Young Adult

For Darkness Shows the Stars

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

for darkness

The Skinny: 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. – From Goodreads

BFF?: I really admired Elliot while reading this book. She took on responsibilities that should have laid with her older sister and father, working hard and making sacrifices to keep her family’s home intact. And while she puts on a brave, strong face, you can tell she’s really hurt by everything. She’s hurt by her father’s indifference and cruelty, her sister’s lack of propriety and care, and by her past. While I may not have always agreed with her choices and actions, I had tons of admiration for her and really rooted for her.

Readability: I was surprised how EASY this book was to read. I mean, it wasn’t written on a lower level or anything, it just felt right to be reading it. One thing I didn’t like – and this is weird for me – were the letters written between Elliot and Kai. Normally I LOVE this, but I just… I don’t know. Found them distracting. I liked the letters. I liked seeing Elliot and Kai BEFORE. But they took me out of the story I think.

Crush Level: 7
Even though he spends the majority of the story being mean to Elliot, I actually loved Kai. He was flawed. Majorly. But he redeemed himself over and over and over. Which I found really heartwarming. And it didn’t help that he had truly made something of himself over the years; I loved his dedication and tenacity.

Bonus Points:
Futuristic Religion
While I didn’t like the message behind this – maybe I’m over-thinking it though – I actually liked the displacement between the Luddites, the Reduced and the Post Reductionists.


Even though I said I didn’t like them, I actually liked getting to see all the letters between Elliot and Kai when they were younger. It was interesting getting to know the before Elliot and Kai and after Elliot and Kai. It also showed us the differences between their classes and the struggles they faced.


I remember really enjoying studying genetics when I was in high school, so it was interesting to see all the different uses of genetics in this book. I also liked seeing the consequences of playing with them too much!

Commencement Speech: This book has been on my “read already!” list for a while now. I’m not sure what in my brain told me to not read it sooner, but I’m soooo glad I finally did! What I loved best about this book is that it’s a retelling of a classic book, Persuasion by Jane Austen. I’ve never read this one but now I want to read it oh so much! The story was fairly simple – boy and girl are in love, boy and girl have a falling out, boy leaves girl, boy comes back and girl still loves him. The setting also was beautiful. Even though the book took place in the way distant future, I continuously saw everyone in an Austen-esque setting, which I LOVED!

My ONLY complaint is that there was not enough kissing. Books like this should always have kissing!

Yearbook Quote: “The old poems said that lovers were made for each other. But that wasn’t true for Kai and Elliot. They hadn’t been made for each other at all—quite the opposite. But they’d grown together, the two of them, until they were like two trees from a single trunk, stronger together than either could have been alone.”

Superlatives – Most likely to make you rethink science

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5 thoughts on “For Darkness Shows the Stars”

  1. I just bought this one. I’m a little afraid to start it because it seems really angsty. It sounds so good, though! I’m encouraged by your review! 🙂


  2. I really enjoyed this book, and it was different from anything I’d imagined. I thought it was actually set in space amongst the stars, lol. I had pre-ordered it simply because Persuasion is my favourite Austen novel and I wanted to see how DP pulled of a futuristic YA retelling.


  3. HAHAHA! More kissing all the way. I haven’t read this because it of the futuristic setting. I have a hard time with books like that. BUT, Diana Peterfreund has written ( I don’t think it’s out yet) another book in this same world as a retelling of The Scarlet Pimpernel! Which is awesome because the Scarlet Pimpernel is one cool character. But I’m hestistant because of the futuristic setting.


  4. The actual placement of the letters didn’t distract me, but the intentional misspellings (purposefully done because kids aren’t perfect spellers) distracted me because it took longer to decipher what some of the words were meant to be. The end was my favorite part though, because of the genetic engineering aspect. I’m usually pretty good at predicting endings but that blew me away! So interesting! Can’t wait to read the next one.


  5. I absolutely adored this book! I wasn’t sure if I’d like it initially, and it starts a bit slow. But I fell in love with the letters, with Kai and with Elliot, and the beauty of this story truly overwhelmed me. While I do wish there had been more kissing (don’t we always?), I do love their relationship oh so much. Such a slow burn!


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