Book Review: The Stars We Steal by Alexa Donne

Engagement season is in the air. Eighteen-year-old Princess Leonie “Leo” Kolburg, heir to a faded European spaceship, only has one thing on her mind: which lucky bachelor can save her family from financial ruin?


Young Adult, Science Fiction


400 pages


Solo Novel


February 4th 2020


Houghton Mifflin Harcourt


Owned E-Book






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Author’s Website


Engagement season is in the air. Eighteen-year-old Princess Leonie “Leo” Kolburg, heir to a faded European spaceship, only has one thing on her mind: which lucky bachelor can save her family from financial ruin?

But when Leo’s childhood friend and first love Elliot returns as the captain of a successful whiskey ship, everything changes. Elliot was the one that got away, the boy Leo’s family deemed to be unsuitable for marriage. Now, he’s the biggest catch of the season and he seems determined to make Leo’s life miserable. But old habits die hard, and as Leo navigates the glittering balls of the Valg Season, she finds herself falling for her first love in a game of love, lies, and past regrets.


Guys, this book was AMAZING! I truly truly enjoyed the hell out of this book. I loved Alexa’s first book and I’ve been counting down the days until the second book came out and I scooped it up right away and read it back in February and am SUPER late to the party on reviewing it but I loved it so much that it is still very much burned in my brain.

I absolutely loved Alexa’s first book – she took something I loved and put it in space and it honestly worked so well. There’s always some nervousness when it comes to a second book, though I try not to do that to an author because I can say with confidence that second books are so hard to write. But as soon as I heard that this book was basically Jane Austin meets The Bachelor in space, I was here for it. It has everything a girl needs for a good read.

And I was absolutely right. This book was wonderful.

The characters are absolutely dynamic and literally leap off the page – not just the main characters, but the secondary characters and even the background characters. Everything about them is genuine and real and thats incredibly important in a speculative fiction. The world isn’t familiar but the characters are and that’s what grounds the story and makes it something that you can relate to and understand. Leo’s devotion to her family and to keeping them above water, even though her father has a one track mind and doesn’t always have her best interests at heart and even though her sister is just sort of silly and flighty. I love her devotion to them and her devotion to her mother’s memory. I love that she’s whip smart and she does everything she can to provide an income to her family to avoid being married off to anyone who can save her. But I also love all the secondary characters – there is such a wide variety of characters and it genuinely feels like a full cast, just like a Jane Austen novel and its really what makes this world work.

But beyond that, Alexa is able to take the worlds that we grow to know in an Austen or Bronte novel and put it on a space station in the middle of space and it 100% works. The world building – the world colliding, if you will – is done so well that you don’t even for a moment question that this is just the reality of things. It works so well. All this fancy technology being used in this sort of archaic “season” of searching for a bachelor to marry. I love it and I completely buy into it and I wish I could be a part of this world, the same way a girl dreams she can be in an Austen novel or that she could live out in space like Princess Leia.

I also think that Alexa just writes romance so well. She never does insta-love, which I so appreciate because it is just not my thing but she is able to build all these relationships, even away from just the main characters, in a slow burn that has you just panting and begging for the couple to just kiss already. Every touch, every lingering look, every little step in the right direction makes you want to squeal or swoon like a preteen girl. I love a great romance and she knocked it seriously out of the park with this book.

Honestly, Alexa’s second novel is absolutely wonderful – fun, romantic, exciting and endlessly entertaining. She is able to take some of the best and favorite books of Austen and Bronte and turn it into an awesome science fictions today and I’m always here for that. Retellings in space/science fiction are probably one of my favorites in the world and I can’t wait to see what  Alexa brings to us in the future.


5 out of 5 Stars


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