Vile Stars

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Pub Date 14 Apr 2022 | Archive Date 19 May 2022
Farshore, Electric Monkey

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A gripping, haunting and beautifully written book for fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, They Both Die at the End and Holly Jackson.

How can the things you love hurt so much?
17-year-old Luka isn’t looking for love. She’s trying to piece her life back together after a heartbreaking loss. But when she meets the gorgeous and charismatic Cosmo under a meteor shower at the Greenwich Observatory, it feels like destiny has played a hand. Surely theirs is a love written in the stars.
But Cosmo isn’t what he seems, using Luka's love for him to slowly take control of her life. As the pandemic starts to make headlines and lockdown sets in, she is trapped emotionally and physically in a coercive relationship. Luka’s friends and brother can see what’s happening, but struggle to reach her. Something will have to be sacrificed so Luka can set herself free – but what will be left of her when she does?


This is a different kind of love story.

A gripping, haunting and beautifully written book for fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, They Both Die at the End and Holly Jackson.

How can the things you love hurt...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9780755500741
PRICE £8.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 9 members

Featured Reviews

Holy Hell this book was incredible. first the writing was incredible, it was so engaging and flowed really well with no lulls in tension, pacing or plot, the storyline was compelling and interesting and the characters were either loveable - Luka or detestable - Cosmo but all of them added something to the plot. I took Luka to my heart her grief and loss were palpable and almost suffocating to read about but that just made me love her more.
This was an emotive and heart- wrenching read in parts and also so twisty and unpredictable in others and had a chilling atmosphere interwoven through it.
This is an important book as sadly during the Pandemic there were lots of toxic relationships that really took it up a notch during lockdown causing many women, men and children to suffer and this is the first book that I have read about the pandemic that focuses on the aspect. I also think its an important read for young adults and teens as many may be able to relate to Luka but not know how to handle that or recognise the signs.
I really enjoyed it and i think the title is a really clever addition to the book.

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"Grief is just Love with nowhere to go"

After the powerhouse that was "This Can Never Not Be Real" I was both reluctant and desperate to read "Vile Stars" because really you think such things can't possibly get you again in the same way.

It didn't. It got me on all sorts of other levels- not only in the remembered and still felt grief for my own Mother but in the tangible sense of it that will linger for a long time.

Vile Stars is an exquisite portrait of grief and the darkness such vulnerability can attract.

Seen through the eyes of friends and family, Luka's spiral downwards and the desperate situation she finds herself in whilst looking for impossible answers is darkly observant and hugely relatable. The sense of being unable to change anything whilst wanting to change everything is palpable throughout this story as it unfolds. It was beautiful and horrible and melancholy and uplifting all at the same time.

Now I've finished it I'm not sure that love conquers all but I'm damn sure it won't die trying.

Fantastic writing and I will unapologetically and immediately read everything this author writes in the future.

Highly Recommended.


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I was a bit nervous to read Sera Milano's new book, Vile Stars, as I loved This Can Never Not Be Real so much I didn't think it would compare and I was terrified of being disappointed.

I am thrilled to report that I absolutely loved this book and Sera Milano is 100% an autobuy author for me. It was just incredible.

Vile Stars is about Luka, a teenage girl grieving her mother, feeling confused and lonely she's in a vulnerable place. Luka meets Cosmo at a meteor shower and quickly falls under his spell. Cosmo is someone who sees her for who she is, who makes her feel loved, so why can't her friends and family be happy for her?

I am always drawn to books about coercive relationships and this book does it so well. Told in the same short, punchy format as This Can Never Not Be Real, it's easy to read and hard to put down.

I wish this book would be handed to every teenager out there so they can learn the signs of controlling people and relationships before it's too late. Not that the onus should be on young people to spot the signs, it just shouldn't happen, but unfortunately it does and if a book like this can save one person then it is worth its weight in gold.

There's so much more I want to say about this book but this caption is already long so I'll just say on the flip side of a traumatic relationship we also have a beautiful story in Alec and Theo and I love the representation in this book.

There are lots of trigger warnings for this book which are mentioned in the beginning before the story starts. Sera Milano really strikes me as an author who cares about people, mental health and representation and her acknowledgements have lots of great support websites for the issues mentioned throughout the book.

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Sera Milano’s This Can Never Not Be Real was the first book I read this year and it absolutely blew me away. Vile Stars is no different. It is such an incredibly powerful book. Another easy 5 stars.

Vile Stars is the story of Luka Booth, a 17 year old girl trying to piece her life back together after a devastating loss. When she meets Cosmo under a meteor shower it seems like fate. But Cosmo isn’t what he seems and he uses Luka’s love for him to slowly take control of her life. As the country finds itself gripped by Covid 19, Luka becomes trapped in a coercive relationship. Whilst her friends and family can see what’s happening they struggle to reach Luka. Can she herself find a way out, and if so what will be left of her when she does?

Given the nature of this book I urge the reader to read both Milano’s content warning at the start and her author’s note at the end.

Much like its predecessor, Vile Stars is written in a unique way that works perfectly to tell it’s story. Written as episodic podcasts the main voices we hear from are Luka’s brother Alec, his boyfriend Theo and Luka’s best friend Roisin. We also hear from Luka herself in letters written to her mum that Alec incorporates into the podcast. In addition to these four main characters we are given the insight of several other key people throughout.

Whilst this story is predominantly focused on Luka we learn so much about the other characters. They are all so well developed, each with their own distinct personalities and their own issues that they’re trying to deal with whilst also worrying about Luka. I especially loved Theo for his bravery in being so determined to be true to who he is.

The subject matter of this book is very dark and heavy but it never once felt a chore to read. Whilst Milano deals sensitively and carefully with all the issues the characters face, she’s also not afraid of exposing just how dark and dangerous thinks can get. This is a YA book and I really think it’s vital reading for young people.

Another phenomenal book from Milano, I can’t wait to see what she writes next.

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