Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki
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