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Reviewed by Saifunnissa Hassam for Readers' Favorite
Bridgette Dutta Portman's YA fantasy novel The Twin Stars: Book One of the Coseema Saga is an incredibly imaginative space fantasy and coming-of-age story with strong themes. Olive Joshi, 16, is the principal character. She has OCD, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Driven by fears and anxieties, she carries out repetitive actions. Olive writes about her OCD in a journal. She has also written her ideas for a space story, a fantasy about Lyria, a planet with seven kingdoms, power struggles, Musing Moon, and twin stars. Lyria is doomed to destruction in an impending supernova of its twin stars! Olive is on a flight from San Jose to India when she finds herself on the Musing Moon, and her fantasy tale comes to life. Almost immediately, under perilous circumstances, she meets the characters of her story, including Coseema, the principal character. The tension grows taut, the suspense rises as Olive gets caught up in a dangerous power struggle and space adventure.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Twin Stars. I loved this captivating space fantasy, a moving and compassionate story of Olive Joshi and her struggle with OCD. I liked the remarkable, strong, and formidable characters in the novel. I liked how Olive's character developed, and her transformative journey came about through her own writing. Her characters on the planet Lyria want to know who she is! I think this approach in the novel was key because it helps Olive realize that she must be herself, with her OCD, and not try to be like Coseema, the fearless and perfect character in her space fantasy. I particularly liked the Lyria characters of Nestra, the poet, and the teenagers Jambol and Bel for their courage and fortitude. I felt their friendship and compassion were key to Olive's own inner journey. I loved the worldbuilding of the planet Lyria. Through the vivid narration, descriptions, and dialogues, I could picture Lyria's kingdoms and characters, both good and evil, and their power struggles. A well-crafted, thought-provoking, action-packed space adventure and coming-of-age story by Bridgette Dutta Portman!