Title: Scavenge the Stars
Author: Tara Sim
Publication Date: January 7, 2020
Age Range: YA
First things first, Tara Sim is such a badass in all the best ways. Lauren and I were lucky enough to attend her author’s event while she was in Seattle, and it was such an awe-inspiring experience. After hearing from Tara herself about writing this book, I couldn’t wait to crack it open, and I absolutely devoured it. From the character dynamics, to the plot twists (and trust me, they certainly “rammed me with a truck”), Scavenge the Stars has become an instant favorite.
Messy and flawed and honest.
When Amaya rescues a mysterious stranger from drowning, she fears her rash actions have earned her a longer sentence on the debtor ship where she’s been held captive for years. Instead, the man she saved offers her unimaginable riches and a new identity, setting Amaya on a perilous course through the coastal city-state of Moray, where old-world opulence and desperate gamblers collide.
Amaya wants one thing: revenge against the man who ruined her family and stole the life she once had. But the more entangled she becomes in this game of deception—and as her path intertwines with the son of the man she’s plotting to bring down—the more she uncovers about the truth of her past. And the more she realizes she must trust no one…
Scavenge the Stars is, at its heart, a story about revenge. But, what’s so genius about this story is that this revenge evolves at the same pace as Amaya herself. When we first meet Amaya, she’s called Silverfish, the name given to her by Captain Zharo to strip her of her identity. As Amaya grows out of some of her Silverfish habits (and into some new Countess Yamaa ones), she finds more and more pieces of the truth, and knowledge has a price. It turns out that the steeper the cost of the truth gets, Amaya’s need for revenge grows.
I can honestly say that Amaya might be one of my favorite characters this year. Made of salt water and steel, and despite being hardened by Zharo, Amaya is still able to find her way back to who she was before Silverfish, but recognizes that Silverfish might always be a part of her. So many of us struggle with different versions of ourselves, and like Amaya, we even create new ones in order to get what we want. Unapologetic in her goal of revenge, yet wary of collateral damage, Amaya is a refreshing take in the world of YA revenge plots.
For a moment, she felt as if she, like Trickster, were encased within a star. Bright and hungry and eager to right the wrongs of the world.
One of my favorite things about this book was the way it was written. At some point, Amaya considers the bond she shares with Cayo and marvels at the confusing way in which their lives seem to be clashing together. Despite coming from entirely different worlds, the story is written in a way that reflects their ever-changing relationship; there’s a push and a pull, and somewhere along the lines the two collide in the most beautifully chaotic way. Both are plagued by some heavy ass burdens, yet Tara doesn’t hesitate to remind us that underneath it all, they’re still teenage kids. I think at some point, I was so exhausted for them, and found myself begging for the world to give them a break.
Like most revenge plots, Scavenge the Stars features betrayal and misdirection, but Amaya’s story highlights the difficulties that lie beneath; she may not know who to trust, but she also isn’t sure who she’s willing to betray.
Scavenge the Stars is the perfect read for a free day (or in my case, a semi-free day where everything else can be moved). If you like reading about corrupted cities with hidden secrets, and heroines with a strong grip on your heart (and the will to cut it right out of you), and healing teens trying to fix everything in their world, you can find Scavenge the Stars at the links below! Let us know how you like it!