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Jepp, Who Defied the Stars by Katherine…
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Jepp, Who Defied the Stars (edition 2012)

by Katherine Marsh

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1361188,280 (3.97)5
Member:legxleg
Title:Jepp, Who Defied the Stars
Authors:Katherine Marsh
Info:Hyperion Book CH (2012), Hardcover, 400 pages
Collections:Your library, Historical Fiction, Books Read in 2012, Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:2012read, don't own, fiction, YA, historical fiction, years: century: 1500s, years: decade: 1590s

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Jepp, Who Defied the Stars by Katherine Marsh

Recently added byChewDigest, miyyu, orangishoranges, ute_wilkinson, private library, MABoone, thenerdypuffer
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» See also 5 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
Very interesting historical story, but with a very sudden ending that didn't ring true. ( )
  ute_wilkinson | Jul 12, 2014 |
Despite all the horrible things in his life, Jepp overcomes all the odds.
  dcollins7984 | May 21, 2014 |
Jepp, a boy with dwarfism, has always been secure in his mother's love. Though he meets a wide variety of travelers who pass through his mother's tavern, he has always been cherished and protected. That changes one day in Jepp's fifteenth year, when a stranger named Don Diego arrives at the tavern. He offers to introduce Jepp to the court of the Spanish Infanta at Brussels, where there are others like Jepp who live a life of luxury. Jepp is torn between the comfort of life at the tavern, and the excitement of life at court, but in the end he decides to travel to the court. Life there is both good and bad -- the Infanta has caused a special wing of the palace to be built for the "court dwarfs," with specially proportioned furniture and fittings. However, the dwarfs are expected to perform to the Infanta and her court in ways that are often humiliating -- for instance, Jepp's first appearance involves jumping out of a pie. Jepp soon makes friends with the other dwarfs, particularly Lia, a lovely young woman near his own age. But Jepp is naive in many ways, and life at court is full of intrigue and danger for those without the power to protect themselves. Jepp will have many adventures over the course of the story, and will often wonder if the course of his life is determined by the stars, or whether he can have a hand in creating his own fate.

I found this story completely absorbing as I listened to the audiobook over the course of a long car trip. It's not a fast-paced read, but instead draws the reader into the richly detailed and carefully researched world of the Spanish Netherlands, circa 1590. I was favorably impressed with the audio production, and I'm sure I'd be mispronouncing the main character's name if I had only read the print version (the "J" is pronounced as "Y," English speakers)! Jepp is a faceted and realistic character, very believable as a teenage boy going from a small, familiar place to a complicated court in a large city, and he definitely matures over the course of the book as he faces a variety of experiences and finds his place in the world. There are all sorts of interesting tidbits about life in the Renaissance as well. If you enjoy historical fiction, I highly recommend this book! ( )
  foggidawn | Dec 11, 2013 |
Definitely not action packed but I had to finish the book to see how his life unfurled. Had the plot figured out half way through the book. Can't believe that a young adult will read this book. Seems like all my students want to read are dystopias, zombies, mystery or creepy novels. ( )
  bookwoman137 | Oct 6, 2013 |
Let me just start off by saying I LOVED the blue print and illustrations at the beginning of each chapter. I really love unique touches like that. Makes the reading experience special. Jepp tells the tale of a dwarf teenage growing up in the late 1500s. He has a life at the court of the Infanta and longs for more than what life is giving him.

I found Jepp fairly likable - a mix of annoying, obstinate, determined and hopefully (rightfully suited to a teenage boy in his circumstances). It did take me a while to get through the book though. I felt the pace was clunky at first, then sped up towards the middle, then slowed down again and then, in a rush, everything happened to quickly wrap up the book. I think the pace was the biggest drawback.

Most of the characters surrounding Jepp were just as colorful and varied, and I especially love the world created around astronomer, Tycho. Based on Marsh's description of his castle - it's a place I'd love to visit.

I may be holding on to this book more because of the fact that it has blue ink than for it's creative merits - however, I'm still glad I read the book and I recommended it - a solid read for young adults or fans of YA fiction. ( )
  MillieHennessy | Aug 19, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
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"Jepp, a teenage dwarf living in 16th century Europe, leaves home to seek his destiny"--

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