Author: Melissa Landers
Published by: Disney-Hyperion
Publication date: February 2, 2016
Genres: Science Fiction, Romance, Adventure
Summary from Goodreads:
Life in the outer realm is a lawless, dirty, hard existence, and Solara Brooks is hungry for it. Just out of the orphanage, she needs a fresh start in a place where nobody cares about the engine grease beneath her fingernails or the felony tattoos across her knuckles. She's so desperate to reach the realm that she's willing to indenture herself to Doran Spaulding, the rich and popular quarterback who made her life miserable all through high school, in exchange for passage aboard the spaceliner Zenith.
When a twist of fate lands them instead on the Banshee, a vessel of dubious repute, Doran learns he's been framed on Earth for conspiracy. As he pursues a set of mysterious coordinates rumored to hold the key to clearing his name, he and Solara must get past their enmity to work together and evade those out for their arrest. Life on the Banshee may be tumultuous, but as Solara and Doran are forced to question everything they once believed about their world—and each other—the ship becomes home, and the eccentric crew family. But what Solara and Doran discover on the mysterious Planet X has the power to not only alter their lives, but the existence of everyone in the universe...
I was ready for a space odyssey. I’m a girl who grew up watching Star Trek and Star Wars with my family. When a book is released exploring a new frontier, I’m there. Starflight takes us from Earth to the outer realms of our planet. Some realms are for farmers, some for explorers, and some for vacations of the wealthy. That’s how Solara’s life gets intertwined with Doran’s. She’s desperate to get somewhere and he decides he can take on a servant (yes, the book begins with her being his servant…but she gets some payback). Solara and Doran end up traveling with some quirky characters and get themselves in a few pickles. The book was a little predictable, but still a fun, quick-read adventure.
Solara’s character is cool. She’s a mistaken (sort of) felon, intelligent, and a great mechanic. She’s also a decent human being, able to give and forgive. Where characterization fell short for me with Solara and especially Doran – Melissa Landers fell into quite a few YA stereotypes. I’ve listed some of them here:
This relationship set up in YA novels is so overused. Let’s be a little more creative. However, if that doesn’t bother you, and you also like a good space odyssey, you’ll probably love Starflight. Part western, part heist – Starflight is a fun, action-packed adventure and romance that will keep you entertained.
Would I let my teen read this book?
There are some sexual and violent themes in Starflight, but they’re not over detailed, which makes this book more appropriate for young teens. Themes about family, trust, and teamwork add to the charm of this tale. For these reasons, I’ve recommended this book for everyone 14 and up.
Age recommendation: 14
Language – mild
Drugs & Alcohol – Doran parties heavily with alcohol; Doran and Solara (unknowingly) take a kind of drug at a dance party; alcohol is referenced regularly as a way to have fun
Sex – Doran has a girlfriend who he has sex with and her panties are found in the elevator; Solara and Doran also get physically intimate – there are explosions along their skin, restless hips, and choppy breaths
Violence – hand to hand combat; tasers and explosions
My Goodreads rating: 3 out of 5 stars
I read a lot. I'm a Mom. I'm officially in my 30s, but strangers often don't believe I'm old enough to drink. I love Young Adult fiction, and thought it was worthwhile to help teens and adults find age-appropriate options.