Dystopian, Young Adult

Paaahhhppies… Paaahhppies will put them to sleep!

Across a Star Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund


The Skinny: On the island of Galatea, the uprising that is taking over the aristocrats has taken a deadly turn. The only hope is the mysterious Wild Poppy, a savior rescuing the aristocrats. On the neighboring island of Albion, Persis Blake is her country’s highest regarded socialite, the right hand of Albion’s queen.. and has a secret. She is the Wild Poppy.

Justen Helo has narrowly escaped Galatea, and found refuge in Albion. The grandson of the inventor of the Helo Cure, he is escaping his own secret. At the insistance of Albion’s queen, he and Persis must pretend to be a couple in order to explain why he is in Albion.

Though Persis is falling for Justen, she can’t risk showing him her true self, especially once she learns he’s hiding far more than simply his disenchantment with his country’s revolution and his undeniable attraction to the silly socialite he’s pretending to love. His darkest secret could plunge both islands into a new dark age, and Persis realizes that when it comes to Justen Helo, she’s not only risking her heart, she’s risking the world she’s sworn to protect. (partly Goodreads)

BFF?: I’ll be honest, I kind of loved Persis Blake. At first I was worried I wouldn’t, but shortly after starting I really found myself enjoying getting to know her. I didn’t think I would like the fact that she played dumb and that her silliness and shallowness would annoy me. But it actually didn’t. There were points when she would drop the facade, so her recovery was often kind of humorous. She also had this incredible sweetness to her that would shine in the most random places. All that aside… she was kind of a badass – the least likely heroine doing the most impressive thing in her entire country.

Readability: While it took me forever to read this one, I really loved it. I felt it was incredibly interesting and had lots of great drama. The writing was easy to get into without feeling childish.

Crush Level: 8
I’m not really sure exactly when I started liking Justen a whole lot, but I really did. He was kind of nerdy smart, which should have made him seem kind of awkward. But he wasn’t! While he didn’t show it that often to Persis, he dripped with charm, especially around the wealthy. It was very sigh-worthy. He also had that tortured soul thing going on for his past actions, without seeming too emo about it.

Bonus Points:
Hawaiian Holiday
The country of Albion was heavily influenced by Hawaii and really made me want to go visit. I loved the lush landscape, the clothes, the flowers… they even had luaus!


Galatea, the country across the ocean from Albion, has overthrown their queen and there is a major revolution going on. Some of the tactics and punishments they dole out are super sad and cruel. I loved all the turmoil going on there and seeing the Wild Poppy rescuing their prisoners.

Commencement Speech: If you enjoyed For Darkness Shows the Stars, I think you’ll extra enjoy Across a Star Swept Sea. Along the same lines, it is set in the same world, but in a totally different area. There’s a lot of ethical questions that are raised in regards to fixing things and the repercussions of it. The main reason that I liked this one more than its companion novel is because there’s more kissing in it. It really brought the swoons! It was also visually stunning, several scenes making me WANT to go to this place. It also brought up a lot of “feminist” issues, such as women being able to run things. I love seeing these old fashioned ideals in a futuristic setting. I’ve loved this world and characters within it. I would suggest you check out this book and its companion!

Yearbook Quote: None! ARC!

Superlatives – Best Hawaiian vacation ever!

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7 thoughts on “Paaahhhppies… Paaahhppies will put them to sleep!”

  1. So I only skimmed your review, because I have this book from Edelweiss. I’m not really a science fiction, futuristic world, dystopian society loving reader. I never read For Darkness Shows the Stars even though I hear it is so good and it’s a retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion. But this one, Across the Star-Swept Sea, is a retelling of THE SCARLET (freakin’) PIMPERNEL! Which is totally one of my favorite characters ever. Have you seen the 1982 Scarlet Pimpernel movie with Anthony Andrews? If not, you totally should. 🙂


  2. Oh, I’m skimming this because I still have to read it but I am SO excited to see some early reviews popping up:) I’m wondering if you read the novella that came out following For Darkness Shows the Stars: it’s called Among the Nameless Stars? I’m going to read it before starting Across a Star Swept Sea, curious to see if characters cross over. Anyway, I’ll be back to read your review after I finish the book:)


  3. Two words for you: star cove. That scene has got to be one of my favorite scenes in this book! But seriously, Diana has created yet another amazing story with this book. I fell completely, head over heels in love with it and just cannot stop gushing about it, if I’m being honest!


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