“I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.”
This quote is attributed to Vincent Van Gogh, but writers have found as much inspiration in the stars as artists. A quick survey of the shelves of the young adult section in library turns up dozens of books that invoke the imagery of stars in their title, whether they are science fiction, fantasy, or set in the real world of the past or present.
Fantasy or Supernatural
- Starry Nights by Daisy Whitney is an unusual romance set in Paris: a boy falls in love
- with a cursed girl, trapped in a painting.
- Fans of creepy ghost stories and serial killer mysteries with stay up late reading The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson. (2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults)
- The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White is a funny, light-hearted story of a the family and romantic drama that comes with being a girl who is descended from Egyptian gods.
- Shakespearean theater and fairies will enchant readers of Lisa Mantchev’s Eyes Like Stars.
Dystopian or Post-Apocalpytic
- Across a Star-Swept Sea and For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund are both retellings of classic storiesâ€”The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emma Orczy and Jane Austen’s Persuasionâ€”set in a future world where a large portion of the population have been “reduced” to a limited capacity through genetic engineering.
- Shadows Cast by Stars by Catherine Knutsson blends mythology and Arthurian Legend to tell a story of a world in which blood has become a contested commodity.
- Crime-fighting superheroes with a dash of magic make Dark Star by Bethany Frenette a fun read.
Set in Space
- It’s no surprise that science fiction novels involving space travel often invokes imagery of the stars in their titles. Tin Star by Cecil Castellucci and Starglass by Phoebe North both explore space travel and contact with aliens.
- These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner is a star-crossed romance between two teens whose spaceship crashes on a distant planet.
- Old Hollywood glam and movie stars dazzle in Starstruck by Rachel Shukert.
- Jepp, Who Defied the Stars by Katherine Marsh is the story of a 15th century adeventurer who seeks to discover if his destiny is written in the stars.
- The Star Shack by Lila Castle is a fun, beachside summer romance where two teens spend the summer telling fortunes in a boardwalk astrology booth.
- Photography, celebrities…Shooting Stars by Allison Rushby will have you seeing stars.
Realistic Drama and Mystery
- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green is bittersweet, witty romance between to teens coping with cancer. (2012 Teens’ Top Ten)
- Dance, romance…When the Stars Go Blue by Caridad Ferrer has the perfect combination for reading under the stars.
- Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller is a contemplative, introspective story of letting love into your life, whether its the love of your family or romantic love.
- Made of Stars by Kelley York is full of secrets, mystery, a murder, and love in unexpected places.
What other “starry” books would you add to the list?
— Molly Wetta, who wanted to call in sick to work today to read Dreams of Gods and Monster by Laini Taylor (but is dutifully waiting until the evening to start it!)