Book Quibbles: Starworld Review

*rolls through the post-apocalyptic landscape with immense satisfaction*

Thanks to Net Galley for the free copy for an honest review.


Net Galley


Author: Audrey Coulthurst; Paula Garner

Candlewick Press

Publication Date: 16 April 2019

Rating: 4/5 Stars

In a novel in two voices, a popular teen and an artistic loner forge an unlikely bond — and create an entire universe — via texts. But how long before the real world invades Starworld?



Two people become unexpected friends: Sam is a loner who loves art and space and is dealing with her OCD mom. Zoe is a popular theater girl who seems to have the perfect life until she goes home to her mom who has cancer and disabled brother.

One day Zoe goes into the art room to find one of Sam’s paintings and falls in love with it, hoping it will become the backdrop for the school play. Because of this, they exchange numbers and after a while, begin to text. At first, it’s about the painting or asking about each other’s day, but soon they create their own world, Starworld, and use it to escape their crushing realities.

Unlikely Friends 

I liked reading between the two different points of view because at first, it seems like neither have anything in common, but the more you learn about their home lives and their own personal issues, it seems as if they became friends when they needed each other the most.

With Sam, she has to deal with her mom’s OCD holding her back from meeting new people and visiting her dad in London. With Zoe, she doesn’t want people going to her house and seeing her mom and brother, who is being taken away to a facility to care for him.

After some exchanges, in person and in a text, the two start to open up about their struggles. For Sam, it’s not being able to open up and think she’s too weird to make friends. For Zoe, it’s the worry of her family and since she’s adopted, believing she’s defective and no one will want her.

Zoe helps Sam believe she’s worthy of friendship and is a fun, interesting person to be around who can do things on her own without her mom. Sam helps Zoe get through her brother being taken away and finding out the truth about where she comes from.

However, Sam starts to feel things toward Zoe and sometimes, she thinks Zoe feels the same way, but by showing her feelings, will she destroy the world they created?


I like the overall theme of the book, that people come into your life when they’re supposed to, to help you get through things, and maybe they’ll only be there for weeks or months, but they came and left when it was meant to be.

I read this in one day, granted I was traveling so I had time, but it still kept me reading. I liked their growing relationship and the world they created. I liked that they weren’t stereotypical teenagers saying phrases or constantly being on social media. I felt they were pretty relatable.

This book got to me in a good way. Sometimes I’d tear up when Zoe was talking about her brother and hoping the facility treats him right. Of course, I’m a bit older, but still, feel the message comes across strong and clear and can be taken at any age.








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