SYNOPSIS: A retelling of the film Star Wars: A New Hope from the points of view of Princess Leia, Han Solo, and Luke Skywalker.
You can really feel the love Bracken has for Star Wars in every word of this book and reading it I got the same sense of wonder and astonishment that I get when I watch the film! This is a strict retelling of A New Hope, but it is fun to see Bracken’s interpretation of each characters internal monologue. When you read from Leia’s POV in the beginning and Luke’s POV at the end I was struck deeply by how similar the two characters are (and how easily Leia could have been the Jedi hero of the trilogy). I loved how both were so eager to prove themselves and display their worth that they made mistakes, but ended up learning from them. There are so many beautiful lines that really help define them in terms of their own person-hood rather than how we know them from the movies. Han’s POV is probably the strongest out of the three sections because for one thing he has the longest chunk of the story and another thing is that we see his thought process and his decision to return and help out the Rebel Alliance. I especially loved his little heart-eyes thoughts about Leia. I also enjoyed the little moments that you don’t know about from watching the movies (Bracken mentions that she combined the movie, her own imagination, and some information from the books and things of that nature to create this novel) and even though I knew what was going to happen everything felt fresh, new, and exciting! There are also some fun illustrations throughout the book in case you’re new to the Star Wars world. The only thing that I would have wished for would have been a longer Leia POV, but given the fact that she is only in the beginning of the movie and then shows up around the halfway point (when we’re in Han’s POV) I understand. This novel is intended for Middle Grade readers, but I think that people of all ages will enjoy this read. It’s a great way to introduce someone to the story of Leia, Han, and Luke and I’m curious to see if The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi retellings are as fun and exciting as this one is!