Title: STARS IN HER EYES
Author: Clare C. Marshall
Publication Date: May 13th 2013
Source: eARC provided by author in exchange for honest review
"Burn hot and cold.
Disappear at will.
Dream your own death.
Welcome to Sparkstone University, where some students are more gifted than others.
When Ingrid learns she’s been accepted at the hyper-secretive Sparkstone University, she is sceptical. It’s an honour to attend, apparently, and yet barely anyone has ever heard of the place.
And everyone seems a little too happy that she’s there: especially when she meets Sunni and her group of friends. They seem to already know Ingrid. As if she was expected. Expected to save Earth from an imminent alien invasion. Like she has superpowers or something.
As if magic and mutations exist. As if aliens are really planning to attack.
That just sounds ridiculous. There’s no such thing.
* I Hereby Award This Book 5 Wings!*
When I was approached by Clare to review this book and be on the blog tour, I jumped at the chance to read something different. I haven't read a YA book about aliens (no, I haven't read the Lux series, yet). I also jumped at the chance because Clare Marshall is an author I adore. Her novel Within was one of my favourite books of 2012.
STARS IN HER EYES is a story of aliens, intrigue, exploration, exposure and most of all, it's a fun, fast-paced, page turning book where you are desperate to find out what is going to happen next. It had me biting at my nails and dying to find out what the outcome was for the students of Sparkstone as well as for Ingrid and her new friends.
Ingrid Stanley is about to start life at University. She's been accepted to the super-elite, super-secretive campus of Sparkstone University. The prestigious award might sit better with her if she ever remembered applying to go there.
Apparently, the people in charge of Sparkstone send out scouts to schools to select the smartest people, at the top of their field. They send out an acceptance letter and then the students begin their semester.
But because Ingrid and her parents had no idea when the semester began, she's a month late starting.
After packing her wordly belongings into a few meagre cases, Ingrid and her parents set out in the car on the long journey from Calgary to Sparkstone.
Upon their arrival, Ingrid meets Ms Agailya. she's responsible for the students who attend Sparkstone and she is keen to show Ingrid to her temporary accommodation, where she will remain until her personalised room is ready.
Everything at Sparkstone is tailored to the students, even the locks on the doors, as Ingrid finds out when she takes a hold of the door handle and it pricks her finger then a computerised voice tells her "DNA scan confirmed."
Once inside, Ingrid meets a student by the name of Sunni. Sunni tells her not to eat the cafeteria food if she can help it. She's a bit vague, but seems friendly enough.
Ingrid is shown to a temporary room that is twice the size of her room back home. She can't believe that students here live in such opulence. Her parents help her carry her bags inside and then it's time for Ingrid to say goodbye as she has her orientation to go to.
As she is preparing to say goodbye to her parents and attend the class, she meets a boy called Ethan. He's got dark hair and beautiful eyes. Ms Agailya asks him to show Ingrid to her orientation so that she isn't late.
Sparkstone pride themselves on their students being prompt to their classes, although they don't have your typical University lectures. Rather, they have a mixture of students from a variety of fields in each classroom doing projects and discussing their relevant topics.
Seems everything at Sparkstone is a little different from the "norm" - and it seems like they pride themselves on that difference.
Before attending Sparkstone, Ingrid studied music. She became the top of her field by excelling at playing various instruments, including the harp. She has many awards and various honours for her excellence. But once she arrives, she becomes unsure whether she will continue to study music.
Sunni introduces Ingrid to her friends, Misty, Jia and Wil. They all seem nice enough except for Misty's brusque manner.
Ingrid first discovers something odd about Sparkstone when she is on a tour of the campus with her new found friends. They're about to head into the greenhouse when Ingrid notices a workman in overalls working on a black box behind the greenhouse - only the man has a tentacle instead of a hand and Ingrid doesn't have time to question it before he's striding toward her and Sunni throws her to the floor for her own safety.
So Sparkstone is an odd place, a place where Ingrid thinks that either she's seeing things, or there's more to this University than meets the eye.
What ensues is a story about aliens and how they infiltrate the University, how they select their students carefully thanks to a gene they all contain. It's a bumpy ride for Ingrid and her friends. Her friends know more than they are letting on about the aliens. Misty doesn't like or trust Ingrid, yet Jia and Wil take her under their wing.
Ingrid's saftey is in question, as is that of the whole University and town of Sparkstone. Bombs have been planted by the hafelglob and it's up to the group to find out how to stop the attack and save the students and the town beyond the wall.
Can they save Sparkstone? Can they figure everything out in time to save Sunni? These are things you'll find out when you read it for yourself.
I really enjoyed this book. It was lightning-paced and alarmingly good. It had me on the edge of my seat and chewing my nails. As I went on, I was turning the pages faster and faster, I needed to know what happened next and couldn't put it down until I was satisfied with the answers to my questions. Not all is what it seems and it is a very intriguing book.
I think Clare Marshall is a great author. She keeps you on your toes, keeps the suspense so thick in the air that you could cut it with a knife. There are laughs, there are tantrums. There's blasts of fire, and blasts of ice too. There's a race against time to find what these aliens are doing to the campus and how they can save it all as well as themselves. You won't be sorry that you chose to pick up a copy of Stars In Her Eyes, unless of course 5 star worthy books aren't your thing!
Thank you Clare for the advanced copy. I loved every minute of it. I stayed up late just to finish it.
Thank you for coming by for my stop on the blog tour. Hope to see you all again soon!