Book Review

REVIEW: Starworld

July 22, 2019

Sam Jones and Zoe Miller have one thing in common: they both want an escape from reality.

Loner Sam flies under the radar at school and walks on eggshells at home to manage her mom’s obsessive-compulsive disorder, wondering how she can ever leave to pursue her dream of studying aerospace engineering.

Popular, people-pleasing Zoe puts up walls so no one can see her true self: the girl who was abandoned as an infant, whose adoptive mother has cancer, and whose disabled brother is being sent away to live in a facility.

When an unexpected encounter results in the girls’ exchanging phone numbers, they forge a connection through text messages that expands into a private universe they call Starworld. In Starworld, they find hilarious adventures, kindness and understanding, and the magic of being seen for who they really are. But when Sam’s feelings for Zoe turn into something more, will the universe they’ve built survive the inevitable explosion?

Starworld Synopsis
Starworld Front Cover

Starworld was one of those books I was super interested in reading and maybe had hyped myself up too much for. It seemed like it would be a cool queer Bridge to Terabithia, which you know sounds awesome.

Sadly though I finished this book rather disappointed. I guess I was hoping for more of the intense fantasy-like scenes that we got from Bridge to Terabithia. Instead, we got lame text conversations between Sam and Zoe.

I mean there was nothing majorly wrong with the book, I just know that I’m disappointed and can’t fully put my finger on why. Especially without going into spoilers, but one of the plot points is one of my least favourites in queer literature and IMHO majorly overdone.

I really liked the focus on friendship here and how it all grows and two people can so quickly come to depend on each other. The friendship between Zoe and Sam here really is the main selling point.

I think had part of the LGBT plot that I don’t like not been part of this story then I could have easily given this 4 stars. It was definitely a slow read though as I kept only reading a few pages then put it down.

Overall I give Starworld 3 Stars

Starworld by Audrey Coulthurst and Paula Garner was released 16th of April 2019 by Candlewick Press. You can get your own copy at Amazon, Book Depository, Mighty Ape, Whitcoulls, Booktopia, or wherever you like to purchase books.

Follow Audrey Coulthurst:

Follow Paula Garner:

Follow Candlewick Press:

A Review Copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers in exchange for an honest review.

You Might Also Like


  • Reply CG @ Paper Fury July 23, 2019 at 1:02 am

    I ended up liking this one BUT yes,…I totally agree that a lot of things left me dissatisfied too. I thought it was going to be an f/f romance so ?I guess it is pitched as one too much?

  • Reply Ryan July 23, 2019 at 11:08 am

    I just got lost in your review while I’m meant to be working. Intrigued about the overdone plot which I’ll have to ask you about later!

  • Reply Brooklynne Michelle July 23, 2019 at 2:14 pm

    Same… and as a queer girl and reader of queer books I’m kinda really over the queer person falls for straight friend plot line… it just irritates me at this point.

  • Reply BookishBrooklyn September 24, 2019 at 12:13 pm

    I am still super disappointed in this! I thought it was going to bring an f/f romance and was so hyped for it 😥

  • Leave a Reply

    %d bloggers like this: