A Song for the Stars by Ilima Todd

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Book Review of A Song for the Stars by Ilima Todd

I’ve read and reviewed many proper romances over the last few years. It’s been so fun to get to know the characters and the styles of the different authors. Nancy Campbell Allen writes fun steampunk novels. Josi S. Kilpack writes fictional love stories about historical people. Sarah M. Eden writes of women living far from home who find love. Julianne Donaldson is a master story teller. Becca Wilhite and Julie Wright have more modern takes on the proper romance. Each author has her own individual style, and I have truly loved being able to read and review these books. A Song for the Stars by Ilima Todd is a little different from the other proper romances I’ve read. Maile, the main character, is a tough cookie! She knows who she is, what she stands for, and she’s not afraid to do what she needs to do to get it. Find out what makes this book stand out in my book review of A Song for the Stars by Ilima Todd.


“As the second daughter of a royal chief, Maile will be permitted to marry for love. Her fiancé is the best navigator in Hawai’i, and he taught her everything he knows—how to feel the ocean, observe the winds, read the stars, and how to love.

But when sailors from a strange place called England arrive on her island, a misunderstanding ends in battle, and Maile is suddenly widowed before she is wed.

Finding herself in the middle of the battle and fearing for her life, Maile takes John Harbottle, the wounded man who killed her fiancé, prisoner, and though originally intending to let him die, she reluctantly heals him. And in the process, she discovers the man she thought was her enemy might be her ally instead.

John has been Captain James Cook’s translator for three voyages across the Pacific. He is kind and clearly fascinated with her homeland and her people—and with Maile herself. But guilt continues to drive a wedge between them: John’s guilt over the death he caused, and Maile’s guilt over the truth about what triggered the deadly battle—a secret she’s kept hidden from everyone on the island.

When Maile is tasked with teaching John how to navigate using the stars so he can sail back to England, they must also navigate the challenges of being from very different cultures. In doing so, they might also find the peace that comes when two hearts become one.”

My Book Review:

I love Maile’s strong, determined character. She has her moments of doubt and weakness, for sure, but she never gives up. Her dedication to her family, especially her father, shows a lot about her values. I love the brief moments you get to see the relationship she has with her sister. It’s not just family, though. She also has a strong loyalty for her people and traditions. Maile is well developed, realistic, and a likable and relatable character.

John has a bit more mystery surrounding him because he’s the so-called enemy. Although his personality is not as obviously strong, you can tell that he has inner strength. He also has loyalty to his people and his captain. You get to hear his thoughts through his journal entries, which I liked. The story carries through Maile, but many insights and perceptions are told through John.

As I stated previously, the story is told through both John and Maile’s points of view. John’s story is told through his journal entries, while Maile narrates the story. Even with the two points of view, the story flows seamlessly. This book is well written. I like Ms. Todd’s writing style because it draws you into the story. You feel like you’re there, in Hawaii, with Maile. You feel her frustration, anger, grief, sadness, loyalty, love, pain, and peace. I love her descriptions of the island, the flowers, the people, and the traditions. I’m not much of a singer, but I loved the descriptions of the songs and chants the Hawaiian people have for navigating, mourning, and history.

I think it’s so fun for the author that this story is based on events that happened to her relatives. In order to make the story more understandable and readable, she changed a few minor details, but the people were real. What a great experience for her to be able to tell her ancestor’s story. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and definitely recommend it.

song for the stars blog tour image

Content Rating PG-13Content Rating: PG-13 (There isn’t any profanity or “intimacy,” but there is some violence. There’s fighting and some well-known characters die.)

Age Recommendation: YA (13-18) and Adult

My Rating: 4/5

4 Star Review

Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


If you’d like to purchase this book, click here: https://amzn.to/2X8V8KK


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Featured Image Credit: Goodreads.com

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