Chasing the Stars – Malorie Blackman

The first Malorie Blackman novel I have read (I know shoot me!) and I couldn’t put it down; also my first reimagining of a Shakespeare play and I wasn’t disappointed. I didn’t really know what to expect, would it take on a serious tone or try to keep it lighter for the YA audience (as I said I haven’t read one of her books before)? I know that Malorie deals with hard hitting issues, making them accessible to a younger audience but that is about the extent of my knowledge.

Olivia (Vee) has been travelling through space with her twin brother Aiden, trying to return to Earth. That is until they come across a human distress beacon and Vee intervenes to try and save the lives of as many people as possible, one of those people being Nathan. Like most of Shakespeare’s tales they fall instantly in love much to the dismay of Aiden and Nathan’s crew mates. Being only eighteen years old Vee becomes resented by most of Nathan’s crew which is further enhanced as events begin to unfold.

As Othello is a tragedy I had a feeling how the story was going to unfold but the journey I was taken on was one of mystery and intrigue. I became fully immersed in the world and the problems that come with a relationship in such close quarters. I will admit at times I could relate to the fears that each of them faced and how difficult it seems to overcome the smallest of problems.

The book is littered with Shakespeare references and references to our own society as Vee is a fan of “retro” twentieth and twenty-first century films. I loved them, and I also loved when I knew which play they were from (a pat on the back for me).

I won’t say too much about the novel except that it was such a journey of love that is both young and yet timeless and I fully recommend that everybody should read this book; I know I will be reading her other books as soon as I am able.

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