Tin Star | Cecil Castellucci | Book Review

As a reader who LOVED First Day On Earth, I could not wait to read Tin Star by Cecil Castellucci. I had all these sorts of expectations. Yet, as per usual, when I have expectations the book unfortunately did not live up to them. I really wanted to love Tin Star and to feel that uncontrollable need to recommend it to every single person I know ever, however that did not happen. I mean, do not get me wrong. I do not hate this book. I do not even dislike it. I think that Tin Star is an okay read, but it was never one where I felt drawn to the story or the intense need to pick it up on my down time. Alas, I am not won over by this book but maybe you will be.

Tin Star by Cecil Castellucci | Good Books And Good Wine

Tula Bane was all set to go to one of the Children Of Earth colonies with her mother and sister aboard spaceship the Prarie Rose. Yet, Tula has asked way too many questions of Children Of Earth leader Brother Blue. The last straw is when she spots the grain that should be going with the ship left behind in a cargo bay aboard a space station. This pisses Brother Blue off, so he beats the hell out of her and leaves her for dead at the space station. It takes Tula awhile to adjust, but eventually she learns the underworld so well that she is able to make a name for herself, under mentor Heckleck, a shady alien who is hellbent on revenge. Also, Tula is the only human on the space station. She also manages to get on the good side of station commander Tournour, a Loor, which is another sort of alien. Anyways, for three years Tula exists and carves out a better life for herself, but with no humans at all. Until one day, three teenage humans end up on the station. Tula falls madly in love with one. Yet, you guys, those humans are about to turn everything upside down.

In all honesty, I did like Tula as a protagonist but I was not attached to her or anything. I liked how strong she was. I liked that she kept going even though her life kind of fell apart. Tula is very resourceful and it shows in Tin Star. She is absolutely a fighter. But I don’t know, I just failed to connect with her. She’s nice and all, but eh. I don’t know. OH! Now that I sit here and think about it for a couple minutes, I think for me, I like characters in relation to other characters and because Tula is a loner except for her attachments to various aliens, I just couldn’t make myself connect. Ah, that is it. Maybe though, you will feel different when you read this.

Now, if you have read the official summary and expect that the romance is totally going to sweep you off your feet and be the most epic thing ever, you would be misled. Look, there is sort of a romance, but it is not the focus of the book. It probably gets like 10 pages of word-time. Seriously. Like, yeah there is kissing. There is feeling. BUT it is brief. It’s not as much as I had hoped or expected. Honestly, more of the book is centered on survival and overcoming adversity, not on romance and swoons and slow burns. However, there is one bit of unexpected romance that I really enjoyed in Tin Star. I think when you read this you will understand what I am talking about.

I’m not sure what to chalk my feelings toward Castellucci’s Tin Star up to. Maybe it’s the setting? Maybe it’s space? Maybe it is me? Either way, I am honestly okay with this book and I would honestly recommend it to most people, but it didn’t really do anything for me or really rev my engine at all. Take that as you will.

Disclosure: Review Copy Provided By Publisher

Other reviews of Tin Star by Cecil Castellucci:

It’s November as I write this, so I haven’t seen anything yet on Google. Drop your link in the comments and I will add it up here.

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. “I like characters in relation to other characters and because Tula is a loner ” This 100%. I was trying to figure out why it took me so long to read such a short book (besides the nap, but still, why did I nap in the middle of it??), and I realized it was completely because Tula never felt like a real person without interactions with other characters for me. I never really realized how important those interactions are for my book enjoyment, but I learned my lesson! My review is coming in a couple of weeks ;-).

    Oh and the surprise romance aspect kind of annoyed me since I didn’t see it coming so it felt a bit forced, but that’s just crotchety ol’ me 😉
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  2. I really liked this book, but I see your point about Tula being a loner and that sort of impacting how you connected with her. The unexpected romance was my favorite….
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  3. I’ve had my eye on this one for a while now, since space type books tend to be my thing lately. However, I keep passing up chances to add it to my TBR, almost feeling guilty since everyone seems to like it. Glad to see a slightly different view!

  4. Okay so basically I came into this with the same expectations you had (so much love for First Day on Earth!) and yet this one was just lacking… something. I tried to put my finger on it as I was writing my review, but I just couldn’t. I liked it but I wanted this book to CHANGE me and it didn’t. Not like the first one. Which maybe isn’t a fair comparison, but oh well.

    I’m also iffy on the super secret plot-twisty romance that you mentioned. It seemed so out of left field and thrown in on the last page! The idea was cool, and I was surprised, but I don’t know if I found it believable? I wish it had been worked more because there was so much potential.

    Brenna from Esther’s Ever After
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  5. I loved the book and how easy of a read it was but I do agree that it was a tad bit hard to decide if you really liked Tula as a person just because you never really saw her emotional side (although it makes sense almost getting left for dead). I think the unexpected romance made sense and I think in the sequel they will become a pair because of the hints through out the book of how Tula feels when he is around, like how she always feels like she can do anything when he is there and does not feel fear. I also think it is believable because he is more for lack of a better way to say it more human haha. But who knows I can’t wait for the sequel to see how it plays out. So glad for the other fans out there!

    • Hey I agree with you the whole way. Also he was alway there for her when she was most scared and he let out his sent when she needed to be calm and collective. At one point he even asked her when he first let his sent out how she was feeling and she said “Calm” he replied “Of course you are”

      Sorry if there are miss spelling on my part ☺

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