Starswept by Mary Fan
In 2157, the Adryil—an advanced race of telepathic humanoids—contacted Earth. A century later, 15-year-old violist Iris Lei considers herself lucky to attend Papilio, a prestigious performing arts school powered by their technology. Born penniless, Iris’s one shot at a better life is to attract an Adryil patron. But only the best get hired, and competition is fierce.
A sudden encounter with an Adryil boy upends her world. Iris longs to learn about him and his faraway realm, but after the authorities arrest him for trespassing, the only evidence she has of his existence is the mysterious alien device he slipped to her.
When she starts hearing his voice in her head, she wonders if her world of backstabbing artists and pressure for perfection is driving her insane. Then, she discovers that her visions of him are real—by way of telepathy—and soon finds herself lost in the kind of impossible love she depicts in her music.
But even as their bond deepens, Iris realizes that he’s hiding something from her—and it’s dangerous. Her quest for answers leads her past her sheltered world to a strange planet lightyears away, where she uncovers secrets about Earth’s alien allies that shatter everything she knows.
★ 2017 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Silver Winner: YA Fiction
★ 2018 Romance Writers of America Athena Award Finalist: Speculative Fiction
“Starswept is a seductive and wholly satisfying book from start to finish—imaginative, well written, and touching on themes beyond romantic love.” – Foreword Clarion Reviews (5-star review)
“Fan spins a riveting tale against a backdrop of intergalactic human trafficking, brainwashing, corporate greed, freedom fighters, and the backstabbing culture of an exclusive performing arts academy.” – Blue Ink Review (starred review)
“…a sophisticated commentary on art, society, and how we perceive our own worth. The beginning of an elegant, spirited rebellion saga.” – Kirkus Reviews