EIGHT BOOKS TO INSPIRE HOPE DURING DIFFICULT DAYS feat. THE STARLESS SERIES BY SAMANTHA HEUWAGEN

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Mabuhay, friends! 

This post is kindly sponsored by Samantha Heuwagen for The Starless series. This is a pre-written post. 

Over the last months, many of us have had our lives completely changed. With COVID-19 and remaining in lockdown my mental health has taken a turn for the worst. Though I do try to go for walks and stick to my hobbies, the worry and fear of what could happen to my loved ones continues to gnaw at my shoulder. It almost feels like it grows by the day. In spite of falling into a reading slump, I know that escaping into books has helped me clear my mind and ground myself. That sounds odd considering a lot of people read to escape reality but more on that another time.

When I was given the opportunity to work on a sponsored post with Samantha Heuwagen and her Starless Series, I already knew what I wanted to write about. The core theme of the series is hope and the strength of human emotions. Naturally, I wanted to recommend books with hope at its centre. So if you enjoyed reading the books I’ll be listing, I know that you will also enjoy The Starless Series.

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DAWN AMONG THE STARS BY SAMANTHA HEUWAGEN

38651082. sy475 Set against the backdrop of intergalactic politics and war, Dawn Among the Stars follows the stories of three Humans as they struggle to understand the universe on a cosmic scale.

Kayin has a rough start when the Shielders, a potential alien ally for Earth, come out of hiding and into the public consciousness. Not only does their very existence cause her trouble, her panic attacks threaten to derail her everyday life. Can she overcome her mental health issues or will she be swallowed up in a political mess?

As for Henry Rickner, he wishes he could take back all of his mistakes in life, starting with his choice to leave Kayin. Yet he finds himself within the chaos of war as he tries to reunite with those he holds dear.

Melissa Pebbles only has one goal: to keep her family safe during the attack. She will do anything to make sure she and her family make it through whatever challenges are thrown their way. While Melissa fights to keep her family alive, she learns that family is more than just blood.

Can these three work with the Shielders to save Earth or will they lose the only home they’ve ever known?

🌺 Purchase book one, Dawn Among The Stars from Amazon as a paperback or for Kindle
🌺 Purchase book two, Fading Starlight from Amazon as a paperback or for Kindle
🌺 Purchase book three, Stardust Emerging from Amazon as a paperback or for Kindle 

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THE STARLESS SERIES 

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The series is about an alien invasion, with one race seeking to keep the planet for themselves while another seeks to protect the human race. Though much is written about the intergalactic politics and the race for survival, The Starless Series are emotionally driven books. Written from the point of view of the humans, we come to understand how each person reacts to the trauma of the invasion and the loss of normalcy.

The Starless series by Samantha Heuwagen was written as a means for the author to combat the stereotypes of mental illness. Working as a sex therapist by day, Heuwagen set out to write this series so she could start conversations on mental health and healthy relationships through fiction.

Dawn Among the Stars is an opportunity to depict mental health in a realistic way by changing the narrative around individuals who push through similar obstacles every single day. With my experience as a feminist and a mental health practitioner, I believe my insight into a myriad of perspectives surrounding mental health would be a great fit for a space opera.

Samantha Heuwagen

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You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon – A book on sisterhood, religious complexity, and chronic illness. The book shows how coping and loss are messy. 

🌺 Related Post: YOU’LL MISS ME WHEN I’M GONE BY RACHEL LYNN SOLOMON BOOK REVIEW

The Kite Runner by Khalid Hosseini – When I think about hope and resilience, Khalid Hosseini’s books come to mind. I read this book long ago but it has always stuck in my mind. This is a raw and heartbreaking story.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – I think by now everyone knows about The Hate U Give. A book on police brutality, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the experience of a young black teen. THUG has much to offer to conversations on racism and institutionalized racism, and with Star as the main character, I assure you this book will inspire you.

Elysium Girls by Kate Pentecost – Set in a post-cataclysm world cause by a game between the Goddess of Death and Life, Elysium Girls is the story of a girl gang and a demon defying fate. The story is highly engaging, the blend of fantasy and Wild West was so unique, and the book has strong themes on found family and self-discovery.

🌺 Related Post: ELYSIUM GIRLS BY KATE PENTECOST // DUST BOWL DYSTOPIA FEATURING GIRL GANG WITCHES AND AN AWKWARD DEMON

The Empress of Salt & Fortune by Nghi Vo – Written through anecdotal narrative, this novella blew me away. A feminist tale of women rising up against injustice. I loved the quiet cunning of the Empress, the fierce loyalty between her and Rabbit, and how the story was written as a critique on power and monarchy.

🌺 Related Post: THE EMPRESS OF SALT AND FORTUNE BY NGHI VO // A BEAUTIFUL NARRATIVE ON FIERCE FRIENDSHIPS AND THE ANGER OF WOMEN

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If you’ve enjoyed the books I listed, you should consider picking up Dawn Among The Stars! Book one in The Starless series is currently available for free on Amazon Kindle.

LET'S TALK DIVIDER

🌺 Which book inspires hope in you?

🌺 Have you read Dawn Among The Stars? Will you add it to your TBR?

🌺 Have you read any of the books listed above?

If you enjoy my work here at Camillea Reads, consider helping me by donating to my buying me a coffee through ko-fiusing my Book Depository affiliate link or subscribing to my Patreon where I create YA Books and writer discussions!

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