When a trend hits hard, look no further than Disney to plug its stuff into it. Thus we get the Young Adult novel, Star Wars: Lost Stars.
This book feels like Twilight mixed with the movie Starship Troopers. You follow Ciena Ree and Thane Kyrell as they go from childhood friends to Imperial Academy Cadets to adulthood. The budding romance and conflicting morals impact them when they decide to follow separate paths: Kyrell joins the Rebellion while Ree stays with the Empire.
Oh the emotional angst that pulses throughout the story.
With all that, this is still quite the enjoyable rush through the good Star Wars films (A New Hope to Return of the Jedi). It had the feeling of the Star Wars themed Phineas and Ferb episode where the characters are on a parallel journey. The plot points weave in and out of some of the major points from the films - you are on the Star Destroyer that captures Princess Leia, you are on the Death Star when the Falcon is trapped, you fly through the battle of Hoth, etc...those moments were very fun to read.
The second pay off is at the end when you are witness to a bit of the Battle of Jakku which is the desert moments from The Force Awakens trailer. It sets the stage for the next movie which was incredible to read.
I enjoyed the characters. Like Starship Troopers, it felt like you were along the ride as they matured and experienced the academy. The teenage hormonal moments were alright -it didn't pull me out of the Star Wars universe.
And the cameos of familiar faces was a nice touch too.
This was simply a fun Star Wars read.