Book Reviews

The Stars Too Fondly by Emily Hamilton: Book Review

This is a spoiler-free review.

The Stars Too Fondly by Emily Hamilton

Published June 11th, 2024

Genres: Adult, Sci-Fi, Romance, LGBTQ+

Rating: 3 out of 5.

In her breathtaking debut—part space odyssey, part sapphic rom-com—Emily Hamilton tells a tale of galaxy-spanning friendship, improbable love, and found family.

So, here’s the thing: Cleo and her friends really, truly didn’t mean to steal this spaceship. They just wanted to know why, twenty years ago, the entire Providence crew vanished without a trace, but then the stupid dark-matter engine started on its own. Now these four twenty-somethings are en route to Proxima Centauri and unable to turn around while being harangued by a hologram that has the face and snide attitude of the ship’s missing captain, Billie.

Cleo has dreamt of being an astronaut all her life, and Earth is a lost cause at this point, so this should be one of those blessings in disguise that people talk about. But as the ship travels deeper into space, the laws of physics start twisting; old mysteries come crawling back to life; and Cleo’s initially combative relationship with Billie turns into something deeper and more desperate than either woman was prepared for.

Thank you to the publisher, HarperCollins Canada, and NetGalley for providing me an e-ARC of this audiobook. All thoughts are my own.

The Stars Too Fondly by Emily Hamilton is described as “part space odyssey, part sapphic rom-com,” which it definitely delivers on. And doesn’t that just sound awesome?

Unfortunately, while I loved the potential of this book, the actual execution fell a little short. It felt like there was a lot of telling rather than showing, which worked at the beginning to set the tone. But as the story progressed, this made me struggle to stay connected to the characters. The romance between Cleo and Billie had such great promise of being this tender, earnest thing but wound up feeling sort of convenient.

Despite this, I did really like the characters. Cleo’s found family had a cute dynamic, and Billie was a great addition to their group. The witty banter between everyone was a lot of fun and I liked all their individual voices.

Overall, I think I went into this novel with too high expectations. I wanted to love it so badly. And while it didn’t click with me as much as I wanted it to, The Stars Too Fondly is still at its heart a cute, light sci-fi/fantasy romance.

Have you read The Stars Too Fondly?

What did you think of it?

Let me know!

Liza is a twenty-something book blogger who spends way too much time with her nose in books and feels way too much. She loves cooking, baking, reality tv show watching and, of course, reading. She can be found most often with a cup of tea in one hand and a book in the other. Her blog, Literary Liza, features bookish content like reviews, recommendations, and author interviews.

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