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The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow
Young adult

The Sound of Stars


We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Alechia Dow, on your first book!

by Alechia Dow

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Quick take

The alien-human friendship you didn't know you needed, all founded on a shared love for great tunes.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Romance


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_400

    400+ pages

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Supernatural


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_GraphicViolence

    Graphic violence


Two years ago, a misunderstanding between the leaders of Earth and the invading Ilori resulted in the deaths of one-third of the world’s population.

Seventeen-year-old Janelle “Ellie” Baker survives in an Ilori-controlled center in New York City. Deemed dangerously volatile because of their initial reaction to the invasion, humanity’s emotional transgressions are now grounds for execution. All art, books and creative expression are illegal, but Ellie breaks the rules by keeping a secret library. When a book goes missing, Ellie is terrified that the Ilori will track it back to her and kill her.

Born in a lab, M0Rr1S (Morris) was raised to be emotionless. When he finds Ellie’s illegal library, he’s duty-bound to deliver her for execution. The trouble is, he finds himself drawn to human music and in desperate need of more. They’re both breaking the rules for love of art—and Ellie inspires the same feelings in him that music does.

Ellie’s—and humanity’s—fate rests in the hands of an alien she should fear. M0Rr1S has a lot of secrets, but also a potential solution—thousands of miles away. The two embark on a wild and dangerous road trip with a bag of books and their favorite albums, all the while making a story and a song of their own that just might save them both.

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The Sound of Stars


The invasion came when we were too distracted raging against our governments to notice. Terror had a face and we elected it, my mom said. We were more divided than ever, and that division made our defeat easy.

One moment we were screaming at each other—fingers pointed at the bigotry, the chaos, the hatred—and the next our gaze lifted to the chrome spaceships hovering behind the clouds. No one knew what to do. There was panic; there was fear. Anyone who could left the city and headed for their second homes or their families out-of-state.

Not us, though. We had nowhere to go, no option but to stay behind, locked inside our apartment, waiting for the news to tell us what was happening. For days, the reports told us nothing other than what we already knew; there was now incontrovertible proof we weren’t alone in the universe.

News was hard to come by. There were whispered rumors, nothing confirmed, nothing that inspired confidence in Mom or Dad, who already expected the worst. We didn’t dare leave our apartment building till something concrete reached our ears. It never did.

Other than speculation, there was no official communication that first week. The White House was silent. It was as if they invited chaos by not releasing a statement, by not acknowledging the truth or establishing a plan. All we could do was sit on our couch and wait. That was the longest week of our lives.

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Why I love it

In a futuristic New York City, the human population is controlled by an alien race called Ilori, who have banned humans from emotional expression—including all art, music, and writing. Seventeen-year-old Ellie keeps a secret library, which, when discovered by alien boy M0Rr1S, is cause for her execution.

But sometimes emotional connections are too strong to betray, and sometimes the music is just too good to keep from dancing.

The Sound of Stars is a super charming romance filled with fun pop culture references, a highly diverse cast, and a joyful take on the future of human creativity. For fans of The Book Thief and Marissa Meyer—and all those who love storytelling—this one is for you.

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Member ratings (685)

  • katie b.

    Decatur, IN

    This had so many twists and turns! It also helped me get out of a reading slump. I’m not a huge sci-fi lover, but this called to me and I had to read it. I couldn’t put it down! Unexpected, but loved!

  • Shanna T.

    Huntingburg, IN

    Wonderful book! Perfect mix of dystopian sci-fi, adventure, and romance! I’m hoping for a sequel to this and definitely planning to read the other books she has planned in the future of that universe

  • Taylor M.

    Thomasville, GA

    The fact that this book revolved around music and books,I was in heaven. And it ended on the explanation of one of my favorite books ever. But for real, this book has so many twists,it kept me on edge

  • Charity S.

    Fort Payne, AL

    This book is phenomenal! The first few chapters was a little rough for me to get thru but it was so worth it. There are so many great lines out of this book. I just fell more and more in love with it

  • Breanna K.

    Shelby Township, MI

    i trust Ellie and M0Rr1S with my life. a phenomenal fast-paced novel with pop culture references that are not overbearing. this story was representative in a lot aspects, and about racial injustices

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