Title: Tin Star
Author: Cecil Castellucci
Series: Tin Star #1
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication Date: February 25, 2014
Source: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
On their way to start a new life, Tula and her family travel on the Prairie Rose, a colony ship headed to a planet in the outer reaches of the galaxy. All is going well until the ship makes a stop at a remote space station, the Yertina Feray, and the colonist's leader, Brother Blue, beats Tula within an inch of her life. An alien, Heckleck, saves her and teaches her the ways of life on the space station.
When three humans crash land onto the station, Tula's desire for escape becomes irresistible, and her desire for companionship becomes unavoidable. But just as Tula begins to concoct a plan to get off the space station and kill Brother Blue, everything goes awry, and suddenly romance is the farthest thing from her mind.
I absolutely loved the first 150 pages of this book. The world building was enjoyable and I really felt bad for the situation Tula finds herself in. I felt her hatred for Brother Blue deep down and I loved how she was able to carve out a life under less than ideal circumstances. Tula is definitely a survivor and loved watching her learn to adapt to dealing with aliens and life on a satellite.
The other aliens were enjoyable characters as well, especially Heckleck. For a scary bug-looking alien, I really did like him a lot in the end and his kindness towards Tula.
The last 80 pages went downhill. My main (but huge) complaint was that it felt like the author tried to cram some YA romance into the last 80 pages. It felt rushed and unnatural and weird and this book might have been a five star read if it wasn't for that! The whole thing with Reza was weird.
I know a lot of other reviews mention the lack of world building, but I actually didn't have any problems in this area. I felt like there were enough hints dropped as to how the universe got to it's current state and I didn't have any outstanding questions by the last page. And usually I'm a huge stickler for world building.
Overall, I really liked Tin Star, right up until an awkward romance was crammed into the last 80 pages. Honestly, the whole thing with Reza dropped this one from a 4.5 to a 3.5. I love this trend of YA space books!