ARC Review: When the Stars Lead to You

When the Stars Lead to You by Ronni Davis
Release Date: November 12, 2019
Genres: YA contemporary
Rating: 🌟 🌟 🌟

Eighteen-year-old Devon longs for two things.

The stars.
And the boy she fell in love with last summer.

When Ashton breaks Devon’s heart at the end of the most romantic and magical summer ever, she thinks her heart will never heal again. But over the course of the following year, Devon finds herself slowly putting the broken pieces back together.

Now it’s senior year, and she’s determined to enjoy every moment of it as she prepares for a future studying the galaxies. That is, until Ashton shows up on the first day of school. Can she forgive him and open her heart again? Or are they doomed to repeat history?

I’m so torn! I understand and appreciate what the author was trying to do, I just don’t think it was executed all that well.

Devon is a biracial 18 year old girl who is starting her senior year of high school. She’s focused on getting into her dream college and learning more about astrophysics. Also enjoying her last year of school with her best friend, Blair.

The last thing she expects is to see the guy who ghosted her a year and half ago, after what was the perfect summer relationship. Devon is confused and angry to see Ashton again, but those feelings are still there and she’s left wondering what exactly happened that summer.

First, let’s talk about the characters. I liked both of them, but it never really got past that. I loved Devon’s passion for the stars, it’s the best thing about her. I loved seeing the way she got excited any time she talked about them, and I loved that, no matter what, getting into the college with the best astrophysics program was always her priority.

Then there’s Ashton. I think this book would have really benefited from having some chapters with his POV, though I do understand why it didn’t include him as this is Devon’s story. However, I do think never really seeing where his head is at and seeing all his actions through Devon’s POV made it more difficult to connect with him. But either way, sympathizing with him was all too easy.

This book focused on a lot of topics. Two of the biggest ones are mental illness and race. I thought the biracial rep was really good here. There were a lot of good conversations about race in the book and you could see a lot of the microaggressions Devon has to deal with because of the fact she’s half black in a predominately white school and dating a rich, white guy.

Mental illness is also a huge theme. Specifically depression and suicidal ideation. This is where a little bit of my mixed feelings come in. I found some of the things Ashton talked about and went through very relatable, and some fell a little flat. Obviously this is a personal thing, not everyone will feel the same.

The romance between Ashton and Devon is my main issue. The insta-love was strong.  Also, so everyone knows, this is not a romance book. Their relationship was always moving so fast. They initially fell in love so quickly, then Devon forgave Ashton super quickly. They had their cute moments, I just wish their relationship had been a bit more fleshed out. Then towards the end, I wish there had been a bit more resolution to it.

At the end of the day, this won’t make any of my favorites list. However, I can tell this book was really special for the author, and I don’t regret reading it.

three stars

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